There are various technologies used for 3D printing already present on the market – FDM; SLS; SLA, MJF, SHS, SLM, Color Jet, Poly Jet, and many more. Each one of these types is suitable for specific but various applications and uses multiple materials.
The common thing among all technologies is that the main concept of the manufacturing processes steps in the construction of elements or units by adding layers of material rather than being cut out of blocks of material (milling and turning).
The printer needs a 3D computer model to be processed and forwarded to the rendering machine to create your prototype in 3D. If you do not have a 3D CAD model, Solid Fill 3D Print team can help you build it with the following services:
– 3D scanning
– 3D CAD modeling from a 2D sketch, drawing, picture or just an idea
In case you already have a 3D model, our specialists will review it and, if necessary, correct any eventual errors that might occur. We accept files in almost every CAD format: STEP, STP, IGES, IGS, X_T, STL, PLY, OFF, OBJ, 3DS, COLLADA, DAE, PTX, X3DV, VRML, WRL, WRLZ, ALN, X3D, IV. All of the mentioned are converted to the industry-standard STL format. If your model is too large for the machines we work with we will take care to be divided into parts that can be later put together.
It is becoming harder and harder for a person to find out which technology would be the most useful. Our responsibility is to recommend the most suitable 3D printing method or a combination in regards to your project requirements.
FDM is most commonly used technology! The details possess firm, solid presence and have flexibility. Besides that the parts produced that way are resistant to temperatures up to 80-90 ° C. The FDM printed elements are suitable for functional tests and end products. Having a good outlook, the products still need additional treatment since the layers of laid down plastics are distinctive. The primary material in this technology is ABS, but there is a broader choice of various materials – industrial plastics.
Laser sintering (SLS, MJF) mainly works with polyamide (PA), glass and aluminum-filled polyamide (GF-PA, Alumide), the surface of the parts being distinguished by its abrasive structure. The materials are hard, flexible and withstand temperatures in the range of 90-130 ° C. With this technology 3D objects can be printed with much more complex forms that are otherwise difficult to manage.
DMLS (Direct Metal Laser Sintering) and SLM (Selective Laser Melting) are varieties of laser sintering that deal with metal – aluminum, stainless steel and other alloys.
Stereolithography (SLA) works with liquid photopolymers. The elements and objects made with this approach stand out with remarkable outlook and meticulous fidelity. Smooth to touch, the layers of material are almost indistinguishable to the naked eye. The printed objects are durable, slightly flexible and suitable for functional tests and end products. With this technology 3D printing can produce highly sophisticated small or large elements, with a broad choice of materials.
Color Jet is one of the few technologies that can print multicolored objects. It works with material similar of touch and strength to plaster and is typically used for architectural models or marketing materials.