4/3/2013

How 3D Printing Methods Differ

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It was about a year ago that 3D printer makers Stratasys and Objet announced their plan to merge. This video from the now-united company shows a 3D-printed part made with both of the machine lines.

It was about a year ago that 3D printer makers Stratasys and Objet announced their plan to merge. This video from the now-united company shows a 3D-printed part made with both of the machine lines.

The orange half of the interlocking part was produced through Stratasys’s fused deposition modeling (FDM). This process makes plastic parts strong enough to be used as functional components.

Meanwhile, the black half was produced through Objet’s inkjet-based process. This 3D printing method offers greater control over appearance, but generally makes components used for design prototypes rather than functional parts. (Though here is an exception—an Objet-printed part as functional tooling.)

Part of what this video shows is how 3D printing processes differ. The different outputs of these two different processes can be seen even in this one pair of components, even in a quick film.

But at the same time, the video also shows what these two processes have in common. Both are capable of producing components accurate enough to snugly fit together.
 

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