Currently, there are various technologies used for 3D printing present on the market – FDM; SLS; SLA, MJF, SHS, SLM, Color Jet, Poly Jet, etc.
Each of them is suitable for specific but various applications and uses multiple materials.
3D Printing Basics
The common factor between all 3D Printing technologies is that they are manufacturing processes in which parts are built by adding layers of material instead of being cut from 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, SolidFill's 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 order to create your prototype, the 3D printer needs a 3D computer model.
We'll recommend to you the most suitable 3D printing methodology according to your prject.
Viable File Formats
In case you already have a 3D model, our experts will review it and, if necessary, correct any potential 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 formats are then converted to the industry-standard STL. If your model is too large for the machines we work with we will make sure to divide it into parts that can be later put together.
We're aware it is becoming increasingly more difficult to identify which technology would be the most appropriate. Our responsibility is to recommend the most suitable 3D printing method or a combination in regard to your project requirements.
The most commonly used technology. The details, made of it, possess a firm, solid presence and 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 appearance, 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)
Varieties of laser sintering that deal with metal – aluminum, stainless steel, and other alloys.
Works with liquid photopolymers. The elements and objects made with this approach stand out with a remarkable outlook and meticulous fidelity. Smooth to the 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.
One of the few technologies that can print multicolored objects. It works with materials similar in touch and strength to plaster and is typically used for architectural models or marketing materials.