how to choose your 3d printer
3d printing technique can be categorised by their ability to produce parts that have either a functional or visual purpose. Functional polymers part it is recommended to either use FDM or SLS thermoplastics where SLS has the superior properties but at higher cost. For highly complex functional parts, SLS is generally the options.
For non functional parts where aesthetics are crucial it is suggested to look at SLA or DLP and material jetting where jetting process has advantage in terms of surface and dimensional accuracy but at higher price per gram
For metal parts, it is advised to rather compare between binder jetting and DMLS/SLM process where material in powder forms are used. Binder jetting metal parts can be up to 10x cheaper than powder bed fusion (SLM) but dimensional tolerance and mechanical properties are not as good as SLM. If the physical part is larger than the build volume for DMLS/SLM binder jetting is generally the only options
However there are many situations in which these generalised rules do not apply. For example, functional applications of SLA DLP or material jetting parts or low cost visual prototyping using FDM but as general rule of thumb they can be considered a good starting point
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