Additive Manufacturing Wet Blasting

Wet blasting, the ideal multi-purpose finishing process for additive manufactured products

Additive manufacturing (AM) is transforming industries across the globe: from aerospace and defence to automotive and medical. With so many production benefits, it’s no wonder AM’s set to grow by well over 20% per year for the foreseeable future.

Wet blasting (or vapor blasting) is the ideal finishing process for AM thanks to its ability to perfectly finish parts whilst cleaning the complex channels that are often a feature of AM components.

Scroll down for a summary of the many benefits associated with wet blasting AM components if you are already familiar with the benefits of AM. Otherwise, here are some of the benefits of AM that have made it such a success story for manufacturing:

AM printed aircraft turbine component

AM aircraft turbine component

AM titanium hip implants


AM dental crowns


 Complex DMLS printed component

Complex DMLS printed component

  • Design flexibility – AM allows for complex geometries and intricate designs that are impossible to achieve using traditional manufacturing methods. AM not only helps to save capital and time during product development, but also has profound impacts on product design, direct part fabrication, and assembly. AM enables the creation of specialised parts. This is crucial in sectors such as aerospace, medical, and automotive where each component must be adapted to unique demands.
  • Rapid prototyping – Allows designers to quickly iterate and test ideas, accelerating product development and lead times.
  • Reduced material waste – AM builds parts using the necessary amount of material, in contrast traditional manufacturing is subtractive and involves removing significant amounts of material.
  • Manufacturing complexity – AM can produce complex assemblies as a single consolidated part, eliminating the need to assemble multiple components.
  • On-demand manufacturing – Parts can be manufactured when and where needed, making AM ideal for low-volume production or customisation.
  • Cost-effective customisation - customisation of individual parts does not significantly impact production costs. It enables businesses to mass-produce customized objects. Hence, supporting the growing shift towards mass customisation and mass personalisation.
  • Reduced tooling costs – No need for the expensive moulds, dies or tools associated with traditional manufacturing processes. Upfront costs are reduced, and manufacturing setup is faster and more cost-effective.
  • Supply chain optimisation – AM can optimise the supply chain by reducing reliance on inventory and transportation. Parts can be produced closer to the point of use, reducing lead times, inventory costs, and environmental impact.
  • Material versatility – AM supports a wide range of materials including metals, polymers, ceramics, composites, and even biological materials.
  • Innovation and complexity in healthcare - AM has revolutionised medical device manufacturing, prosthetics, dental applications, and patient-specific implants. It enables the creation of complex anatomical models, customised implants, and patient-specific medical solutions, leading to improved patient care and outcomes.

These benefits make additive manufacturing a transformative technology with the potential to revolutionise industries, enable new business models, and unlock innovative design possibilities. However, it is important to consider the specific requirements, limitations, and cost-effectiveness of additive manufacturing for each application or industry context.

Wet blasting offers numerous benefits when applied to AM components. It helps eliminate some of the limitations of AM making it more relevant to more industries more the time. This is how wet blasting can make a difference:

SLS printed component with complex internal channels

SLS printed component with complex internal channels

The Puma + with barrel is our fully automatic wet blasting machine designed for the rapid finishing of additive manufactured components.

The numerous benefits of wet blasting (vapor blasting) additive manufactured components...


