Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM) is a commonly used additive manufacturing technique for modelling and prototyping. The machine dispenses multiple materials soluble supporting filament by extruding thermoplastic filament to build up the model.
Benefit of FDM
1. Low cost of operation
Increased accessibility, expanded prototyping opportunity
Simplified cost justification
Low maintenance costs
2. Clean, simple and user-friendly technology
Ease of use
Unattended, light out printing
Simple printing process – increased user accessibility
Convenient to remove the soluble supporting structures by water
Quiet and fits in any office environment because of the compact size of the machine
No facility modifications required.
3. Durable parts with high stability
4. Fast lead times comparing with conventional manufacturing methods
Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) is an additive manufacturing technique that melts and solidifies layers of powdered material in finished objects using a directed energy beam.
Benefit of SLS
1. The cost of production of SLS is lower than SLA because SLS can produce large quantities in a single run.
2. No supporting structure is required for overhanging and unsupported structures. The powder itself provides the necessary support.
3. Parts can be created out of a wide selection of materials.
4. Complexity is not an issue as the unsintered powder can be removed.
Stereolithography (SLA) is a 3D printing technique that creates models, prototypes, patterns, and production parts layer by layer using photopolymerisation. A computer-controlled ultraviolet laser beam hardens the layer of the parts one at a time in the container of resin. It is the oldest method in the history of 3D printing, but it is still being used today. The process of printing involves a uniquely designed 3D printing machine called a stereolithograph apparatus, which converts liquid plastic into solid 3D objects.
Benefit of SLA
1. The surfaces of the products are smooth and shiny.
2. Suitable for printing multiple precise objectsand large objects with high precision because it prints in high resolution and maintains surface integrity
3. A SLA 3D printer curates the liquid resin spot by spot with a laser, so it can be more precise than DLP 3D printing.
Digital Light Processing (DLP) is a method of printing uses light and photosensitive polymers. It takes a design that has been created using 3D modelling software and prints the 3D object by projecting the object, one layer at a time, onto a liquid polymer and hardening it. It is very similar to SLA. The key difference is the light source. DLP utilises traditional light sources like arc lamps.
Benefit of DLP
1. DLP is ideal for printing a single object that requires precision. Resolution and surface integrity will be affected by the size of the printing object.
2. DLP prints faster than SLA because an entire layer is exposed all at once instead of one spot at a time
3. The DLP 3D printer is less expensive than the SLA 3D printer.