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PolyJet 3D Printing Comprehensive Beginners Guide

PolyJet 3D Printing: Comprehensive Beginners Guide

3D printing is gaining massive popularity across multiple industries. Among various 3D printing technologies, PolyJet is a widely-used and popular method. It's used in various industries, including manufacturing, consumer products, automotive customizations, and more.

If you are new to PolyJet printing, then this free eBook is for you. Dive into important details that you need to know about this additive manufacturing process.

What is Polyjet 3D Printing?

PolyJet technology deposits a liquid photopolymer onto a bed of powder. It is similar to inkjet printers that spray colored ink onto paper from printheads. In addition, this process uses tons of tiny droplets at high speeds - the smallest droplet is about 2 microns in diameter and can be as small as 0.004 mm!

PolyJet 3D printing is ideal for use in consumer products, industrial tooling, and medical/dental rapid prototyping. Typically used to manufacture plastic parts, PolyJet can also use other materials, including rubber-like Tango Black material and ABS-like Vive Clear. It's ideal for creating full-color 3d models for marketing, engineering design, and more.

PolyJet 3d models are robust and can have intricate details with impressive smoothness. This technology was first developed by Objet Geometries, which merged with Stratasys in 2012. Now it's a division of Stratasys.

Polyjet 3d printed parts

Polyjet 3D Printing Process

We can understand the PolyJet additive manufacturing technique in four easy below steps:

STEP 1: Pre-Treatment and Materials Handling

The printer is loaded with a cartridge of photopolymers, and an inkjet print head is prepped to deposit UV curable material on top of the powder bed. This step also involves the removal of any contaminants on the surface. An absorbent powder, such as zeolite particles, may be used for this purpose.

Pre-treatment helps in levelling the powder and preparing it for high-quality 3D printing. It uses jets and a variety of resins cured using UV light to build up parts layer by layer.

STEP 2: Object Printing

Applying layer by layer, the model is constructed by selectively curing a liquid photopolymer with ultraviolet light. Then, it is jetted onto powder particles, or a build tray spread across a powder bed using PolyJet print heads.

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Polyjet 3D printing helps create 3D parts layer by layer and can accurately build up a wide variety of materials. Some robust filaments used in this process are plastics, rubber, and metals. It uses a specialized additive dispensing system for material layering and spreading each layer accurately.

STEP 3: Powder Removal

After object construction, excess powder laying on top of the model is removed by a vacuum system. The powder removal step involves suctioning any extra powdered material that has not been 3D printed. It is done leveraging a specialized system built into the machine.

STEP 4: Post-Treatment

The printer performs several cleaning processes such as wiping and washing to remove resin residue from the build tray. Finally, parts are inspected using software before they are removed from the paint tray. This process helps maintain high accuracy standards in multiple industries, including automotive, dental & medical, consumer products, etc.

The PolyJet 3D printing process prints using materials that are cured by light. They are then treated with a variety of chemicals depending on the material used. Some of these follow-up processes include post-curing for strength, cleaning/drying post-treatment, inspecting under UV light to ensure no flaws in the product.

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PolyJet 3D Printing Materials

Some of the widely-used materials in PolyJet 3D printing that offer higher durability and agility are:

  • Agilus30
  • Digital Materials
  • Digital ABS
  • Elastico
  • High Temperature
  • Transparent
  • Rigid Opaque
  • VeroUltra Opaque
  • VeroVivid
Polyjet Technolgoy

PolyJet 3D Printing Advantages

Cost-Effective:

PolyJet 3d printing is cost-efficient, and it's popular for applications that involve prototyping. It helps to make small batches of functional parts with short turnaround times at affordable costs.

High Resolution & Smooth Surfaces:

This type of 3D printing technology uses materials that are cured using UV light. As a result, the process offers highly accurate prints and provides a smooth surface finish since there is no requirement for sanding or filling of seams after completion.

A Wide Variety of Material Options:

PolyJet prints both rigid and elastomeric materials, including various types of plastics, metals, waxes, etc.

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Quickly Create Multiple Copies:

When designing a part with PolyJet, engineers can test numerous variations of an object in much less time than other additive manufacturing processes.

The Economy of Scale:

Compared to traditional manufacturing methods, PolyJet 3D printing technology can produce objects in a single print, saving time and money. In addition, this type of 3D printer can print with both hard and soft materials simultaneously.

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Robust PolyJet Applications

The following are some of the areas where companies use PolyJet 3D printing technology:

Prototyping

One advantage that PolyJet 3D printers offer is the fact that they can produce parts quickly. IT means that it is possible to go from a CAD file to an actual prototype far faster than with other methods such as SLS or SLA technologies and allows for rapid revisions and small-batch manufacturing.

Medical & Dental

These 3D printers usually print using materials like acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), polycarbonate (PC), and nylon which are widely used in medical devices. In particular, the nozzle size is tiny, like 0.010 inches, making it perfect for creating thin-walled parts with complex geometries.

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Consumer Products

This type of 3D printer has been used by fashion houses to create prototypes of their latest designs and produce small runs of shoes. Apart from being cost-effective, it also provides them more design control over patterns and flexibility when compared to traditional methods using injection molding techniques.

In The Automotive Industry

PolyJet 3D printers have been used to produce parts that are much lighter and more durable than traditional metal components. It's because this technology can print with both metal alloys and polymers - allowing car designers to combine the best in terms of structural durability and lightweight properties.

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polyjet 3d printed shoes

Wrapping Up!

We hope this Polyjet 3D printing guide offered you a comprehensive perspective about this technology. 3D printing is a transforming advancement, and PolyJet is among the most popular methods. Get started with PolyJet and grow your business seamlessly by driving more innovation.

Industries and Applications

The following industries are the most ardent users of AM technologies in their businesses.

3D-Printing-Automotive-Industry

Automotive

Lightweight aerodynamics parts are desirable in the automobile industry. This contributes to making cars more energy efficient. 3D printing in the automotive industry is used both for rapid prototyping services as well as for some end parts creation.

Manufacturing

The precision and accuracy of 3D print processes are helping the manufacturing industry reduce material wastage, save time, money, and efforts.

R&D

Rapid prototyping has become a crucial component used in R&D departments of leading businesses. It helps save time and money for the manufacturers.

Medical and Healthcare

This is one of the most promising sectors for applications of 3D printing. Some of the applications include prototyping for product development to creating actual patient solutions, such as dental crowns, prosthetics, implants, human tissues, and organs, as well as 3D printed surgical instruments.

Architecture

3D architectural models enable businesses to showcase accurate details of projects. Architects also have greater design flexibility when they use 3D CAD models.

Jewellery

Lightweight aerodynamics parts are desirable in the automobile industry. This contributes to making cars more energy efficient. 3D printing in the automotive industry is used both for rapid prototyping services as well as for some end parts creation.

Aerospace/Defence/Navy

This industry was one of the earliest adopters of additive manufacturing. Rapid prototyping has become a critical component in the development of replacement and end parts in this industry.

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