Main Types of 3D Printing

3D printing, also called additive printing, is the process of developing objects via a digital model. Most 3D printers include material to the object, thus the name additive manufacturing. The first 3D printer was developed in the early 1980s, and it describes a broad range of printing technologies today.

3D printing has become a well-established collection of manufacturing processes in the past few decades, and it is hard not to see why. 3D printing is available in different forms, and below we discuss the most common and how to locate the best XYZ company.


Polyjet 3D printing process is almost similar to inkjet printing. This process happens when you put photopolymer droplets onto a build plate. Ultraviolet light is then passed over this layer to solidify it.

The process is repeated time and again until the part is finished. Polyjet is fast and highly accurate and can be used to develop multi-material and color objects.

Fused Deposition Modeling 

Fused deposition modeling, or FDM, is among the most common types of 3D printing that pushes a plastic filament via a heated nozzle. The molten plastic is laid down until the section is complete.

There are numerous 3D filaments today, from flexible to solid thermoplastics elastomers.

Selective Laser Sintering 

Selective laser sintering functions by putting a powdered plastic layer and tracing the section using a laser. This laser fuses and melts the powder, and another plastic layer is placed over the initial one until the cross-section layer melts.

This process results in highly accurate parts that can be easily printed, provided you have an exit channel.


This was the first form of 3D printing and it functions by putting a liquid photopolymer by tracing a laser onto the build plate. This process continues as every subsequent layer is placed over the previous one.

This technology further develops parts with quality features.

Direct Metal Laser Sintering 

Direct laser sintering is used to make metal parts. This technique functions by putting down a thin powdered metal layer before the cross-section is eliminated using a high-power laser. Another powder layer is deposited after every layer is complete, and the steps are repeated.

Remember, sintering differs from melting, and fusing only happens on the surface.

Electron Beam Melting  

Electron beam melting is one of the most innovative 3D printing techniques which fuse metal particles using an electron beam. This technique works by depositing thin metal powder layers. The cross-section is then eliminated with the help of an electron beam.

Users can split the beam to melt various areas at a go, thus improving the production speed. This beam also melts particles to create a homogenous structure.

Digital Light Process 

Digital light processing is a similar technique to SLA printing that uses a high resolution to cure the photopolymer. The DLP technology is generally cheaper than others and has made access to photopolymer technology easier.

DLP is ideal for producing high-quality parts made of various cubic volumes, known as voxels. DLP printers are much faster than their competitors and are readily available.

Multi Jet Fusion 

Multi-jet fusion is a standard 3D printing machine that places a plastic layer on the build plate. A heating head is then moved across the powder for heating. An inkjet-type printing then transfers the powder, and various heating elements fuse the layer.

This technology is ideal for multi-material and multi-color components.

Common 3D Printing Factors to Consider 

The different types of 3D printing make it challenging to choose the best technique. FDM printers are ideal for simple printing due to their accuracy. However, EBM is more suitable if the printed object is used in aerospace environments.

FDM printing is the most commonly preferred type of printer due to its ease of use and low cost. However, MJF is more suitable for industrial plastic applications. FDM 3D printing is ideal for beginners as it is easy to understand and has cheap raw materials.

DLP printing is also an excellent starting point, but it needs a detailed 3D printing understanding.

Final Thoughts 

3D printing has existed for a long period and has massive benefits when used correctly. This printing technology is available in different types, and the above article has discussed the most common.

Reach out to an XYZ company for more information on the same.

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