MATERIAL EXTRUSION


One of the most common forms of material extrusion is Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM), and perhaps the bestknown additive manufacturing process. FDM extrudes a thermoplastic filament through a heated nozzle and onto a build platform. The material then solidifies as it cools, although not until it fuses to adjacent layers. FDM uses a wide variety of thermoplastic filaments, including ABS, PLA, nylon, PC, ULTEM, and more complex filaments (metal and wood).

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APPLICATIONS

FDM is often the go-to method for producing non-functional prototypes or rapid prototyping where multiple iterations are needed because it is quick and cost effective. It is also the dominant technology behind lower-cost, hobbyist machines.

DID YOU KNOW?

Because the process is fast and inexpensive, it is often used
to produce prototypes. Although dimensional accuracy was
a concern in the past, some modern industrial FDM machines
produce functional prototypes. Research continues into
post-processing methods which improve overall strength
of the finished part.

MATERIAL EXTRUSION


One of the most common forms of material extrusion is Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM), and perhaps the bestknown additive manufacturing process. FDM extrudes a thermoplastic filament through a heated nozzle and onto a build platform. The material then solidifies as it cools, although not until it fuses to adjacent layers. FDM uses a wide variety of thermoplastic filaments, including ABS, PLA, nylon, PC, ULTEM, and more complex filaments (metal and wood).

BACK TO TOP

APPLICATIONS

FDM is often the go-to method for producing non-functional prototypes or rapid prototyping where multiple iterations are needed because it is quick and cost effective. It is also the dominant technology behind lower-cost, hobbyist machines.

DID YOU KNOW?

Because the process is fast and inexpensive, it is often used
to produce prototypes. Although dimensional accuracy was
a concern in the past, some modern industrial FDM machines
produce functional prototypes. Research continues into
post-processing methods which improve overall strength
of the finished part.

APPLICATIONS

Stereolithography (SLA) – This method has its roots in the first 3D printers. SLA uses a build platform in a tank of liquid polymer. A UV laser shines from beneath the object and maps each layer. When finished the platform rises and liquid resin pools below the object to begin the next layer

Direct Light Processing (DLP) creates each layer of an object by projecting laser light on tiny mirrors, resulting in the projection of square pixels, layer-by-layer. It is often faster than SLA because each layer is fully projected in a single operation.

DID YOU KNOW?

Vat photopolymerization produces parts with extreme detail and smooth surfaces. The process is a good fit for jewelry, the medical industry, and low-run injection molds.

VAT PHOTOPOLYMERIZATION


Vat photopolymerization uses liquid rather than powder or filament. Printing techniques vary, but they all use photopolymer resins – often tough, transparent and castable materials. The resins are cured using UV light directed across the surface of the resin.

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VAT PHOTOPOLYMERIZATION


Vat photopolymerization uses liquid rather than powder or filament. Printing techniques vary, but they all use photopolymer resins – often tough, transparent and castable materials. The resins are cured using UV light directed across the surface of the resin.

BACK TO TOP

APPLICATIONS

Stereolithography (SLA) – This method has its roots in the first 3D printers. SLA uses a build platform in a tank of liquid polymer. A UV laser shines from beneath the object and maps each layer. When finished the platform rises and liquid resin pools below the object to begin the next layer

Direct Light Processing (DLP) creates each layer of an object by projecting laser light on tiny mirrors, resulting in the projection of square pixels, layer-by-layer. It is often faster than SLA because each layer is fully projected in a single operation.

DID YOU KNOW?

Vat photopolymerization produces parts with extreme detail and smooth surfaces. The process is a good fit for jewelry, the medical industry, and low-run injection molds.

POWDER BED FUSION


As the name suggests, Powder Bed Fusion (PBF) involves melting particles to fuse them together. Particles of plastic or metal powder are either “sintered” (partially melted) or fully melted using thermal energy in the form of a laser, beams of electrons, or a heated print head. A ultrathin layer of material is spread by a roller or blade over the preceding layer on a print bed or build plate. The powder is fed onto a build platform that lowers to accommodate each consecutive layer of powder. Excess powder is removed at the end of the additive process.

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APPLICATIONS

Powder bed fusion is an ideal solution for many types of manufacturing because it’s easy to design for and allows users to build complex geometries. Parts typically possess high strength and stiffness with a large range of postprocessing methods available.

Direct Light Processing (DLP) creates each layer of an object by projecting laser light on tiny mirrors, resulting in the projection of square pixels, layer-by-layer. It is often faster than SLA because each layer is fully projected in a single operation.

DID YOU KNOW?

Common powder bed fusion processes are – direct metal laser melting, electron beam melting, directed metal laser sintering, selective laser melting, selective laser sintering, and selective heat sintering.

POWDER BED FUSION


As the name suggests, Powder Bed Fusion (PBF) involves melting particles to fuse them together. Particles of plastic or metal powder are either “sintered” (partially melted) or fully melted using thermal energy in the form of a laser, beams of electrons, or a heated print head. A ultrathin layer of material is spread by a roller or blade over the preceding layer on a print bed or build plate. The powder is fed onto a build platform that lowers to accommodate each consecutive layer of powder. Excess powder is removed at the end of the additive process.

