3D printing service provider and online marketplace Shapeways, has announced a partnership with German SLS post-processing solutions company DyeMansion. The collaboration between the two companies adds DyeMansion’s shot peening service to selective laser sintered (SLS) objects ordered on the Shapeways site, proving a better overall finish and texture to the 3D printed parts.

A collection of 3D printed objects post processed by the DyeMansion Powershot S system. Featuring Bow Tie Mustache by UTB. Photo via Shapeways

A collection of 3D printed objects post processed by the DyeMansion Powershot S system. Featuring Bow Tie Mustache by UTB. Photo via Shapeways

Shot-blasted parts of 3D printed plastic 

DyeMansion shot peening is provided by the company’s Powershot S automated blasting system. In a process similar to sandblasting, shot peened plastic surfaces are impacted with a stream of shot – typically round particles of metal, glass, or ceramics. The force of these particles smoothes out the plastic and, in the Powershot S, creates a glossy and homogeneous surface.

The Dye Mansion Powershot S system. Image via Dye Mansion

The DyeMansion Powershot S system. Image via DyeMansion

Shot peening can be used in unison with, or as an alternative to the tumbling process typically used in industrial grade finishing of plastic parts. By comparison, the typical runtime of a Powershot S process takes just 15 minutes, whereas tumbling takes around 6 hours. The process is also compatible with all geometries, capable of hitting in acute spaces and fine details.

Grades of finished to 3D printed and processed plastic parts. Photo via DyeMansion

Grades of finished to 3D printed and processed plastic parts. Photo via DyeMansion

The future of 3D printing and post processing 

DyeMansion shot peening is currently available members signed up to the Shapeways Beta group. It is possible to use the method on models made in Black, Red, or Blue plastic in the Strong & Flexible category on Shapeways. Subject to beta-group response, the company plan to continue rolling out the technique to other colors too, as seen by 3D Printing Industry at formnext and Rapid + TCT.

Radial engines colored with DyeMansion DM60, 3D printed in PA2200, blasted with DyeMasion Powershot S (10 min). Photo by Michael Petch

Radial engines colored with DyeMansion DM60, 3D printed in PA2200, blasted with DyeMasion Powershot S (10 min). Photo by Michael Petch

Felix Ewald, CEO & Co-founder of DyeMansion, has featured on 3D Printing Industry as part of our Future of 3D Printing guest article series, which can be read here. In the article Ewald gives his insight into the progression of the industrial plastics market, and predictions for the technology’s adoption in other industries.

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Featured image: Bracelet Bluups Origami R by Bluups and 3D printed by Shapeways. Left shows the origami before post processing, and right shows the object after treatment using the Powershot S. Photo via Shapeways

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