Mass Finishing of Laser Sintered Parts

Delfs, P.
Li, Z.
Schmid, H.-J.
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University of Texas at Austin

Selective laser sintered (SLS) part surfaces are quite rough textured by the layered structure and adherence of incomplete molten powder particles. Different post-treatments can help to smooth these surfaces. In this work we investigated the mass finishing method with a disc finishing machine. The aim was to quantify the influences of different process parameters on roughness values and rounding of edges. Therefore different geometries and material of abrasive media were used. Further the intensity was varied by changing the rotational speed and duration of the finishing process. Analysis was done with a 3D optical microscope to get profile and areal roughness parameters as well as radii of edges. SLS part surfaces with build angles from 0° to 180° in 15° steps were evaluated. The results show that depending on the used abrasive media roughness values can be reduced to about 15 % of its initial value in a few hours of finishing.