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Here you will find some advantages and disadvantages of three of the most popular 3D printing technologies you can find in the market: FDM, SLA, and SLS.
Check out this article if you want to know more about other additive manufacturing technologies like DLP, SLM, MJ, and more.
FDM (Fused deposition modeling)
- Easy to operate and maintain.
- More economical and cost-effective compared to other methods.
- No need to use irritating chemicals, which is more environmentally friendly.
- A suitable size that can be placed on the desktop.
- No additional equipment is required.
- Various materials are available.
- Relatively low price of equipment, which can help shorten the delivery time of products.
- There are usually stacked textures on the surface.
- Lamination quality will affect the physical strength of the finished part.
- Be able to make precise details of the parts.
- The surface of the finished part is smooth and has fewer stacked textures.
- Present the best details of small parts.
- Devices are integrated and relatively easy to operate.
- Material with multiple properties can be printed.
- Raw materials are often chemically irritating or pungent and flammable.
- Chemicals need to be added during post-treatment.
- The material is sticky and may stain the surrounding environment.
- Support structures are usually required, which may leave marks on the surface.
- Only one material and color can be used in a single print.
- Relatively small printable volume compared to other two technologies.
- Holes must be prepared in hollow parts to allow uncured resin to flow.
SLS (Selective laser sintering)
- There is little powder and no stacked textures on the finished parts.
- Finished parts have good mechanical properties.
- No support material is required.
- Equipment is relatively large.
- Masks are needed when processing finished products to prevent dust inhalation.
- Fewer material types or colors
- Relatively expensive equipment and materials.
- Powders need to be processed and recycled.
- Cost-effective when printing volume fits the entire container range.
All three methods have their strengths, just choose the suitable method according to the specific situation.
Create your 3D printing design at PCBWay, there are multiple options for you can select the materials and printing technologies to realize your design.