Extrude Hone’s Coolpulse Smooths Surfaces on 3D-Printed Parts

Rapid 2018: The process uses electrochemical machining (ECM) to smooth rough surfaces on metal 3D-printed parts. 
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Extrude Hone’s Coolpulse technology for surface finishing provides an economical way of processing and refining the rough surface finishes found on metal 3D-printed parts. The electrochemical machining (ECM) approach is said to enable fast reaction times and flexibility. 

Like ECM, Coolpulse follows the principles of anodic metal dissolution but can be applied in two ways. The first method is Bath technology, in which the part is placed between two metal plates. The method is easy to setup and a flexible way to micro-deburr parts without much dedicated tooling, the company says.

The second method, Tooling technology, uses a dedicated cathode which mirrors the part geometry. This method enables improving the external and internal surface finish while removing defects from support structures simultaneously. Depending on the surface finish requirements, the Tooling method can either use a simple setup tooling, assembled with standard parts of a toolkit, or a specifically designed cathode produced on a metal 3D printer.

The process is suitable for use with materials such as Inconel, Hastalloy, maraging steel, stainless steel, aluminum alloys and tool steels.