Different Categories of Additive Manufacturing

Additive manufacturing is a more technical term referring to 3D-printing technology. It’s subdivided into categories, but the ones listed in this article are the most commonly used in various industries. Read on to learn how they differ from each other.

Material Jetting

Material jetting (MJ) closely resembles 2-dimensional printing on paper. But, in place of ink,a heat-sensitive photopolymer is loaded into the machine to produce an output.

MJ is a relatively new form of 3D printing, but it’s one of the fastest and most reliable options. It’s also inexpensivebecause it uses affordable materials, increasing the demand for this technology. It’s now being offered by many additive manufacturing companies in the country.

Extrusion

The technical term for this technique is fused deposition modeling (FDM) or fused filament fabrication (FFF). It’s one of the oldest forms of 3D-printing technology and is used across all industries.

In this process, thermoplastic filament is melted and loaded intoa mold-like device. Then, the material is deposited in layers to create the desired object. The last step involves plating the byproduct with a thin sheet of metal to make it more durable.

FDM is used to create prototypes of various products. It’s a cost-effective solution because the thermoplastic filament is affordable. If that material isn’t available, there areother options, like ABS (acrylonitrile, butadiene, and styrene), metalfill plastic, and nylon.

Vat Photopolymerization

Also called stereolithography (SLA), vat photopolymerizationinvolves using layers of resin and ultraviolet beams. This process is famous for being the oldest form of additive manufacturing technology. It was patented back in the late 1980s and has since been used to produce newobjects and prototypes.

In this technique, resin is loaded into the machine. It undergoes curing by being exposed to high temperatures emitted by ultraviolet beams. Then, it’s cooled down before ejected to the printing platform to create a single layer. This heating-and-chilling process is completed in a matter of seconds, which makes SLA one of the fastest options.

Various types of resin can be used in this process. They include:

  • Standard – Even though this is the cheapest option, it can still be used to produce high-quality objects with a smooth surface.
  • Durable – One of the strongest choices, this is semi-flexible and perfect for creating elastic structures.
  • Clear – This one produces semi-transparent items.

These 3 are among the most widelyknown 3D-printing techniques. If you need to produce tiny objects, prototypes, and structures, contact an additive manufacturing company in California. They have the right equipment to help you create various items.

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