Dental Tools. Source: kikujungboy/Shutterstock.com
Dental Tools. Source: kikujungboy/Shutterstock.com

The Connex500 can print in over 100 materials and can build several parts at one time. This printer can print complex prints with moving parts without the need for assembly. The Connex500 is suitable for rapid prototyping and finished product alike.

Here are the post-processing methods that WhiteClouds uses on our 3D printed parts from the Connex500. We use a high-pressure washer: The POWERBLAST High-pressure Water Cleaner, 20-120 Bar manufactured by Balco UK for Objet Geometries Limited.

Removing the Parts from the Printer

When a build starts on the Connex500, each part begins with a single layer of part material, almost like a skin. Once the build is complete, we use a razor blade scraper to gently peel the skin away from the build platform.

After all the parts have been removed, we clean the build tray with Simple Green® cleaner and a silk rag. We use silk to help make sure that the machine will last as long as possible and so we don’t create any deformities on the tray that would cause future problems.  We clean the underside of the print head, wash out the overflow bin and clean the wipers.

Removing Support Material

Once the part is removed from the platform, we pull the skin away from the part and gently remove the bulk of the support material used to build the part. We break away as much support material as we can with our hands and also use dental picks and brushes to remove excess material.

Once the majority of the support material is removed, we take the parts into the cleaning station where we use jets of pressured water to blast away the rest of the support material. Depending on the geometry of the print, such as small points, little parts, or long pieces, we can use one of two sprayers.

Using the High-pressure Water Cleaner

One sprayer is a high pressure jet stream that is used on most parts, the other is a lower pressure flat wide spread that works better on fragile parts. Then the parts are set out to dry and we make sure that there isn’t any support material remaining. Any remaining support material is cleaned out with dental picks and other small tools and washed again to make sure all the support material is gone.

For more intricate parts, we can soak them in a mix of water and caustic soda (Crystal Drano®) to loosen the support material in hard-to-reach places. Once the parts are free of support material, they are finished but other post-processing procedures can be done to alter the part such as sanding and polishing.

Once the post-processing is finished, the part is complete and ready to go.