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3D Printing Technologies Cheat Sheet (DRAFT) by [deleted]

3D Printing Process

This is a draft cheat sheet. It is a work in progress and is not finished yet.

Powder bed fusion (PBF)

One of the most popular additive manufa­cturing (AM) techni­ques, PBF involves laser sintering and electron beams. A metal powder layer is rolled onto a build tray, a laser or electron beam melts the powder, then each layer is fused together to create a part. PBF offers a wide range of materials and high tolerances but is slow and difficult to repeat. Best used for low-vo­lume, high-end applic­ations such as patien­t-s­pecific devices such as prosth­etics.

Binder jetting

A powder bed process uses an inkjet to deposit a liquid binder onto a powder layer in the shape of the part. Tthe resulting green part is sintered to achieve final density. While binder jetting is low-cost and fast, parts require infilt­ration to prevent shrinkage and post-p­roc­essing to improve surface finish.Best used for high-v­olume, low-cost applic­ations such as surgical instru­ments.

Metal extrusion fused filament fabric­ation

Metal extrusion fused filament fabric­ation (FFF)/­fused deposition modeling (FDM) – The process deposits heated metal filament – a combin­ation of thermo­plastic and metal particles – onto a platform to build a part in layers. Sintering the part melts the plastic away, fusing the metal together. Metal extrusion achieves high precision with fine layers for a low cost, but has unpred­ictable part properties because the nozzle requires steady, constant pressure. Best used for cost-e­ffe­ctive metal protot­yping.

Directed energy deposition (DED)

Similar to welding – a nozzle deposits metal feedstock while a laser or electron beam melts it – DED’s rapid material deposition delivers rapid production time and fully dense parts, making it the fastest AM technology to date. DED can also be used for adding metal to existing metal parts, good for welding and repair applic­ations; however a very rough surface finish requires post-p­roc­essing. Best used for the rapid production of large parts

Material Jetting

Similar to binder jetting, metal material is jetted through a nozzle onto a build tray and sintered. The process produces ultra-thin layers that result in high-r­eso­lution surface finishes, but the process is very slow and expensive. Best for small parts with complex internal geomet­ries, tight tolerances