FDM VS POLYJET
FDM VS Polyjet
3D Printing in the last couple of years has started to increase exponentially.
Which in turn has caused some issues!
What technology & service should you use to get your designs printed?
Taking one end of the market to the other we have FDM VS POLYJET.
These two technologies being very different, with quality, finish and tolerance.
To help you decide what is right for you!
You need some background information on how these two printing methods work.
FDM 3D Printing
This Is the production of a part by the melting of plastic filament and then extruding this melted plastic onto a build plate and the subsequent layers of material until the part is finished printing.
With this process the molten plastic is forced out of the round hole at the end of the extruder.
Just like toothpaste comes out of the end of its tube.
If you were to squeeze row after row of toothpaste out on top of each other, the side wall would dip in and out as you looked at each layer from the base layer to the top layer, this in turn giving you a rough looking finish, visually and by touch.
The same finish, you would get on an FDM part in a much smaller scale.
Then there are the issues of tolerance with a desktop FDM printer you will be looking at a tolerance of ±0.5 mm, where as if you were to produce the part(s) on an Industrial FDM printer you would be looking at ±0.2 mm.
One of the bonuses with FDM is that you can produce parts from a wide selection of materials, which can withstand different temperatures and chemicals, unfortunately you cannot blend different filaments to produce different properties.
Shrinkage and/or warping are an issue with FDM which sometimes cannot be fixed, this is due to multiple reasons, I won’t go into today.
PolyJet 3D Printing
Parts are produced by the jetting of UV Resin onto a build plate, at thousands of droplets a minute, similar to how an ink jet paper printer works.
This process prints a 16μm layer on the desktop versions, on an area of 300 x 200 x 150mm about every 6-8 Seconds
Each layer pass is cured by a UV light before any subsequent passes or layers are jetted down, this process is then continued until the part is completed.
Support material is required for any feature that has an overhang.
Tolerances with material jetting / PolyJet are far smaller at ± 0.05 mm.
The attention to detail and fine features that can be produced with PolyJet, combined with its finer surface finish make PolyJet ideal for the production of prototypes and parts where fit form and function are required.
Shrinkage and/or warping are not an issue for PolyJet printing either unlike that of FDM printing.
So! If Budget is not an issue and you require the highest accuracy, PolyJet is the best solution for most 3D Parts & Prototyping needs.