3D Printing

Inside of an FDM 3d printer

FDM 3D Printing

This is the most widely available 3D printing process, and the one that most non-specialists think of when considering a 3D printed design.

FDM 3D printing should be your first choice when it comes to large, cost-effective prototypes. FDM stands for 'Fused Deposition Modelling' and the process involves extruding a hot, molten plastic in layers to build up your design.

When considering if your part is suitable for FDM 3D printing, bear in mind that overhangs will need to be supported, which may impact surface finish.

FDM 3D Printing
Two SLA 3D printers side by side

SLA 3D Printing

SLA 3D printing is generally the most effective option for highly detailed, 'looks like' prototypes. That being said, SLA materials come with a wide variety of properties, and so the number of uses for SLA has dramatically increased in recent years.

SLA stands for Stereolithography Apparatus, and involves an ultraviolet laser curing a liquid photopolymer from a liquid into a solid. By doing this repetitively in layers, a very smooth and detailed part can be built.

SLA 3D Printing
The build plate of a CFF markforged 3D printer

CFF 3D Printing

CFF stands for Continuous Filament Fabrication. This unique technology, developed by Markforged, produces parts of unparalleled durability, stiffness and heat resistance.

CFF 3D printing is similar to FDM 3D printing, but with the addition of super-strong continuous fibres into the part. This forms a composite material with outstanding mechanical properties.

Our CFF materials use the same base, Onyx, which is a fantastic material in its own right, made from a mixture of nylon and chopped-strand carbon-fibre.

CFF 3D Printing
A Fuse 1 SLS 3D printing system

SLS 3D Printing

SLS, or Selective Laser Sintering, involves the use of a laser to bind particles of Nylon powder together into a finished part. Parts are very tough and durable, with a very consistent surface finish.

The main advantage of SLS printing is the freedom of design that it offers engineers. Because the parts build in a bed of powder, the designs are self-supporting, and so many 'impossible' designs can be manufactured.

SLS is also perfect for small-production runs of parts, as large batches can be post-processed together at once. This makes SLS a worthy alternative to injection moulding for some designs.

SLS 3D Printing

Printpool are a UK-wide 3D printing service, offering a wide variety of material types, and 3D printing technologies. We have unanimous five star reviews, and are trusted to deliver a high quality service by many leading companies across Oxfordshire and the whole of the UK.

If you are working on a design that requires prototyping, or have need of 3D printed parts to complete your project, get in touch with us now and we'll be happy to help.

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