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RapidMade|Multi Jet Fusion vs Selective Laser Sintering: Why MJF Is the Future of 3D Printing
3D Print Technician cleans nylon parts of free powder. What powder bed technology is right for your business?

In the rapidly evolving world of 3D printing, two technologies stand out: Multi Jet Fusion (MJF) and Selective Laser Sintering (SLS). Both have revolutionized manufacturing processes, but when it comes to precision, efficiency, and material versatility, MJF emerges as the superior choice. This blog delves into the advantages of MJF over SLS, with a special focus on how it excels when using materials like unfilled Nylon 12 and TPU elastomer.

Understanding MJF and SLS Technologies

MJF, developed by HP, is a cutting-edge 3D printing technology known for its precision and speed. It uses an inkjet array to apply fusing agents and detailing agents across a bed of powdered material, which is then fused by heating elements. This process allows for the creation of high-density, detailed parts with excellent surface quality.

In contrast, SLS employs a high-powered laser to sinter powdered material, layer by layer. While SLS is renowned for its ability to create complex geometries, its slower speed and the often rougher surface finish of its products put it at a disadvantage compared to MJF.

The true potential of MJF becomes apparent when we consider specific materials, particularly unfilled Nylon 12 and TPU elastomer.

RapidMade|Multi Jet Fusion vs Selective Laser Sintering: Why MJF Is the Future of 3D Printing
Left to Right: MJF Black, MJF Grey, SLS White

Advantages of MJF over SLS

MJF stands out for several reasons:

    • Speed and Efficiency: MJF’s process is inherently faster than that of SLS. The simultaneous application and fusing of material across the entire build area allow for quicker production times, making it ideal for high-volume manufacturing.

    • Surface Finish and Density: Parts produced by MJF are denser and have a smoother finish right out of the printer, reducing the need for extensive post-processing. This is particularly beneficial when working with materials like Nylon 12 and TPU elastomer, which are often used in applications where the finish and feel of the product are important.

    • Cost-Effectiveness: For businesses looking at the bottom line, MJF is more cost-effective, especially in batch production. The time saved in printing and post-processing translates into significant cost savings.

Deep Dive into Material Benefits

Nylon 12: This material is known for its exceptional strength, durability, and flexibility. MJF elevates the properties of Nylon 12 by ensuring uniform thermal distribution during printing, resulting in parts that are strong yet lightweight, with consistent mechanical properties. This makes MJF-printed Nylon 12 ideal for a wide range of applications, from automotive parts to consumer goods. SLS nylon 12 does not have the same isotropic mechanical properties. It is also less dense, rougher detail and has worse surface finish. The main benefit to SLS is a lower cost white nylon. To achieve white MJF must use very expensive fusing agent with titanium nitride in it.

TPU Elastomer: TPU is a versatile material valued for its elasticity and resistance to abrasion and wear. MJF technology can harness these properties effectively, producing parts that are not only flexible but also highly detailed and complex. This is crucial for industries where custom-fit and comfort are paramount, such as medical devices and wearable technology. SLS TPE does not come close with surface finish or mechanical properties.

Polypropylene: MJF can run polypropylene no problem and SLS cannot. Polypropylene is a versatile and resilient plastic widely praised for its exceptional chemical resistance, elasticity, and insulation properties. It’s lightweight yet strong, making it ideal for products requiring durability and longevity. With a high melting point, it suits applications that encounter heat. Additionally, its ability to be easily molded and recycled makes it a sustainable choice for a wide range of industries, from automotive to consumer goods.

RapidMade|Multi Jet Fusion vs Selective Laser Sintering: Why MJF Is the Future of 3D Printing
MJF TPU - Superior to SLS TPE material properties, elongation and tear strength

Real-World Applications and Case Studies 

Real-world applications of MJF with Nylon 12 and TPU elastomer are numerous. For instance, in the automotive industry, MJF has been used to create durable, heat-resistant components that withstand the rigors of daily use. In healthcare, customized prosthetics and orthopedic insoles made with MJF-printed TPU offer unmatched comfort and fit.

Case studies from leading industries demonstrate the superiority of MJF over SLS. A notable example is a sports equipment manufacturer that switched to MJF for its ability to produce strong, flexible, and lightweight protective gear, a feat that was not as feasible with SLS due to its limitations in surface finish and material properties.

Why Choose MJF for Your Business

Choosing MJF for your business means utilizing a technology that is at the forefront of efficiency, precision, and material versatility. Whether you’re looking to produce high-volume batches or customized, high-quality parts, MJF with Nylon 12 and TPU elastomer offers a competitive edge. Industries ranging from aerospace to consumer electronics can benefit from the advanced capabilities of MJF, leading to products that are not only superior in quality but also more cost-effective in the long run.

In summary, MJF’s superior speed, efficiency, and material capabilities, especially with Nylon 12 and TPU elastomer, make it the clear choice over SLS in the realm of 3D printing. Embracing MJF technology is embracing the future of manufacturing.

Ready to get started 3D Printing with MJF?

Ready to see your designs materialize with precision and speed? At RapidMade, we check all the above boxes on what makes an outstanding service provider including: Cost, lead time, quality and customer service! We not only guide you through the intricacies of MJF 3D printing but also offer a suite of services to meet all your manufacturing needs, including CNC machining, thermoforming, and expert mechanical engineering services. Trust in our expertise to bring your projects to life with the quality and care they deserve. Don’t wait any longer—Get a 3D printing instant quote today and take the first step towards transforming your ideas into reality with RapidMade.

If you need more product specific MJF tutorials related to RapidMade’s MJF service product offering please check out our detailed Multi Jet Fusion 3D printing service page!