polyjet 3D Printing
PolyJet is a highly versatile 3D printing technique that utilizes a process similar to inkjet printing to create three-dimensional objects. This innovative method involves the precise deposition of liquid photopolymers onto a build platform that are then light-cured layer by layer. PolyJet technology is renowned across various industries for its ability to produce high-resolution prints and its ability to incorporate multiple materials.
Materials used in PolyJet printing include a wide selection of photopolymers, each with its own distinct properties such as rigidity, flexibility, transparency, and low-durometer. This diversity enables the creation of prototypes, concept models, functional parts, and even custom end-use products. These materials are specially formulated to solidify when exposed to ultraviolet light during the printing process, similar to the process employed in Stereolithography (SLA). The choice of material depends on the desired characteristics of the final object, such as flexibility, transparency, heat resistance, or specific mechanical properties.
PolyJet 3D printing machines are renowned for their exceptional precision and versatility. They jet and cure multiple materials simultaneously, enabling the creation of multi-material and multi-color prints in a single build. With fine layer resolutions, PolyJet printers can produce complex geometries and intricate details with ease. Furthermore, they provide the ability to vary material properties within a single print, allowing for gradient color transitions, variable stiffness, or the combination of materials with different textures. These capabilities make PolyJet well-suited for a wide range of applications, including realistic prototypes, vibrant visual models, and parts requiring diverse material properties.
Post-processing steps for PolyJet prints are typically minimal due to the high-quality surface finish achieved during the printing process. However, some objects may require additional finishing touches. These can include removing support structures that were printed alongside the main object to provide stability during printing. Depending on the requirements, additional post-processing steps can include curing the object under ultraviolet light or applying a heat treatment, or both, to enhance its mechanical properties. Support removal can be performed manually or with the assistance of water jets or chemical baths, depending on the material used. Once supports are removed, the printed objects may undergo sanding or polishing to further enhance their appearance or smoothness. Post-processing for PolyJet prints often focuses on optimizing the aesthetics rather than addressing structural concerns.