In the kingdom of 3D printing FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling) has long reigned as the most well-known and accessible technology. However, the tides are changing as technology grows and more options become accessible. TriMech has offerings in several areas of 3D printing technologies including FDM, P3 (Programmable Photo-Polymerization), SL (stereolithography), SAF (Selective Absorption Fusion), and PolyJet. Today we will be focusing on the top 5 industry uses of PolyJet.
But First, what is PolyJet?
PolyJet printers work very similar to a household inkjet 2D paper printer. Instead of ink, tiny droplets of a UV reactive photopolymer are precisely placed one layer at a time and cured to build a three-dimensional part. The unique way PolyJet printers lay down material allows for blending of base materials into digital materials. Digital materials are a combination of two or more base materials to create a composite material that has its own properties; physical, mechanical, shades and tones, etc. PolyJet printers such as the Stratasys J55 have the ability to create more than 500 thousand distinguishable color combinations. Now that we have a bit of background on what PolyJet is, lets move on to the top 5 industry uses.
In a field where innovation saves lives it’s easy to see why more hospitals and academic medical centers are adopting 3D printing into their workflows. PolyJet printers like the J5 MediJet and J750 Digital Anatomy are tailor-made for this application. PolyJet printing can create realistic anatomical models that can be customized for a variety of training purposes. These versatile models can be created quickly and cost less than traditional training aids.
Without 3D printing surgery consisted of looking at scans on computer screens and trying to imagine how the surgery would be performed. With the utilization of PolyJet printing, patient specific models can be printed with multiple materials and colors to closely represent what the surgeon may encounter in a tangible 3D model. The PolyJet printed models allow for better planning, which could result in quicker surgeries and better success rates.
In the dental industry, traditionally casting and creating molds of a patient’s teeth and gums has been a costly and labor-intensive process. With 3D printing reliable, detailed and accurate models are quick and easy to produce. Stratasys offers a line of dental specific PolyJet materials, MED670, MED690, and MED620. These materials are available on the J5 DentaJet, J700 Dental (MED670 only), and Objet 30 Dental Prime. There are numerous use cases such as clear aligner molds, surgical guides, implant models and orthodontic models. PolyJet dental printers can help reduce costs, streamline workflows and create dental parts faster and with greater accuracy.
Packaging designers around the world use PolyJet technology to quickly iterate and validate detailed, full color and multi-material packaging prototypes. A tangible and realistic prototype can help the designer receive valuable feedback to produce a better final product. PolyJet technology gives part realism in one step with little to no post-processing. Stratasys PolyJet printers support GrabCad print which can import full color 3MF files to quickly go from digital design to full color 3D print. PolyJet is a great fit for the packaging design of cosmetics, beverages, and consumer goods. Full transparency, graphics, colors, text and labels printed on site within hours.
Toys and figurines are a huge business segment and are bought and sold based on how they look. Getting the correct shape and color are paramount. Without 3D printing models are handmade and hand-painted with stickers and dry transfers applied to get the desired look. This process is time consuming and expensive. With PolyJet printing full color and full texture models can be printed in one shot for faster iterations and faster approval. Colors can be a subjective thing and if the superhero’s suit isn’t the exact shade it needs to be it is quickly noticed. Pantone validated colors are part of the advanced color standardization system. Standardizing colors means that instead of someone trying to describe the desired yellow wanted, a bit darker than a dandelion, they can ask for Pantone 605. Stratasys J55 Prime, J7 series and J8 series of printers can print in Pantone validated colors with the Vero line of materials.
Last but not least on the list is consumer goods. The consumer goods industry is a big user of PolyJet technology. For the product development of consumer goods, PolyJet technology can simulate almost any material, woodgrain, leather, fabric, carbon fiber, etc. Which means independence from outsourcing and potential delays. Outsourcing part creation can be time consuming and expensive. The ability to create models in house with PolyJet saves time, money and very importantly keeps your company’s IP (intellectual property) safe.
High fidelity parts, over half a million color options and digital materials allow for endless options only limited by your creativity. With PolyJet technologies, limitations often lie with the capabilities of the designer not with what the printer is capable of. If you are interested in adding a Stratasys PolyJet printer to your toolbox don’t hesitate to reach out. TriMech has a team of Solution Consultants that can help you with any questions or concerns you may have. TriMech also offers classes to help you learn to get the most out of your PolyJet machine.
Want to learn more? Watch our on-demand webinar “Understanding the Potential of Additive Manufacturing – PolyJet”.