What Are The Advantages & Disadvantages of PolyJet 3D Printing Technology?
Before you decide to use PolyJet to manufacture your parts, you should be aware of the benefits of this method. These benefits include //
- Complex Geometries With Intricate Details
- Smooth & Detailed Prototypes
- Faster Build Times
- Wide Variety of Material & Color Options
- Good Tensile Strength
- Additional Step To Remove Support Material
- Materials Used Are Sensitive To UV Light, Not Recommended For Outdoor Use
PolyJet vs. Stereolithography
In Stereolithography (SLA), a laser is directed to draw a pattern onto the top layer of a vat of liquified resin. The resin solidifies as it is touched by the laser. A computer-controlled mirror works to aim the laser to the right coordinates. The platform moves and another layer is touched by the laser and solidified. The process continues until the part has been made. Once the part is completed, any leftover resin is drained. The part is washed and then placed inside a UV oven for curing. This step adds strength and stability.
PolyJet uses multiple printheads to distribute photopolymer onto a platform. The material is deposited in single layers until a part has been created. The photopolymer is cured by UV light as it is deposited.
SLA and PolyJet sound like similar technologies because they both utilize UV curable materials and lasers, but there are notable differences. The primary difference between the two lies in the build process. SLA uses a vat, laser and a UV oven. PolyJet distributes the material through a printhead and the material is instantly cured by a UV light as soon as it is placed on a platform. Both methods use support material but are removed in different ways. After a part has been produced using stereolithography, the support material must be removed by hand. In PolyJet, the support material is made from a gel-like substance which is easily removed with water blasting or by hand.
What Is The Difference Between Multi Jet 3D Printing & PolyJet?
Multi Jet Fusion (MJF) is similar to PolyJet in process, but there are some differences to note. Both methods dispense material through a multi-head printhead. The resin used by PolyJet begins as a liquid that must be cured by UV light. The resin used by MultiJet begins as a solid, is melted in order to be dispensed by the machine and cools as it is deposited. Unlike PolyJet, however, MultiJet can only print one material at a time whereas PolyJet can blend multiple resins.
Applications of PolyJet
PolyJet has grown to be a popular manufacturing method across a variety of industries. Dental, consumer goods, medical, robotics, aerospace and defense industries all use PolyJet. Applications of PolyJet include //
- Medical // Organ Replicas, Prosthetic Limbs & Joint Replacements
- Dental // Crowns, Bridges & Other Orthodontics
- Consumer Goods // Rapid Prototyping, Injection Modeling & Functional Prototyping
- Flexible Parts That Simulate Traditional Elastomers
- Cosmetic Prototypes That Can Simulate The Look Of Injection Molded Parts
- Parts To Test Fit
- Presentation Models
- Complex Parts
- Master Patterns
- Visual Aids & Models For Presentations
PolyJet Questions Answered (FAQ)
Q: What Is The Difference Between Material Jetting & PolyJet?
A: Material Jetting and PolyJet are the same and the names are used interchangeably. PolyJet was patented by Objet Geometries. Material Jetting is the name of the process.
Q: Who Invented PolyJet Technology?
A: In 1998, the Israeli 3D printer manufacturer, Objet Geometries, created PolyJet.
Q: How Much Detail Can Be Achieved Using PolyJet?
A: Fine details can be achieved using PolyJet as it is a high-resolution technology.
Q: Is PolyJet Only For Prototyping?
A: No, end use parts can be created using PolyJet, however, it is important to note that parts made using PolyJet become vulnerable when exposed to UV light for long periods of time.
Q: Can You Eliminate The Support Material From The PolyJet Process?
A: No. Any part with overhangs or spaces has to be filled for support or the part may warped or collapse.
From design to production, bring agility and aesthetics to every stage of the product development cycle—eliminating design barriers and improving communication and collaboration. With the widest range of properties available, PolyJet material options allow designers and engineers the ability to create realistic prototypes to better evaluate future products, ergonomic tooling to streamline production, or even bio-compatible surgical guides or other specialized parts. This technology is also capable of producing molds for urethane casting or injection molding, as well as manufacturing aides such as fixtures like a soft jaw for CNC machining.