Powder-Jet 3D Printers
This is a 3D printing process uses a technology that resembles 2D printing.
Ink is printed onto a layer of fine powder, instead of a sheet of paper. The process is repeated by lowering the print bed and adding successive layers of powder where cross-sections of each 3D model are printed and bound together by the ink.
Benefits of this process are full (CMYK) colour objects that are ideal for rapid prototypes which require colour, textures and logo details.
Complex geometry and interior features can also be produced by this method, making it ideal for the production of colour architectural models, fine art sculptures, and medical planning and education models. High-resolution models are created with smooth surfaces and detailed features as small as 0.1 mm can be built.
This process removes the need for complex support structures by building up each layer with powder, while the areas that are not printed on remain as loose powder to support the CAD model. The unused powder is vacuumed back into the machine at the end of the printing process and is reused for the next print, eliminating any waste material.
One consideration is the post-processing time. Delicate or fine detailed models can take several hours to remove all of the loose powder from surface details and the parts also have to be impregnated with Cyanoacrylate (superglue) to add strength.
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