Updated: February 19, 2017

We use printer in our day to day life, almost for everything. It helps us get the digital copy of data as a hard copy. Now a new era of 3D printers has started. With this type of printer the 3D digital objects can be printed as it is. This 3D printer can be used for creating the 3D objects that are used in various projects and they are not particularly made for specific projects since they have different characteristics of their own. There are many things that the user should keep in mind like the speed of the printer since this will determine the time within which the printer will finish the project, the material used for building the project and also the cost of the material. There are many places where people use 3D printer for rapid prototyping.


Methods for 3D printing:

            For 3D printing there are several methods that can be used to get the desired goals depending upon the project that we are working on. The 3D printers are differentiated using two primary differences, they are, the procedure that is carried on for creating a model and the material that is being used to build that model. The building of the models starts with designing of the materials in the computer using program tools and then with the help of 3D printer that model is brought to life. Some methods include softening or melting the layers, curing the liquid materials and some includes cutting the materials and joining them to obtain the desired model. The methods are specified below.

  • Fused deposition modeling (FDM)
  • Stereo lithography (SLA)
  • Selective laser sintering (SLS)
  • Digital light processing (DLP)

Fused deposition modeling (FDM):

            This is a very simple method. It is popular. In this process the material is melted to a semi liquid state, this semi liquid is then introduced inside the extruder through the nozzle. The extruder which is present inside the printer forms the lower base of the product, when this material cools down it takes the shape of the extruder. This process is continued till the product is completely finished.

Stereo lithography (SLA):

            This method is the oldest method of all rapid 3D printing. This method is used in industries where the models that are printed are much bigger in size ranging up to two meters. This printing takes place in a container, where liquid plastic is used.

Selective laser sintering (SLS):

            This method uses various types of plastic with powdered material. The use of materials used for printing in this method differs from those used in  FDM and SLA, but the remaining process is similar to the stereo lithography (SLA).

Digital light processing (DLP):

            This process is very similar to the stereo lithography but instead of ultraviolet light, a projector is used to cure the liquid plastic that is photopolymer resin.


            These devices need regular maintenance, so that the malfunctions can be avoided. Depending upon one’s wish the type can be chosen.