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Different Types Of Rapid Prototyping


Rapid prototyping is a fast way to build physical parts, models and assembly by CAD. Additive manufacturing which is also known as 3D printing is the most common way.


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There are a variety of manufacturing technologies available in Rapid Prototyping. Layered additive manufacturing is the most used one. Other technologies include high speed machining, casting, moulding, extruding. Additive manufacturing is the most common rapid prototyping process, other traditional processes which can be used to build prototypes includes subtractive and compressive. Subtractive is a process that a block of material is carved to build the desired parts by milling, grinding or turning. Compressive is a process that solid or liquid material being forced into the desired shape.


Here are different types of rapid prototyping:


Stereolithography (SLA)

SLA is fast and affordable. It is the first successful method of commercial 3D printing. SLA process uses a bath of photosensitive liquid that is solidified layer-by-layer by a computer controlled UV light.


Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)

SLS process uses a powder bed to create a model on layer by a laser to heat and sinter the powdered material. SLS can be used to build metal and plastic prototypes. SLS parts have better strength property than SLS parts. SLS parts need secondary finish treatment as the surface of finished product is rough.


FDM or material jetting

FDM or material jetting is a cheap and easy to use process. FDM uses thermoplastic filament that is melted inside a printing nozzle barrel before the liquid plastic is laid down layer by layer. This process is fast and inexpensive so it is an ideal option for product development.


Selective Laser Melting (SLM)

SLM is a favoured process when it comes to built high strength and complex parts. SLM is frequently used in aerospace, automotive and medical industries. Common SLM materials include titanium, aluminum, stainless steel and cobalt chrome alloys.


LOM or Sheet Lamination

Compared to SLM and SLS, LOM is cheaper and easier. It does not need special controlled conditions. LOM builds up a series of thin laminates. Each layer is delivered and bonded onto previous layer until the part is done.


Digital Light Processing

Like SLA, DLP uses the polymersation of resins. DLP is faster and cheaper than SLA. DLP requires post-build curing and the use of support structures.


Binder Jetting

Binder jetting technique allows to printing one or many part at one time. Parts produced by binder jetting have poor strength than SLS.


Rapid prototyping is a cost effective way to create production. It is an automated process which requires less labor to operate. This process is also precise and helps to reduce the material wastage and does not require special tools. TEAM Rapid, as one of the Largest Rapid Prototyping Companies, we offer high quality rapid prototyping services to worldwide customers. If you need help on your prototyping projects, contact us at sales@teamrapidtooling.com today.



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