Forget shopping, soon 3D printing will bring download of clothes. It is going to change the whole paradigm of how the future children will see innovation and manufacturing. The reason behind the advancement is its technology. There are varied technologies applied in the process of 3D printing.
When one intends to buy 3D printer, he should learn all these types to make the right choice. This guide helps to understand the differences between the popular types of 3D printers.
Stereolithography (SLA) Technology
It is a fast prototyping process. If precision and accuracy are the priorities, this is a good option. This technology is known for its accuracy as well as fine details.
It uses a liquid photo polymer. The polymer is in its liquid state and is converted into desired solid 3D object. It uses UV rays and scanning mirrors to build the object
Digital Light Processing (DLP) Technology
It was invented in 1987. The working principle is similar to that of the SLA. The only difference is that it uses a traditional light source. The technology is known for its speed. It uses cheaper materials like resin and hence is economical as compared to the other technologies.
Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM) Technology
FDM uses thermal plastic materials to print 3D objects. Unlike other printing technologies, the finished product of this technology needs cleaning. It is quite popular for producing concept models, functional prototypes and manufacturing aids. They are generally used in industrial 3D printers, especially in the mechanical engineering and parts manufacturing.
Selective Laser Printing (SLS) technology
It uses high power carbon – di – oxide lasers to create 3D objects by fusing particles together. The build platform lowers with each laser scan. Layer by layer the same process is repeated till the height of the object is reached. There are un – sintered support from other powders. Hence, the 3D object being built do not need any support. It is widely used in commercial 3D printer.
It is similar to the SLA technology in terms of speed and quality.
Selective Laser Melting (SLM) technology
It was invented in 1995 in Germany. It is best suited to print 3D parts that have complex structure and geometrics, thin walls. The working principle is similar to that of SLS technology. The only difference is that SLM melts the powder to build the object. On the other hand, SLS only melts the sinters. It is best suited to print working models
Electron Beam Melting (EBM) Technology
The following are the unique features of EBM
- It does not require auxiliary equipment for printing 3D objects
- Its efficiency to use raw materials is the highest of all the other technologies
- It can create a completely functional, durable parts
- It lessens the lead times. This helps the parts to reach the market faster.
Professional 3D printers use EBM technology. It uses the powder bed fusion technique as that of the SLM technology. The only difference is that it uses powerful electron beam in a vacuum. EBM finds its application in printing metal parts.