Manufacturing Definitions: Navigate a dynamic landscape

Terminology Manufacturing vs Agricultural
The Post-Processing of Corn

As technology and manufacturing become more intertwined, and definitions of words are reused in virtual senses we often times come to forget their original meaning, or why they have meaning or what the definitions are to begin with.

The idea of the term “Post Processing” is an interesting example. 25 years ago the idea of letting anyone seeing an uncured or unpost processed 3D model was enough to strike fear into the hearts of 3D Printer sales teams. Hardened sales reps would stay after hours at trade shows rooting through the trash of competitors for a model still in the “green state” while quietly disposing of their own printers’ unfinished model.

(The term green state is now similarly used to describe the fragile condition a metal part is in immediately prior to post processing.)

Post processing can literally include anything you might imagine that could or would change, add, or remove geometry. It could be sanding, curing, heating, cooling, drilling, tapping or boring to name a few. Some might be thought of as “best practices” while others are truly required depending on the method of 3D printing being used.

It is a catch-all phrase at an attempt to define when the manufacturing process ends on a 3D Printer. As with all beginnings and ends, it can be a difficult thing to define – yet it must also be certain. Likely to do the polished nature of assembly lines, costs associated with post processing has become integral to understanding ROI and potential pitfalls associated with logistics and subsequent disciplines between manufacturing and end user.

It can often be difficult to compare things that are not comparable – however that’s not to say it shouldn’t be attempted for the sake of advancement. There are still people who stand at the supermarket and shuck their own corn. But there are also people who will never ever shuck their own corn and will take it tightly wrapped in cellophane. Yet others may prefer it in a can. And still there are others who will find it completely ludicrous to “require” a machined heavy metal object (can opener) to access their food! Don’t tell that consumer that some can openers now require electricity.

Now there can be several takeaways from that thought experiment however the one we’re concerned with is learning to understand and gain access to as many of those consumers as possible. As the technology to create advances, so does the technology within households and businesses. This is a new beginning of providing customers with additional purchasing options based on the level of post processing required by the end user. The only printer available right now to anyone who wants to begin to unlock the potential of shifting post processing downline is the ETEC Xtreme 8K DLP from Desktop Metals.

The Future of Post Processing and Manufacturing
Redefine Post Processing

Top-down digital light processing on the Xtreme 8K comes with the ability to produce strong, stable, and fully-isotropic parts suitable for demanding end-use applications.

Full range of breakthrough materials, including Henkel Adhesive Technologies Loctite® IND 405 and IND3843, as well as Adaptive3D Elastic ToughRubber™ are qualified on the Xtreme 8K.
Learn more about our material selections.

Portal and Catalog – New for 2019

Thank you for being a valued web user of the Solid Technologies 3D Print Online Portal.  The Solid Tech Wed Portal interface is now closed and all future quotes will be manually reviewed.  3D Printer service customers will experience expert advice on specific projects and a more focused material option for their specific application.  Our team at Solid Tech is uniquely positioned to provide the best in class technology and advice on 3D solutions.  If you have any questions or feedback please let us know!

Thank you again for being a valued customer and we look forward to working with you in 2017!

To request a new 3D Print quote:

Please visit our contact page here or

email with your 3D files:

or contact Solid Tech directly,

We also offer:

Design Services

2D-3D Conversion

STP and IGS Conversion

STL File Cleanup

STL to WRL conversion with coloring

More information about our products and services can be found here


Is 3D CAD required to operate a 3D Printer?

3D Rendered Model

3D Rendering or 3D Print

In recent years, the demand for 3D Printing and 3D printed prototypes has increased dramatically.  At first the demand came from the usual suspects.  Manufacturing and design houses looking to shorten the time to bring their product to market by getting fast renditions of their model for conceptual design.  As the technology caught on, more and more industries began exploring the possibilities of 3D printing to either shorten their design cycle or just better convey their ideas.

Vastly different fields have begun to attempt to ride the 3D printing wave such as architecture, marketing, as well as GIS.  Surprisingly many industry professionals from these different markets continue to endure design via 2D CAD.  Unfortunately there isn’t a 3D printer on the market today that will generate a print file based on 2D data.  After decades of being suitable for design, 2D CAD is nearing the end of it’s life cycle.  Fortunately for designers stuck in the past, there are solutions for turning a 2D file into a printable model.  Direct modeling packages such as ANSYS SpaceClaim can provide the tools necessary to bring a 2D designer into the current realm of technology.


For starters, users can inexpensively and easily convert their 2D data using ANSYS SpaceClaim Engineer.  Simplistically breathe life into a 2D model and watch it become 3D right before your eyes.  Within minutes your legacy data will be primed for printing so you can share your new found tech with your colleagues and be the hero of the day.

Of course, for tech aficionados and those interested in the novelty of 3D Printing, one can run a printer without any type of 3D CAD.  Several digital content websites have been popping up in the last few years that offer access to hundreds if not thousands of 3D parts with ready to print files.  Anyone with a 3D Printer can make use of such resources and have enough files to run a 3D printer 24 hours a day for far into the foreseeable future.

However, to maximize the utility of your 3D Printer, it makes sense to own a 3D CAD package yourself.  Without 3D CAD your creativity is at the mercy of the designers who populate the 3D content sites.  While the novelty is ripe for the taking, you are limiting the potential of your 3D projects.  Until every single design concept from modern civilization is shared and cataloged, 3D CAD is still a 3D Printer’s best friend.

Next Page »

Skip to content