3D Printer Technology
In this article I will discuss the Technology Types Of 3D Printing Machine which are widely available in the market. This will open your horizons about 3d printing.
In the market there are various types of 3D printing brands that are widely sold. However, few people know about the technology in it
All types of 3D printing are based on the same principle of creating objects by adding layers to the previous layers.
To make things easier, let’s divide the types of 3D printers into three main categories, namely FFF, SLA and SLS.
FFF (Fused Filament Fabrication)
Printers with FFF technology, use plastic strands commonly referred to as filaments as the main material.
Generally, the diameter of this fdm printing filament is 1.75 mm and can reach 3mm. For a size of 3mm, the printing accuracy is quite low, and it is not recommended to use it.
The most common way of working of a 3D FFF printer is as follows:
A sheet of plastic (filament) is melted by the heating element in the Heater Block and extruded by the print head (extruder) through the nozzles so that it becomes a layer.
The usual coating height (when using a 0.4 mm nozzle) is between 0.05 to 0.3 mm.
Compared to liquid resins or powder materials, filaments are safe and easy to use, but they have the disadvantage that the coating on the printed object is clearly visible (not smooth).
Besides FFF, there is another name for this technology, namely FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling), but FDM manufacturing is a trademark of Stratasys 3d printing service.
This FFF technology is the most widely used as well as the most affordable, suitable for printing functional/mechanical parts and prototypes.
Based on how it works, fused 3d machines are divided into 3 categories:
- How does it work, what components are in the FFF printer and examples of FFF printers? Please read in full here.
SLA technology use Resin as the main material. Light rays (UV lasers or LED panels, DLP projectors) are sprayed/directed/focused onto the resin material with a certain strength and emission distance, so that the resin becomes hard.
The advantage of SLA printers is that the final results are very detailed and almost perfectly smooth compared to FFF technology. But, the drawback is that it takes a relatively long time and a smaller print volume than FFF.
In addition, the liquid resin contains toxicity, so it is not recommended to touch the skin and imitate the vapor.
This printer is very suitable for industry as jewelry or medicine.
The biggest disadvantage of this technology is the smaller print surface area and also the toxicity of the liquid resin.
The SLA machine category is based on the beam, there are 3 more categories:
- DLP (Digital Light Processing)
- MSLA (Masked Stereolithography)
SLS (Selective Laser Sintering)
If FFF uses Filament (Solid) and SLA uses Resin (Liquid), then SLS uses powder as the main material.
The working principle is similar to SLA, the powder is compacted and formed (not melted) with a laser. This process is called sintering.
SLS (Selective Laser Sintering) compared to the previous two, it is much more expensive.
The advantage of this type is that the coating is almost invisible on the surface, is so smooth and can print at a larger size than SLA. But, the disadvantage is that the price is more expensive compared to the two types of 3D printers above.
One application of this technology is in metal 3D printers.