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Deburring isn’t rocket science. However, getting the job done right takes skill and experience.


And it starts with knowing exactly which tumbling media is best for the task at hand.


This article will focus on choosing the right tumbling media and its impact on deburring results, based on the following crucial factors:

  1. Media shape
  2. Media Size
  3. Abrasiveness and composition

The right media, combined with the right machinery, makes all the difference. However, there is no one-size-fits-all solution for deburring. Contact us to learn more about choosing the right tumbling media and deburring machinery for your specific needs.


Choosing the Best Tumbling Media for Metal Deburring


Media is an abrasive material that helps to remove burrs and break sharp edges from metal parts. It is often, but not always, used in the process of deburring metal. In addition to removing unwanted machining edges, tumbling media can also be used to affect the finish, form radii, polish, clean or degrease metal parts.


Media shape, media size, abrasiveness and composition all play a role in deciding on the best tumbling media to use in deburring.


1. Media shape


Is the part getting deburred, cleaned or a certain finish? How big are the dimensions and features of the part? These questions will assist in determining the shape of the tumbling media.

  • Cones, pyramids and angled tri star media are best for reaching into “hidden” areas. However, by using ones that are not the correct size/composition could lead to breakage and lodging in those areas.
  • Cylindrical media is good for passing through holes, however, an incorrect size can lead again to lodging in the holes or early excessive wear on the media.
  • Round and oval-shaped media are admired for their ability to not lodge, however, they will not reach into tighter areas.

2. Media size


Generally, larger parts require larger media. Larger media provide a rapid cut and a courser surface to larger parts, but can damage smaller, more fragile parts.


However, it’s also important to select a media size that will not get lodged in the part. This mistake could waste valuable time and risk damaging the parts in question.


3. Abrasiveness and Composition



A wide range of materials are used in deburring, including rice and glass beads. However, the main type of media materials used are made of ceramic, plastic, steel, or organic compounds.

  • Ceramic media, due to its high density, can easily grind and polish hard materials, including titanium and steel. Ceramic also has porcelain, which provides a shiny finish. The main flaw of ceramic media is that although it is durable, it will eventually break into smaller pieces. These chips can become problematic if they lodge into small areas or holes on the parts.
  • Plastic media is the preferred choice of media for softer metals, such as aluminum, zinc, and brass. Plastic media is available in low density, high density, and high performance options. Low density is a general media used for deburring, flash removal and burnishing. High density was designed for superior cut and stock removal on both ferrous and non-ferrous metals. High performance media is formulated for use in specific applications of ferrous metals.
  • Steel media is excellent at polishing and burnishing steel parts. Depending on its shape, steel media can also be effective at deburring steel. It has a longer lifespan than the media. However, steel media is also more expensive and takes longer to dry.
  • Organic media includes options such as walnut shells and corn cob granules. Although mostly used to dry parts, organic media is also excellent at providing a high-gloss finish. It is also cheaper than most other tumbling media.

Learn More About Choosing the Right Media to Deburr Metal Parts


All of our metal finishing processes at Latem Industries are proprietary and part specific, and each is managed by our Engineers and Lead Hands. This includes the selection of tumbling media (when needed) and compounds.


We are proud to be an authorized distributor of Washington Mills Media, a US-based manufacturer and worldwide leader in pre-formed ceramic media. We keep a selection of used and new media for sale. We can also place orders for larger quantities and more specific media.


Have a question about metal deburring? We’re here to help. Reach out to our finishing experts now and you’ll get answers within 24 hours.      

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What is Plastisol Coating?

Plastisol coating is a combination of PVC in a plasticizer to make it into a thick, pliable liquid.    An item is then preheated, dipped in the plastisol and then cured.  Once cured, the coating is both sturdy and somewhat flexible.  Here are some of the benefits of plastisol.


Example of items that have plastisol coating




Plastisol protects metals from corrosion and wear from constant use.  This substance serves as a layer to protect against impacts and abrasion.  Tool handles, automotive parts, medical devices and toys are often coated with plastisol for protection.


Vibration Dampening


Plastisol bonded over metal is an excellent sound dampening option.  Fewer  vibrations can enhance worker safety and well-being, as well as reduce noise pollution.


