FUSED DEPOSITION MODELING

3D printing utilizing the extrusion of thermoplastic material is easily the most common and recognizable 3DP process. The most popular name for the process is Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM).

The process works by melting plastic filament that is deposited, via a heated extruder, a layer at a time, onto a build platform according to the 3D data supplied to the printer. Each layer hardens as it is deposited and bonds to the previous layer. The FDM/FFF processes require support structures for any applications with overhanging geometries.

Materials: ABS, Flexible, Nylon, PET, Wood, PLA, PC, HIPS

Applications:

  • Prototypes for form, fit and function testing

  • Prototypes directly constructed in production materials like ABS, Nylon

  • Low-volume production of complex end-use parts

  • Patterns for Sand casting & molds with lesser detailing

Below are few samples 3D Prints printed using FDM technology

STEREOLITHOGRAPHY

Stereolithography (SL) is widely recognized as the first 3D printing process.  It is an industrial 3D printing process used to create complex models, concepts and prototypes with excellent surface finish and accuracy. It is used for applications like jewelry, dentistry, casting and molds, as it supports high feature resolutions, and detailing.

SLA is a laser-based process that works with photopolymer resins that react with the laser and cure to form a solid in a very precise way. A laser beam is directed in the X-Y axes across the surface of the resin according to the 3D data supplied to the machine (the .stl file), whereby the resin hardens precisely where the laser hits the surface. Once the layer is completed, the platform within the vat drops down by a fraction (in the Z axis) and the subsequent layer is traced out by the laser. This continues until the entire object is completed and the platform can be raised out of the vat for removal.

Materials: Acura 25, Acura 60, Accura Xtreme, Accura Cast pro

Applications:

  • Master copies for vacuum casting and other low volume prototyping techniques

  • Patterns for investment casting

  • Functional testing prototypes

  • Low volume/ limited edition products especially for complex geometries

  • Visual prototypes for photo shoots and market testing
  • Dental/ jewelry/ art and other sectors which require high detailing and finish

Below are few sample 3D Prints printed using SLA technology!

SELECTIVE LASER SINTERING

Laser sintering refers to a laser based 3D printing process that works with powdered materials. It works with different types of nylon materials with varying levels of stiffness and ductility.

The laser is traced across a powder bed of tightly compacted powdered material, according to the 3D data fed to the machine, in the X-Y axes. As the laser interacts with the surface of the powdered material it sinters, or fuses, the particles to each other forming a solid. As each layer is completed the powder bed drops incrementally and a roller smoothens the powder over the surface of the bed prior to the next pass of the laser for the subsequent layer to be formed and fused with the previous layer. The build chamber is completely sealed as it is necessary to maintain a precise temperature during the process specific to the melting point of the powdered material of choice. Once finished, the entire powder bed is removed from the machine and the excess powder can be removed to leave the ‘printed’ parts.

Materials: PA Nylon (for regular applications), Glass filled Nylon (for higher strength applications)

Applications:

  • Prototypes with good mechanical properties

  • Complex geometries and large build volume parts

  • Small parts in limited volumes as end use parts

  • Functional fitment analysis
  • Light weight designs

  • Spare parts and complicated art forms

Below are few sample 3D Prints printed using SLS technology!

DIRECT METAL LASER SINTERING

Metal 3D Printing is a laser-based technology that uses powdered metals. Similar to Laser Sintering, a high-powered laser selectively binds together particles on the powder bed while the machine distributes even layers of metallic powder.

The DMLS machine begins sintering each layer—first the support structures to the base plate, then the part itself—with a laser aimed onto a bed of metallic powder. After a cross-section layer of powder is micro-welded, the build platform shifts down and a recoater blade moves across the platform to deposit the next layer of powder into an inert build chamber. The process is repeated layer by layer until the build is complete.

Support structures are automatically generated and built simultaneously in the same material, and are later manually removed. An initial brushing is manually administered to parts to remove a majority of loose powder, followed by the appropriate heat-treat cycle while still fixtured in the support systems to relieve any stresses. Parts are removed from the platform and support structures are removed from the parts, then finished with any needed bead blasting and deburring. Final DMLS parts are near 100 percent dense.

Materials: Maraging Steel MS1, Stainless Steel ss316, Cobalt Chrome cp1, Aluminium AlSi10Mg, Titanium ti64, Inconel (Nickel Alloy)

Applications: 

  • Fully functional prototypes

  • Production tools and tooling such as molds and inserts

  • Spare parts and end use parts

  • Heat exchangers and heatsinks

  • Light weight structures

Below are few sample 3D Prints printed using DMLS technology!

COLOR JET PRINTING

Color jetting or binderjetting 3d printing process can produce high-definition, full-color prototypes or early-stage concept models affordably, and within tight deadlines. As models are 3D-printed directly in color, ColorJet allows you to analyze color variations at an early stage without having to spend the extra time and money for post-process painting.

binder onto thin layers of powder. A roller mechanism spreads an even layer of white powder, the core material, across the build platform. The print heads then selectively jet the binder onto the powder to bind the subsequent layer of core material. The liquid binder serves the dual task of fusing the layers and coloring the part in a multitude of shades. As is the case with other powder bed systems, once a layer is completed, the powder bed drops incrementally and a roller or blade smoothens the powder over the surface of the bed, prior to the next pass of the jet heads, with the binder for the subsequent layer to be formed and fused with the previous layer.

