3D printing is a method of manufacturing prostheses in which objects are made by the sequential addition of material layers. The 3D printing technology is accomplished by various techniques, the most important of them are:

  1. Photopolymer,
  2. Binder Jetting,
  3. Material Extrusion,

Specifically, the operating principle of Photopolymer is described as the shot of a light beam (laser or electron beam) to the material. The light beam shot leads to the initial melting of the material and subsequently to solidification of the object to a predetermined shape (the shape is defined by the drawing). Regarding the operation principle of Binder Jetting, the technique is based on the formation of the object by repeated injections of the liquid binding material, which in this case has the form of powder or granules. Lastly, the most widely known procedure of Material Extrusion uses a pasty material (thermoplastic) for printing, which forms the object after melting the material at a certain temperature.

Each of the above mentioned techniques, uses different materials with specific settings of the printer head regarding the operation temperature and pressure of the device. Comon materials that are used for 3D printing are: ABS, PLA, PVA, HIPS, Laywood, Nylon and Sandstone.


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Author: Fotios Konstantinidis