Polymer additive manufacturing (AM) is a cutting-edge 3D printing process that brings digital designs to life by building objects layer by layer using Polymer materials. This technology offers remarkable precision and speed, enabling the transformation of ideas into physical products with ease. It encompasses diverse techniques and materials, allowing for customization based on specific object properties, such as complex geometries, high strength, durability, lightweight strength, or biocompatibility.
Digital Manufacturing and Design for AM are the new tools being used in the forefront of the manufacturing industry. Wipro 3D offers end-to-end services for all your 3D printing requirements. With a combined experience of more than 100 years, our team of dedicated experts help you achieve greater value through efficient manufacturing and streamlined supply chains supported by hassle-free logistics.
Developing a 3D design of any model using a creative mind with endless possibilities, including textures, will be overviewed on the screen/software to visualize the realistic, achievable product. The design will resolve so many end-moment failures with practical reasoning before 3d printing of any product.
The choice of technology depends on the desired properties of the 3D-printed object, as well as the specific application. For example, FFF is a good choice for creating functional prototypes, while DLP is a good choice for creating high-resolution objects with complex geometries. Polymer 3D printing technologies dominate the additive manufacturing industry as the preferred technology for producing end-use parts, functional prototypes, and complex geometries1. Some common polymer 3D printing techniques include Vat Polymerisation, Material Extrusion, Powder Bed Fusion, Material Jetting, etc.
Multi Jet Fusion (MJF) is an advanced 3D printing process by HP, developed in 2016. It swiftly produces functional nylon prototypes and end-use parts, with quality surface finishes and fine feature resolution. Compared to selective laser sintering, MJF offers more consistent mechanical properties. The technology spreads a layer of powder, deposits fluid in desired locations, and fuses the areas, creating intricate parts with powdered thermoplastics at high speed. Thousands of layers are bonded into a solid functional component using selective fusing and detailing agents.
Materials used for MJF 3D printing can be divided into two categories:
Rigid plastics: These include Nylon PA11, Nylon PA12, and PP. These materials are strong and durable, making them ideal for producing functional prototypes and end-use production parts.
Flexible plastics: This category includes Estane 3D TPU M95A, which is a thermoplastic polyurethane material. This material is flexible and has good impact resistance, making it ideal for producing parts that require flexibility.
Digital Light Processing (DLP) is a rapid 3D printing technology utilizing photopolymerization to create objects. A projector cures a photopolymer resin layer by layer, solidifying selected areas based on the 3D model. Unlike Stereolithography (SLA), which uses a UV laser, DLP's projector can cure an entire layer at once, making it faster in general.
Some common categories of DLP materials include Polycarbonate-like, ABS-like, Polypropylene-like, Photo elastomers, and Filled resins
Polycarbonate Resin: This material has excellent strength and thermal resistance with a translucent or clear appearance.
ABS Resin: This material has excellent strength and thermal resistance with a translucent or clear appearance.
Polypropylene Resin: This material has excellent strength and thermal resistance with a translucent or clear appearance.
Photo elastomers: This material has excellent strength and thermal resistance with a translucent or clear appearance.
Filled Resin:These resins include ceramic or glass particles suspended in the liquid.
Material Extrusion 3D Printing, also known as Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) or Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM), is a 3D printing method that uses thermoplastic filament to build three-dimensional objects. The filament is melted and driven out of the nozzle after being fed from a large coil through a moving, heated print head (extruder). During this 3D printing process, a printer will extrude raw material to build the desired object. Most FFF printers use rods or filaments of material. As the material is extruded out of the printer, it’s deposited onto or into the object.
Several material classes can be extruded, and 3D printed, including thermoplastic polymers, composite materials with polymeric matrix and short or long hard fibers, ceramic slurries, and clays, green mixtures of ceramic or metal powders and polymeric binders, food pastes, and biological pastes.
Thermoplastic polymers are the most frequently utilized feed-stock materials for the FFF process due to their relatively low cost and low melting temperatures. Some common thermoplastic polymers used in FFF include acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), polylactic acid (PLA), polycarbonate (PC), polyether ether ketone (PEEK), and nylon.
Polymer Additive Manufacturing has a wide range of applications across many different industries. It is used to fabricate high-tech industrial products such as aerospace, medical/dental, automotive, and electronic components, as well as consumer products for home, fashion, and entertainment. Advancements in polymeric materials continue to offer new possibilities for the manufacturing industry.
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Polymer additive manufacturing (AM) is a process of creating three-dimensional (3D) objects from digital designs by depositing successive layers of polymer material. The most common polymer AM processes are Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM), Stereolithography (SLA), and Selective Laser Sintering (SLS).
The best polymer AM process for you will depend on your specific needs and requirements. If you are looking for a quick and inexpensive way to create prototypes, then FFF may be a good option. If you need a more accurate and precise process, then DLP may be a better choice.