Different Types of 3D Printers Complete guide

Types of 3D Printer: There is a different type of 3D Printer available like SLA, DLP, FDM, SLS, SLM, EBM, LOM, BJ, MJ Printing. We will discuss all of the printers with its how they working.

Nowadays anyone can earn money through 3D Printers. You can buy the 3D Printer and make the 3D object by taking job work.

There are a number of types of 3D Printers available. All that have his own advantages and disadvantages. So you have to decide what you have to print, what is your budget, what is your requirement of precision.

Types of 3D Printers

Different classified 3D Printers gave below.

  1. Stereolithography 
  2. Digital Light Processing 
  3. Fused Deposition Modeling 
  4. Selective Laser Sintering 
  5. Selective Laser Melting 
  6. Electronic Beam Melting 
  7. Laminated Object Manufacturing 
  8. Binder Jetting 
  9. Material Jetting

STEREOLITHOGRAPHY (SLA) TECHNOLOGY

Stereolithography (SLA) 3d printers types

How does a 3D SLA printer work? Stereolithography, which was invented by Chuck Hull in 1983, is characterized by being the oldest 3D printing technology.

This technology works by exposing a layer of liquid photosensitive resin to a UV laser beam to harden and solidify. Once the laser runs through a layer of resin in the desired pattern, it begins to harden. Next, the model’s printing platform, located in the liquid tank of the printer, lowers one layer and the laser begins to form the next layer. Each layer is built on the previous one.

As with 3D FDM printing technology, protruding parts printed with these types of 3D printers will need support structures. Once the printing is completed, the object should be rinsed with a solvent. Sometimes it is also baked in a UV oven to complete the processing.

SLA technology creates objects with smooth surfaces and a lot of detail. It is increasingly popular in sectors such as jewelry and cosmetic dentistry for the creation of malleable molds.

The production of the continuous liquid interface (CLIP) could be the next big thing in the type of 3D SLA printing. Resin and an ultraviolet ray are also needed for this 3D printing technology. 

The main difference lies in an oxygen permeable membrane that is under the resin, which greatly speeds up the process. The creators of this innovative technology claim that they can print 3D objects up to 100 times faster. The first 3D printers with CLIP technology are already in the testing phase.

DIGITAL LIGHT PROCESSING (DLP) TECHNOLOGY

How does a 3D DLP printer work? Digital light processing technology (DLP) and stereolithography have many aspects in common. Both types of 3D printers use liquid photopolymers. Both use “resins” that harden by applying light through a special projector (DLP) and a laser (SLA).

Digital Light Processing (DLP) Technology 3D Printers types

DLP technology was invented in 1987 by Larry Hornbeck of the Texas Instrument and became extremely popular on the projectors. DLP technology uses an electrical network of computer-controlled micromirrors arranged in a mold on a semiconductor chip.

These tiny mirrors lean back and forth. When a mirror is tilted, it reflects light, reflecting a bright pixel. While the mirror is tilted to the opposite side, the pixel will turn dark.

 This type of technology is used in film projectors, mobile phones and also for 3D printing. One of the benefits it presents for 3D printing is its speed: it can print layers in an instant.

The types of 3D DLP printers are used mainly in professional areas and allow to manufacture robust parts with excellent resolution. Also, lovers and fans of 3D printing are building their own 3D printers based on DLP technology using beams of light or even smartphones to harden the resin.

FUSED DEPOSITION MODELING (FDM)

How does a 3D FDM printer work? FDM (for its acronym in English) is the evergreen 3D printing process. The thermoplastic filament is heated and extruded in X and Y coordinates through the extrusion head, while the printing surface is down the object layer in the Z direction.

Read: Build DIY 3D Printer

In this way, the object is printed from bottom to top. If there is a case that a model has protruding parts, you will need support structures that can be removed once the printing is finished.

This type of 3D printer is a cost-effective way to develop a product and quickly create prototypes in the small business and education sectors, as it is capable of manufacturing robust parts efficiently and quickly.

        SELECTIVE LASER SINTERING (SLS)

How does a 3D SLS printer work? The SLS technology is similar to the SLA, but the main difference is that this type of 3D printer uses powder material in the printing area instead of liquid resin. 

A laser is used to selectively sinter a layer of granules that binds the material to create a solid structure. When the object is completely formed, it is allowed to cool in the machine before removing it.

The SLS is widely used for the development of products and the rapid creation of prototypes oriented to commercial industries. Likewise, it is useful for the manufacture of limited-use end products, such as parts used in the industrial sector (for example, pieces of machinery). 

The materials used in the SLS is nylon, glass, ceramic, aluminum, silver, and even steel.

However, this type of 3D printer needs the use of costly high-power lasers, which places it somewhat beyond the reach of the average consumer. But there is always the option of using professional 3D printing services such as Shapeways, Sculpteo and i. Materialize, which are more economical.

