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Rapid Prototyping - 3D Objet Printing, Polyjet Printing, 3D Printing
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3D printing is a low-cost process for producing accurate, 3D polymer parts directly from CAD data. This category cover the 3D printing processes that use jetting techniques to apply the layers of material rather than the extrusion or FDM processes. There are several competing technologies in this process such as Z Corps Polyjet process and Objet's similar process. New 3D printing technology also enables multiple colors to be used in the one component.
3D printing works by jetting state of the art photopolymer materials in ultra-thin layers onto a build tray layer by layer until the part is completed. This is the opposite of material removal processes such as CNC machining.
Each photopolymer layer is cured by UV light immediately after it is jetted, producing fully cured models that can be handled and used immediately, without post-curing. The gel-like support material, which is specially designed to support complicated geometries, is easily removed by hand and water jetting. Often a basic water blast cabinet is set up for the removal of the support material.
Due to the excellent strength of the models produced by 3D printing, this process can also be used to produce functional parts and for fast production of complex jigs and fixtures.
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