Home > Research > Publications & Outputs > Surface Finishing of Metal AM Parts

Electronic data

  • iCAT2016_Paper_CAM Ltd Burns et al

    Final published version, 855 KB, PDF document

    Available under license: None

View graph of relations

Surface Finishing of Metal AM Parts

Research output: Contribution to conference - Without ISBN/ISSN Conference paper

Publication date29/11/2016
Number of pages7
<mark>Original language</mark>English
Event6th International Conference on Additive Technologies - iCAT 2016 Proceedings - Nürnberg, Germany
Duration: 29/11/201630/11/2016


Conference6th International Conference on Additive Technologies - iCAT 2016 Proceedings
Internet address


Components manufactured using additive technologies are produced with a rough surface and a significant amount of support material still attached. The support structures can often be easily removed with simple tooling methods, but it can be difficult to get a smooth, uniform surface finish – particularly on internal surfaces.

Surface roughness is not consistent across an additively manufactured part. The orientation of a surface relative to the build plate affects its roughness; also, internal surfaces can have a harsher surface than external surfaces. A major problem is that internal surfaces are often harder to reach; making it difficult to alter their surface properties. Across the industry there is no consensus on the method of finishing which yields the best result; often, companies will use multiple steps in their finishing method.

Through experimentation, it is possible to find an optimal orientation to build parts from; some build orientations improve certain features of a design. By optimising the orientation, it is possible to save time on the finishing process and achieve a better overall product. Research into mass finishing has offered a simpler way to finish parts which works on all surfaces but does not necessarily improve the consistency across the part.