Additive Manufacturing

Perfect surfaces in additive manufacturing

Walther Trowal has developed the AM Post Process vibratory finishing systems for finishing the surfaces of additively manufactured workpieces.

Walther Trowal has developed the AM Post Process vibratory finishing systems for finishing the surfaces of additively manufactured workpieces.

At this year’s Formnext, Walther Trowal will present the TRT 83/87 trough vibrator, which is suitable for finishing the surfaces of additively manufactured components. Especially for smaller manufacturing batches this mass finishing machine creates very smooth and shiny surface finishes.

The AM Post Process mass finishing machines were explicitly developed for the post processing of 3D printed components. They are specifically adapted to the surface roughness conditions created by the additive manufacturing process. For example, stair casting, support structure remnants and sintered-on powder residues.

Contrary to electro-chemical treatment systems the AM Post Process creates smooth and shiny finishes on the surface of components with complex, often bionic, shapes in just one or two process stages.

Perfect surfaces - even on complexly shaped components

The tub vibrator TRT 83/37, presented by Walther Trowal at the Formnext (Messe Frankfurt/Germany, November 16–19, 2021) exhibition, was specifically developed for relatively small manufacturing batches. Generally, one or several work pieces are placed into the processing bowl filled with suitable grinding or polishing media. The vibratory energy induced into the bowl causes not only an intensive rubbing motion, but also creates a considerable pressure between the media and work pieces. Within relatively short cycle times this produces very smooth, homogeneous surface finishes.

Christoph Cruse, sales director at Walther Trowal, considers the TRT 83/87 as an entry-level machine for companies undertaking first steps in the field of additive manufacturing: „Initially, we developed this compact, easy-to-operate machine for cleaning metallic work pieces and are manufacturing it today in relatively large volumes. This allows us offering the machine at a very competitive price. For larger work piece batches that cannot be processed by freely tumbling in the processing media, we offer the rotary vibrator AM 2.“

AM 2 circular vibrator for additive manufacturing

In the AM 2, specially developed for finishing 3D printed components, the work pieces are mounted to the bottom of the processing bowl. This creates a particularly intensive motion between media and work pieces. Another major benefit of this processing mode is that the firmly mounted work pieces cannot get scratched or nicked by touching each other during the finishing process.

The vibrators of the AM series are equipped with three vibratory motors creating an overlapping motion of the media/work piece mix. This results in a highly homogeneous and gentle grinding/polishing effect of the media on the work pieces.  Delicate, thin work piece contours are not breaking off or warping but remain intact. Moreover, the processing media is also finishing difficult-to-reach internal passages and undercuts typical for 3D printed components.