Discover how the manufacturing 3D Printing process Material Jetting, also known as MJ, NPJ, DOD, works.
The Material Jetting 3D printing manufacturing technique is often similar to the standard 2D ink-jetting process. Utilizing photopolymers, metals, or wax that solidify when exposed to light or heat (in a similar fashion to stereolithography) ensures that physical objects are built up one layer at a time. The material jetting manufacturing process allows different materials to be 3D printed within the same part.
Material jetting dispenses a photopolymer from hundreds of tiny nozzles in a printhead to build a part layer-by-layer. This allows material jetting operations to deposit build material in a rapid, line-wise fashion, similar to other pointwise deposition technologies that follow a path to complete the cross-sectional area of a layer, also called a slice. Machine deposits droplets to the build platform, then UV lights directly cure and solidify them. Material jetting processes require support, which is often 3D printed simultaneously during the build from a dissolvable material. During the post-processing step, manufacturers remove the support material.
Several techniques make up the material jetting term, the most popular being:
Material jetting 3D printing technology is an excellent choice for realistic prototypes, providing an excellent level of detail, high accuracy, and smooth surface finish. Material jetting allows a designer to print a design in multiple colors and several materials in a single print. Separate STL files are necessary to export the model To designate a different material or color to particular areas of the part. When blending colors or material properties to create a digital material, the design must be exported as an OBJ or VRML file. These formats allow the designation of special properties (such as texture or full color) on a per-face per-vertex basis.
The main drawbacks to printing with material jetting technologies are the high cost, and UV-activated photopolymers lose mechanical properties over time and can become brittle.
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