Why 3D Printing: Processes
October 7, 2019 • Corinne C.
There really is no limit to what 3D printers can do. Whether you’re an inventor, a machinist or in the medical industry, 3D printers can make what you need. There are several processes for you to choose from, each dependent on what your need is.
Let’s review four main processes:
- FFF (Fused Filament Fabrication)
- LFS (Low Force Stereolithography)
- FFF Composite (CFF)
- ADAM (Atomic Diffusion Additive Manufacturing)
FFF remains the underlying process in most 3D printers. FFF extrudes melted thermoplastic on top of previously deposited plastic to build an object. These machines are great for quick, inexpensive prototyping.
An example of FFF is the Sindoh 3DWox Printers. These are great starter printers, because they’re affordable while producing quality prints. These printers are also valuable for schools to encourage early project learning and STEM careers.
Low Force Stereolithography (LFS) uses a laser to turn liquid resin into parts. The build floor rises from the resin tank as the laser molds your part in place. LFS allows you to work with several types of materials. This can apply to multiple industries, including dental, jewelry and general manufacturing.
This process can be found in the Formlabs Form 3 printer. The LFS process creates repeatable, higher precision finishes to help scale your production and prototyping.
CFF allows you to print end use parts at a fraction of the cost. These printers reinforce parts with continuous fiber, including carbon fiber, fiberglass and Kevlar. FFF Composite is capable of printing parts stronger than machined aluminum with a much smaller bill.
The Markforged Mark X7 printer is a great example of FFF Composite printing.
The Atomic Diffusion Additive Manufacturing process (ADAM) has ultimately changed the 3D printing game. 3D Printing in metal gives you the capability of making unique metal geometries that aren’t possible with traditional manufacturing.
The only current example of this is the Markforged Metal X.
Focusing on your need will help you decide which process will work best for you. You can read part one of our Why 3D Printing series to learn more benefits of 3D Printing. If you’d like to see the 3D printers we have to offer, call us at 800-370-3750 to schedule an appointment in our showroom.