In the past few years, the popularity of 3D printing and its revolutionary technologies has reached its peak. What do you know about 3D printing technology?
Daily news is full of new discoveries and masterpieces in the field of 3D printing. Today, a 3D printer is successfully used in industry, medicine, education, fashion, etc.
3D printing is in great demand among designers, developers, architects and designers. 3D printing technology allows them to get high-quality prototypes of future products, test models and models for presentation.
3D printing is a series of operations, the repetition of which is the creation of a three-dimensional model of an object, by sequentially applying one layer of material to another. There are several types of 3D printing technologies, which differ in the method of applying the material and the materials used. Let’s take a closer look at 3D printing technology.
StereoLithography Apparatus (SLA)
This 3D printing technology uses a liquid photopolymer as a starting material.
The essence of SLA technology : The scanning system directs the laser beam to the photopolymer, resulting in a solidification process of the material. A hard or brittle practically transparent material is used as a photopolymer, which is easy enough to stick, paint and process.
Benefits of Stereolithography (SLA):
- high accuracy of the finished model;
- the ability to get models that are very large in size up to 150 * 75 * 55 cm and up to 150 kg in weight;
- the resulting model is very durable and can withstand temperatures up to 100 ° C;
- the ability to make complex models while preserving small decorative elements;
- small amount of waste;
- simplicity of post-processing of the model, if necessary.
Disadvantages of SLA:
- small selection of materials;
- the lack of the possibility of color printing and the use of different materials in one cycle;
- low print speed;
- massive equipment, high cost of such 3d-printers.
Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)
The method of selective laser sintering has many similarities with the SLA technology, however, powder is used as the initial component, which is distributed in uniform layers on a horizontal plane, and then sintered in the right areas under the action of a laser beam.
The powder that has not been baked serves as a support, in cases where overhanging elements of the model are created, the need for special supporting structures automatically disappears.
Materials for SLS can be: plastic, glass, metal, ceramics and foundry wax. At the end of the process, post-processing of the resulting models is often required, in particular polishing, due to the surface roughness and layering of the 3D model.
SLS print allows you to work with large objects (up to 55 * 55 * 75 cm).
Prototypes obtained using SLS technology are durable and resistant to mechanical stress, thanks to which this technology is used to manufacture fully functional product models.
Advantages of Selective Laser Sintering:
- a large selection of materials that are used to create the model;
- the ability to create complex models;
- sufficiently high print speed;
- used for small-scale production and in the field of jewelry craftsmanship.
- the need to use a sealed chamber and a powerful laser;
- requires preliminary long-term heating of the powder, and it is also necessary to wait for the finished model to cool down before removing powder residues;
- the need for post-processing of the finished product.
Fusing Deposition Modeling (FDM printing)
When obtaining a model by FDM technology, layer-by-layer building technology is also used.
To create the layers, a thermoplastic material is used, which is heated to a semi-liquid state on the print head of a 3D printer and squeezed onto the surface as a filament.
As raw materials can be used: various types of plastic, tin and other metal alloys, and even chocolate.
Advantages of layer-by-layer deposition:
- high accuracy of the finished prototype ( How to create a prototype? );
- high speed of model production;
- the possibility of using a wide range of materials, various polymers;
- low cost of creating a prototype of the product.
Disadvantages of FDM technology:
- restrictions on the dimension of the model printed on a 3D printer;
- the necessity and complexity of the subsequent post-processing of the finished prototype.
Multi-jet Modeling (MJM)
Multi-jet modeling is one of the most promising technologies. The raw materials used are: photopolymers, plastic, wax – for consumer goods and prototyping and special formulations – for the manufacture of prostheses, medical implants and jewelry.
How MJM works : The main and auxiliary materials are fed to the horizontal surface through the smallest nozzles of the print head of the printer. The number of nozzles can vary from tens to several hundred. The main material – photopolymer or wax, is applied layer by layer, fixed with an ultraviolet lamp, according to a given algorithm. The auxiliary material fills the resulting voids, which preserves the integrity of the finished object.
3d technology – MJM allows you to produce 3D objects with excellent physical properties and high surface quality, with a rather complex geometry of the model.
All of the above 3d technologies have their own advantages and disadvantages.
Specialists CLONA company will help you choose the most beneficial technology for your case. The technical arsenal of our company, high-quality equipment and the use of advanced technologies will help you realize even the most unrealistic customer projects.