Photopolymer Jetting (PJ)

image of Explanation of the technology photopolymer jetting including characteristics, materials, machines, vendors, applications and process chain. image of Explanation of the technology photopolymer jetting including characteristics, materials, machines, vendors, applications and process chain.

Synonyms

Polyjet modeling, multijet modeling, polyjetting, multijetting, jetted photopolymer

Process description

Inkjet print heads are used to jet liquid photopolymers onto a build platform. The material is immediately cured by UV lamps and solidified which allows to build layers on top of each other. Read more

Photopolymer jetting machines utilize inkjet print heads to jet a liquid photopolymer which is immediately cured by a UV lamp. By adding layer on layer, the part is built. Several materials can be jetted at the same time. Photopolymer jetting requires support structures for overhangs, which is usually built in a different material.

Advantages / disadvantages

Multiple materials can be jetted together allowing multi-material and multi-color parts. Functionally graded materials are possible. However, the technology does not work with standard materials but with UV-active photopolymers which are not durable over time. Read more

Through utilizing print heads, several materials can be processed at the same time. This allows multi-material and/or multi-color parts. Through mixing materials in different proportions, functionally graded materials can be built (e.g. different shore hardness at different locations of the part). The technology can achieve good accuracy and surface finishes.

As stereolithography, photopolymer jetting is working with UV-active photopolymers. Therefore, parts are not durable over time and have limited mechanical properties.

Application areas

  • Prototypes can be built in multiple materials with multiple colors and good surface finish. Further, transparent materials are available. Therefore, photopolymer jetting parts are often used for visual and form / fit testing.
  • Casting patterns are built with photopolymer jetting as good accuracy and surface finish can be achieved.
  • Tools for injection molding of very small series / prototypes are produced with photopolymer jetting due to the good surface and accuracy.

Characteristics / restrictions

  • Maximal build envelope: 1’000 x 800 x 500 mm3
  • Minimum feature size: 0.15 mm
  • Typical tolerance: +/-0.025 mm
  • Minimum layer thickness: 0.016 mm

Characteristics are only indicative, as there are different types of machines available.

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Process chain

Multi-material and multi-color parts need to be specially planned beforehand. After the build, the support structure can be removed with water. Often parts are not further processed, as good surface finish and accuracy can be achieved. Read more

Pre-build planning

The production of parts is planned in a build preparation software. One or several parts are loaded from digital 3D files (typically in the STL file format). Different materials and colors can be defined for different parts.


Post-processing

  • Remove of support material: Support material is removed with water.
  • Surface finish: The surface can be changed through adding material (e.g. painting, coating), which can also improve durability.

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Materials

Metal
Heavy metals
 
Plastic
ABS
 
Acrylate
 
Photopolymer
ABS-like (Stratasys)
Accura Xtreme White 200 (3D Systems)
AR-H1 (Keyence)
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Equipment

Vendor

Model

3D Systems

ProJet 2500
ProJet 2500 plus
ProJet 3500 HD Max
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Projet 3500 HD Plus
ProJet 3510 DP
ProJet 3510 HD
ProJet 3510 HD Plus
ProJet 3510 MP
ProJet 3510 SD
ProJet 5000
Projet 5500X

Keyence

Agilista 3100W

Stratasys

Objet 1000
Objet 1000 Connex
Objet 24
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Objet 260 Connex
Objet 30 OrthoDesk
Objet 30 Pro
Objet 350 Connex
Objet 350 Connex 3
Objet 500 Connex
Objet 500 Connex 3
Objet Eden 500V
Objet Eden260V
Objet Eden350V

Stay up-to-date on professional 3D printing!


Our monthly newsletter contains ideas, how you could use 3D printing in your company. See what projects other companies are realising and stay up-to-date what’s new in professional 3D printing and on Additively.

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