||MIT-licensed process that jets a binder onto starch-
and cellulose-based powders.
||Currently the fastest technology in the industry.
Recent 24X gains in material strength. Flexible parts
are possible and may be built in different colors.
||Accuracy, surface finish, and material strength
make the process best suited for concept models.
||Fused deposition modeling uses a heated extrusion
tip to melt materials in filament form.
||A variety of office-friendly materials are available,
including ABS, wax, and elastomer. Some newer machines offer
||Generally, a slower process than SLA and SLS.
Detectable layering requires finishing.
||Similar to conventional inkjet printing technology
using a photopolymer. Addition of an elevator enables the third
axis of printing.
||Can provide exceptional speed and accuracy with
surface finishes that require only light finishing when you
paint the part.
||Limited proprietary material selection. Relatively
young adaptation of RP.
||Laser engineered net shaping uses a laser to melt
a substrate. Metal powder is introduced into the void, melted,
and then solidified.
||Can directly build metal parts, including stainless
and tool steel, titanium, and super alloys (aluminum-titanium
hybrids). Injection molds can incorporate efficient cooling
channels that would be impossible to machine.
||Less accurate than others. Although the process
negates the need to hog out large amounts of hard-to-cut material,
finish machining is still usually necessary.
||In laminated object modeling, sections of a part
are cut from paper and automatically glued together.
||Quickly models parts with strength and properties
similar to wood.
||Accuracy of unsealed parts can be susceptible
to changes in humidity. Occasionally parts need intensive hand
finishing to remove unnecessary material.
||Stereolithography apparatus uses a laser to solidify
||Provides an excellent combination of speed, accuracy,
and surface finish.
||Limited material selection and properties. Raw
material isn't particularly pleasant to people or environment.
Limited to light functional testing because of material properties.
||Selective laser sintering uses a laser to sinter
||Fast, accurate, and functional parts are not as
brittle as most SLA models. Plastic and metal parts are available.
||Surface finish right out of machine is poor. Porosity
makes it more difficult to paint than an SLA model.