Finishing & Inspection

Post-Process Capabilities

3Diligent's rapid-manufacturing service is backed by extensive post-process finishing and inspection capabilities.


Surface finishing and inspection sometimes referred to as post-processing, describes a family of activities generally developed to optimize surface roughness/smoothness and ensure conformance with design specifications. 


This is the process of accelerating particles of abrasive material through a nozzle or centrifugal wheel to remove surface roughness. Blasting can be done with sand, steel shot, or glass beads.


Peening is a precisely controlled process of jetting a stream of round beads at a part. Different from shot blasting, it is used to produce residual compressive stress on the surface of a part. Peening can be done with glass (glass peening) or metal beads (shot peening).


Sanding is the process of rubbing a gritty paper against the surface of a part to smooth out surface roughness. The fineness of the sand establishes the grit level. Lower grit levels (e.g., 80, 120) are used to smooth rougher surfaces, while higher grit levels (180, 240) are used to make fairly smooth surfaces smoother.


Polishing, or buffing, is the process of rubbing a soft surface against a part to give it additional sheen. This process is typically applied after others and used to achieve finishes of less than Ra 32 microinches.


Through an electrolytic or electroless process, a layer of copper-nickel molecules can be attached to the surface of a part. This process adds a metallic appearance and some metallic properties to a part that may have originally been printed, machined, or cast in another material. The plating can be adjusted to include more copper (for electromagnetic interference) or nickel (for strength and hardness).


Heat treatment involves the use of heating or chilling parts to extreme temperatures, typically in an effort to harden a material.


Hot Isostatic Pressing, or HIPing for short, is the process of putting your parts into a high-temperature, pressurized container. Doing so effectively removes internal porosity from parts, typically diminishing strength properties but improving cycle time.


Anodizing is an electrochemical process that converts the metal surface into a decorative, durable, corrosion-resistant, anodic oxide finish. Aluminum is ideally suited to anodizing, although other nonferrous metals, such as magnesium and titanium, also can be anodized.


If you need non-destructive inspection certification of parts, we provide it. Simply include your request in the Additional Requests section of your RFQ and confirm it's been included in the corresponding Additional Assurances section of the bid you receive.

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If you're interested in experiencing the power of our digital-manufacturing solutions firsthand, submit an RFQ through our secure portal or send an email detailing a few of the specifics of your project and we'll be in touch.