There are many types of 3D printing available, but to be able to economically and reliably produce one to tens of thousands of parts in engineering grade material, powder bed technologies are the logical choice. The speed of production, level of detail, affordability, and overall quality of the end product sets this technology apart from all other 3D printing processes. Multi Jet Fusion (MJF) is most closely comparable to Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) technology. Like SLS it works by adding sequential layers of polymer powder into a build chamber, and the most common material for both is Nylon PA12. In contrast to SLS which uses a single point laser, MJF uses a combination of a fusing agent jetted onto the powder surface and a high powered heat source to selectively fuse areas of each layer together to form parts. This means that Multi Jet Fusion produces parts with similar material properties, but at a much higher volume per print. MJF and SLS have similar material properties, but Multi Jet Fusion has several distinct advantages:
MJF is approximately 10x faster than SLS.
MJF is 15-30% less expensive than SLS, with greater cost advantage at higher volumes.
MJF parts have superior strength and flexibility compared to SLS
MJF has more homogenous mechanical properties compared to SLS, which is weaker along the print axis.
MJF can print approximately 1000 gears in 3 hours, compared to 79 gears in 3 hours with SLS or 36 gears in 3 hours with FDM 3D printing technology.
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