3D printing technology describes a wide array of different technology that is similar but works in a different way.
That’s going to create a revolution in the near future, and this technology will be adopted as a major process for manufacturing components.
Let’s go in brief what are these technology and how they work.
Polymerization is the first 3D printing process where you have a container of liquid that turns solid when exposed to UV lights.
Exposing that to UV light in selective ways and pulling that print out and changing the light layer by layer to make sure that you create each layer of your object when you pull it out. It can be done in different ways. The polymerization allows for super high detailed models.
Here are different types of 3D Printer that are slowly changing the world
Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) or FFF
Fused Deposition Modeling or Fused Filament Fabrication both are same.
In FDM the 3d printer takes a spool of plastic filament melts it and extrude it onto a tray to build a part layer by layer from bottom to up.
FDM materials are all industrial grade thermoplastics. FDM is changing the way industry design and manufacture. With FDM a designer can sketch an idea and test it the same day.
Industry can cut lead time and costs of products. It can create parts in geometries that you can’t do in an injection moulding.
This is the most common 3d printing technology available in the market and domestic homes.
Many small business companies are using it in an extremely good way. You can use a variety of materials which are low cost and have good property.
Stereolithography, or SLA, is a rapid prototyping process used to create parts from 3D CAD data in a matter of hours.
SLA is a highly accurate additive manufacturing process and may also be referred to as rapid prototyping or 3D printing.
Models created with this technology are typically used as concept models, for form and fit studies, or as master patterns for moulding techniques.
The machine starts to build part one layer at a time. Each layer is constructed from an ultraviolet laser that is directed by X and Y scanning mirrors.
As the laser traces the cross-section on the surface of the resin, the liquid material is hardened on contact. Once a layer is complete, the build platform is indexed down to make a place for the next layer.
A recoater blade moves across the surface ensuring a thin coat of fresh liquid resin is evenly spread over the object.
The laser continues to trace and form each layer top of the previous layer, building from the bottom up. The completed part is then carefully removed from the liquid and separated from the platform.
A chemical bath removes excess resin and the part is cured in an ultraviolet oven. Any support structures are also removed at this time.
The main physical differentiation lies in the arrangement of the core components, such as the light source, the build platform, and the resin tank.
With numerous hand sanding and professional paint options available through service providers, Stereolithography has become an excellent economical choice for rapid appearance models.
A wide variety of industries have embraced SLA including medical, automotive, entertainment, aerospace and consumer products.
Continuous Liquid Interface Production
A bunch of scientists from a company called carbon 3D just introduced a totally new kind of 3D printing. They were actually inspired to make it from the movie Terminator.
Conventional 3D printing involves a printing head that passes over and over across a platform depositing a thin layer of material each time and this 3D printing forms an object continuously out of a liquid resin.
So what’s happening here is you have a bath of liquid resin that solidifies when the light hits it.
When the platform dips into this resin and as it rises up, you have a projector underneath the resin pool that’s projecting a series of cross-sectional images that are the exact shape of the object.
As the platform slowly moves upwards the projector moves through the different images, the different cross sections and that causes the object to form in the shape you want.
Wherever the violet light hits it, that’s where the plastic solidifies. So this could be a big deal because it’s a lot faster than conventional 3d printers.
It works in minutes instead of hours. Right now 3D printing is still kind of a niche industry.
People use it to make models or prototypes but if this new 3D printer technology can be perfected it could be possible for it to be used to make mass-produced goods.
PolyJet is a 3D printing method that makes beautiful precise models in a huge variety of materials and colours.
It works like an inkjet printer but instead of jetting drops of ink PolyJet 3D printers check tiny droplets of liquid plastic.
A UV light instantly cures the plastic solidifying it and so later bilayer complex models take shape. The most advanced poly jet systems can create multi-material parts with soft rigid clear and colourful.
You can even adjust material properties like heat resistance and durability.
The same technology that makes impressive prototypes also makes precise manufacturing tools.
Designers can predict future needs and serve people with the exact services. Manufacturers can deliver better products.
