• MapLeo Design

How different types of 3d printers works?


A 3D model file (usually a .STL or .OBJ) is imported into a program called a slicer. Cura, Slic3r, and Simplify3D are all great examples of slicer programs. This program will “slice” the object into single layers and create gcode that tells the printer where to move and also controls parameters like print speed and temperature. Gcode is sent to the machineThe printing nozzle heats and melts filament that’s forced through the nozzleThe object is built layer by layer with each successive layer fusing on top of the one below it until the 3D object is complete

Software recommended: Slic3rCura &  Ideamaker


The 3D Model is imported into a slicing program like PreForm, Ideamaker, A tank is filled with liquid photo-polymer resin A build platform lowers into the tank and one layer of the design is traced by a UV laser. The laser is positioned using galvanometers which are sets of mirrors that rotate and reflect the laser. The liquid resin hardens into a solid creating a single layer of the object. This process is repeated and the build platform raises until the object completes.

Slicing software recommended: Ideamaker & Formlabs (dlp)


Basic working is similar to that of sla, but the difference is the light source.  Instead of lasers, DLP printers use a projector below the resin tank to expose the entire layer at once. Laser-based SLA has an edge on DLP as far as printing accuracy and finish quality goes, but DLP machines can come at a lower-price point due to the simpler mechanics involved.


Somewhat similar to sla printing, but In SLS, an ultraviolet curable photopolyme powder is used and an ultraviolet laser is used to cure the powder into a solid object.

While Deckard and Beaman patented the process of selective laser sintering, they were far from the first to use sintering — the process of creating objects from powders using atomic diffusion — to create a three dimensional object. Sintering has been used for thousands of years to create everyday objects like bricks, porcelain and jewelry.

Like all methods of 3D printing, an object printed with an SLS machine starts as a computer-aided design (CAD) file. CAD files are converted to .STL format, which can be understood by a 3D printing apparatus.

Objects printed with SLS are made with powder materials, most commonly plastics, such as nylon, which are dispersed in a thin layer on top of the build platform inside an SLS machine.

A laser, which is controlled by a computer that tells it what object to "print," pulses down on the platform, tracing a cross-section of the object onto the powder.

The laser heats the powder either to just below its boiling point (sintering) or above its boiling point (melting), which fuses the particles in the powder together into a solid form.

Once the initial layer is formed, the platform of the SLS machine drops — usually by less than 0.1mm — exposing a new layer of powder for the laser to trace and fuse together. This process continues again and again until the entire object has been printed.

When the object is fully formed, it is left to cool in the machine before being removed.

Unlike other methods of 3D printing, SLS requires very little additional tooling once an object is printed, meaning that objects don't usually have to be sanded or otherwise altered once they come out of the SLS machine.

SLS doesn't require the use of additional supports to hold an object together while it is being printed. Such supports are often necessary with other 3D printing methods, such as stereolithography or fused deposition modeling, making these methods more time-consuming than SLS.


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