A Brief Review on the Enhancement of Surface Finish for Metal Additive Manufacturing (Pages 1-14)

Jiong Zhang, Yan Jin Lee and Hao Wang

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, National University of Singapore, 9 Engineering Drive 1, Singapore 117575, Singapore

DOI: https://doi.org/10.31437/2414-2115.2021.07.1

Abstract: Additive manufacturing (AM) has been attracting tremendous attention in recent decades thanks to its distinct advantages over the conventional subtractive manufacturing techniques with regard to customisation, complex geometry and near-net-shape fabrication, etc. To date, the application of AM technology has been extended to various fields of engineering, including automobile, aerospace, healthcare and biomedical industries. Although some AM techniques have been relatively successful at customised and lightweight products, large-scale technology adoption in the industry is still limited by the poor surface finish and inadequate geometric accuracy. In this regard, post-processing is crucial to the manufacturing process, which encompasses the removal of support structures, tuning microstructures to modify material properties, correcting form errors, and improving surface finish. This paper discusses the processes to improve surface finish, which include the well-established conventional subtractive manufacturing techniques. It is desirable, yet challenging, to integrate conventional manufacturing processes with the unique features of the additively manufactured components. This review aims to provide the researchers and practitioners from academia and industries the recent developments in the area of surface finish improvement for additive manufacturing as well as to further explore the future advancement of additive manufacturing and its post-processing technologies.

Keywords: Post-processing, additive manufacturing, 3D printing, surface finishing.