Printing technology has come a long way over the past few years. Now, there are printers that are able to produce beautiful products in three dimensions. Often referred to as 3D printing, this technology has become integral to numerous industries. Over the past few years, there have been multiple types of 3D printers developed. For this reason, many people are wondering which 3D printer is right for them. There are two broad categories to choose from: filament printers, often called FDM, and resin printers, often called SLA/DLP/.
What is Resin Printing?
Resin printing is typically referred to as SLA/DLP printing. This stands for stereolithography and dark light projection. These are 3D printers that use powerful lights to cure resin and shift the resin into layers, resulting in a 3D-printed object. These printers tend to print smaller objects with a high level of detail, so the end result takes time to produce. In addition to SLA/DLP printers, there are also 3D printers that use an LCD light to shine UV rays onto the target, leading to a solid layer. Those that use an LCD light are typically less expensive.
What is Filament Printing?
The other large category of 3D printers is typically called filament printing, also known as fused deposition modeling or FDM. This is the 3D printing that most people see on the TV. This printer uses strings of plastic called filament, and the filaments are heated to extreme temperatures and are deposited onto the target. Each layer is placed on top of the previous one, and the printer changes how it layers the filaments in order to change the shape. These 3D printers tend to work quickly and are relatively inexpensive, but the level of detail is not as great as resin printing.
Which Printer is the Right Printer?
This is one of the most common questions people ask about 3D printing. The ultimate answer is that it depends on the type of work you do. For example, those who are looking to create miniature figurines that are going to be used for tabletop games will want to go with a resin 3D printer. A resin 3D printer works slowly but also produces the level of detail that is required to produce high-quality miniatures. The smaller the project, the greater the level of detail required, and this is where resin printers are ideal.
Those who are looking to produce larger items will want to go with a filament printer. These might include prototypes or large sheets of material. A resin printer would simply take too long (and be too costly) to do this job well and cannot produce large objects. A filament printer works quickly and can handle larger projects, and it will also be more cost-effective.
Investing in 3D Printers
These are the two large categories of 3D printers available. When deciding which type of printer is best for you, the most important thing to consider is the type of product you want to make. It’s also important to remember that 3D printers are still a new technology that is going to evolve quickly. In a few years, there may be even more types of 3D printers to choose from that can create an even wider number of different products from different materials. It will be exciting to see what types of 3D printers are produced in the future.