Advantages of Polyjet Printing Technology

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Advantages of Polyjet Printing Technology

Polyjet 3D Printing is a form of rapid prototyping that makes beautiful 3D models and parts in a large array of materials and colors and properties. This technology works in a similar way to 2D inkjet printing. The materials are photopolymers and all start as a liquid. The liquid is printed down through print heads onto the build tray. This is a thin cross section of the parts that will be printed in each pass. This is a big advantage for the polyjet technology because it can print each layer as thin as 14 microns! For reference the average thickness of a human hair is 100 microns. Each layer is cured into an acrylic plastic with a UV light that passes over the top of each layer. This is a non reversible thermoset process that changes the liquid resin in a permanent acrylic plastic.

With the print heads depositing pico liter droplets to form the layer it is able to achieve very high resolution in the X Y plane. This combines with the thin layer thickness allows the Polyjet printers to achieve remarkable details on all of the parts. Ranging from simple things like embossed text to delicate little detailed blood vessels and miniature architecture models.

The polyjet 3D printers can also print in an array of rigid plastics, from opaque to translucent, and soft rubbers. Similar to how an inkjet printer works the polyjet printers can do tiny matrix mixtures of different materials in one print job. This allows for multi colored parts that can also have different shore strength rubbers build right into the finished part!

Another aspect that separates Polyjet Technology is the support material. There is a soluble support material that dissolves away in a water based solution. This is very advantageous with the ability to print such fine features and details and be able to clean off the support without risking damaging the part.

The accuracy and repeatability of all the polyjet machines is peerless. With the Stratasys reliability of being able to get the same part with the same accuracy every print job combined with the ability to achieve up to 0.004” accuracy on each part puts these machines in a category of their own.

Tim Crennen

Application Engineer, Additive Manufacturing

Computer Aided Technology