Printing techniques


Fused Deposition Modeling or "wire printing

In FDM printing (sometimes called FFF - Fused Filament Fabrication), a wire (filament) is melted and layered on top of each other. Over the layers the 3D object is formed.

The main features of this technology are:

  • It is usually the cheapest and fastest solution.
  • Ideal for enclosures and pieces with straight walls.
  • Ideal for serial production of all kinds of parts where the surface finish is less important.
  • The PCB lines are visible. The degree of visibility depends on the geometry of the piece, the layer thickness and the orientation on the board.
  • Support is needed to support overhanging parts during printing. This results in a rougher surface at the bottom of the print.
  • Layer thickness: 0.1 to 0.3 mm (and possibly up to 0.6 mm for large parts that may have a rougher appearance)
  • Usually hollow printed, with an internal grid structure for strength
  • Measurement accuracy: ± 0.5% with a lower limit of ± 0.5 mm


Stereolitography or "liquid printing

In SLA printing, a liquid epoxy resin is cured by UV laser on the surface of the liquid bath against the print bed. Each layer raises the print bed and a new layer is cured against the piece to form the entire object, which hangs upside down on the print bed.

The main features of this technology are:

  • Gives a smooth surface. Almost no print lines are visible, except for faintly curved surfaces.
  • Ideal for visual parts with small details.
  • Provides watertight pieces.
  • Support is needed to support overhanging parts during printing. The support remnants can usually be removed very well so that the surface remains smooth.
  • Layer thickness: 0.05 to 0.1 mm (and 0.3 mm for Draft resin).
  • Measurement accuracy: ± 0.5% with a lower limit of ± 0.15 mm


Selective Laser Sintering or "powder bed printing".

In SLS printing, a strong laser melts powder particles together locally. It does this layer by layer to build up an object.

  • The surface is slightly grainy.
  • The print lines are less visible than with FDM but more than with SLA, especially on faintly curved surfaces and depending on the print direction.
  • Ideal for complex pieces with internal cavities.
  • No support is needed for overhanging parts during printing because the unmelted powder around the object provides support. As a result, there are no support marks.
  • Layer thickness: 0.08 to 0.12 mm
  • Measurement accuracy: ± 0.3% with a lower limit of ± 0.3 mm

Other techniques


Apart from the most common printing techniques described above, there are several other production techniques that we use from time to time, depending on the needs of a project.

  • Metal printing (in stainless steel, aluminium or titanium)
  • Full colour printing (in sandstone or plastic)
  • Vacuum casting (in PU, TPU or epoxy; for this we first make a 3D printed mould or a silicone mould; suitable for small series or for the (re)production of works of art)
  • Thermoforming
  • Laser cutting (in plexiglass, PET or wood; 0.8 to 5 mm thickness)
  • Large format printing
  • Ceramic printing (food safe, many colours of glaze possible)


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