WHAT WILL YOU 3D PRINT? FDM. POLYJET. STEREOLITHOGRAPHY. LASER SINTERING. METAL POWDER BED FUSION. In this section, you’ll learn how each technology works,
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2INTRODUCTIONAre you a part of an engineering team that needs to bring products to market faster? Are you a product designer striving for greater innovation or customization? Or are you an educator who wants to boost engagement with exciting classroom projects? No matter what sparked your interest in professional 3D printing, this guide can be your starting point. We™ll help you ask the right questions while offering enough information about each technology and material to set you on the right path.CONTENTSTECHNOLOGIES 03FDM ® POLYJETŽ STEREOLITHOGRAPHY LASER SINTERING METAL POWDER BED FUSION MATERIALS 11STANDARD PLASTICS ENGINEERING PLASTICS HIGH-PERFORMANCE PLASTICS PHOTOPOLYMERS METALS OPERATIONS 17WHAT IS YOUR ULTIMATE OPERATIONAL GOAL? WHAT SKILLS DO YOU HAVE IN HOUSE? WHAT TYPE OF WORK ENVIRONMENT DO YOU HAVE? BUDGET 22GUIDING QUESTIONS TOTAL COST OF OWNERSHIP BUILD YOUR BUSINESS CASE 3D PRINTING SOLUTIONS INTRODUCTION AND CONTENTS ﬁThe adoption of 3D printing as an engine for growth and innovation is reaching levels where the potential for disruption is becoming very real.ﬂ Dr. Phil Reeves, Vice President, Stratasys Expert Services
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3TECHNOLOGIESWHAT WILL YOU 3D PRINT? FDM POLYJET STEREOLITHOGRAPHY LASER SINTERING METAL POWDER BED FUSION In this section, you™ll learn how each technology works, where it excels, and what materials are available. Because 3D printing is an area of constant change and rapid innovation, we™ll cover what we know best: technologies and materials developed at Stratasys and those we™ve adopted to service the diverse needs of our customers.
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4TECHNOLOGIES GUIDING QUESTIONS QUESTIONS TO GUIDE RESEARCHWHAT IS YOUR GOAL? Identify the primary problem you want to solve, and use it as a lens to guide your research. Professional 3D printing encompasses a wide range of materials, technologies and capabilities. By keeping your ultimate goal top-of-mind, you can stay focused on what™s relevant and avoid information overload.EXAMPLE GOALS: Ł I want to test more design ideas in less˜time. Ł I want to explain my ideas to colleagues or investors more˜clearly. Ł I want to lead exciting classroom projects that promote sustained student engagement or foster interest in STEM˜subjects. Ł I want to improve customization for products I already˜produce. Ł I want to produce something that has proven impossible or impractical with other manufacturing methods.Ł I want to create custom objects for use as tools, controls or variables in academic research. Ł I want to support other manufacturing or production˜processes. Ł I want to produce functional prototypes to correct errors and make improvements earlier in the design process.
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5TECHNOLOGIES QUESTIONS TO GUIDE YOUR RESEARCH In-house or outsource? We™ll help you weigh your options. What does it need to look like? If aesthetics are important, consider both the materials you™ll need and the steps you™ll have to take to get the desired result. Ł Does it need to be realistic, and what does that mean to you? Ł Do you need to print in multiple colors and materials?Ł Do you need to achieve the glossy surface ˚nish of an injection molded product? What does it need to do?The use may dictate the need for tighter tolerances or tougher˜materials.Ł Will it simply communicate an aesthetic concept, function like your ˚nished product or actually be the ˚nished product? Ł Will it need to hinge, snap, or bear a˜load? Where does it need to function? These factors will determine your need for specialized material properties like UV resistance, biocompatibility, or high heat- de˛ection temperatures. Ł Will it need to stand up to heat or˜pressure? Ł Will it be used outdoors? Ł Will it be in prolonged contact with the human body?How long does it need to last?Some 3D printing materials are very functional over a short period of time and others can maintain their mechanical properties for˜years. Ł Will you use the part one time, or will it need to withstand repeated use? WHAT WILL YOU 3D PRINT? If you already know what you want to 3D print, ask yourself how it needs to look, what it needs to do, where it needs to function and how long it needs to last. Consider those requirements as you assess each technology and material.
