The difference between FDM and SLA

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FDM 3D Printer

FDM  och SLA är två av de vanligaste teknikerna som används inom 3D Printing. Both techniques have their advantages and disadvantages, and the choice of technique depends on what is required of the project at hand. In this post we will explain the differences between FDM and SLA, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of each technique.

What is FDM?

FDM is a common technique in 3D Printing. FDM uses a thermoplastic filament that is fed through a heated nozzle. The nozzle melts the filament and then places it layer by layer to build up the desired model. FDM is a relatively simple technique that is cheap and easy to use. There is also a wide range of filament materials available for FDM, such as PLA, ABS and PETG.

What is SLA?

SLA is another common technique in 3D Printing. SLA uses a laser that hardens liquid polymer to create a model. Because SLA uses a laser to harden the polymer, it is possible to create models with a higher resolution and level of detail than FDM.

Differences between FDM and SLA

One of the biggest differences between FDM and SLA is the resolution and level of detail of the printed models. SLA can create models with higher resolution and more detailed features than FDM. This is because the laser-based SLA technology can create thinner layers than is possible with FDM technology, and the laser beam is thinner than the nozzle for FDM. Another difference between the techniques is the choice of material. While FDM has a wide range of thermoplastic materials to choose from, SLA can use a wide range of thermosets and ceramics.

Advantages and disadvantages of FDM

FDM is a relatively cheap and easy to use. The details are durable and there is also a wide range of filament materials to choose from, giving the user great flexibility in material selection. The disadvantage of FDM is that the resolution and level of detail of the printed models is limited by the filament material and print quality.

Advantages and disadvantages of SLA

SLA can create models with higher resolution and more detailed features than FDM. In addition, SLA can use a wide range of polymer and ceramic materials. The disadvantage of SLA is that the parts are often fragile and it is more expensive than FDM.

Conclusion

Both FDM and SLA have their advantages and disadvantages. The choice of technology depends on the project's specifications and the requirements placed on the model to be printed. If high resolution and level of detail is important to the project, SLA is usually the best choice. If strength and cost-effectiveness are priority factors, FDM is usually the best choice.

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A CAD program, which stands for "Computer-Aided Design," is an important component when it comes to ordering 3D prints for industrial purposes. CAD programs are specialized software used to create detailed and accurate digital models of objects, components or prototypes. These digital models serve as basic blueprints or designs needed to produce physical objects using 3D printing technology.

.STL (stereolithography) is a file format used to represent 3D geometry, especially surfaces made up of triangles. It is a common format in 3D printing and is used to describe models to be printed in 3D printers.

.STEP (Standard for the Exchange of Product Data) is a standard for exchanging 3D models and product data between different CAD (Computer-Aided Design) programs. It is a common format in industry and is used to transfer detailed 3D models of components and products.