Material Jetting (MJ) is an additive manufacturing process. The process is similar to 2D printers. Material is jetted onto a building platform using either a continuous or Drop on Demand (DOD) approach.
Material is jetted onto the building platform or surface, then it will be solid and the model will be built layer by layer. The material is deposited from a nozzle and the nozzle moves horizontally across the building platform. Machines vary in complexity and the methods of controlling the deposition of material is different. Then the material layers will be cured or hardened with an ultraviolet (UV) light.
MJ 3D Printing can create high dimensional accuracy parts, and the surface can be very smooth too. In Material Jetting, multi-material printing and many materials (e.g. ABS, rubber and fully transparent materials) are available. These characteristics make MJ a very attractive choice for both tooling manufacturing and visual prototypes.
MJ deposits material in a line-wise fashion, and it is different from other 3D printing technologies.
Multiple inkjet printing heads are mounted to the same carrier side-by-side and deposit material on the whole print platform in a single pass. In this way, different heads can dispense different material. So full-color printing, multi-material printing and dispensing of dis solvable support structures is straightforward and generally used.
In material jetting support structures are always required and they need to be removed in the post-processing.
- First, the liquid resin will be heated to the desired temperature to achieve optimal viscosity for printing.
- Then the print head travels over the building platform and hundreds of tiny droplets of photopolymer are deposited/ jetted to the desired locations.
- A UV Curing light that is attached to the printing head cures the deposited material, solidifying it and creating the first layer of the part.
- After the layer is completed, the building platform moves down one-layer height and the process repeats until the whole object is completed.