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6FDM Technology Synonyms and similar technologies: fused deposition modeling, fused ˚lament fabrication, plastic jet printing, ˚lament extrusion, fused ˚lament deposition, material deposition.FDM systems and related technologies are by far the most accessible and widely used form of 3D printing, with variations found at the consumer level, the industrial level, and everywhere in between. 3D printers based on FDM technology build parts layer-by-layer from the bottom up by heating and extruding thermoplastic ˚lament. Production-level systems work with a range of standard, engineering and high-performance thermoplastics with specialized properties like toughness, electrostatic dissipation, translucence, biocompatibility, UV resistance, and high heat de˛ection. This makes FDM ideal for a range of applications from classroom projects and basic proof-of-concept models to lightweight ductwork installed on commercial aircraft. ﬁTo keep Ducati at the forefront of engine design, we sought a technology that could make accurate, durable prototypes quickly. FDM was the only solution that could meet our requirements. The machines were as easy to install as a printer and they now constitute an integral part of our design and manufacturing process.ﬂ Piero Giusti, R&D CAD Manager, Ducati FDM works for a wide variety of applications from concept models to demanding production parts. While it can™t produce microscopic layer lines, FDM offers a choice between speed and resolution. Choosing coarser layers means larger parts can be built more quickly. TECHNOLOGIES FDM Durability, reliability, familiar materials, easy support removal, of˚ce-friendly operation. Visible layer lines, anisotropic strength (weaker along layer lines)FDM PERFORMANCE SCALELAYER RESOLUTIONOKTHIN WALLS OKSURFACE FINISHGOODEASE OF USEOUTSTANDING Support: Soluble, breakaway CONCEPT MODELS MOLDS AND PATTERNS JIGS AND FIXTURES PRODUCTION PARTS FUNCTIONAL PROTOTYPES
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8CONCEPT MODELS MOLDS AND PATTERNS FUNCTIONAL PROTOTYPES Stereolithography Synonyms: SLA, vat photopolymerization Stereolithography (SL) was the world™s ˚rst 3D printing technology, and it remains a great option for highly detailed prototypes that require tight tolerances and smooth surfaces. It uses a UV laser to cure and solidify ˚ne layers of photopolymer in an open vat. TECHNOLOGIES STEREOLITHOGRAPHY SL is great for prototyping parts that will ultimately be painted or coated because the models can be ˚nished using the same materials and processes as the end product. Transparent, heat- resistant and moisture-resistant materials are also attractive for medical, automotive and other prototypes that call for ˛ow visualization, light transmittance or thermostability. Product designers opt for SL models when a quick build time is crucial, and they can invest time and resources into additional ˚nishing processes. SL can also produce master patterns for urethane casting, and investment casting patterns that are used to produce metal parts for aerospace, automotive, power generation and medical applications. Compare photopolymer technologies: Stereolithography and PolyJet ﬁThe great thing about SL plastics is that they are strong enough to endure vibration testing to a certain pointWe used the SL [camera housing] prototype for water, precision of alignment and vibration testing.ﬂ Marcel Tremblay, Director of Mechanical Engineering, FLIR Precision, surface smoothness UV-sensitivity, extra post-curing steps SL PERFORMANCE SCALELAYER RESOLUTIONVERY GOOD THIN WALLS OUTSTANDING SURFACE FINISHOUTSTANDING EASE OF USEGOODSupport: Breakaway