SELECTIVE LASER MELTING (SLM)

How does a 3D SLM printer work? Selective laser melting technology is considered as another type of 3D SLS printer. The SLM technology uses a more-power laser beam to totally melt metal powders into three-dimensional solid pieces.

The typical materials used in these types of 3D printers are stainless steel, titanium, and chrome-cobalt.

As can be seen in the previous video, it has also been used to manufacture gas turbines for the energy industry.

ELECTRONIC BEAM MELTING (EBM)

How does an EBM 3D printer work? Unlike the SLM technology, the EBM (for its acronym in English) uses, as its name suggests, a beam of electrons controlled by computer. 

This technique is carried out with high vacuum pressure and using high temperatures up to 1000 ° C in order to completely melt the metallic powder.

This type of 3D printer can use to make aerospace parts and medical implants. But, while this technology is promising, it is currently very slow and expensive.

LAMINATED OBJECT MANUFACTURING (LOM)

How does a 3D LOM printer work? The LOM uses stratum of paper, plastic or adhesive metal laminates, It melts under heat and pressure, and it will cut by a computer-controlled CNC laser. After this, a machining and drilling process is done. The 3D object is made layer by layer, and after cutting the excess material, it can be sealed with paint.

Compared to the types of 3D SLA or SLS printers, the dimensional accuracy of the LOM technology is slightly lower. However, LOM is one of the most economical and fastest 3D printing processes to make large parts. It also allows you to print 3D objects in full color.

BINDER JETTING (BJ)

How does a 3D BJ printer work? This type of 3D printing was invented at the MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and has multiple names: “powder bed fusion”, “3D inkjet printing”, “drop-on-dust printing” or, probably the better known as “binder injection” or “binder jetting”.

Binder injection is an additive manufacturing process. This type of 3D printer uses two materials: a powder-based material (often plaster) and an adhesive agent, which acts by bonding the layers of dust. In general, the binder is extruded in liquid form from a print head as in a conventional 2D inkjet printer. Once a layer is finished, the printing surface goes down and the process repeats itself. 

This type of 3D printers has a great advantage: you can print in full color by adding pigments to the binder (usually cyan, magenta, yellow, black and white). This aspect made it the preferred method for popular 3D selfies. The drawback of this method is that it endangers the structural integrity of the objects. You will not get high resolution and resilient prints, but there are some exceptions.

We can see progress in this type of 3D printing technology. In 2016, Hewlett-Packard introduced the “Multijet Fusion” (MJF) technology, which aims to bring binder injection technology to the next level.

The operation is simple, deploys a layer of 3D printable material. Then, thermal ink is injected from right to left, depositing in the entire work area two chemical agents: fluxing agent, to create a solid layer of the material; and detail agent, to determine the structure of the layer that is being created. Finally, energy is applied to catalyze the fluxing agent, while the powder impregnated with the detailed agent remains inert.

This type of 3D printer can be used for rapid prototyping and short-term manufacturing in the automotive, medical and aerospace industries. However, the full scope of MJF capabilities has not yet been established, as the newer fusion agents promise to offer different properties, such as full-color printing, conductivity, strength and thermal reactivity.

MATERIAL JETTING (MJ)

How does an MJ 3D printer work? The technology of material injection, better known as “lost wax molding”, was not invented by anyone in particular, but rather it is a technique used by jewelers for centuries. 

The lost wax molding (or precision casting) is a production process that mainly allows manufacturing customizable jewels of very high quality in various metals. But with 3D printing, there is finally a process to automate the molding to the lost wax, and for most jewelers has been a breakthrough.

Therefore, it has become the type of 3D printing technology most popular among professionals in the jewelry sector, and also those who want to experiment with molds. 

There are several professional 3D printers such as Stratasys “Wax Jet” that use the technology of lost wax molding. To test this 3D printing technique it is not necessary to buy a printer. There are 3D printing services such as Shapeways or Sculpteo that use machines with MJ or MJM technology for this task.

The molten wax is deposited in layers on an aluminum platform by several nozzles that run through the construction area. As the hot material enters the printing surface, it solidifies.

 In this case, a different type of wax with a low melting temperature is used, which is deposited under the protruding parts of the product, acting as a support for the structure. When the printing is finished, it is placed in a hot bath that melts the support material. 

Moldable wax is very fragile and should be handled with care. It will begin to soften around 60 ° C and melt at 80 ° C. It deforms and weakens slowly, so we advise you to be quick.

If you want to experiment with the lost wax molding on a conventional FDM printer, you should try the Mold lay filament.

Now you know everything you need about the 9 types of 3D printers that are used today. We hope that we have helped you to understand how a 3D printer works and that with all this information you can choose the printer that best suits you.

CONCLUSION

These all are the 3D Printers Types available in the market. So now you have to decide what you have to print, as per that you can buy those printers.

If you like my article then share with your Friend who loves 3D Printing. and stay tune with creativity buzz.

Leave a Reply