What’s the difference the types of Additive manufacturing

Two of the most common 3D printing technologies are fused deposition modelling and stereolithography

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Jon Paterson

Lab Engineer, Barclays


Additive manufacturing or as its more commonly known 3D printing, this cool tech allows you to lower manufacturing costs and saves dev time over all. Technology in Additive manufacturing continues to develop every day and the number of uses and applications grows exceptionally. 3D printers today are more than affordable and reliable than ever as well as being on hand in each of our labs, where our engineers come in hand is helping you to choose the best technology for your business and applications.

I want to share two of the most common 3D printing technologies, fused deposition modelling (FDM) and stereolithography (SLA), both of these we have access to within the labs and a collection of available materials as well as common applications and all required equipment.



Fused Deposition Modelling

So Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM), or lesser known as Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF), is an process that belongs to the material extrusion family. In this type of manufacturing, an object or model is built by depositing melted material in a path layer-by-layer. The materials used are thermoplastic polymers and come in a filament form a long string in the labs we would normally use a material called PLA.

FDM is the most widely used 3D Printing technology and represents the largest collection of 3D printers globally and is often the first technology people are exposed to. When designing for FDM you should keep in mind the capabilities and limitations of this technology, Give me a call if you need a hand.



Now Stereolithography (SLA) is a manufacturing process that belongs to the container Photopolymerization family. How SLA works is an object is created by curing a small layer polymer resin layer-by-layer using an UV light beam. The resin in SLA that come in a liquid form. It’s also famous for being the first 3D Printing technology invented back in 1986. The finish of SLA parts come off the printer in very high accuracy and smooth surface. Again our engineers can help you achieve the benefits and understand the limitations of the manufacturing process.

Eagle Labs are here to support you better understand and utilise these technological developments. Eagle Labs provide the technical expertise, facilities, learning content and introductions to help you unlock the potential of the technical trends associated with Industry 4.0, including the Internet of Things, Virtual and Augmented Reality, Advanced Manufacturing, Artificial Intelligence and much more.


Jon Paterson is based at Brighton Eagle Lab

Barclays are investing in the future of the London road area of Brighton & supporting businesses to embrace new and emerging technologies critical to the success of businesses in the UK.

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