There is much debate in the marketplace regarding the best technology for rapid prototyping or 3D printing.  Stereolithography or SLA was one of earliest technologies and is still considered to be one of the benchmarks against which other technologies are compared.

More recent technologies to arive in the marketplace are Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) and Polyjet Modeling.  FDM has gained a reputation for producing a tough, durable part in a relatively low cost machine.  However, that part strength comes with the cost of low resolution and poor part finish.

Polyjet Modeling, on the otherhand, can produce a part with similar material properties to the ABS-like materials used in FDM modeling, but with much higher resolution and superior surface finish.  In fact, with some fine detailed part (like the image shown), the fine details won’t even print on the FDM machine.

As with any technology, a thorough evaluation of 3D printers should be performed on customer specific parts prior to selecting a machine to purchase.

For more details on this subject, please e-mail me:  dan@neometrixtech.com, or visit our web site:  www.3dscanningservices.net

http://www.3dscanningservices.net/object-alaris-3d-printing-rapid-prototyping.asp

Polyjet Part showing Detail not Available in FDM