What is 3D printing?•
Posted on September 15 2020
3D printing technology has been around for more than thirty years. Since then, a wide variety of 3D printing technologies have been developed. Today, we will be focusing on four types of 3D printing techniques: FDM, SLA, DLP, and LCD printing.
Simply put, 3D printing is the process of using or creating a digital file to produce complex and solid 3D models, bringing objects from the digital world into the real world.
Fused Deposition Modeling Printing (FDM)
FDM Printing (Via Pikist)
In an FDM printer, a thermoplastic filament is loaded into the printer. Once the printer reaches a certain temperature, the material goes through the printer’s extrusion head, where it is melted and processed. The filament is deposited layer by layer before it cools and solidifies in place.
Though printing with an FDM printer does come with a few issues such as warping, low dimensional accuracy, and low-resolution printing.
Warping occurs after newly deposited layers shrink after cooling. When this happens, dimensions of printed materials’ are decreased, resulting in the layer underneath it being pulled upwards. Due to its low dimensional accuracy and low resolution, detailed, intricate models can't typically be printed with an FDM printer. Click here to learn more about the differences between resin 3D printing and FDM 3D printing.
Stereolithography Printing (SLA)
SLA Printing (Via Wikimedia Commons)
SLA 3D printers print with precision by using a high-powered laser in which liquid resin is hardened to form a solid 3D model. The photosensitive liquid is converted into solid plastic as it prints layer by layer. These printers print models upside down as its lasers are pointed to its build platform.
Some common issues with SLA printing include long printing times, brittle prints, and limited color choices. It is also costly in comparison to other 3D printers on the market and it isn’t suitable for creating functional prototypes. To learn more about the differences between SLA, DLP and LCD 3D printing, click here.
Digital Light Processing Printing (DLP)
DLP printing is a close relative of SLA printing as it has a similar technique but instead of a laser, it uses a digital projector screen to flash across an entire platform at once. This means that some parts of the model will be printed faster while others may take a while, depending on how much light exposure is received from the printer’s digital projector.
Some common issues with DLP printing include brittle or warped 3D prints, creating models with a rippled outer surface, or having its fine details filled in.
Liquid Crystal Display Printing (LCD)
LCD 3D printers use a wide array of UV LCDs as a source of light. These UV LCDs are on an LCD panel and shine directly onto the printer’s build area, flashing an entire layer at once, meaning that an LCD printer’s print quality depends on its LCD density.
Phrozen’s LCD 3D Printers
Now let’s discuss Phrozen’s LCD 3D Printers! What’s so special about our resin 3D printers? What makes us unique from the others?
At Phrozen, we have a wide range of LCD 3D printers designed specifically for your needs. Phrozen’s LCD 3D printers are consumer-friendly, easy to use, and are suitable for a wide range of applications including jewelry design, model-making, and dental applications.
Phrozen's ParaLED technology
Our 3D printers use ParaLED technology which consists of an array of LED bulbs that project light through a layer of LCD in a parallel manner to ensure that each resin layer receives an equal amount of UV lighting during the printing process.
We have patented and developed our own ParaLED technology and have since upgraded to a new 2.0 version to improve print quality and efficiency of 3D printed models produced by our latest printers.
Click here to visit our entire 3D printer collection.
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