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Different 3D Printing Technologies to Meet All Manufacturing Requirements

3D printing is a manufacturing process that creates physical objects from 3-dimensional computer-aided designs (CAD) models. This process is used across various industries such as construction, automotive, aerospace and consumer goods, among several others. 3D printing technology has evolved to become one of the most important innovations in recent years. With several advancements being made every day, it’s only set to revolutionize the way products are designed and manufactured.

Different 3D Printing Technologies

Although 3D printing was initially used for rapid prototyping, mainstream manufacturers now adopt it to bring their products to market quickly. While traditional manufacturing methods usually result in significant lead times between product development and mass production, custom 3d printing can help manufacturers rapidly produce a small run of a product and then scale up for mass production.

Different 3d printing technologies: Pick the suitable one

As online 3d printing services demand is overgrowing across multiple industries, you have access to several technologies, including:

Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM):

Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) is the most common additive technology since it requires low maintenance and high speed. It works by Plastic extrusion wherein the plastic is extruded against a platform to build an object layer-by-layer. This process is suitable for producing products of various sizes using thermoplastic filaments, including acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), polylactic acid (PLA) and high-density polyethylene (HDPE).

If you are searching for an affordable 3d prototyping service, then FDM is your best option. However, you should choose your material carefully. While ABS material is long-lasting and durable, PLA has a short service life; however, it’s environmentally friendly. You will easily find FDM 3d print online services to get started.

Use cases of FDM 3d printing:

  • Aerospace: Planes, rockets and helicopters parts
  • Construction: Houses and buildings components
  • Consumer Products: Toys and household items
  • Medical: Dental and surgical supplies

Stereolithography (SLA):

If you require a precise 3d printing method for industrial work, stereolithography is the way to go. It works by curing a liquid photopolymer with ultraviolet light to form layers that add up to create a 3D object. This technique is ideal for manufacturers looking for high-quality parts with intricate details and contours.

In recent times, this 3d print technology has found widespread adoption in the medical industry as it can produce products with fine details and smooth surfaces. SLA is ideal for industrial design applications too. For example, it’s among the first additive manufacturing technology that has been used to produce parts for jet engines, as it is capable of producing parts with very high strength and durability. With the growing popularity of SLA, several companies let you order 3d prints at affordable prices.

Use cases of SLA 3d printing:

  • Medical: Dentures and hearing aids 3d print service
  • Industrial design: Racing car components, drones and medical devices
  • Automotive: Spare parts
  • Manufacturing: Prototypes for rapid testing

Digital Light Processing (DLP):

It is a subset of SLA technology; however, it uses a different method to cure the resin. While SLA exposes the object layer by layer from bottom-up, DLP projects an entire image at once from top-down, resulting in faster printing speeds and less material usage.

It enables manufacturers to produce products with smooth finishes and high precision. DLP 3d printing technology is suitable for creating detailed features, including tiny holes and undercuts. It’s also easily integrated into mass production processes to meet the demands of various industries.

Use cases of DLP 3d printing:

  • Construction: Architectural models
  • Aerospace: Plane parts and helicopter blades
  • Jewellery Manufacturing: Rings and necklaces
  • Automotive: Spare parts

Selective Laser Sintering (SLS):

This technology enables manufacturers to create high stiffness, strength, and dimensional accuracy products. It uses a large power laser that fuses small material particles to build an object one layer at a time. The build platform moves down layer-by-layer in this process to create parts that support their weight.

SLS is suitable for producing accurate metal parts with smooth surfaces and is highly durable. This method is ideal for creating objects made out of polymers. This process is suitable for industrial applications. SLS is ideal for complex 3d printing designs that are challenging to make using conventional methods.

Use cases of SLS 3d printing:

  • Medical: Dental models, implants
  • Industrial design: Prototypes for jet engines
  • Automotive: Spare parts, manufacturing tools
  • Manufacturing: High-quality product prototypes

Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS):

It’s among the most robust metal 3d printing technologies, enabling manufacturers to produce solid and lightweight products. While this process has vast military and aerospace applications, it’s gaining traction in the automotive industry. The technology used by this 3d printing process ensures that the metal particles are distributed evenly throughout the product for maximum strength and durability.

Several industries are using this metal 3d printing process to produce high-quality components. DMLS enables manufacturers to manufacture small batches of products. It is ideally suited for complex-shaped parts that are usually out of reach with conventional manufacturing processes due to the prohibitive costs. DMLS is among the most-used 3d print on demand technologies as it’s more cost-efficient than many traditional processes.

Use cases of DMLS 3d printing:

  • Construction: Machine parts, car parts
  • Aerospace: Aircraft parts, satellite components
  • Jewellery Manufacturing: Rings and necklaces
  • Automotive: Spare parts, manufacturing tools

Electron Beam Melting (EBM):

This additive manufacturing process is used for metal 3D printing. It uses an electron beam with a high energy level which melts the raw material to create layers of molten material. EBM enables manufacturers to produce high-quality metal parts suitable for use in demanding applications.

The main advantage of EBM 3d printing is that it can print with metals that are difficult to operate, such as titanium, tantalum and niobium. It is also used to fabricate complex geometries to create via traditional machining methods. As a result, EBM is widely used across several industries as it helps create robust objects in a shorter turnaround.

Use cases of EBM 3D printing:

  • Construction: Machine parts, car parts
  • Aerospace: Aircraft parts, satellite components
  • Jewellery Manufacturing: Rings and necklaces
  • Automotive: Spare parts, manufacturing tools

Multi Jet Fusion (MJF):

It is a powder bed fusion technology that creates 3D printed objects suitable for high strength. This process employs two print heads which deposit binder material and fusing agent on specific areas of a print bed while also jetting liquid support material.

It is capable of producing various products using different materials. MJF prints can be completed up to 10x faster than conventional manufacturing technologies and at a lower cost. The technology is widely used across industries to enable manufacturers to create spare parts for automobiles and other high-demand items.

Use cases of MJF 3d printing:

  • Construction: Machine parts, car parts
  • Aerospace: Aircraft parts, satellite components
  • Industrial design: Prototypes for jet engines
  • Manufacturing: Intricate-design spare parts

Get started with Karv Automation:

Karv Automation is an Industry 4.0-focused on-demand digital manufacturing company that caters to all your requirements. Be it rapid prototyping, 3d design and printing, we’ve got you covered with our cutting-edge 3d printing technology solutions.

Whether you need assistance with 3d rapid prototyping services or mass manufacturing, get started with Karv Automation, and we will take care of every aspect.

He is a Blogger, Tech Geek, SEO Expert, and Designer. Loves to buy books online, read and write about Technology, Gadgets and Gaming. you can connect with him on Facebook | Linkedin | mail:


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