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9Many of these chrome interior details were created with laser sintering technology. Parts were electroplated to achieve a shiny metallic ˜nish. TECHNOLOGIES LASER SINTERING Laser SinteringSynonyms: selective laser sintering, SLS, powder bed fusionLaser Sintering (LS) excels at building components with good mechanical properties and extremely complex geometries, including interior features, undercuts, thin walls or negative draft. It builds parts using a high-powered CO 2 laser to selectively melt and fuse powdered thermoplastics. LS parts can be created from a range of powdered polyamide materials, including nylon 11, nylon 12, and polyamides with various ˚llers, like carbon ˚ber or glass spheres, to enhance their mechanical properties. The resulting parts are comparable to those produced with traditional manufacturing methods, and can be watertight, airtight, heat resistant, and ˛ame retardant. Compare plastic-melting technologies: FDM and LSﬁOriginally, we would hand-build [UAV] ailerons, and it would take about 24 manhours each. When we had them grown in LS through Stratasys Direct Manufacturing, we had the ailerons designed, built and assembled on the UAV in three days. LS is efficient and, from an aesthetic standpoint, produces parts that are gorgeous.ﬂ Dr. Nicholas Alley, CEO, Area-I LS is a great option when the geometric complexity of a part makes it difficult to produce through other processes or when the anticipated production volume doesn™t justify the time and expense of tooling. Tough materials, isotropic properties (equally strong in all directions) Limited material options, complex operation, extra steps to change materials and post-process parts, not of˚ce friendly LS PERFORMANCELAYER RESOLUTIONGOODTHIN WALLS GOODSURFACE FINISHVERY GOOD EASE OF USEOKSupport: NoneJIGS AND FIXTURES PRODUCTION PARTS FUNCTIONAL PROTOTYPES CONCEPT MODELS
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10ﬁThis surgical tool has turned our vision of transforming ACL reconstruction into a reality faster, and someday will hopefully eliminate repeat knee injuries to keep more athletes off the bench and on the field.ﬂ Dr. Dana Piasecki, Orthopedic Surgeon, DanaMed TECHNOLOGIES METAL POWDER BED FUSION METAL POWDER BED FUSION PERFORMANCE LAYER RESOLUTIONVERY GOOD THIN WALLS GOODSURFACE FINISHGOODEASE OF USEPOORSupport: MetalDanaMed™s surgical tool was produced at Stratasys Direct Manufacturing with INCONEL 718. MPBF makes low-volume production feasible for complex metal parts. It can produce thin walls and other features that are dif˜cult or cost-prohibitive to machine or cast. Metal Powder Bed FusionSynonyms: selective laser melting, metal laser melting and direct metal laser melting Metal powder bed fusion (MPBF) can produce complex geometries not possible with other conventional metal-manufacturing processes. Using a precise, high-wattage ˚ber laser, it micro-welds powdered metals and alloys to form fully functional components that are comparable to their wrought counterparts. Additive metals like INCONEL®, aluminum, stainless steel, and titanium create strong and durable parts with hard-to-achieve features like internal cavities, conformal features, thin walls, internal cavities, undercuts and interlocking components. These capabilities are ideal for prototypes and low-volume parts that need to be consolidated or customized, ruling out traditional processes like machining and casting.PRODUCTION PARTS FUNCTIONAL PROTOTYPES Compared with machining, MPBF produces complex parts more cost-ef˚ciently, creates less waste, and consumes less energy. Requires a production environment with specialized equipment and skilled labor for support removal and ˚nishing.
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11MATERIALS CONTENTS STANDARD PLASTICS ENGINEERING PLASTICS HIGH-PERFORMANCE PLASTICS PHOTOPOLYMERS METALS If you already you how your part needs to look, what it needs to do, where it needs to function and how long it needs to last, you™ve got most of the criteria you need to select a suitable 3D printing material. We we won™t cover every material there is, but we™ll address the most popular plastics, photopolymers and metals used for professional prototyping and production applications.
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