The Most Important 3D Printing Technologies & Materials You Need to Know (Part 2)

Information and Coverage on 3D Printing Related Events
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Resin-based 3D Printing

Now we are getting into technology that is used by really big printers. Our Mammoth printers can print up to a length of 2.1 meters (6.9 feet)! These beasts use neither powder nor filament; they use liquid resin. Welcome to the world of Stereolithography. The Stereolithography process takes place in a large tank and begins with a layer of liquid polymer spread over a platform. Since this piqued polymer is UV-sensitive, a UV laser hardens the area that will become one layer of your 3D print. The rest of the layer stays liquid. The platform is then lowered and the next layer is drawn directly on top of the previous one.


When the object is complete, it is raised out of the tank via the supporting platform – much like a submarine rising to the surface of the water – with the excess liquid flowing away. Take a look at a Stereolithography in action in the video below:

So what’s the difference between this and Laser Sintering? Because a liquid material is used (and not powder), we need to add support material for overhanging parts and parts that stick out. The supports will then be removed manually after the model is taken from the machine. This means that the design freedom of this technology is somewhat limited. The main advantages of materials printed with Stereolithography are smooth surfaces and a lot of finishing and post-processing possibilities.

Materials used in this printing process include Mammoth Resin, Transparent Resin, Gray Resin, and Standard Resin. They all feature smooth, high-quality surfaces. Additional plus points: Mammoth Resin can be printed in extra large size, Transparent Resin comes with a transparent look in different colors, and Gray Resin and Standard Resin come at a low price.

Smooth and transparent: 3D printed transparent resin

Another technology that is based on resin is PolyJet Technology, which is used for Multicolor+ and High-Detail Resin. It works by jetting resin in ultra-thin layers onto a build tray until the model is completed. Each layer is cured by UV light immediately after being jetted, producing fully cured models that can be handled and used immediately.


Lost-Wax 3D Printing & Casting

We’ve finally arrived at the last technology. For creating parts in Gold, Silver, Bronze, Copper and Brass, we use Lost-Wax Printing and Casting. This technology builds upon modern 3D printing technology as well as traditional metal casting.

Frog Ring by Peter Donders – created in gold plated brass.

It all starts by 3D printing your model in wax. This step is a type of Stereolithography that uses a wax-like resin. Support structures are printed along with the model to make sure it doesn’t fall apart. These support structures are automatically generated and manually removed after the printing process. Next, one or more wax sprues will be attached to your model. Then your model will be attached by the sprue to a wax ‘tree’, together with several other models. The tree is then placed in a flask and covered in a fine plaster. When the plaster solidifies, it forms the mold for casting the metal. The plaster mold is then put in an oven and heated for several hours to a point where the wax is completely burned out.

lost wax casting and 3d printing

Then, molten metal is poured in to fill the cavities left by the wax. Once the metal has cooled and solidified, the plaster mold is broken and the metal models are removed by hand. Finally, your model is filed and sanded to get rid of the sprues. It will be sanded, polished or sandblasted to create the finish you desire. How great is that: the cutting-edge technology of 3D printing meets the ancient technique of metal casting!

This means, however, that complicated designs such as a “ball within a ball” or links of chains cannot be made with this process. But the upside of casting your model is that the final product will have the best quality: surfaces will be smooth, and the strength, feel, and look of precious metals (e.g. a silver ring or a gold pendant) is exactly what a customer would expect.

Created by Fabain in

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