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Similar to Stereolithography, the high-quality 3D printer PolyJet processes use a UV light to crosslink a photopolymer. However, rather than scanning a laser to cure layers, a printer head jets tiny droplets of the photopolymer (similar to ink in an inkjet printer) in the shape of the first layer. The UV lamp attached to the printer head crosslinks the polymer and locks the shape of the layer in place. The build platform then steps down one layer thickness and more material is deposited directly on the previous layer. This is process is repeated until the part has completed printing.
PolyJet 3D printers, such as the Stratasys Objet 3D printers, are capable of highly complex and high resolution parts with fine features, but lack the strength of SLS and FDM parts. Combining two or three materials in specific concentrations and microstructures, this technology allows to produce a range of materials with varying translucency, rigidity, thermal resistance or color. Using this process, a single part can contain materials with diverse physical and mechanical properties ranging from rubber-like flexibility to ABS-like rigidity. Similar to SLA, the photopolymer is vulnerable to sunlight and heat, and the material can creep over time.
Poly-jet printing is a great process for developing fully assembled prototypes and complex and detailed geometries with multiple material properties.
Stratasys Objet30 Pro
Stratasys Objet500 Connex3