  • Uniform Surface finishing: Wet blasting helps achieve smoother and more uniform finishes on AM components, to beyond the quality achieved by CNC. The process removes imperfections such as build lines, layering artifacts, and rough surfaces, resulting in improved aesthetics and texture. This results in components that are consistently superior in quality to die-case equivalents.
  • Damage-free processing: Unlike dry blasting, the cushioning effect of the water in the blast slurry prevents damage to delicate component surfaces.
  • Control over surface roughness: Wet blasting allows for precise control over the level of surface roughness (Ra) achieved on AM component surfaces. In fact, wet blasting allows for more control than any other surface finishing process. By adjusting factors such as the type of abrasive material, nozzle size, blasting pressure, and dwell time, manufacturers can tailor the process to meet their precise requirements. Learn more about the controllable factors of wet blasting.
  • Enhanced surface cleanliness: Wet blasting effectively removes residual powder, support structures, and contaminants from AM components. This is particularly important for parts produced using powder bed fusion technologies like Selective Laser Sintering (SLS), Selective Laser Melting (SLM) or Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS), as it ensures the removal of excess powder and improves the overall cleanliness of the part.
  • Powder removal from channels: Wet blasting is particularly effective at removing un-sintered or partially sintered powder from the complex internal channels that are frequently a feature of AM components. The wet blast slurry even gives a visible indication that the channel is clear when it exists the channel.
  • Reduced stress concentration: Wet blasting can help alleviate stress concentration points that may exist in AM parts. The process gently removes material from the surface, smoothing out irregularities and minimising the risk of stress cracks or failures due to localised stress concentrations.
  • Improved fatigue performance: The surface treatment provided by wet blasting can enhance the fatigue performance of AM components. It can peen the surface transforming tensile stresses into compressive stresses to help reduce the risk of component failure in known areas of weakness and in so doing extend the life of the part.
  • Surface preparation for coating and bonding: Wet blasting can be used as a preparatory step for subsequent post-processing operations such as painting, coating, or bonding. By creating a clean and uniformly textured surface, it enhances the adhesion and quality of subsequent coatings or treatments applied to AM components. The process creates a ‘wet-out’ surface that ensures an even and complete application or adhesives and coatings.
  • Surface preparation for sterilisation: Wet blasting can produce a surface on AM components with an optimum Ra surface roughness for sterlisation.
  • Coating enhancement: Once an AM component has been coated, wet blasting can be used to ensure the coating is consistent and free from imperfections like coating droplets, to leave a uniform surface.
  • Coating performance improvement: The conversion of tensile stresses to compressive stresses by wet blasting, as mentioned above, can be applied to coatings to help improve coating durability.
  • Substrate compatibility: Additive manufacturing processes can produce parts from various materials like polymers, metals, composites, and ceramics. Wet blasting is a versatile finishing process that can be tailored to accommodate these different materials, making it suitable for a wide range of AM components.
  • Safe and eco friendly: Wet blasting does not use hazardous solvents and because the abrasive media is contained within water, there are none of the dust-related health issues or explosion risks associated with dry blasting. This helps reduce costs too as there is no need for costly chemical disposal or dust filtration. In addition, our machines recirculate water and only filter out spent media making them relatively eco-friendly.

All of these benefits make wet blasting an invaluable process for enhancing the quality, performance, and functionality of additive manufactured components. It is important to note that specific advantages may vary depending on the material, AM process, and desired surface finish. Therefore, it is recommended to consult with experts or conduct testing to determine the optimal wet blasting parameters for a particular application.

Our wet blasting machines for AM finishing...


Puma + with barrel

Our fully automatic wet blasting machine designed for the rapid finishing of AM components. AM components are loaded into a 350mm diameter x 270mm deep barrel (a larger 500mm diameter x 270mm deep barrel is available for larger loads) and blasted by up to 2 blast guns for the 350mm barrel and up to 4 blast guns for the 500mm diameter. Components are rapidly finished. Rinse and air guns remove any residual media and dry the components. 

Puma+ machine with barrel

Puma with barrel

Our manual wet blasting machine with barrel for multiple AM components and a working area for larger components. AM components are loaded into a 260mm diameter x 260mm deep barrel and blasted by a single-blast gun. A timer is set for the duration of the blast required. Larger components can be blasted outside of the barrel. A 500mm diameter turntable can be specified to make rotation of larger components easier. Rinse and air guns remove any residual media and dry the components. 

Puma with barrel


Our compact manual wet blasting machine with a large working area. The Vapormate has a particularly compact footprint of W735 x H1,664 x D810mm. It is compact enough to fit through a standard doorframe but has a large working area of W680 x H520 x D680 that accommodates all but the very largest of AM components. Like all our wet blasting machines it is fully featured with air pressure control and rinse and air guns to ensure users achieve the perfect finish.


To learn more about these machines, including videos and technical specifications, scroll down to the ‘Related Machines’ section below.

Contact us to discuss how our world-leading wet blasting technology can help to transform your additive manufacturing operation.

Additive manufacturing brochure and case study

Related Machines

Manual Machines


Fully featured
Easy to use
Large working area vs. small footprint
Fits through std. door frame
Easily maintained
Low cost
Highly versatile wet blasting
Learn More


Fully featured
Robust stainless-steel cabinet
Large wide opening door
Large working area vs. compact footprint
Food grade liner will not rot
Easily maintained
Highly versatile wet blasting
Learn More

Automatic Machines

Puma +

Large working envelope
Small footprint
Wide Opening Door
Learn More