DLP 3D Printer To Print High Precision Objects With Ultra Smooth Surface
DLP stands for digital light processing that is one of the popular technologies used for 3D printing. Unlike FDM technology, this technology uses light from projectors to turn liquid resin into a solid object, one layer at a time and accumulates layer by layer finally to form an object.
DLP 3D printer uses photoreactive liquid resin material which will be selectively exposed to light in order to form very thin solid layers that stack up to create one solid object.
The key part of the printer is a digital projector screen which is used to flash a single image of each layer across the entire platform at once. Because the projector is a digital screen, the image of each layer is composed of square pixels, resulting in a layer formed from small rectangular bricks called voxels.
DLP resolution depends on the projector, which defines how many pixels/voxels are available. For example, full HD is 1080p. The projector in a DLP 3D printer must be focused to an image size in order to achieve a given X-Y resolution. When small pixels are desired, this constrains the overall build area by shrinking the entire image. That is, a detailed print on a DLP printer must only use a fraction of the overall build area, and large models can only print at a coarse resolution.
DLP 3D printers are restricted by pixel size. A printer that has a large build volume has a fixed amount of large pixels, making it impossible to print small details at full build volume.
Because objects are made of layers in 3D printing, 3D prints often have visible, horizontal layer lines. However, because DLP renders images using rectangular voxels, there is also an effect of vertical voxel lines.
DLP 3D printers render images using rectangular voxels, which causes an effect of vertical voxel lines. In this image, see the vertical voxel lines as they appear naturally on the left, and then outlined to more easily identify on the right.
Because the unit is rectangular, voxels also have an effect on curved edges. Think of building a round shape out of Lego bricks—the edges will appear stepped on both the Z axis and the X-Y plane.
After sorting out the differences in technology and outcomes, it’s much easier to select a 3D printing solution that best matches your workflow and output needs. In this case, it is important to understand what surface finish is required by final prints, and the size and intricacy of the parts.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jerry Xu is a professional 3D Printer specialist from Shenzhen Inspiremaker Technology who provide a variety of 3D printer and DLP 3D printer for design, jewelry and high accuracy instruments manufacturing.