3D Printing Technologies

On this page, we will discuss the various 3D printing technologies.

Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) Technology

Develop your ideas with affordable models, durable prototypes or end-use parts. Fused Deposition Modeling printers build functional parts layer-by-layer from the bottom up by heating and extruding thermoplastic filament.

  • Print strong, functional prototypes or end-use parts
    FDM technology that uses production-grade thermoplastics, so parts are unrivaled in mechanical, thermal and chemical strength
  • Accelerate time-to-market
    FDM users around the world are bringing products to market faster with some of the most durable materials additive manufacturing has to offer with print speeds much greater than other types of printers.
  • Reduce development costs
    Create affordable prototypes early in the ideation stage of product development to identify design changes earlier. By accurately conveying the concept of the final part, all stakeholders will select the right design and reduce costly changes later in the development process.
  • Increase print area
    The build area of an FDM printer is much larger than other printers. If you need to print large models, an FDM printer may be the right printer for you.

ColorJet Technology

Make your designs stand out with brilliant full-color parts. ColorJet printers produce high resolution, true full-color realistic models and prototypes.

  • Improve communication
    Communicate the look, feel and style of product designs with high-resolution, vivid color prototypes printed in one step. You will win business by bringing realistic final product-like models to prospective accounts, sponsors and focus groups.
  • Reduce development costs
    Create affordable prototypes early in the ideation stage of product development to identify design changes earlier. By accurately conveying the concept of the final part, all stakeholders will select the right design and reduce costly changes later in the development process.
  • Increase innovation
    With the capability to easily and affordably print full-color prototypes in hours, CJP users can quickly explore more design options, obtain feedback, refine designs and repeat the cycle until designs are perfect.
  • Accelerate time-to-market
    CJP users around the world are bringing products to market faster, compressing design cycles by quickly and easily 3D printing on demand prototypes that look like the real product. Stakeholders can better visualize design intent, and can make faster and more effective decisions.

MultiJet Technology

The process of MultiJet Printing (MJP) creates precise plastic parts that are ideal for functional prototyping, rapid tooling, and many other applications. Print rigid or flexible parts with ABS-like plastics and true elastomers for real functionality and performance. You can even create composite materials with tailored mechanical properties and print with multiple materials for complex parts with special features such as overmolding.

MJP offers exceptional resolution with layer thicknesses as low as 13 microns. Selectable print modes let you choose the best combination of resolution and print speed, so it’s easy to find a combination that meets your needs. Parts have smooth finish and can achieve accuracies approaching SLA precision for many applications.

  • Accelerate time-to-market
    MJP users around the world are bringing products to market faster. Validate designs, test performance and manufacturability, and align stakeholders quickly, with prototypes that precisely match design intent.
  • Enhance quality
    Conduct test and review cycles faster, so you can identify and fix design flaws early. Know that your products have been thoroughly tested before you commit to the cost of tooling.
  • Iterate faster, innovate better
    Empower your team to test more design concepts to yield better products. Creativity flourishes when it’s this easy to try out and show new ideas.
  • Reduce costs
    Accurate prototypes improve communication with technicians and suppliers, reducing expensive rework. MJP is also used to make rapid tooling at a lower cost than traditional tools, jigs and fixtures.

Stereolithography (SLA) Technology

The process of SLA produces exact plastic parts without the restrictions of CNC or injection molding. In addition to prototypes and end-use parts, SLA printers create casting patterns, rapid tooling and fixtures. With speed, accuracy and surface quality of this level, you can produce low- to medium-run parts at a lower per-unit cost and build massive, highly-detailed pieces faster.

  • Unrivaled accuracy and precision
    True-to-design accuracy and surface finish.
  • Highest productivity
    Advance your part manufacturing workflow. The fastest print technology for large parts and production runs. With swappable material delivery modules, get 24/7 utilization.
  • Dozens of high-quality materials
    Get the mechanical specifications you need with a wide variety of differentiated materials.
  • Production quality
    High strength and good dimensional stability.

Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) Technology

SLS technology uses a laser to harden and bond small grains of plastic, ceramic, glass, metal (we talk in a different article about direct metal sintering), or other materials into layers in a 3D dimensional structure. The laser traces the pattern of each cross section of the 3D design onto a bed of powder. After one layer is built, the bed lowers and another layer is built on top of the existing layers. The bed then continues to lower until every layer is built and the part is complete.

  • Eliminate the time and expense of tooling
    Direct manufacturing from a 3D CAD file eliminates the cost and time involved in tooling and fixtures.  
  • Streamline your workflow
    Eliminate extensive programming and fixturing, to free up your machinists. Drastically reduce assembly times by reducing total part count.
  • Increase manufacturing agility
    Additive manufacturing requires no tooling, reducing overhead and increasing economies of scope.
  • Design for function
    SLS technology frees designers from the restrictions of traditional manufacturing. Complete assemblies can be printed as one part, improving functionality, reducing cost and increasing reliability. 

Direct Metal Printing (DMP) Technology

The Direct Metal process builds up fully dense, chemically pure metal parts from 3D CAD data by melting fine powder with a laser beam, layer by layer. It allows for the production of small and extremely complex metal parts with no need for tooling, and it permits dramatically different part design than conventional processes like machining, stamplng or die casting will allow.

  • Precision laser melting
    The DMP laser melting process is a patented and proven industry standard that guarantees outstanding quality, accuracy, and exceptional surface finish and resolution.
  • Increase productivity, repeatability, and flexibility
  • Access a wide range of metals and alloys
    Stainless steels, tooling steels, non-ferrous alloys, super alloys, precious metals, alumina
  • Unlock the freedom to unmatched design and manufacturing
  • Save money with efficient materials and energy management