additive manufacturing - If you are out shopping for 3D printers then you would get dozens of brands, some of which are well known and some would be names that you have never heard of. These brands offer myriad types of 3D printers. You would come across quaint shapes, tall claims and reasonably priced miniature 3D printers and then there are some that would cost a fortune. Whatever the cost, the outer case, the color or the size of the device, the primary difference will be based on the technology being used. As of now, there are half a dozen different technologies being used in 3D printers. If you wanted to differentiate between two printers or wanted to find out how many types of 3D printers are out there, then you should begin with and focus more on this technology instead of other attributes.
This isn’t a new method. The technology has been around for three decades. This method uses stereolithography that concentrates a beam of ultraviolet rays on the object that has to be duplicated, replicated or printed in 3D. The surface of the object with all its details is recorded and then resin or photopolymer is used to have the 3D printout of that object.
Fused Deposition Modeling
Fused deposition modeling, also known as FDM, is as old as the first method. This technology uses thermoplastic materials which are melted and dropped and joined together to form the kind of shape the intended object must have. The melted thermoplastic then cools down and gets hardened, thus forming the 3D object that has to be printed.
Selective Laser Sintering
Selective Laser Sintering is the same method as stereolithography. The only difference is that with the latter you can use only resin but with selective laser sintering you can use glass, nylon, aluminum, ceramic, silver or steel.
Selective Laser Melting
Selective Laser Melting uses the same method as Selective Laser Sintering but the latter uses powder or granules while this method uses melted materials. The powder to be used in SLS method can also be used in this method. It just has to be melted first.
Electronic Beam Melting
This method uses electronic beams instead of the ultraviolet rays as used in stereolithorgraphy.
Laminated Object Manufacturing
This is a simpler but more tedious method. Laminated Object Manufacturing involves manufacturing the 3D object by first gluing the materials together and then cutting it into the desired shape.
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