The 10 types of 3D Printing Technology

David Alayón
Apr 20, 2018 · 3 min read

Since I published the article about 3D Food Printing, many of you have asked me about the different types of 3D printing technologies that exist in the market. I started writing a post about it but as usual, someone had done it before and better than me 😃 So I recommend you read Bulent Yusuf’s “10 Types of 3D Printing Technology — Simply Explained”. is very well written and structured, very clear and simply to understand. In this article I’m only going to list only the different technologies along with videos of each one and some related links.

MATERIAL EXTRUSION

Process where a filament of solid thermoplastic material is melted and deposited, cooling and solidifying, forming a solid object. There is only one type: Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) or sometimes it is called Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF). Here is another interest article about it.

VAT POLYMERIZATION

Process based on a tank containing photopolymer resin that hardens with exposure to ultraviolet radiation. There are two types: Stereolithography (SLA) that use a point laser and Direct Light Processing (DLP) uses a projector. A very interesting article that explains both is “3D Printing Technology Comparison: SLA vs. DLP” from FormLabs.

POWDER BED FUSION (POLYMERS)

Process where a thermal energy source selectively induces the fusion between the dust particles within a construction area to create a solid object. There is only one type: Selective Laser Sintering (SLS). Here is another interest article about it.

MATERIAL JETTING

Process where drops of material are selectively deposited on a building plate and harden when exposed to light. The nature of the Jetting process of materials allows different materials to be printed on the same object. There are two types: Material Jetting (MJ) that works in a similar way to a standard inkjet printer but instead of printing a single layer of ink, several layers are created to create a solid part; and Drop on Demand (DOD) where a pair of ink jets are used: one with the printing material and another with the support material (which is usually soluble)

BINDER JETTING

Process similar to SLS but using a laser to sinter powder. It uses two materials: a powder-based material (building material) and a binder (usually in liquid form). As a construction material, sand or metal dust is usually used. 3DHubs has a very detailed article about this 3D Printing Technology.

POWDER BED FUSION (METALS)

Process that uses a thermal source to induce the fusion between metal powder particles (layer by layer). There are different versions of this technology, changing the energy sources: Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) or Selective Laser Melting (SLM) using lasers, and Electron Beam Melting (EBM) using electron beams.

You have another very interesting article about 3D printing technologies in Engineers Garage and almost an intensive course about 3D Printing in the Knowledge Base of 3DHubs. Obviously, these technologies are the “conventional” ones in the world of 3D printing, just as it happens with food there are “3D printers” for many purposes, from manufacturing houses up to bioprinting, a topic that we will cover later this year.

#365daysof #technology #futurism #3dprinting #day94

Future Today

High quality curated content and topics related to innovation and futurism along with a little reflection

David Alayón

Written by

Creative Technology Officer & Co-founder @Innuba_es @Mindset_tech · Partner @GuudTV @darwinsnoise · Professor @IEBSchool @DICeducacion · Mentor @ConectorSpain

Future Today

High quality curated content and topics related to innovation and futurism along with a little reflection

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