By Jeff Phillips
The technique of three-dimensional (3D) printing can be utilized to create not only simple parts but those with complex geometries as well. These 3D objects are generated via the deposition of successive layers of materials comprising various polymeric and metallic substrates. 3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, can be easily automated to produce product in commercial quantities. As 3D printing technology has advanced, its use has rapidly increased across a wide range of industries, including life science, healthcare, and medical products, among others.
This paper focuses on the critical cleaning of a wide range of hard surfaces utilized in 3D printing processes across industries, such as extruded plastics, photosensitive substrates, metals, and metal alloys. We use the term critical cleaning to denote situations where the level of cleaning directly impacts the value of the end product or materially increases manufacturing efficiency.