The Different 3D Printing Technologies And Their Uses

3D Printing

New to 3D Printing? No problem. Find in this article the different technologies used in this field and their uses. 3D Printing will have no more secrets for you.

What Exactly Is 3D Printing?

For the record, the origin of 3D printing dates back to 1980. And since then, this technique has improved considerably. Nowadays, 3D Printing is used by individuals and professionals like 3DEXPERIENCE Marketplace. What do we mean by 3D printing or additive manufacturing? As its name suggests, it is a process to transform a digital model into a 3D object. It is used in several activity sectors, offering many printing possibilities.

Les Principales Technologies In Impression 3D

Depending on the expectations and needs of the user, here are the most popular 3D printing technologies to date:

SLA Or Stereolithography

ALS is one of the oldest techniques. This technology uses photoresists as the printing material. Under the action of UV light (projected using a laser), the resins contained in a tank cool down before solidifying. The molding is done layer by layer, and the Printing is done vertically. You should know that ALS is a technology with many advantages.

Indeed, the parts designed through this process benefit from great precision. In addition, the fineness of detail is also very impressive. For these reasons, stereolithography is ideal for producing highly realistic prototypes. It is also recommended for making large objects. Please note that if you wish to produce functional prototype parts,

FDM Or Fused Deposition Modeling

Very popular, this technique, also known as “thread deposition,” proceeds by extruding a plastic filament. An extruder melts a wire, and once melted, it is placed on a 3D model. Support is necessary to allow the design of the parts. As in the case of SLA, Printing takes place layer by layer. 

FDM makes obtaining parts with increased resistance possible, and the geometric shapes are perfectly respected. Therefore, it is not surprising that engineers and technicians operating in various sectors (health, aerospace, automotive, etc.) prefer this printing technology. FDM is the most economical solution if you want to print 3D objects in series.

DLP Or Digital Light Processing

This printing technology is based on the same principle as SLA; that is, a liquid polymer placed in a tank is solidified under UV light. Thanks to it, the user obtains objects that are smooth and rich in detail. DLP is ideal for producing small series. His advantages? First, it saves you time and money. Second, if you want something other than hardware that takes up space, then a DLP printer is what you need. With this process, you can, for example, design dental prostheses or jewelry molds.

SLS Or Selective Laser Sintering

Also called laser sintering, this process also uses a laser, but instead of using liquid as a material, SLS relies more on powders (ceramic, metal, plastic, etc.). These are contained in a container. How does it work? At the build platform, a roller places a very thin layer before the laser solidifies the first layer. 

This one proceeds in this way layer after layer. When the operation is finished, all that remains is to remove the object, and the user eliminates the remains of powders that have not been fused. These remains are still reusable. SLS printing technology is recommended when it comes to manufacturing highly complex parts. The objects created can withstand temperature as well as mechanical use.

MJM Or Multijet Modeling

This printing technique uses a printhead to place liquid material on the build platform. The liquid in question cools and solidifies to form the desired object. If you have a Polyjet printer, the liquid material is projected, and immediately, a UV light quickly solidifies it. What is the use of Multijet Modeling? It’s the best option for those who want to create beautifully finished, high-resolution objects.

Lamination Process

Rather than using liquid or powders, this technique uses thin sheets of paper (or aluminum) to design 3D objects. A laser takes care of cutting the sheets according to the desired model. Thanks to an adhesive, the layers are then glued together. This type of process is indicated for the production of realistic figurines. One of the advantages of this technology lies in its economic aspect. Indeed, paper is one of the cheapest materials on the market. Besides, it is relatively easy to work with.

Multi Jet Fusion

Want to create custom pieces? The Multi Jet Fusion is the process that can give you satisfactory results. Different types of materials can be used. The manufactured parts show great solidity and do not fear heat. Also, prototypes made using this technology can be very detailed. But its speed sets the Multi Jet Fusion apart from other printing technologies.

Bio Impression 3D

Still little known, this technology is in the experimental phase, but it is already very useful in the medical and pharmaceutical fields. It makes it possible to create living tissues and bones. However, seeing a printer capable of printing muscles or functional organs will take a few more years. But we can already say today that this process provides promising results.

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