Improve aesthetics


Plastisol can be manufactured to any color.   Different colors can be used for safety, i.e. red plastisol to mark dangerous items, orange traffic cones, yellow safety guarding on equipment, etc.  Color can also be used to identify size. Many manufacturers color code their items to give an easy visual cue for size.




Plastisol can also be used for masking.  Electroplating and powder coating companies often use plastisol to mask an area or thread they do not want to coat.  These companies also coat the racks used in their process with plastisol to protect them from the dipping process, allowing them to get multiple uses per rack.




Plastisol is also a good insulator.   It is commonly used on busbars for electrical insulation.  Copper tubing is often dipped in plastisol.  Plastic coated copper combines the durability and dependability of copper tube with the corrosion protection properties of PVC.  It is often used in LP/Natural gas applications, fuel lines, and water lines.

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Surface Finishing of Steel and Aluminum

What are the two most commonly used metals in the automotive industry?   Steel and aluminum. 


Manufacturers use steel because it is the strongest, most affordable material out there for the application and can be engineered in a lot of different ways to meet the needs of crash safety and the performance of the vehicle.  Aluminum is lighter and is as strong or stronger than steel.


However, both aluminum and steel parts often require some level of surface improvement prior to being used. Surface finishing, or polishing, is essential because it ensures the metal parts are adequately prepared for their intended application. By eliminating imperfections found on the surface of the parts, corrosion is minimized, coating materials are able to adhere properly, sharp edges/burrs are removed as well as improving the overall appearance of the part.


Each material has its own unique surface roughness.  Processing of the part can also affect this surface roughness, as can additional processes performed on the part, such as welding, heat treading, etc.  These factors are all taken into account to determine the optimal process to prepare the metal parts for its final stages, whether that is coating, polishing, texturing or assembly.


Today, let’s focus on coating.


Each type of coating dictates its own surface requirements.  Coatings such as nylon or powder can “break” on a sharp edge; where as a coating such as plastisol can assist in covering up sharp edges.  Regardless of the coating, metal surfaces must be clean to be coated.  Any oils, grease or corrosion will impede the adhesion of the coating to the metal. 


Contaminate Removal


To remove contaminates, oil or grease from the surface, washing is often the solution.  Depending on the geometry of the part and the requirements, there are many options, including hang washing, conveyor washing, barrel washing and ultrasonic cleaning.  Each has its merits, and by using specialty compounds, most to all contaminates, oil, grease and rust can be removed using one of these processes.


Edge Removal/Internal cleaning


If there is an edge or burr that needs to be removed, or an internal area that a spray wash will not reach, deburring is an option.  Tumble deburring, centrifugal deburring or vibratory deburring uses part on part or media and compounds to remove burrs and edges, other imperfections as well as cleaning off any contaminates.  Deburring can also increase the lifespan of a part and increase its overall look.




Removing heat treat or casting scale is the first step when preparing parts for surface coating. Descaling can be accomplished through tumble deburring, vibratory deburring and blasting.  The best process is again determined by the configuration of the part, the descaling required, and the base material.  Laser cut metals experience heat scale on the edges, and powder coating will not adhere to these edges until the part is descaled. 




Texturing the metal gives the coating more surface to adhere to.  Blasting is a very common process to achieve this.  The texture can be minute or quite pronounced. 



Once the proper surface roughness is achieved, the coating can be applied.  Whether the coating is powder, nylon, plastisol, e-coat, chrome plating, or any other common coating, a metal part will need to be prepped before coating.  Latem industries offers every solution mentioned in this article to assist in preparing your metal parts for coating.


For any questions please contact us.

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Centrifugal Barrel Finishing

Centrifugal Barrel Finishing (CBF) is a high-energy finishing method where Centrifugal Barrel Machines are used. These machines are typically made up of two or four individual barrels (or drums) mounted on the outer edge of a turret. The turret is rotated in one direction, causing the barrels to rotate in the opposite direction creating very high G-forces or pressures, as well as considerable media sliding action within the drums. The movement mimics that of a ferris wheel. This action is due to either a Timing Belt, V-Belts or Chain that is connected between the main shaft and the centerline of the 4 barrels. In operation, this turret rotation creates a high centrifugal force. This force compresses the load into a tight mass causing the media and parts to slide against each other removing burrs and creating a superior finish. Short cycle times are realized as a result of the high centrifugal energy being applied to the parts.


