PolyJet-tirePolyJet 3D printing combines the basics of SLA and inkjet printing technology, by placing small beads of curable liquid photopolymer materials (instead of ink) on a layer, and instantly curing it with UV light (like SLA). When needed for areas like overhangs or complex shapes, a gel-like support material is added and cured to retain the form of the part. Once the build is complete, the part is removed from the build chamber, the supports are removed by hand or with water and the parts are ready to be handled without post-curing.

You can combine multiple materials and colours at the same time to create multi-coloured prototypes, over-molded parts and models with multiple durometers. However, you cannot introduce your own parts or foreign materials into the build. In other words, if you had a hand tool and you wanted a rubber handle over molded around it, it’s not possible. You have to build the tool AND the over-molding in the PolyJet machine using PolyJet materials at the same time.

PolyJet, SLA and other 3D printing processes that require UV light to cure material to create the parts have the disadvantage of not being able to fully stop the curing process and as a result, can compromise the quality of the final part in time.

PolyJet 3D Printing Process:

  • STL file is sliced into layers as thin as .0006”/ .016mm, dependent on machine capabilities and customer requirement
  • The software automatically calculates the placement of photopolymers and support material from a 3D CAD file
  • The 3D printer expels and instantly UV-cures tiny beads of liquid photopolymer and support material when needed (for overhangs or complex shapes)
  • Support removal: The user easily removes the support materials by hand or with water. Models and parts are ready to handle and use right out of the 3D printer, with no post-curing needed.

PolyJet Advantages:

  • Ability to produce translucent, multiple colours and materials at the same time (with limitations)
  • Can capture fine detail (Resolution as low as .0006”/ .016mm, with some machines and materials)
  • Can be sanded to create a smooth surface

PolyJet Disadvantages:

  • Made with materials that can easily break and fracture with normal handling
  • Parts continue to cure once completed due to natural U.V. exposure over time making them more fragile
  • Not fully functional prototypes compared to nylon material

To learn more about our 3D printing technologies and whether PolyJet 3D printing is right for your project, please contact us today!