The 3D printing technology helps you start a business, create functioning prototypes, and build better models.
These days, 3D printing has a bigger reach of the uses and topics across industries than one may think. From small startups to major corporations to at-home hobbyists, this type of printing is used for taking a host of challenges in engineering, manufacturing, and design.
In other words, it enables users to make a solid and functional object from computer-aided design files. Even if it’s still a new technology, the newest printers are just a fraction of the cost of what they were years ago, enabling anybody with some spare change to join in the fun.
When considering what you’ll be printing, it’s important to know the different 3D printing technologies, which include Selective Laser Sintering (SLS), Stereolithography (SLA), and Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM).
Some of these are more tailored toward those who want to establish a business, while others are good if you want something for your desktops at home.
FDM or Fused Deposition Modeling
It is the most user-friendly and common form of 3D printing. It is also the least costly option. Odds are, if you have seen this kind of printer or considered buying one, you can pick an FDM printer.
There are many types out there and some are cheap. In comparison to other printer technologies, there’s no post work required on your print. You can just come up with a concept and print it.
This printer may print some strong plastic-like materials, wood, and carbon fiber, making them ideal for at-home projects and prototyping. But, there are several downsides to using FDM 3D printers.
Not only may this take a long time, but also the level of detail or print resolution also can’t compare to other printing technologies. If you want to make a highly detailed model or functional prototypes, FMD printing is not for you.
SLA or Stereolithography 3D printing technology
If you have mastered FMD printing and you want to level up the game, you can consider stereolithography or also refer to as SLA. It uses a different process for printing compared to FDM, which may generate lots of quality prints.
The laser technology used for creating the prints will have you creating some high-resolution and accurate prints that you’ve ever seen, which makes it ideal for designers and model builders. SLA printing is also faster compared to SLS or FDM printing.
SLS or Selective Laser Sintering
If you want to build products, appreciate the unmatched detail levels on your prints, and test models, SLS printing is a perfect option. But, you must be warned that the ecosystem and the required technology to make SLS printing are expensive.
However, you will get what you paid for, because it is an excellent and impressive choice for some industrial design companies. SLS works through using lasers to fuse and melt powdered raw materials to form single solid objects.
The prints of the SLS printer are fully functional and durable, enabling the users to print the working parts and even flipbooks if required.
Even if post-production work is needed for 3D printing technology prints, users get prints that are ready to use.