MJF technology mainly utilizes two separate thermal inkjet arrays to create 3D objects. As the print works, one moves side to side, ejecting material, and one moves up and down, spraying, coloring and depositing to give the finished product the desired strength and texture. The two arrays then change direction to maximize coverage and productivity. Next, a refiner is sprayed onto the already formed structure. Afterwards, external heat is applied to the part that has been and is being deposited. These steps are repeated until the entire object is printed in layers.
|Standard white material (UTR 8360)||HP-PA-12||PEEK|
|Somos ® Ledo||PA12||ABS|
|UTR 8100 (transparent)||Glass fiber nylon(PA12+35% GF)||Stratasys ABS-ESD7|
|UTR Imagine Black||PLA|
|PWR Dark Black||PC (Polycarbonate)|
|Formlabs ESD Resin||PETG|
|Somos ® Taurus||ASA|
|Somos ® PerFORM|
|Somos ® EvoLVe 128|
|Aluminum||Stainless steel||Titanium||Tool steel|
|Aluminum (AlSi10Mg)||Stainless steel 316L||Titanium TC4||Tool steel|
|Max part size||380*284*380mm|
|Min. feature size||0.8mm|
|Process||Min embossed detail||Min engraved detail|
3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, is a manufacturing process that creates three-dimensional objects by adding layers of material on top of each other. The process starts with a digital 3D design file, which is loaded into a 3D printer. The printer then creates the object layer by layer, using a variety of materials to achieve the desired result.
3D printing is popular because it allows for complex geometries and intricate shapes to be produced with relative ease and precision. The process is highly customizable, meaning that parts can be produced with unique features or customized dimensions.
Types of 3D Printing technologies:
1. Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM): FDM is the most common type of 3D printing, where a thermoplastic filament is heated and extruded to create the object.
2. Stereolithography (SLA): SLA uses a UV light to cure a photopolymer resin a layer at a time, creating the object.
3. Selective Laser Sintering (SLS): SLS uses a high-powered laser to sinter powdered material together.
4. Selective Laser Melting (SLM): SLM is a specific type of 3D printing technology that utilizes a high-powered laser beam to selectively melt and fuse powdered metal particles layer-by-layer to create a metal part.
5. Digital Light Processing (DLP): DLP uses a digital projector to flash an entire layer of photopolymer resin onto the build plate, curing the resin layer by layer.
Applications of 3D Printing:
1. Rapid prototyping of designs
2. Creating complex geometries
3. Customization of products
4. Producing spare/legacy parts
5. Small-scale production of parts
3D printing has revolutionized the manufacturing process in recent years and offers many advantages over traditional manufacturing processes. It is particularly suited for products that require customization and for short production runs where tooling costs can be prohibitive.
3D printing can use various materials, depending on the printing technology and application requirements. Some of the most commonly used materials for 3D printing include:
1. Plastics: 3D printing can use different types of plastics such as ABS, PLA, PET, nylon, and TPE. These materials are low-cost and easy to work with, making them suitable for a wide range of applications.
2. Metals: Several metals can be used in 3D printing, such as stainless steel, titanium, aluminum, gold, and silver. Metal 3D printing techniques like SLM and EBM are used to produce parts with excellent mechanical properties.
3. Ceramics: 3D printing can also use ceramic materials such as porcelain and zirconia. Ceramic parts are used in dental and medical implants, as well as in aerospace and industrial applications.
4. Composites: Composites are 3D printable materials made by combining materials such as carbon fibers, fiberglass, or Kevlar with a plastic or resin. Composite materials can offer greater strength and durability compared to standard plastics.
5. Biological materials: 3D printing can also use biological materials, such as living cells and biological scaffolds. These materials are used in tissue engineering, regenerative medicine, and other biological applications.
There are many other types of materials that can be used in 3D printing, including food, wax, and even concrete. The choice of material depends on the desired properties of the finished product and the specific requirements of the project.
The resolution of 3D printing varies depending on several factors, such as the 3D printing technology, the size and complexity of the object being printed, and the material used. In general, the resolution of 3D printing can be defined by two main parameters:
1. Layer Thickness: This is the thickness of each layer of material that the printer deposits to create the object. The layer thickness often ranges from 0.05 mm to 0.25 mm for FDM printers, but can be as low as 0.01 mm for SLA or DLP printers.
2. X-Y Resolution: This is the resolution of the 3D printer in the horizontal plane. It determines the detail and precision of the printed object's surface features. The X-Y resolution may be measured in millimeters or microns and is determined by the precision of the printer's nozzle or laser.
Overall, the resolution of 3D printing has improved significantly in recent years with advancements in technology and materials. Currently, some 3D printers can achieve a resolution of less than 0.1 mm for layer thickness and 0.01 mm for X-Y resolution. However, it's important to note that achieving a high resolution can result in longer printing times and higher costs.
The cost of 3D printing varies depending on various factors such as the printer technology, the size and complexity of the object, and the material used. Entry-level consumer-grade 3D printers can cost as little as a few hundred dollars, while high-end industrial-grade printers can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.