3D printing technologies and materials.

Although there are many and varied types of technologies and materials ranging from plastics, metal, wood, in 3D Gifts we base our entire product on 2 techniques:

    • FDM
      (Deposition of Molten Material), commonly known as “Filament”.
    • SLA (Stereolithography, Photo Solidification, or Optical Manufacturing), commonly known as “Resin”.

How FDM printing works:

    • Based on plastic filament threads
    • Molten deposition printing is the most popular and accessible, thanks to a wide range of filaments and printers on the market, where we have domestic and professional versions
    • It uses filament rolls of various colors and textures, which is heated to its melting point by the extrusion head
    • The head moves horizontally and vertically, depositing layer by layer the molten material at all the necessary points, starting from the base
    • A series of fans is responsible for cooling and hardening the material again as it is printed
    • When you print a layer, the distance between platform and extruder is increased to start with the next one, until the part is finished
    • If the model includes hanging parts, the printer must print support material. As layers of material cannot be deposited in the air, this support material prevents them from falling

Features of FDM technology:

    • It is the most economical technology for 3D printing, and has the widest range of colors, textures and finishes
    • In models that require support material and have double extruder, we can use a filament of different color or even a filament soluble in a special soap, which makes it very easy to remove
    • Ideal for rapid prototyping
    • It is resistant to moisture and high temperatures (up to 200oC)
    • Allows you to use two and even three simultaneous extrusion heads, which can be printed on different types of filament
    • The printed part can be processed, applying paints, chromes and even acetone to soften imperfections
    • Removing the support material can be a complicated task, which can sometimes damage the part if not done carefully
    • The most common filaments are PLA, ABS and polycarbonate, but Nylon, carbon fiber or wood are also used
    • PLA is biodegradable, and perhaps the most popular mainly because it is non-toxic
    • There are variants such as PVA, which allow you to easily dissolve the extra support material

How SLA printing works:

    • Resin-based
    • Requires larger and more expensive machines, which are capable of printing parts up to 2 meters
    • Stereolithography is performed in large tanks filled with a photo-sensitive liquid polymer (resin)
    • Then an ultra-violet laser is fired over the areas to be printed, hardening and curing the polymer. The rest remains in a liquid state
    • When a layer is printed, the platform is lowered slightly and proceeded with the next layer, pasting it on top of the previous one
    • At the end of printing, the platform raises the piece, dropping the excess liquid
    • Uses support structures when cavities or gaps need to be filled, which are manually removed

Features of SLA technology:

    • Great level of detail, even on thin walls
    • High quality surface finish
    • Ideal for rapid prototypes
    • Although not as strong as parts produced with SLS or FDM prints, stereolithography allows for more detail
    • It allows various combinations of colors and transparencies, as well as metallic and silicone finishes
    • Easy to polish and spray paint
    • They are susceptible to deforming or discoloring with ultra-violet radiation (sunlight), so it is recommended to apply paint or varnish