3D PRINTING TECHNOLOGIES – WIDE RANGE FOR NUMEROUS SOLUTIONS

Home accessories, complex engineering parts, prototypes, or pieces in small production series – due to many technologies the possibilities of 3D printing are almost endless. By depositing layers of material, we can make practically any shape of objects.

The advantage of 3D printing is the direct production of parts from the CAD model without the use of molds or tools. It is an additive manufacturing process in which successive layers of material are deposited. In this way, you can get to the physical models the fastest and most affordable. In 3D printing, there is significantly less waste material due to depositing, not removal.

WHAT ARE THE MOST COMMON 3D PRINTING TECHNOLOGIES?

  • FFF (Fused Filament Fabrication)

  • Photopolymerization (SLA, DLP)

  • Laser Technology (SLS, SLM)

  • MJ (Material Jetting)

  • DED (Direct Energy Deposition)

  • LOM (Laminated Object Manufacturing)

FUSED FILAMENT FABRICATION

The most widespread method for a wide range of users. The 3D printer pulls the filament into the extruder, where it melts and deposits it to the build plate via a nozzle. There it cools and hardens. With programmed and precise head movements, the final product is created.

PHOTOPOLYMERIZATION

The most common are SLA (Stereolithography), the first in the history of 3D printing, and DLP (Digital Light Processing). SLA is a slightly more accurate method, as it works more pointwise using a laser, making it more suitable for making smaller pieces. The light source from two mirrors on the X and Y axes penetrates through a container with resin, which selectively hardens in layers. DLP 3D printing technology uses a projector that has a wider beam of light. The piece is made faster, but not with such precision, so this method is used to make larger pieces. Both technologies are widely used in the dental industry and goldsmithing.

LASER BEAM TECHNOLOGY

It uses powder as the building material, which is applied by the laser in individual layers. Upon exposure to the beam, the temperature of the powder rises above the crystallization temperature, which joins the layers. There are two laser technologies, namely SLS (Selective Laser Sintering), which is intended for printing plastic pieces, and SLM (Selective Laser Melting), which enables 3D printing of metal pieces.

MATERIAL JETTING

It works in a similar way to a standard printer, except that instead of one layer, several layers are applied at once, which are continuously cured by UV light. The process is thus faster with the same product quality.

DIRECT ENERGY DEPOSITION

Intended for the metal products manufacturing, which involves the welding of the material. The method is particularly suitable for repairing existing pieces and improving mechanical and functional properties. To achieve an even more precise surface, printed pieces can also be subsequently processed using classical methods. The combination greatly reduces costs and produces much less waste material.

DED tehnologija 3D tiskanja
DED tehnologija 3D tiskanja

LAMINATED OBJECT MANUFACTURING

“LOM” means the loading of material in laminated layers. The latter is stretched over the previous layer, where they are glued together with foil and a heating roller that presses on them. The final and smoother surface is achieved by laser treatment. The advantage of this technology is the speed of production, but it is more difficult to produce very thin walls of the model.

LOM tehnologija 3D tiskanja

DIFFERENT 3D PRINTING TECHNOLOGIES FOR DIFFERENT NEEDS

All of the listed 3D printing technologies offer a wide range of advanced solutions within their limitations. 3D printing technology is evolving very fast and provides users with efficient solutions.

The main benefits of 3D printing:

  • Fast production time and low costs in developing a certain idea,

  • Debugging in the early stages of product development,

  • Verification of dimensional suitability, shape, functionality and ergonomics,

  • Product optimization before tool making.