Barrel tumblers work well for jobs requiring heavy burr removal. They are also good for burnishing, rapid radiusing of edges, heavy deburring with or without media and tumbling die-castings to break the parts off the runner. They are also a good choice for very heavy loads that will not run well in a vibratory machine where the media alone can sometimes weigh up to 300 lb per cubic foot. When estimating the capacity required, keep in mind that barrel tumblers run best 50% full.


Wet barrel finishing is a batch system for removing excess material or polishing parts, employing water and other agents to form radii, remove burrs, improve surface appearance, polish and clean. Wet barrel finishing works well for processing metal. Wet barrel finishing equipment may sometimes be used in dry tumbling operations.

Dry barrel finishing is a batch system for mass polishing or removing excess material from plastic or metal parts without liquids by tumbling them in a media and compound mixture. This process is valuable for finishing very delicate parts that would be damaged in a wet barrel. A dry system produces a smoother and higher finish. The finished parts have more of a hand-buffed appearance with greater uniformity. The result is something very difficult to do with hand finishing methods.


Although most methods for barrel finishing employ a wet process, dry tumbling has some definite advantages in particular cases. Some factories are not set up to handle large quantities of water, making wet tumbling impossible. Dry tumbling may be used under such circumstances to eliminate hand finishing.

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Plastico Industries Name Retired

To our valued customers and suppliers of Plastico Industries,


In 1999 Latem Industries opened Plastico Industries, a sister company to Latem to service customers requiring specialty coatings.  Today Latem Industries Limited is please to announce that effective immediately the company has decided to retire the Plastico Industries name and have all of our services provided under Latem Industries Limited.


Under the shared name of Latem Industries Limited we will bring the same sustainable solutions for our customers, continue to offer a great work environment for our employees and create value for all stakeholders.  Operation under one company name will allow us to streamline contracts, correspondence and administration.


Please do not hesitate to contact any of our team members if you require any further clarification.


Liam Nother

CEO Latem Industries Limited

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Latem Industries & CoVID-19

Latem Industries & CoVID-19



Latem Industries is open and currently running 1 shift per day 6:30 am – 3:00 pm. The office is running with a skeleton staff. Visitors to the office and the plant are being restricted at this time.

Our staff is following a strict CoVID-19 protocol.


As a thanks to our staff we will be closed on Friday May 15th, 2020 and reopening Tuesday May 19th, 2020.


We thank you for your continued business. Stay Safe.

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Have you ever had to toss out a whole batch of parts or components due to rust?


As a manufacturer, it’s on you to deliver parts and components that are strong, safe and corrosion-free...which can, unfortunately, force you to scrap parts or components affected by rust at your own expense.


It’s common knowledge that metals containing iron or steel are susceptible to corrosion. You’ve seen firsthand how a batch of components left exposed to air, moisture and oxygen can develop a layer of rust in no time.


The longer the exposure, the faster the process of oxidation occurs, especially under humid conditions!


Faced with this challenge, manufacturers like you trust Latem Industries to effectively remove rust and ensure manufactured parts perform better for longer. Here, we’ll review the advantages of vibratory finishing for rust removal by Canada’s Mass Finishing Experts!


Vibratory Finishing ‒ a Powerful Rust Removal Solution


Vibratory finishing processes are terrific for improving the surface of metal and removing dangerous burrs or sharp edges.


In addition to improving their safety and performance, vibratory finishing is highly effective at removing rust from manufactured parts or components.


Because it is a mass finishing process, vibratory finishing is a cost effective way to improve and protect large quantities of parts at the same time.


How Vibratory Finishing Removes Rust


Vibratory finishing processes consist of an operation in which cleaning compounds and specially-shaped media, along with rust removal compounds, are placed into a massive vibratory bowl. The size of the bowl can range from single-digit cubic foot machines to massive units well over 100 cubic feet! The rusted parts or components are then added into the bowl.

