3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, is a process of creating physical objects from a digital model. In the context of prototyping and manufacturing, 3D printing is used to create prototypes and final products in a wide range of industries.
At Jucheng Prototypes, we provide various manufacturing solutions ranging from 3D printing prototypes to small-batch production. Juchengo Prototypes is ISO 9001:2015 Certified and has 190+ high-end technical personnel and SLS, SLA, MJF, and FDM 3D printers.
Depending on the specific requirements and product structures, we can provide you with suitable 3D printing methods, such as SLA 3D printing (stereolithography), SLS 3D printing (selective laser sintering),FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling) , and DMLS (direct metal laser sintering) for sample production and small-batch production during the product development process.
➤ Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM)
This is the most popular type of 3D printing. FDM involves the extrusion of a thermoplastic
filament through a heated nozzle that melts the material, which is then deposited layer by layer
to create the 3D object.
⦁ PLA (Polylactic Acid)
⦁ ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene)
⦁ PETG (Polyethylene Terephthalate Glycol)
⦁ Sanding and polishing
⦁ Painting or coating
Relatively low-cost and widely available Can print with a variety of materials Able to produce large objects.
Limited resolution and accuracy Visible layer lines and other imperfections Limited ability to print complex or intricate designs.
➤ Stereolithography (SLA)
This type of 3D printing uses a laser to solidify a liquid resin, layer by layer, to create the 3D object.
SLA produces high-quality, detailed prints, but can be more expensive and slower than FDM.
⦁ Standard Resins
⦁ Tough Resins
⦁ Clear Resins
⦁ UV curing
⦁ Clear coating & Polishing
⦁ Painting & Slik Screen
High accuracy and resolution Smooth surface finish Able to produce complex or intricate designs.
More expensive than FDM Limited to smaller objects Material options are more limited.
➤ Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)
This process uses a laser to fuse small particles of powder material, such as nylon or metal, together layer by layer to create the 3D object.
SLS is known for its ability to produce high-quality, durable parts.
⦁ Glass-filled Nylon
⦁ TPU (Thermoplastic Polyurethane)
⦁ Sanding and Grinding
⦁ Bead blasting
⦁ Chemical smoothing
High accuracy and resolution Able to produce strong and durable parts.
Limited to smaller objects Limited resolution and surface finish.
➤ Direct Metal Laser Sintering(DMLS)
DMLS is a type of 3D printing that uses a high-powered laser to fuse metal powder particles together
layer by layer, to create a 3D object.
⦁ Stainless Steel 316L
⦁ Alsi 10Mg
Able to produce highly complex geometries and shapes Can print with a variety of metals, including titanium, stainless steel, and aluminum High strength and durability, making it ideal for functional parts in industries such as aerospace and automotive.
More expensive than other types of 3D printing, due to the cost of metal powders and the high-powered lasers required Limited resolution and surface finish, compared to other manufacturing methods like CNC machining Limited build size, which may not be suitable for larger parts or components.
How does design affect 3D printing costs?
The geometry of your part can affect the cost of 3D printing. Parts with intricate geometries or sharp corners may require additional support structures, which can add to the cost. On the other hand, parts with simple geometries and smooth surfaces may require less support material and post-processing, which can help reduce the cost.
Orientation and positioning
The orientation and positioning of your part on the build plate can also affect the cost of 3D printing. Parts that are printed flat on the build plate typically require less support material and can be printed faster, which can reduce the cost. However, parts that are printed at an angle or in a specific orientation may require more support material and take longer to print, which can increase the cost.
The choice of material can also have a significant impact on the cost of 3D printing. Some materials, such as metal or high-performance polymers, can be more expensive than others. Additionally, using a higher quality or more specialized material may require additional post-processing or finishing, which can add to the cost.
Cost Reduction Desgin Tips
when 3D Printing
Minimize the amount of support material
Optimize the infill density
Use lightweight materials
Consider using a cheaper printing material
Print multiple objects at once
The Value of 3D printing prototyping
3D printing is a popular choice for creating prototypes because it allows for the rapid production of physical models that can be used for testing, validation, and design verification.
Faster Prototyping:3D printing allows for the creation of prototypes in a matter of hours or days, compared to traditional manufacturing processes which can take weeks or even months.
Cost-Effective: 3D printing allows for the creation of prototypes without the need for expensive molds or tooling, which can save a lot of money in the early stages of product development.
Iterative Design: Because 3D printing is so fast and cost-effective, it allows for rapid iteration and design changes, which can help to refine and improve the design before moving on to full-scale production.
Design Verification:Physical prototypes can help to identify design flaws, test for fit and function, and make sure that the product meets the intended specifications.
Customization: 3D printing allows for the creation of highly customized prototypes, which can be tailored to specific user needs or requirements.
It's important to note that 3D printing prototypes also have some limitations, such as lower resolution and accuracy compared to other manufacturing methods, limited material options, and the need for post-processing and finishing work to achieve the desired results. However, despite these limitations, 3D printing is still a highly effective tool for creating prototypes in a wide range of industries and applications.
The application of 3D printing in prototyping has been a game-changer for many industries
Product Development: 3D printing enables rapid prototyping, which allows companies to quickly test and refine their product designs. This saves time and money by identifying and fixing design flaws early in the development process.
Automotive Industry: 3D printing is used to create prototypes of car parts and components, allowing engineers to test and refine the designs before mass production. This enables them to identify potential issues and make improvements quickly.
Medical Industry: 3D printing is used to create prototypes of medical devices and implants, enabling doctors and engineers to test and refine the designs before they are used in patients. This helps to ensure that the devices are safe and effective.
Architecture and Construction: 3D printing is used to create prototypes of building components, such as facades, windows, and roofs. This enables architects and engineers to test and refine the designs before construction begins.
Consumer Products: 3D printing is used to create prototypes of consumer products, such as electronics, toys, and fashion accessories. This enables designers to test and refine the designs before they are manufactured on a larger scale.
Aerospace and Defense: 3D printing is used to create prototypes of aerospace parts and components, allowing engineers to test and refine the designs before they are used in aircraft or spacecraft.