3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing Bonded Together by Adhesives

Posted on 4/27/2021 7:32:24 AM By

3D printing and additive manufacturing are often thought of as being completely different because of their techniques. Yet 3D printing echoes one of additive manufacturing’s approach, often referred to as Binder Jetting, and both also share a dependency on adhesive resins, often cured under UV light, for construction.

Three of the most popular methods of additive manufacturing using adhesives include VAT Photopolymerization, Powder Bed Fusion, and Material Jetting, each of which take a different approach.

The VAT Photopolymerization relies on liquid photopolymer resin which, cured under UV, becomes the material which creates the layers required to build the end product.

The Powder Bed Fusion technique uses layers made out of material powder melted or fused by heat, or a powerful laser which often uses selective laser sintering (SLS).  Material Jetting, on the other hand,  steps even closer to 3D printing  by forming each layer used to construct an object by depositing a liquid material as droplets onto a build surface using a print head. Once on the surface, the droplets quickly solidify, and each completed layer is cured separately using ultraviolet light.

The connections between these two forms of additive marketing don’t stop with the adhesives. Both also rely on digital design techniques including CAD or Computer- Aided Design, and share the same end goals of speeding up manufacture and reducing  material waste.

Additive manufacturing, including 3D printing, has many benefits, including the speed of manufacture, reduction of waste and light weight but high tensile strength. It does not require molds or special assembly rigs, so can be used for once-off manufacture of prototypes. Not held back by the constraints of standard manufacture techniques, it also enables the development of complicated parts, in a single piece where necessary, and can make innovative breakthroughs in terms of meeting the requirements of many industries.