As the vibratory process begins, the machine and its contents vibrate at an accelerated rate (in the range of 900 to 3,600 vibrations per minute.) The vibratory action causes the contents of the bowl to move in a corkscrew pattern, pushing the finishing media up against the parts and components. As the parts or components brush up against each other and the media, their surfaces are cleaned of dirt, oil and rust.


Through proper process and media selection, it is feasible to finish a massive volume of parts in a relatively short period of time. Vibratory finishing is by far one of the most efficient and effective ways to remove rust in big batches!


In terms of its intensity, vibratory finishing falls somewhere between barrel tumbling and centrifugal finishing. Since there is no tumbling of parts, the process is a bit less aggressive (although no less effective) than tumbling. Vibratory finishing is ideal for parts and components made of softer metals that would be susceptible to distortion or stresses in a tumbling process.


Once the process is complete and the rust is gone, special rust inhibitors are added to the vibratory bowl to ensure the parts and components are protected from recurring corrosion.


The Best Way to Eliminate Rust


Left unchecked, rust can quickly and seriously compromise the safety of any structure, vehicle, or machines with iron or steel components.


Corrosion causes a weakening of parts as it slowly eats away at and degrades the strength of the steel. It also negatively impacts the painting or coating of steel due to a lack of adhesion on the unstable, rusted surface.


That’s why manufacturers like you turn to Latem Industries. We have lent our rust removal expertise to countless industries over the years, including manufacturers of automotive, sports and fitness products. Our ability to process several thousand parts at once means the cost to remove rust is negligible on a per-piece basis.


Contact us to learn about the many solutions we offer that add value to your business cycle!





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Most people see a Plastisol-coated part and assume it was a simple thing to do.


Just a quick dip in a vat of liquid plastic and, like magic, the part comes out with a bright, flawless coating. Sounds easy, doesn’t it?


Well, like most things in life, coating parts in Plastisol isn’t as simple as it might appear! Few people realize the amount of work it takes ‒ not to mention the variables that must come into play ‒ to get the perfect coating.


In fact, it’s rare that any two components are coated in exactly the same manner!


Here are just a few of the questions you’ll need to answer (and trials to overcome) if you’re aiming to achieve the best Plastisol coating, including:

  1. Will the part be fully or partially coated?
  2. Which areas of the part must be coated?
  3. What thickness and hardness is required?
  4. What about colour?
  5. Any special end-use requirements?

1. Will the Part Be Fully or Partially Coated?

In a dip coating process, the component is attached to the equipment (either by hanging the component or fixing it to tooling) and then lowered into a bath of liquid Plastisol.


If the component is to be fully dip-coated, we need to know which area of the component will be allowed to have an uncoated touch mark or bare spot from the tooling used to hold it. This information determines how to hang the part for immersion.


Depending on the footprint of the equipment’s dipping area, the way in which we hang the component can greatly influence throughput and go a long way in determining the cost of Plastisol dip coating.


2. Which Areas of the Part Must Be Coated?

Along the same lines, we need to know which portion of the component will be coated and which will be exposed and which when the part is to be partially dipped. From there, it can be determined whether the best course of action is to:


Hold the component on the undipped area for immersion;
Trim Plastisol from the component after coating; or
Incorporate masking into the dip coating process.


Again, these factors go a long way in determining the cost to run the part!


3. What Thickness and Hardness Is Required?

Plastisol can be applied thick or thin, depending on the part’s application. Generally, the thickness achieved through a dip coating process ranges from 0.75mm to 2mm.


The formulation and curing process can be adjusted to achieve hardness ratings between 5 Shore A and 80 Shore D.


4. What About Colour?

Plastisol comes in a number of standard colours including black, red, white, blue, green and yellow. Since we make our own Plastisol in-house here at Plastico Industries, we can manufacture custom colors to suit your specific needs. This also lets us control the process from start to finish, cutting back both on waste and additional distribution channels!


5. What Will Be the Component’s End Use?

The remarkable durability of Plastisol coating makes it ideal for a huge variety of applications, from the eliminating BSR in the automotive industry to the military, agriculture, and even the home markets. Knowing the component’s eventual destination and use allows us to customize the substance to meet special requirements such as UV protection, food grade standards, and durometer requirements.


