Post-Processing (EWI)

Project: Evaluating Post Processing and Characterization Techniques for AM Part Surfaces

Partner Lead



Finishing and characterizing the surface quality of these complex geometries is still a challenge. 

  • AM surfaces are challenging to measure as they exhibit new surface topographies that have not been dealt with historically. 

  • Each of the surface finishing processes also result in varying surface topographies even though the surface quality metric may be similar.


Identify common post-processing techniques applicable to AM, along with key surface measurement techniques, and identify surface measurement metrics that provide coherent information for AM components. 


To study specimen property–part performance relationships through thermal simulation and systematic mechanical testing of coupons machined from various sized blocks representing differing time interval, part size, and geometry, design of experiments include the following steps: 

  • Literature review: to understand the current industry landscape for ongoing work in the field of AM part surface finishing and characterization.

  • Build test coupons: print test geometries with varying surface characteristics using a laser powder bed fusion (L-PBF) process in Inconel® 718

  • Surface finishing: identify up to three surface finishing techniques to finish test coupons

  • Surface characterization: characterize the as-built and finished surfaces with up to four different surface characterization techniques to determine surface quality metrics that convey relevant information for AM parts Impact


EWI will research how various surface finishing techniques for additively manufactured products impact performance and structural integrity. This post-processing research will help standardize surface quality and measurement metrics

phase 1Jameson Elder