Materials: Sandstone powder

Applications:

The models offer rich colors but do not have high strength, and are ideal for display and training purposes.

  • Miniature figurines

  • Architectural and industrial scale models

  • GIS / terrain models

  • Concept models

  • Display/ demonstration models

  • Complex geometries

Below are few sample 3D Prints printed using CJP technology!

MULTI JET FUSION

Multi Jet Fusion is a powder-based technology but does not use lasers. The powder bed is heated uniformly at the outset. A fusing agent is jetted where particles need to be selectively molten, and a detailing agent is jetted around the contours to improve part resolution. While lamps pass over the surface of the powder bed, the jetted material captures the heat and helps distribute it evenly.

Multi Jet Fusion’s unique build style includes fusing and detailing agents within a powder-bed fusion process. The build begins with a thin layer of powdered material being deposited across the build platform. Droplets of fusing, detailing and transforming agents are applied along with thermal energy on top of the powdered material to define the part’s geometry and properties.

The process continues layer-by-layer until a complete part is formed. After the print is finished, the build unit with the material and parts are rolled onto a processing station for cooling and powder excavation.

Materials: Nylon (PA12)

Applications:

  • High production speed
  • High process/post process automation
  • Low-volume production of complex end-use parts
  • Prototypes for form, fit and function testing
  • Prototypes with mechanical properties to rival those of injection-molded parts
  • Series of small components as a cost-effective alternative to injection molding

Below are few sample 3D Prints printed using MJF technology!

POLY JET PRINTING

Polyjet process is a very precise 3D printing method, producing accurate parts with a very smooth finish. The nature of this product allows for the simultaneous deposition of a range of materials, which means that a single part can be produced from multiple materials with different characteristics and properties.

PolyJet works by jetting photopolymer materials in ultra-thin layers onto a build platform selectively through multiple jet heads (with others simultaneously jetting support materials where required). Each photopolymer layer is cured by UV light immediately after it is jetted, producing fully cured models that can be handled and used immediately, without post-curing. The gel-like support material, designed to support complicated geometries, is subsequently removed by water jetting.

Materials: Photo polymer resin

Applications:

  • Master copies for vacuum casting and other low volume prototyping techniques

  • Patterns for investment casting

  • Tooling patterns

  • Functional testing prototypes

  • Dental/ jewelry/ art and other sectors which require high detailing and finish

  • Parts to match specific Shore A values

  • Multi-color, multi-material parts

Below are few sample 3D Prints printed using PJP technology!

MULTI JET PRINTING

MJP is used to build parts, patterns and molds with fine feature detail to address a wide range of applications. These high-resolution printers are economical to own and operate and use a separate, meltable or dissolvable support material to make post-processing a breeze. Another big benefit is that removing support material is virtually a hands-free operation and allows even the most delicate features and complex internal cavities to be thoroughly cleaned without damage.

MJP printers offer the highest Z-direction resolution with layer thicknesses as low as 16 microns. In addition, selectable print modes allow the user to choose the best combination of resolution and print speed, so it’s easy to find a combination that meets your needs. Parts have smooth finish and can achieve accuracies rivaling SLA for many applications. Recent material advances have improved the durability of plastic materials and are now suitable for some end-use applications.

Materials: 

  • ∗VisiJet® M2R-WT (Rigid White, General Purpose)
  • ∗VisiJet® M2R-BK  (Rigid Black, General Purpose)
  • VisiJet® M2G-DUR (VisiJet ProFlex, PP-like)
  • VisiJet® M2R-GRY  (Rigid Gray, High Contrast)
  • VisiJet® M2G-CL (VisiJet Armor, Clear, ABS-like)
  • VisiJet® M2R-CL (Rigid Clear, General Purpose)
  • VisiJet® M2-EBK (Elastomeric Black, High Flex)
  • VisiJet® M2-ENT (Elastomeric Natural, High Flex)

Applications:

  • Concept modeling
    • Communication, sales and marketing model
    • Rapid design iteration for rigid plastic or elastomeric products
  • Validation prototyping
    • Design verification and testing
    • Assemblies validation, including snap-fit
    • Water-tightness applications, fluid flow visualization
    • Functional testing of plastic and elastomeric products
    • Educational functional prototyping
    • Get more parts faster with an effective file-to-finished-part process
    • Create high-fidelity parts you can rely on
    • Enjoy exceptional sharp edges and fine features definition
    • Greater geometric freedom with effective support removal
    • Choice of plastic and elastomeric materials engineered for performance
    • Use a MultiJet modeling machine that’s designed for your work environment
    • Low Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)

Below are few sample 3D Prints printed using MJP technology!

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