Parts made on the Studio System have a surface quality similar to plastic FFF-printed parts. Since the Studio System employs an extrusion-based process, Bound Metal Deposition, layer lines are typically visible. In general, Studio System part surfaces are similar to cast part surfaces.
The surface roughness of a Studio System part depends on a number of factors:
- Part orientation: Surfaces in contact with support structures or the raft will have rougher surface quality.
- Layer height: a larger layer height will result in higher average surface roughness while a smaller layer height produces parts with lower average surface roughness
Average surface roughness
The data presented below shows the average surface roughness of specimens printed with each of the Fabricate print profile.
[Data based on measurements of sample geometry. Sample geometry was cylinder 15mm in diameter and 20mm in height. Three specimens printed for each print profile. Surface roughness data collected and analyzed by Jigar Patel, Desktop Metal Application Engineer.]
Average surface roughness of other metal 3D printing technologies
The chart below compares the average surface roughness of Studio System parts printed with the standard profile to parts fabricated with other metal 3D printing technologies. The data for the other metal 3D printing technologies is adapted from the Ampower report, “Metal Additive Manufacturing with sinter-based technologies.”
If a specific surface finish is required, customers should expect to do finishing work to achieve that spec. Finish work can be done in the green state (typically handwork), or after sintering. For more information about finishing sintered parts, please refer to the white paper, "Exploring metal finishing methods for 3D-printed parts."