Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Inkjet 3D Printing or DLP Plastic Prototyping: How to Choose?

In the traditional design process (concept development>detail design>build/test> manufacture/ship) rapid prototyping has historically addressed the build/test and manufacturing/ship phases of the process, providing necessary form, fit and function testing and verification of designs. 3D printing is widely thought to address only the concept development and detailed design phases of the process, enabling designers to iterate more frequently, resulting in greater innovation.

Today, the previously clear lines between 3D printing and rapid prototyping are blurred. In fact, there’s overlap in the testing phase of the process. Z Corporation’s inkjet 3D printers meet the needs of many customers requiring form, fit and functional testing and verification. Z Corp. uniquely provides both inkjet 3D printers and plastic prototyping systems to meet all phases of the design process.

Many people think that they need plastic because that’s what certain manufacturer’s have led them to believe, when in reality, most people don’t need plastic for their applications, and in fact, they could be saving significant time and money using inkjet 3D printing. However there are times when a plastic DLP system is the right tool for the job. So how do you decide which system, inkjet 3D printing or plastic prototyping, is the best tool for your application?

Over the next couple of months our worldwide channel partners are running free, in-person, interactive seminars that will explain and demonstrate how you choose which type of technology is best for your unique application. The “How to Choose the Right Prototyping System” seminars will include live product demonstrations, reviews of applications, analyses of costs, displays of prototypes you can produce with each technology, methods for making smart device choices, interactive Q&As, and even a contest drawing for a Flip camcorder. These seminars are run by experts who will be happy to answer your questions.

I encourage you to take advantage of this great educational opportunity that could ultimately save you a lot of time and money in your job. For more information on the seminars, including locations and dates, visit:


  1. In this business world the prototyping is very important. and its most like bye the customers. this is great job.

  2. Very good, I have read recently about your seminar How to Choose the Right Rapid Prototyping System. So i think its useful for the buyers.

  3. Thanks for the comments Plastic Card. I think it is important to add that even processes that result in “plastic” like materials usually don’t match the desired final properties. So, understanding your true requirements and matching that with the right technology can have significant financial implications for any business. A general rule is to use inkjet 3D printing for early stage iterations (developing concepts and detailing designs) and DLP for final design verification build and testing. But, don’t stick to the rules if a faster process will get the job done. In fact, we’ve found that in some cases an epoxy infiltrated inkjet 3D printed part has properties closer to a rigid glass filled plastic and is better for functional prototypes requiring these properties than DLP, FDM, SLA or SLS. -Mark

  4. Many thanks for expressing this specific good post with a good subject, so much wonderful natural talent you have got

  5. I visit ur site read ur article nice & so informative article,I really thankful to you,You have post so useful...
    Plastic Cards

  6. 3D printing and Prototyping is actually the most innovative and creative way of giving new and exciting look.Looking forward to the next!

  7. Today, the previously clear lines between 3D printing and rapid prototyping are blurred.

    Plastic Prototyping
    Rapid Precision Machining