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Printers by Application; Polymers

The integration CNC in the last decade has pushed the boundaries of machining and taken manufacturing to a whole other level.

EARLY CNC.
MANUAL LABOUR

The advancements in additive manufacturing in collaboration with automated processes is evolving faster as it proves to currently be the most efficient methods but lack in variety and versatility of materials.

Polymer based (plastics)

Obtained form:
https://www.sculpteo.com/en/3d-learning-hub/3d-printing-technologies-and-processes/compare-fdm-sla-sls-dls/

As we have seen there are a variety of methods of printing plastics using basic extrusion and light (photoactive polymers)

  • Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM)
  • Stereolithography (SLA)
  • Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)
  • Dynamic Light Scattering (DLS)

These are the typical commercially available today and are not available in a multitude of materials

Materials for :

Fused Deposition Modeling:

  • PLA –Polylactic-acid : Most common, bio-degradable
  • ABS – Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene : Higher thermal glass transition point, stiffer and higher strength
  • PETG – Polyethylene terephthalate glycol : Good for outdoor purposes
  • TPU – Thermoplastic polyurethane : Flexible filament, soft and malleable

Stereolithography:


https://www.researchgate.net/publication/269300378_A_critical_analysis_of_additive_manufacturing_technologies_for_aerospace_applications


There are pros and cons for either dramatically affecting quality/resolution, print and or curing time, material availability and cost of operating.

https://manufactur3dmag.com/3d-printing-technology-choice-fdm-v-s-sla-v-s-sls/

FDM usually dominates in all aspects except for quality in terms of resolution and surface finish.

SLA/SLS and DLS all use light to activate a photoactivatable polymer and therefore have a much high capability in terms of resolving the definition of the final output. This principle is similar to the process of photolithography.

https://www.researchgate.net/figure/SLA-SLS-FDM-Deviation-Analysis_fig6_303690248




If quality and attention to surface finish is a major requirement for your final print, SLS and SLA are affordable options, on a more professional and large scale DLS machines are proven method.

On the physical and chemical level this can be explained by polymerization by a photoinitiation from a light source.

https://www.turkchem.net/curing-of-epoxy-resins-via-photopolymerization-and-use-in-composites.html

Reactive elements in the form of free radicals or ion are used to initiation polymerization of monomers into polymer chains. The chains are subjected to bond to one another forming a complex and structure solidifying the polymer gel/liquid.

Other types of trending printers:

Bio-Printers
Metal 3D printers

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