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A 3D Printing Process for Every Project
Here's an overview of printing process and what each delivers.
FDM: Fused deposition modeling
FDM: Fused deposition modeling or FDM 3D Printing is the go-to choice for affordable and fast prototypes, the creation of marketing items like 3D logos and just-for-fun projects. FDM handles difficult geometry including undercuts. Turn-around time from most printers is quick.
A diverse range of materials are used, but deposited layers are often visible. FDM objects are 50% weaker than injection molded parts. Did you know that FDM is also called FFF ' fused filament fabrication?
SLA: Stereolithography or SLA 3D Printing produces smooth surfaces and offers excellent detail. Printed objects have the feel of injection molded parts. SLA is popular for prototyping, manufacturing in single and small batches and producing dental/medical models and prosthetics.
DLP, or digital light processing, is a form of SLA that offers quicker printing but less resolution. The surface of DLP-printed parts is not as smooth. SLA/DLP parts are strong, resistant to water. Additional properties depend on the material, usually resin, that is used. Because SLA printers and materials are expensive, print costs can be higher.
SLS: Selective laser sintering
SLS: Selective laser sintering or SLS 3D Printing is direct digital manufacturing with tremendous accuracy. It is used in rapid prototyping, small-batch manufacturing and custom tool production. It is used with sand, rubber, metal, glass and polymers including nylon and polystyrene.
SLS is used to manufacture functional and non-functional parts. Complexity is not a problem. Some parts require machining after printing to improve the surface. Longer lead times of several days are often required with SLS.
Jetting or PolyJet:
Jetting or PolyJet: PolyJet material printing is used when dimensional precision are smooth surfaces are demanded. It offers an excellent range of plastic photopolymer options and is used for concept models, rapid prototyping, small-batch manufacturing, and producing jigs, fixtures and tools. Materials used can be brittle, so using material jetting for functional parts is not recommended. Polyjet prints are highly customizable and our sales staff is happy to help. Please email part files and print requirements to email@example.com
The Right Material for Every Project
Success starts with using the best material for every part or prototype. Here are the most commonly used, but many other materials are available to meet your specification and performance requirements.
This tough, precise plastic is used in LEGOs. FDM with ABS is affordable and has excellent mechanical...
This is today's green print plastic used in FDM printing. Polylactic acid is made from biodegradable...
Used with SLS and FDM printing, nylon is a strong and versatile material for single-part...
When precision detail and a smooth surface are essential, resin is ideal. Used in SLA, DLP and...
This thermoplastic elastomer is right for SLS and FDM printing. TPU is flexible, even rubberlike, but...
Polyethylene terephthalate glycol is an FDM material with quick turnaround time. This thermoplastic...
Biomedical and Industrial plastic/PEKK: Polyetherkeytonekeytone is strong...