There are two main liquid-based materials primarily used in 3D printing: resins and thermoplastic filaments. Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM) uses filaments, while resins are primarily used for Stereolithography Apparatus (SLA) technology.
When it comes to quality, resin wins; simply because resin printing packs much better quality when compared to filament printing. To achieve the same printing standard using an FDM 3D printer, you would need to increase printing time, resulting in higher costs. SLA printing has a powerful and precise laser that makes even the tiniest of movements count, leading to a higher print resolution and better overall quality.
The minimum layer height is also much smaller for SLA 3D printers than FDM printers, contributing to quality and detail. While the quality of pricey FDM printers such as PLA, PETG and Nylon is still very good, resin printers are generally superior in quality since resin printing allows for the finer details to come through.
Considering what we've discussed in the previous paragraph, SLA 3D printers' higher pricings should come as no surprise. Varying types of FLM printers have different prices. However, they are generally less expensive than resin 3D printers, especially when comparing higher-quality resin and filament 3D printers.
3D printing using resin is usually a lot messier than if you're using thermoplastic filaments. Therefore, the latter material is usually recommended for beginners. Resin printing requires a lot more effort, especially when getting your resin model off the build platform. To get to the final product, you need to wash the resin off by immersing the part in isopropyl alcohol. Then, you need to cure it under UV light. Printing filament parts is more manageable since you only need to purchase a magnet-built to extract the finished piece. Moreover, filament parts don't need to undergo further processing.
While premium resin 3D prints are quite strong, a run-of-the-mill SLA 3D printer produces stronger filament parts than a super expensive FDM 3D printer - simply because of filament's inherent properties. Strength is primarily why large-scale manufacturers prefer FDM technology and strong filaments such as Polycarbonate. In fact, Polycarbonate is the go-to material used for 3D printing durable and resistant mechanical parts. While resin prints are much more detailed, they are fragile because resin 3D printing still has a long way to go when it comes to product strength.
Both resin and filament pose health and safety risks. FDM 3D printing results in the emission of toxic fumes and the use of high temperatures. Resin 3D printing runs the risk of fume emission as well as unexpected chemical reactions. Therefore, both types of 3D printers should be used in well-ventilated spaces. Furthermore, you should also invest in a sound filtration system that minimises the risk of skin irritation and long-term respiratory issues. Moreover, make sure that you always use Nitrile gloves when handling uncured materials and safety glasses to protect your eyes from toxic chemical by-products.
Deciding whether to purchase an SLA 3D printer or an FDM 3D printer largely depends on what you're going to use it for. Opt for an FDM 3D printer if you're looking for a printer that can print many low-cost prototypes in a short amount of time and if precision and surface finish aren't vital product features. Use an SLA 3D printer if you're creating casting moulds for detailed products such as jewellery pieces and if model strength and durability aren't at the top of your priority list.
Lamborghini adopts 3D printing and prints more than 20,000 parts in 2020 Italian luxury car and SUV manufacturer Lamborghini is widely known for being ahead of the curve by implementing the latest technologies to the automobile market. Therefore, it came as no surprise when Lamborghini decided to 3D print car parts. By integrating 3D printing with traditional car-making methods, Lamborghini is creating timeless masterpieces - such as the Lamborghini Sián FKP 37 and the Sián Roadster - and showing everyone how it's done.
Artforge Studio Uses FabPro 1000 to Expand Capabilities with 3D Printed Jewellery The UK-based jewellery workshop Artforge Studio is quickly becoming the epitome of modern jewellery making. The Studio's owner, Simon Walker, has been a working goldsmith for over 30 years. However, recently, Walker introduced 3D Printing to his classic jewellery making process. The combination of 3D printing with traditional methods such as diamond mounting and silversmithing has taken Artforge Studio to the next level.
3D Printing for Product Design: the Full Details 3D printing is the future of product design. It can take a product from initial design brainstorm, to the implementation of final details in the creation of a product and straight down to the final marketing and sales phase. The benefits of 3D printing for product design are endless, and with the technology in its infancy, there are a myriad of other opportunities to be explored.