How Post Processing & Finishing Works

There are a variety of post-processing and finishing options to produce targets ranging from unfinished to photo-realistic results. Just a few techniques include bead-blasting, polishing, dyeing, chemical/vapor/mechanical smoothing, wet paint, Cerakote, hydrographics, metalization, texturing and hardware installation. UPTIVE matches each finishing process that best suits your needs for each part manufacturing application, from 3D printing to CNC machining to injection molding.

Colored Plastic ComponentsPowder Coated PartsThreaded Inserts in 3D Part

Here’s how our processing and finishing solutions can help you:

  • Improve part quality to meet compliance requirements for industries such as medical, aerospace, or electronics.
  • Enhance a part’s surface characteristics, geometric accuracy, aesthetics, mechanical properties, and more.
  • Increase part strength and optimize its resistance for industrial-level performance requirements.
  • Ensure uniform smoothness for good aesthetics, with a consistent professional look and feel.

Post Processing & Finishing Capabilities

Below is a sampling of our finishing techniques, which can be modified to suit specific needs and materials. UPTIVE finishing experts have spent years guiding our customers to the right finishing process to help speed time to market and increase profitability.

Vapor Smoothing

Man holding plastic model printed on powder 3d printer from polyamide powder
UPTIVE’s PostPro3D® BLAST is a physical chemical-based process that smooths a wide variety of thermoplastic polymers that are printed in MJF, SLS or FDM 3D printing technologies.


Glossy Painted 3D Printed Part
Our elevated temperature dying process is ideally suited for MJF printed parts to effectively bond the dye to the part, including dark colors such as black or dark reds, greens and blues.

Heat-Set Inserts

Heat Inserts
UPTIVE heat-set inserts create a significantly stronger pull-out and torque-out rating of the resulting thread, compared to other types of inserts, to establish a more secure bond.

Light Assembly

Light Assembly
To get your production-ready parts closer to the finish line, UPTIVE offers customized, light assembly options that can help you meet your industry’s quality and ISO compliance standards.

Finishing Options

Chrome Finish On Motorcycle
Just a few finishing options include: Powder coating, buff polishing, sand blasting, and brushing. Plating options include: Tin plating, nickel plating, zinc plating, anodizing, chromate coating, passivation.

Finishing Processes Comparison

ProcessesDescriptionIdeal For
Vapor SmoothingPhysical-chemical-based process that can smooth a wide variety of thermoplastic polymers that are printed in MJF, SLS or FDM 3D printing technologiesConsumer products, prototypes, aesthetic models, functional prototypes, and engineering applications requiring improved strength and airtightness
CerakoteProtective ceramic-based thin film coating providing UV resistance, Heat resistance and chemical resistance to MJF partsFirearms, knives, automotive parts, sporting goods, and other high-performance applications that require durable, corrosion-resistant, and aesthetically pleasing finishes
HydrographicsMethod used to apply printed designs onto parts printed with Multi Jet FusionAutomotive parts, firearms, sporting goods, electronic devices, and various consumer products that can benefit from customized and visually appealing patterns or designs on their surfaces using water transfer printing (hydrographics)
MetalizationCosmetic and functional metal plating for parts printed with Multi Jet Fusion Automotive trim, electronics, decorative objects, consumer products, and various industrial components that can benefit from a metallic appearance and improved conductivity achieved through the process of metalization
DyeingApplication of a selected dye or coloring agent to the surface of the part, allowing it to absorb and achieve the desired color, followed by rinsing and drying to complete the processTextiles, garments, plastics, 3D printed parts, and various consumer products that can benefit from vibrant colors, customized designs, and enhanced aesthetic appeal achieved through the process of dyeing
PaintingApplication of a selected paint to the surface of the printed object, enhancing its appearance, adding color, and providing additional protection or finishing, typically through methods such as spray painting or hand brushingAutomotive parts, furniture, artwork, industrial equipment, and various consumer products that can benefit from customized colors, improved aesthetics, and added protection achieved through the process of painting

This is a sampling of the finishing processes we work with. See more information on available materials and specs here.

Why Customers Choose UPTIVE

  • "UPTIVE’s (previously GoProto) experience, total solutions-focus, communication and extreme attention to detail were exactly what Emergent needed for the job."
    Paul, Fortune 500 Engineering Firm
  • "UPTIVE (previously Re3dtech) has consistently delivered the best service I have ever received in the industry. Their response time is unmatched and they always stand by their parts and quality. They regularly make me look like an all star at my job."
    Chris Laurita, A Plus Products

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