Additive manufacturing is widely used among many different industries with companies taking advantage of its many benefits. There are several additive manufacturing technologies including Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM), Stereolithography (SL), PolyJet, Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS), Powder Bed Fusion, Programmable PhotoPolymerization (P3™), Selective Absorption Fusion (SAF) and more, each with advantages and disadvantages depending on the application.
How do you choose what one is right for your business needs? And what printer options are available? In this article we will focus on PolyJet technology, how it works, key considerations and the different PolyJet printer options.
How does it work?
Simply put, PolyJet is a material jetting technology in which the machine deposits droplets of liquid resin that are then cured with an ultraviolet light.
Key considerations for PolyJet
When choosing a 3D printing technology there are a few key factors to consider:
- Surface finish: this is an area where PolyJet technology really shines. Support removal is very easy, it does not require any lattice support structures like FDM that need to be broken away or sanded down, so you end up with a matte surface finish. This saves a lot of labor and outsourcing on parts, particularly for high-end models.
- Multiple Materials: this is a huge benefit for PolyJet. Print multiple types of materials and colors at the same time. The newer Stratasys J-Series printers are Pantone validated and can print over 500,000 color combinations. Further to color, PolyJet can be combined to create varying properties. This technology allows you to 3D print highly realistic prototypes with simulated textures like rubber, leather, fabric or glass.
- Accuracy: PolyJet uses a very controlled and calculated system of depositing droplets of resin onto the build table and this method is extremely accurate down to just microns of drop placement. This results in some of the highest accuracy that can be achieved with 3D printing technologies.
There are a range of PolyJet 3D printers available that offer different capabilities. Depending on your needs, our team of experts can help you choose the right option for you. Below are the latest PolyJet printers from Stratasys in the J-Series, from smallest to largest:
- J35 Pro - the newest affordable all-in-one 3D printer. This small desktop 3D printer offers engineering-grade, multi-material printing for designers and engineers. This office friendly printer can print three different materials separately or simultaneously and offers an easy workflow.
- J55 - this is a larger version of the J35 Pro, with the ability to print up to five materials simultaneously. Print high resolution parts quickly and in a full range of colors. Simplify your design cycle with the option to create rough concept models, detailed designs or high-fidelity prototypes.
- J826 Prime - The Stratasys J826™ 3D printer delivers unrivaled aesthetic results with full-colour capability including texture mapping and color gradients. With a build size of 10 x 9.9 x 7.9 in. and up to seven base resins, the J826 allows you to build larger parts faster.
- J850 Prime - Stratasys J850 Pro 3D printer offers a larger 19.3 x 15.35 x 7.9 in. build size, up to seven base resins and a high level of accuracy. Create ultra-realistic and accurate models with full-color capability including texture mapping and color gradients.
- Digital Anatomy Printer (DAP) - The Stratasys DAP brings medical models to life with incredible realism that accurately represents both the appearance and response of human tissue. Used for medical demonstration, surgeon training and device testing.
If you are looking for highly accurate, realistic parts with excellent surface finish, PolyJet technology may be the right choice for you. As we discussed there are many advantages to the technology, and we typically see it being used most successfully in product design and development, packaging design, medical and mold making.
As you can see, PolyJet technology has many great advantages and uses! If you have questions about the technology or your application, contact our Additive Manufacturing team. Our Solution Consultants are familiar with all the different technologies and work with many different industries and applications.
Want to learn more? Watch our on-demand webinar "Understanding the Potential of Additive Manufacturing - PolyJet"