In the 3D printing creative environment, the right choice of printing material is the main difference between a well-made job and a botched prototype. You need to have full awareness about the specs of your printing machine as well as the type of materials it can handle. Two of the most popular technologies embraced by the seasoned experts and enthusiasts alike are CLIP technology and Polyjet technology.

Over the next few lines, we are pointing out key differences between them as well as the materials that work better with each one. A little clarification is in order before we begin: this comparison it’s only done with didactical purposes, and it’s only meant as a guide to learn about the best 3D modeling technology and materials available out there. Now let’s read on:

CLIP Technology

CLIP is an acronym for Continuous Liquid Interface Solution, the main catch of this tech is the use of digital light projection through an oxygen permeable window on a deposit of liquid resin that can be handled using UV lights. The UV rays solidify the resins by following the guidelines that are input on the specialized software to create a model according to a set of pre-programmed specifications. The level of detail that can be achieved for this technique is amazing, but the prototypes are not exactly sturdy or durable.

PolyJet Technology

This tech uses the basic principles of inkjet printing, the 3D printing devices using Polyjet craft prototypes by delivering one layer at a time of liquid photopolymers on a building tray. Additional UV rays complement the equation by curing the polymers instantly. Each model is done following the specs delivered via a CAD file. When the prototype is finally finished, it’s usually cooled down using pressurized water that removes any excess of material and helps deliver a clean finished product.

As for the materials themselves, these are some of the most recommended ones for professionals and beginners alike:

•    Acrylate

This type of resin is better suited for CLIP technology, it’s not exactly a cheap material to work with, but it delivers some of the best-finished products using the right printer. It’s better suited for detailed projects that require outstanding surfaces and moderate sturdiness. It’s commonly used for customizers of action figures and scale sculptors.

•    Urethane Methacrylate

One of the strongest plastic resins out there and also one of the rarest since it can work on both technologies. It best suited to create prototypes of mechanical parts as well as hollow containers. The sturdiness of the material allows for some really clean finished products that require next to none polishing after the printing process.

•    Verowhite

This printing resin is commonly used with Polyjet technology and is best suited to create prototypes that need to be delivered with certain color specs such as medical parts or surgical guides. The level of detail that can be achieved with this rein is pretty great, and the sturdiness of the material allows the creation of permanent solutions in the area of prosthetics.