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Understanding 3D Printing Technologies

Modern 3D printing technology has come a long way from being a clunky and unreliable medium for business owners. On the other hand, some hobbyists can use the efficiency of small-scale 3D printers for personal projects. This makes 3D printing technology more accessible to users for different purposes.

The Different Technologies of 3D Printing

Since 3D printing has applications in different industries, the material preference and efficiency of 3D printers will vary, depending on their purpose. Essentially, 3D printing technology is just the process of bringing a digital design through a physical mould. You can use different materials to print entire builds or several modular pieces for your use.

In this article, we’ll share an overview of the different printing technologies you can use.

  1. Powder-Based 3D Printing Technology

Powder-based 3D printing can come in many forms, depending on the type of printer you have. However, each method utilises a powdered material as its base. Listed below are three powder-based 3D printing processes you can use:

  1. Multi-Jet Fusion (MJF): Through multi-jet fusion, the powder material is heated before utilising a fusing agent jetted precisely on the particles that need combining. Afterwards, a detailing agent is released around the contours to develop a part resolution. The jetted material then captures the heat while simultaneously distributing it evenly across the current surface.
  2. Laser Sintering: Laser sintering is specifically effective with materials such as titanium, aluminium, and polyamide. The powder is driven past its melting point through heat inside the printer’s interior and spread down to a fine layer. The laser beam then raises the temperature to sinter together different parts to produce your design.
  3. Powder and Binder-Based 3D Printing: Unlike laser sintering, powder and binder-based 3D printing requires a thin layer of powder to be rolled out before the binding agent is introduced. Materials like high-detail steel are placed in an oven for fusing, while much denser materials like steel need to be infused with bronze for added durability.
  1. Resin-Based 3D Printing

Resin-based 3D printing utilises stereolithography to create models of UV-sensitive liquid resin. These resin types come in different forms, like grey resin and transparent resin. 

First, a UV laser hardens the liquid polymer spread on a platform in a large tank. The reaction leads to the resin hardening on the indicated areas of the mould. With every finished layer, the platform is lowered for the UV laser to work to draw on top of the previous layer. This 3D printing technology works best for larger designs that can be over two metres long.

  1. Filament-Based 3D Printing Technology

Filament-based 3D printing uses the Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM) technique, making it fit for models made from ABS. It’s a material that efficiently provides strong and accurate prints. A long thread of plastic filament is fed through a spool down the nozzle through an FDM printer. 

Afterwards, the material is liquified to draw the mould on the platform gradually. This process repeats layer by layer until the product hardens immediately. The only downside against ABS’s durability is the slightly rougher surfaces it has.

Conclusion

Knowing the right 3D printing technology and utilising it for your purposes are two different things. While you may know the proper process to use, the exact procedure may be more difficult to perform in practice. Thankfully, you don’t have to master the right 3D printing technology to benefit from it. By working with the right 3D printing service provider, you can have quality output produced by professionals in the trade.

At 3D Quick Printing, we can streamline your business processes by managing your printing needs. With your CAD data, we can produce quality moulds and prints of your designs. If you need a professional 3D printing service in the UK, contact us today to get a quote from our pros!

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