Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - 13

3D Printing?
SLA 3D printers offer higher resolution
and can produce significantly
smoother and more de -
tailed prints (right) than FDM
3D printers (left).
3D Printing Resolution
In 3D printing and additive manufacturing,
there are three dimensions to consider:
the two planar 2D dimensions (X
and Y) and the Z dimension that makes it
3D printing. Since the planar and Z
dimensions are generally controlled via
very different mechanisms, their resolutions
are going to be different and need
to be treated separately. As a result, there
is a lot of confusion about what the term
" 3D printing resolution " means and what
level of print quality to expect.
Compare Different 3D Printing
Processes
What makes a 3D printer high-resolution?
There's not a one-number answer.
Since 3D printers produce parts in three
dimensions, you will have to consider at
least two numbers: the minimum feature
size of the XY plane and the Z-axis resoTech
Briefs, July 2021
Cov
DLP 3D printers have a fixed matrix of pixels relative to the build area, while laser-based SLA and
LFS 3D printers can focus the laser beam on any XY coordinate. This means that laser-based
machines, given high-quality optics, can more accurately reproduce the surface of a part even if
the laser spot size is larger than the DLP pixel size.
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ToC
13
lution (layer thickness or layer height).
The Z-axis resolution is easily determined
and therefore widely
though it is less related to print quality
Laser SLA
Minimum laser spot size
DLP
Minimum pixel size
reported even
and surface finish. The more important
XY resolution (minimum feature size) is
measured via microscopic imaging and is
therefore not always found in spec sheets.
Low Force Stereolithography (LFS)
Minimum laser spot size
SLA uses a UV laser to draw
rounded lines
DLP uses a projector screen to
project layers of squared voxels
LFS uses a laser and constant line
scanning in small increments
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Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021

Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - Intro
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - Sponsor
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - Cov1
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - Cov2
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - 1
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - 2
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - 3
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - 4
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - 5
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - 6
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - 7
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - 8
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - 9
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - 10
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - 11
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - 12
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - 13
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - 14
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - 15
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - 16
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - 17
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - 18
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - 19
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - 20
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - 21
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - 22
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - 23
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Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - 31
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Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - 56
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - Cov3
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - Cov4
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