Other Dip Coating Trials and Tribulations

Once these basic questions are answered, we can come up with a process that will achieve the best possible results for the component in question. That’s where we really get down to business! Some of the other factors to consider when formulating a full or partial dip coating process include:

  • Drips: Depending on how the part is attached to the tooling, drips can occur during the dipping process. Before the process begins, it must be determined where on the component drips are acceptable and whether we can trim them off later.
  • Pooling: If the part is concave or cup-shaped, Plastisol can pool in the inward areas, where it will become too thick and not cure properly.
  • Tooling: Will the existing tooling work for this process, or will new tooling have to be made? This, too, will ultimately impact the process’s overall cost.
  • Curing: Parts must be preheated, dipped and then cured. The preheating and curing temperatures are determined based on the part’s raw material, size and thickness. If the product needs to be preheated for longer, or requires a longer dip time, this will shore up the cycle times and influence cost via throughput.
  • Packaging: Once the part has been processed, we need to know the packaging and labelling requirements. Will it require any special testing or certification?

All in all, it’s safe to say that the Plastisol coating process is not nearly as clear-cut as you’d think! There’s a whole lot you need to consider before, during and even after the component is coated.


That’s the advantage of having 20+ years in the business...we’ve seen it all, so we know exactly how to tackle the many trials, tribulations and pitfalls of Plastisol. Our team handles all the nitty-gritty details so you don’t have to!


Questions? Need a hand? Reach out to us online or call us toll-free at 1-888-664-9998.

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Washing is a crucial step in the process of preparing parts for coating or welding. For many types of parts and components, ultrasonic cleaning is the safest and most effective way to get the job done.


However, since ultrasonic cleaning is just one of many different parts washing methods at your disposal, you’ll want to understand how it works before deciding whether it’s the best solution for you!


Here are our answers to the most frequently asked questions we get about ultrasonic cleaning: how ultrasonic cleaning works, when it’s ideal, and whether it’s really effective compared to the more heavy-duty alternatives.


What Is An Ultrasonic Machine and How Does It Work?

Ultrasonic machines use transducers and electric ultrasonic wave generators to generate high-frequency sound waves.


Typically, the transducers are made from piezoelectric crystals, which change in size when electrical voltage is applied.


These devices effectively convert electrical energy into mechanical/sound wave energy, which radiates through a cleaning tank or ‘tub’ in the ultrasonic machine.


How Does Ultrasonic Cleaning Work?

The high-frequency sound waves generated by the transducers and wave generators are transmitted in a liquid solution of water and solvent base, causing cavitation.


Cavitation is simply the implosion of the solution molecules resulting from the transmission of high-frequency sound (pressure waves) through them. This extremely high pressure variation over a very small area causes a great deal of agitation on the surface of parts submerged in the solution.


The surface agitation or “micro-scrubbing” in an ultrasonic cleaning system is highly uniform throughout the surface (including blind holes and part internals) since the agitation is formed in the solution in which the part is placed. This allows the part or component to be cleaned inside and out, regardless of its geometry!


To break it down step-by-step, the ultrasonic cleaning process goes like this:


  1. Place the part(s) you want cleaned into the tank of the ultrasonic machine.
  2. Fill the tank with enough liquid (water or a cleaning solution) to submerge the part(s).
  3. Close the tank and activate the ultrasonic machine.
  4. Inside, the transducers and electric ultrasonic wave generators cause the tank to vibrate and produce cavitation. This pressure forces dirt, rust and other contaminants loose from the part(s).
  5. About 5 minutes later, the tank’s contents are clean and ready to be coated!


Which Parts Are Ideal for Ultrasonic Washing?

Virtually any kind of part or component can benefit from ultrasonic cleaning, but it’s the more fragile or complex parts that were really made for this method.


Unlike vibratory or tumble cleaning, the gentle-but-thorough ultrasonic cleaning process does not force the parts into contact with one another. As a result, there is no change to the parts’ appearance or composition. Tumble cleaning and vibratory cleaning, on the other hand, are both purposely aggressive processes that benefit from the parts making contact with each other and/or the finishing media.


Ultrasonic wash is also ideal for single large components. At Latem Industries, our ultrasonic tanks can accommodate parts up to 4’ long and 2.5’ wide.


Can You Remove Rust With An Ultrasonic Wash?

