Which is better? – Review Geek

Josh Hendrickson.

If you are thinking of buying a 3D printer, you may be surprised to learn that there are two different types of 3D printers: Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) and Resin. While both use plastic to make 3D prints, what you need to get depends on a number of factors, including what and where you will print, and how many prints you want to make. Let’s take a closer look.

Additional manufacturing 3D 3D printing layer cake.

Most 3D printing, especially at the hobby or prototype level, is created through a process called additive manufacturing. Although it may seem complicated, it is actually just a technical term in which an object is made by hiding very thin layers to create the desired print. This is true regardless of whether the process used is FDM (Fused Deposition Manufacturing), sometimes called FFF (Fused Filament Fabrication) printing, or by stereolithography, using liquid plastic resin that has a specific frequency. Hard on exposure to ultraviolet light. If you are thinking of a cake made of layers instead of a piece of cake, you have come up with this idea.

FDM Printers – Making an Item from a Plastic Roll

Layer image of FDM printer print head.
An FDM printer places one layer on top of another. sadedesign / Shutterstock.com

FDM 3D printing is currently the most popular form of low-to-mid-range 3D printing, although this is changing as the reasonably priced resin printers market is flooded. FDM printing uses a thin thread-like plastic roll with a diameter of 1.75 mm or 3 mm, the most popular being 1.75 mm. Thermo plastic filament is provided on a plastic spool. The most popular size spool is 1kg in terms of fiber weight. Most vendors don’t actually tell you how long a thread is, just its weight. This is fine because most slicer software, which converts 3D object models to Gcode that tells the printer where and how to print each layer, will often tell you how much fiber is needed in meters or feet. Will be.

Installations for FDM 3D printers are available in different materials, each more suitable for printing different types of objects. The most popular and easiest to use from the point of view of defining factors such as extruder temperature and other settings is PLA (Polylactic Acid), which is biodegradable, odor-free, and warm blood to process. No platform required. It is usually a little less expensive than other fiber materials.

ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) is another popular fiber and is generally a stronger and more durable material than PLA. This is a bit disgusting about the print parameters compared to PLA, requiring extruder temperature and hot blood plate for best results and to prevent warping. Other materials such as PETG (Polyethylene Terephthalate). TPU (Thermoplastic Polyurethane), nylon, and other materials such as filaments containing fillers such as metal or wood fibers are also very high and allow you to print items that look like metal, wood or carbon fiber Are

The actual printing process of filament printing can be thought of as a glue gun that moves in three directions. An extruder module spools the plastic fiber and carries it to the hot end (which is sometimes inserted into the extruder), where it is melted and removed from the metal nozzle. The hot end is moved in three dimensions – X axis (side to side), Y axis (front and back), and Z axis (up and down). With some printers, this is the hot end that runs, and in some, the blood platform runs on the X and Y axis, and the hot end runs on the Z axis. The net result, in any case, is that a thin line of molten filament is laid, first on the construction platform for the first layer, then on top of each subsequent layer. went

A woman looks at a 3D print.
luchschenF / Shutterstock.com

Things to consider with an FDM printer include what type of filament it can use, print the size of the bed, and whether the print bed can be heated. A warm print bed is essential if you want to use a wide variety of filament types. Many types of fiber, such as ABS, can result in a non-heated print bed resulting in the inability of the object you are printing to hold on to the print bed or the base of the printed object. Plastic deteriorates as it cools. And keep in mind that some plastics emit objectionable fumes when they melt, so using them may require the installation of a printer where the fumes will not be a nuisance.

Another consideration is the software that comes with the printer. The application that comes with every printer, whether FDM or SLA, is called a slicer. The slicer converts the model image into instructions that control the printer and print quality. The language that 3D printers use is called Gcode.

Some printer vendors, such as XYZprinting, use their own slicer software. Others use CURA software developed and maintained by Printer Vendor Ultimate. CURA has been released as open source software, individual printer vendors have added printer profiles, adding some print parameters to the list of auxiliary printers. Some other popular slicers are KISSlicer, PrusaSlicer, Repetier, and Slic3r. If you think you might eventually buy several FDM printers from different vendors, it might make sense for you to use a universal slicer like CURA, which supports hundreds of different printer models from multiple vendors.

SLA resin printers Inv printing with invisible light.

A woman presses a button to start a resin 3D printer.
Resin printers make products from photosensitive liquid plastic. luchschenF / Shutterstock.com

The second 3D print technology is stereolithography, often called SLA. Stereolithography was the first 3D print technology and was invented in 1986. In most hobby SLA printers, the light source is a UV LED that glows through the LCD panel, allowing some light to pass through and blocking others. When a passing UV light hits a layer of resin, it hardens the plastic on a blood platform that moves vertically and exposes more liquid resin to form an object layer.

A large number of resins are available, and there are many specific types of resins for special printing of 3D prints. These include hard plastics, flexible plastics, jewelry resin and lost wax castings, and resins used in dental labs. Standard resin is available from a dozen or more vendors and is sold by liter (or half a liter).

Resin printers are dirty and toxic. The resin may be found in your hands or in your eyes, and nitrile gloves and eye protection are recommended. Almost all resins used in 3D printing eliminate smoke and need to be used in a well-ventilated area. Resin printing has some serious drawbacks for the beginner user, including special slicers, small blood plates. And the need for post-processing, including washing an isopropyl alcohol and something outside of UV curing (although leaving it in the sun for several hours makes up for it). If you choose resin printing, a valuable tool is a wash and cure station, which can cost $ 100 or more. Many resin 3D printer manufacturers also make matching treatment stations that are compatible with each other. Resin printing used to be much more expensive than FDM printing, but the prices of resin printers have become competitive.

Make your decision

For many potential buyers, an FDM filament printer will be the way to go for your first 3D printer. Resin printing is dirty, produces fumes, and requires substantial removal after printing, including some type of UV print box in which the outer layer of resin is fixed or incense to harden the surface. I leave something out. Excess resin also needs to be disposed of carefully. You can’t just rinse it in the sink or throw it down the toilet. FDM filament printers are just less expensive and easier to use (at least for starters).

However, for all dirt, grime and fumes, resin printed items are more detailed and show less layers. Resin printers are very popular for small printing. The slicer included with resin printers is different from anything available for sending or FDM printers. They still do the same thing, converting the model into code that the printer can run. However, just as a resin printer works differently from an FDM unit, so does the code. Many resin printers come with a slicer called a chatbox, and the Prosa slicer will also work with SAL printers.

Regardless of which technology you choose, there are thousands of 3D object files online and free to download. A good place to start is at Makerbot’s Thingiverse.com. Starting your 3D printing efforts with one of these is a great way to create an experience.

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