3D printing is a process of making a physical object from a digital model by laying down successive layers of material. It is also known as additive manufacturing, because it involves adding material layer by layer rather than subtracting material as in traditional manufacturing processes such as machining or casting. 3D printing allows for the creation of complex shapes and structures that would be difficult or impossible to make using other manufacturing techniques. It has a wide range of applications, including the production of prototypes, end-use parts, and one-off custom objects.
Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) is a type of 3D printing technology that works by melting and extruding a filament of plastic, metal, or other material to build up a part layer by layer. It is one of the most widely available and affordable forms of 3D printing, and it is well-suited to producing strong and mechanically functional parts.
Multi Jet Fusion (MJF) is a type of 3D printing technology that uses a process called Masked Photopolymer Jetting (MPJ) to create 3D objects. In this process, a special inkjet print head with a masking layer applies layers of photopolymer resin to a build platform, and a UV light is used to cure the resin layer by layer.
Stereolithography (SLA) is a type of 3D printing technology that uses a laser to cure a photopolymer resin into a solid object. It is one of the oldest forms of 3D printing and it is known for producing high-resolution parts with smooth surface finishes.
Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) is a type of 3D printing technology that uses a laser to fuse together particles of plastic, metal, or other powdered materials to create a solid object. It is a popular choice for producing strong and mechanically functional parts, and it is often used for prototyping, small-batch production, and the manufacture of end-use parts.
PolyJet is a type of 3D printing technology that uses photopolymer resin and UV light to create 3D objects. It is known for producing high-resolution, highly detailed, and smooth-surface parts and prototypes. PolyJet printing works by selectively depositing layers of liquid photopolymer resin onto a build platform, and then curing the resin with UV light.
Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) is a type of 3D printing technology that uses a laser to sinter (fuse) metal powders into solid objects. It is a highly accurate and efficient process that can produce complex, high-strength metal parts with excellent surface finish.