PolyJet 3D printing technology was created around 1998 and has quickly been adopted by many industries, including consumer goods and medical development, to improve processes and create incredibly detailed prototypes. PolyJet 3D printing is best used for fit and function models, high-detail parts, and over-mold parts.
For parts needing great detail and accuracy, Polyjet may be the perfect solution with layer heights of .0006″. Furthermore, PolyJet printing can produce parts needing thin walls as well as complex geometries. Here’s what you should know if you’re considering PolyJet printing.
How PolyJet Printing Works
This printing technology creates parts by jetting drops of liquid resins that are deposited and solidified by a UV light. The part is built layer by layer. PolyJet printing uses washable support which means that intricate and complex designs can be printed. Final products take on a smooth surface finish and can be rigid or rubber-like depending on the material used.
We recently wrote a guide to materials used for FDM printing which is a technology that uses a variety of thermoplastics. Unlike FDM, PolyJet printing uses photopolymers, or thermosets, that when exposed to UV light, a chemical reaction occurs that hardens the materials to a solid state.
PolyJet is the only additive manufacturing technology that allows for the creation of digital materials, which is the ability to produce new materials with new properties through advanced mixtures and compositions during printing. All of the above means that PolyJet printing provides superior appearance than other 3D printing technologies.
At 3 Space we have a comprehensive selection of materials that can be used with our PolyJet printer. Some are grouped together in families to provide additional variety of materials that are similar.
•Rigur allows you to print precision prototypes that look and behave like polypropylene
•Tango Family renders parts that are flexible and have rubber-like qualities
•PolyJet ABS imitates durable production plastics and features high-impact and temperature properties
•Vero Family materials create realistic prototypes with excellent detail visualization and strength
•RDG720 is ideal for designing and concept modeling clear and tinted parts
•RGD525 has the highest heat deflection while maintaining great surface smoothness
PolyJet Advantages and Applications
There are many advantages of PolyJet printing, but these are the top advantages we’d like to highlight.
•Smooth Surface Finish
•Excellent for Assemblies
•Digital Materials allow for varying Shore values
PolyJet is an outstanding method of producing simulated injection molded parts, as well as simulating rubber parts at varying shore values. What makes PolyJet stand out among the rest is the ultra-fine, high resolution surface finish it produces. Engineers at 3 Space often suggest PolyJet as an additive manufacturing method when a customer is prototyping a plastic part that will be injection molded or is part of an assembly. The fine surface finish allows you to gauge the fit, almost exactly, and provide your molding shop with a replica part to base the mass production part fit off of.
PolyJet printing is typically recommended for parts that need a cosmetic like finish, require a high level of detail, or needs to simulate a rubber-like feel. Contact us about your specific printing needs here.