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Cleaning 3D printed parts with the right chemistry

3D printing is a hot topic because recent developments allow for making intricate and complex items. Yet, behind the scenes, there is more than just the printing process itself. Post-processing steps such as cleaning and polishing are time-consuming yet very important: improper cleaning can lead to malfunctioning of components or insufficient adhesion of paints.

Cleaning consists of removing support material from printed objects, which was added during the printing process. In several printing techniques, this support material is a different material than the construction material for the object itself. Therefore there is potential for using chemical means to dissolve this support material. With the presently known chemicals, dissolution takes several hours, and there is a need for speeding up this process.

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This assignment will consist of finding the right chemical for dissolving certain types of support material. This will involve literature research, but also a strong practical component: we will collect some 3D print samples to test the selected chemicals on.


David Fernandez Rivas