The world of 3D Printing is quite huge. The credit for all this goes to the advancement of technology that is going on for years. We have come a long way from using a simple printing press to the age of 3D printers now. But what really is 3D Printing? What happens in its process? It is important to know the basic information before knowing its different types. In simple words, 3D printing is a manufacturing process of producing 3D objects from a digital file. The manufacturing of a three-dimensional solid object is done with the help of an additive process. The reason why this type of printing is preferred is that you are able to produce complex shapes using lesser materials as compared to the other traditional methods. Now, it can be used in many different fields. Some of the important ones are mentioned below –
- Fused Deposition Modeling
Just like any other 3D Printing method, this one is also an additive manufacturing process. There are different names given to it like Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) or Material Extrusion device. They are the most commonly available devices as the prices involved are quite controlled. Cross-sections can also be printed with the help of this type of modeling. Different layers are created until the final output is made. In some cases, additional support structures are added especially when the model has steep overhanging parts.
- Stereolithography (SLA)
Just like Fusion Deposition Modeling, this method is also known by different names such as Optical Fabrication or photo-solidification or resin printing. The basic method in this type of 3D Printing includes a high-powered laser to which hardens the liquid resin. It is put in a reservoir to create the required 3D shape. It is mainly done to create models, prototypes, patterns and production parts. It is a layer-by-layer process that came into being in 1986. They are not as famous as other methods but are the oldest than their contemporaries.
- Digital Light Processing
This is another printing process which uses video technology. Yeah! Video technology. This shows how much ahead we have moved into the technology sector. The whole process works with the help of photopolymers. It is very much similar to Stereolithography, the major difference being the light source. The most common use of this type of 3D Printing can be seen in rear projection in TVs. It was discovered by Larry Hornbeck in 1987 of Texas Instruments. As compared to SLA, they can achieve faster print times.
- Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)
Just like other similar methods, this one is also a brainchild of the 1980’s. It was invented in 1986 by Carl Deckard. This type of 3D Printing is used when there is a laser as the main power source. During the process of SLS, small-sized particles of objects like plastic, ceramic or glass are joint together. This is done with the help of heat from a high-power based laser. The end result is a solid and three-dimensional object. After the product is fully formed, it is given some cooling off time before it is removed. One advantage of using this printing method is that there are no additional supports required.
- Material Jetting
The word jetting gives you a fair idea about what it means. The working of material jetting closely resembles that of a simple inkjet printer. In the former, the ink dropped onto the build tray whereas, in the latter, ink is dropped onto paper. A solid part is created by building multiple layers upon each other. Material Jetting 3D Printing is preferred as these type of printers are able to fabricate different objects without having an impact on the build speed. The parts are produced at a good pace.
- Sand Binder Jetting
Sand Binder Jetting is a low-cost 3D Printing method that is used to produce parts from sand, as the name implies. A polymer binding agent is used in this process. It is mainly used in the process of modeling and the creation of sand cast. In case of full-color models, PMMA powder is used along with a liquid binding agent. The main advantage of using this printing method is that at a very low cost, complex geometries are achieved.