Modeling (FDM), or Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF), is an additive manufacturing process that belongs to the material extrusion family. In FDM, an object is built by selectively depositing melted material in a pre-determined path layer-by-layer. The materials used are thermoplastic polymers and come in a filament form. FDM is the most widely used 3D Printing technology: it represents the largest installed base of 3D printers globally and is often the first technology peopleware exposed to. Support structure is essential for creating geometries with overhangs in FDM. The melted thermoplastic cannot be deposited on thin air. For this reason, some geometries require support structure.
Support structure is essential for creating geometries with overhangs in FDM. The melted thermoplastic cannot be deposited on thin air. For this reason, some geometries require support structure FDM parts are usually not printed solid to reduce the print time and save material. Instead, the outer perimeter is traced using several passes, called the shell, and the interior is filled with an internal, low-density structure, called the infill. FDM parts can be finished to a very high standard using various post-processing methods, such as sanding and polishing, priming and painting, cold welding, vapor smoothing, epoxy coating and metal plating.
Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) also known as Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF), is a quick and cost-effective way of producing parts out of thermoplastics. FDM is the most widely used 3D printing technology. It is suitable for the production of functional parts, Concept prototypes, form and fitment prototypes, Batch production.
SLA is best suited for applications where high detail or high accuracy is
required. Create high fidelity prototypes/
functional parts for medical, dental, Automotive, jewelry, casting, etc. Tough
Resin(Elastomers), High-Temperature Resin, are some of the most used materials
for SLA 3d printing.
Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) uses synthetic thermoplastic polymers, such as nylons. SLS is suitable for affordable batch production, complex geometries, or for producing strong parts. Parts produced using SLS are porous, and have decent mechanical strength. PA2200 is the most widely used material for this process.
Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) and Selective Laser Melting (SLM) are both used in the production of metal parts with excellent physical and mechanical properties. Suitable for Complex geometries of metal, creating Lightweight metal parts. A variety of superalloys/metals can be 3d printed using this process.
One of the fastest 3D printing technology, Polyjet is suited for realistic prototypes, and if high accuracy, smooth surface finish are important requisites. Polyjet can print in multiple materials and colors. Polyjet is mostly used for concept prototypes, not suitable for engineering applications or functional parts.
Multi Jet Fusion (MJF) is one of the fastest processes producing quality plastic parts with detailed features. The parts printed in MJF exhibit consistent mechanical properties, low porosity and are usually light grey in color. It's suitable for small batch production as an alternative to injection molding.