Early this week I was at the CATI Product Development forum held at the NIU Rockford, IL campus. We had a great attendee turnout for this event. I conducted a presentation on materials for FDM and Polyjet and applications where there could be a crossover using either both or separate technologies. I thought I would provide some slides from this presentation along with commentary.
I start my presentation by stating additive manufacturing technologies have been around for some time now and the equipment manufacturers will be focusing a lot of their R&D budget on materials for these machines. Sure, new additive manufacturing equipment will “pop up” however not at the rate of surge the consumer market extrusion machines have lately.
Normal 3D printing workflow
The slide above highlights the overlap between FDM and Polyjet. Many of our customers realize that one technology does not “do it all” but are surprised to see that the overlap between technologies provides for a better toolbox from which to choose.
Here is the biggest difference between Polyjet and FDM material. Jigs and fixtures along with end use parts with bio-compatible and flame-smoke and toxicity ratings are huge for FDM applications. These certifications allow the user to produce parts such as surgical trays, interior aircraft duct and electrical wire hangers. On the Polyjet side the thermoset materials are able to withstand an initial shock of heat with a lower heat deflection temperature to be used for injection molding applications.
Another example for FDM and Polyjet material. Notice the white and black fixture above. Even with Polyjet material you can create a fixture that retains strength yet has an elastomer coating to prevent slipping and protection for the part surface.
Another example of FDM vs. Polyjet material properties her in this triangle matrix. The holy grail for Polyjet is to have a liquid dropped out of the print heads, cured by UV light and have the same properties of ABS at a minimum, whereas FDM starts off at the ABS level and increases with the engineering plastics available today. Polyjet may not have the mechanical properties of FDM however with the introduction of the new J750 machine it is possible to simulate a production material with 300K colors available.
From what you have read so far I’m sure you will be able to see which quadrant Polyjet fits and which for FDM. Everyone will fall into one if not all of these quadrant headings.
Base and digital materials for Polyjet. Notice the word simulated in describing some of these materials. Compare that against the quadrant chart viewed previously. Digital ABS material, digital durometers and colors are derived from the ability to blend up to 3 or 6 materials with Connex technology.
The FDM material lineup. This list may not be as versatile as with Polyjet however you are creating part that is equal to their production plastic counterpart. Here is more information regarding these 3D Print Materials and look under the material section for specific material property spec sheets.
Computer Aided Technology, LLC