Differentiating the Top Three 3D Printing Techniques

There are many ways to execute the 3D printing process, let’s say, with the different techniques. Despite the different additive manufacturing techniques, each different technique have a very common commonality. That is that they all function within the six step 3D printing process, that makes 3D printing what it is, regardless of the approach specifications. Here’s what that process looks like…

The six step  3D printing process goes a little something like this:

  1. Designing the component in CAD software
  2. Converting the design file into STL format
  3. Preparing and setting up the 3D printer
  4. Developing the object
  5. Removing and cleaning the object
  6. Post production processes

Again, no matter which 3D printing technique you select for your next project – or any 3D printing project you have done for that matter – a the project will or has gone through these 6 steps. Read on to learn more about those different techniques and how they translate throughout the six step 3D printing process.

There are a number of different techniques, but the 3D printing industry is dominated by three core 3D printing techniques.

  1. Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) AKA Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM)
  2. Stereolithography (SLA)
  3. Selective laser sintering (SLS)

There are several different factors that differentiate these techniques from one another, but the most common differentiating factor is indeed the state of the raw material before it goes through the 3D printing process.

FFF utilizes melted plastics and is most commonly known as filament, SLA utilizes liquid resin, and lastly, SLS utilizes a powder.

If you are interested in diving deeper into these three core 3D printing techniques, and to learn what differentiates them from one another beyond the materials they require, check out the full article.