Due to the continually increasing popularity of metal powder-based additive manufacturing as a production process in recent years, there has been growing research into improving the surface quality of the parts manufactured in this way. Laser polishing offers great potential as a finishing technique due to its flexibility and suitability for automation. However, the complexity of components that can be produced with additive manufacturing processes presents challenges in developing practical and flexible arrangements for implementing a laser polishing process. In this paper, we offer methods to manage height variations of parts using weakly focused beams, process components that are (roughly) cylindrical using rotational stages, and polishing of internal surfaces using simple optics. As an example application, we present finishing of additively manufactured cobalt chrome dental implants to a surface roughness of 0.45 μm in only 60 s using a low-cost fiber delivered diode array laser.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
- Biomedical Engineering