With faster and lesser waste researchers have new methods of saving lives poly jet is reshaping industries like film, fashion and medicine.
Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)
Instead of designing or manufacture, you’re manufacturing for design. You can make anything, any design. Any curves, any undercuts. Because it’s built on layers, it’s limitless.
Laser Sintering is a powder-based is a thermal 3D printing manufacturing process. It uses a laser to sinter or melt layers of powder to grow the part.
The cool thing about it is it’s a layer-by-layer additive process, and you can do very, very complex geometries that you can’t do in traditional manufacturing techniques.
Laser Sintering produces real parts, not just prototypes.
It’s very, very practical, so you can actually do field testing and do functional testing on a part.
We start with a CAD file and we integrate that CAD file to create two-dimensional slices.
That entire build area is heated up to close to the melting point, and then there’s a laser that actually heats where you want the solid part to be.
This process drops down as each layer is grown and a new layer of power is added on top. And again, the laser shoots down sintering each layer to make a solid part.
It’s a process that’s done at elevated temperature, so it’s done close to the melting point of that material.
And what that does, the powder will actually fuse together.
It actually creates what we call a cake, or a supporting structure for the parts to be built in. And since it’s plastic, it’s easily brushed away, and those parts can be excavated like any kind of archaeology dig.
Then it goes through a custom post-processing phase. It’s all dependent on the customer’s requirements or needs or the application.
We can apply paints, dyes- there are tons of options after that part comes out of the machine. The greatest advantage of SLS technology is the material of choice.
So whether you need flexibility, strength or rigidity, chances are we have a material in the SLS process that can provide the solution you need.
The sky is really the limit because people are very creative. And so, they’re going come up with new Nobel ways to use those technologies.
And Laser Sintering has been the one that has led the change.
Digital Light Projector (DLP)
DLP 3D Printer is very flexible. It works on DLP technology.
DLP is one of the most flexible semiconductors in use today you’ll find it in projection systems ranging from cinema projectors all the way down to cell phones.
However many developers are also using this amazing technology in new applications ranging from measuring and sensing to digital exposure to intelligent illumination.
Even wavelength control DLP can be used with many different light sources ranging from lamps to LEDs to even lasers.
Ranging from wavelengths the UV all the way up through the near-infrared at the heart of every DLP chipset is the digital micromirror device also known as the DMD.
DMD is a MEMS device that belongs to a class of optical MEMS known as spatial light modulator x.
When combined with optics and light sources a spatial light modulator allows users to program high-speed, very efficient patterns of light.
Each DMD comes with a controller from Ti.
This ensures reliable operation of the micromirror array as well as provides a convenient interface for users to provide data and control the patterns on the micromirrors.
DLP 3D printing is very fast because it projects the profile of an entire layer at one time, turning 2-dimensional images into a 3D object.
It also gives users an easy way to synchronize with peripheral components like sensors cameras or even motors in addition Ti offers.
This printer can produce details with much higher resolution than laser-based SLA 3D printers.
DLP 3D printing is faster and can print objects with a higher resolution.
The Multijet Technology made of a printer build unit and processing station with fast cooling with a more efficient 3d printing workflow.
It is where a head like on your inkjet printer squirts out material that’s liquid but that can be made solid afterwards.
It might be UV curing stuff or it might be heat cured it might be some other technology but it’s brought on as liquid and then turned into a solid.
They have multiple heads on there inkjet just like an inkjet printer. This technology is used by some big companies and is very costly. Plus the material used is also very costly.
The jet fusion 3D printing starts producing more functional parts within the same day up to 10 times faster and at the lowest cost.
It has a reservoir of material that you can lay down a very thin layer just like dust and then go over with a binder that binds together.
The good thing about binder jet materials is these are the prints that can be full colour.
In this technology, you don’t have to worry about supports because you are filling up a reservoir with your build area with each layer that supports are automatically held.
The disadvantage of this technology is it requires a big reservoir as big as you build area. It’s very expensive and very less used.