BACK TO TOP

APPLICATIONS

Powder bed fusion is an ideal solution for many types of manufacturing because it’s easy to design for and allows users to build complex geometries. Parts typically possess high strength and stiffness with a large range of postprocessing methods available.

Direct Light Processing (DLP) creates each layer of an object by projecting laser light on tiny mirrors, resulting in the projection of square pixels, layer-by-layer. It is often faster than SLA because each layer is fully projected in a single operation.

DID YOU KNOW?

Common powder bed fusion processes are – direct metal laser melting, electron beam melting, directed metal laser sintering, selective laser melting, selective laser sintering, and selective heat sintering.

APPLICATIONS

Ideal for realistic prototypes with high detail, high accuracy, and smooth finishes. Material jetting allows for multiple colors and materials in a single print.

DID YOU KNOW?

Material jetting is one of the most precise AM processes and can print layers as thin as 15-16 microns

MATERIAL JETTING


Material Jetting is an AM process that uses drop-ondemand (DOD) technology. Like a 2D inkjet printer, tiny nozzles dispense tiny droplets of a waxy photopolymer, layer by layer. UV light cures and hardens the droplets before the next layer is created. This additive technology heavily relies on support structures, so a second series of nozzles dispenses a dissolvable polymer that supports the object as it is printed. When the printing is complete, the support material is dissolved away.

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MATERIAL JETTING


Material Jetting is an AM process that uses drop-ondemand (DOD) technology. Like a 2D inkjet printer, tiny nozzles dispense tiny droplets of a waxy photopolymer, layer by layer. UV light cures and hardens the droplets before the next layer is created. This additive technology heavily relies on support structures, so a second series of nozzles dispenses a dissolvable polymer that supports the object as it is printed. When the printing is complete, the support material is dissolved away.

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APPLICATIONS

Ideal for realistic prototypes with high detail, high accuracy, and smooth finishes. Material jetting allows for multiple colors and materials in a single print.

DID YOU KNOW?

Material jetting is one of the most precise AM processes and can print layers as thin as 15-16 microns

BINDER JETTING


The Binder Jetting Process is similar to material jetting, but uses powdered material and a binding agent. Nozzles deposit tiny droplets of a binder on an ultrafine layer of a broad range of powdered materials (metal, ceramic, glass, etc.). Multiple layers result from the powder bed moving downward after each layer is created.

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APPLICATIONS

Ideal for aesthetic applications like architectural and furniture design models. Not very functional because of its brittle nature.

DID YOU KNOW?

The finished “print” is in a green state and requires postprocessing. Bronze may be used to infiltrate a metal object to improve its mechanical properties enough to make it a functional component. A cyanoacrylate adhesive is a common infiltrant for ceramic. Ceramic objects produced by binder jetting are still brittle and are primarily used as architectural models or models for sand casting.

BINDER JETTING


The Binder Jetting Process is similar to material jetting, but uses powdered material and a binding agent. Nozzles deposit tiny droplets of a binder on an ultrafine layer of a broad range of powdered materials (metal, ceramic, glass, etc.). Multiple layers result from the powder bed moving downward after each layer is created.

BACK TO TOP

APPLICATIONS

Ideal for aesthetic applications like architectural and furniture design models. Not very functional because of its brittle nature.

DID YOU KNOW?

The finished “print” is in a green state and requires postprocessing. Bronze may be used to infiltrate a metal object to improve its mechanical properties enough to make it a functional component. A cyanoacrylate adhesive is a common infiltrant for ceramic. Ceramic objects produced by binder jetting are still brittle and are primarily used as architectural models or models for sand casting.

APPLICATIONS

This process is ideal for repairing or adding material to existing components. DED can also be used to build objects very quickly with the size and complexity only limited by robotic arm reach and axes

DID YOU KNOW?

This AM process is most commonly used with metal, although some systems can use ceramic powder or polymers. DED is the fastest AM technology, does not require support structures, and is perfect to build large parts that don’t need tight tolerances. The metal material is also melted before it cools and hardens, this means parts are fully dense and production ready although the surface finish is poor. Most DED parts require significant secondary machining.

DIRECTED ENERGY DEPOSITION


Directed Energy Deposition (DED) uses highly focused thermal energy (laser, electron beam, or plasma arc) to melt and fuse material jetted into the heated chamber from either powdered metal or wire filament. DED closely resembles welding and is commonly used to repair and maintain existing parts, although it can be used to deposit material directly onto a build tray.

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DIRECTED ENERGY DEPOSITION


Directed Energy Deposition (DED) uses highly focused thermal energy (laser, electron beam, or plasma arc) to melt and fuse material jetted into the heated chamber from either powdered metal or wire filament. DED closely resembles welding and is commonly used to repair and maintain existing parts, although it can be used to deposit material directly onto a build tray.

BACK TO TOP

APPLICATIONS

This process is ideal for repairing or adding material to existing components. DED can also be used to build objects very quickly with the size and complexity only limited by robotic arm reach and axes

DID YOU KNOW?

This AM process is most commonly used with metal, although some systems can use ceramic powder or polymers. DED is the fastest AM technology, does not require support structures, and is perfect to build large parts that don’t need tight tolerances. The metal material is also melted before it cools and hardens, this means parts are fully dense and production ready although the surface finish is poor. Most DED parts require significant secondary machining.