Latem Industries has a proprietary process that allows for the removal of rust from parts or components using ultrasonic wash. As rust or corrosion can occur on virtually any part, the ultrasonic wash quickly and efficiently removes rust from fragile parts or those with complex geometries.


In fact, ultrasonic cleaning not only removes corrosion, but also completely neutralizes rust, returning the parts to their original, perfect finish!


Need Ultrasonic Cleaning? Talk to Canada’s Mass Finishing Experts!

From large and complex to small and delicate, Latem Industries has a cost-effective cleaning solution for every component. To discover more about ultrasonic wash or receive a no-charge quotation, contact us online or by phone at 1-888-664-9998. We look forward to helping you get the perfect finish!



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3D printing, once considered the stuff of science fiction, is finally here! The potential applications of 3D printing are practically endless: from modeling and prototyping to direct production of custom parts.


But there’s an important catch: almost all 3D printed parts require some secondary finishing before the part is ready for its next stage.


The truth is, 3D printing is still in its infancy. It needs some help in order to truly be viable for mass production. And Latem Industries, always looking forward, is here to assist!


3D Print Finishing: Smoothing, Refining and Adjusting

The 3D printing process builds a three-dimensional object from a computer-aided design (CAD) model, usually by successively adding material layer by layer. This is also known as additive manufacturing, in contrast to subtractive manufacturing (CNC machined parts).


These parts are usually manufactured in small batches, in a relatively quick time frame. The parts can range from basic shapes to intricate patterns. 


 Finishing may be required to:

  1. Change the appearance of the surface
  2. Smooth out the surfaces of the part
  3. Improve its life cycle
  4. Adjust size and shape

What’s The Best Way to Finish 3D Printed Parts?

There are multiple methods or techniques that can be used on 3D printed parts.  The best method depends on the raw material of the part, the requirement needed and pricing.  Latem Industries offers several different processes to finish 3D printed parts.


1. Shot Blasting

Most companies use manual sanding to smooth out the surface of a 3D printed part. However, this is not very time efficient, nor can you sand interior or hard-to-reach areas 


Shot blasting is a much quicker, more thorough option that can easily reach difficult areas. In a shot blasting process, the 3D parts are placed in a chamber and blasted with small particles. The particles gradually smooth out the parts’ surfaces and remove rough edges.


Blasting will give you a uniform finish with a matte surface. Blasting also increases adhesion of coatings that may be applied to the 3D part. 


2. Shot peening

Similar to blasting (and often done using the same shot blasting machines) shot peening will strengthen the part and help to extend its expected life cycle. 


Shot peening removes tensile stress and replaces it with compressive stress, making the surface stronger. Imagine a blacksmith hammering a metal object, i.e shield, sword or horseshoe. This is how peening was performed manually! 


In a shot peening process, the 3D printed parts are bombarded with smooth, round shots that act as tiny ball-peen hammers. Gradually, the surface of the parts become stronger and more resistant to cracks or fatigue. We can also use shot peening to give the parts a textured surface.


Latem has machines to do this automatically, shortening process times, which in turn reduces cost.


3. Vibratory Finishing

Vibratory systems allow you to process and polish small or delicate 3D parts singularly or in batches.


In a vibratory finishing process, the 3D printed parts are placed in a large bowl containing abrasive media and cleaning agents. The bowl vibrates to agitate the media while rotating in a circular motion. This gentle motion polishes the parts while smoothing their edges and surfaces.


Depending on the raw material, it is possible to polish your 3D printed components to a very shiny or even mirror-like surface!


4. Tumbling

Tumbling is ideal for small 3D-printed parts post-processing. In a barrel tumbling process, the 3D printed components are placed in a large barrel that also holds abrasive media and cleaning agents. Multiple parts are run at once, gently rubbing against one another, or other media, resulting in a smooth finish. 


The benefits of tumbling include speed, consistency and versatility: depending on your choice of abrasives and media, it can be used to produce a wide range of finishes. The process can take minutes up to hours depending on the product and the finish required.


Mass Finishing 3D Printed Parts

Need to give your 3D printed components a finishing touch? At Latem Industries quality and speed are our priority! Contact us online or call us toll-free at 1-888-664-9998 to find out how we can help you improve the finish of your 3D parts.

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