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Forge Labs

Industrial 3D Printing Services

  • |  50+ advanced polymers and metals
  • |  6 state-of-the-art 3D printing technologies
  • |  1 day minimum lead time and next-day shipping across the United States
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End-use parts to ultra-fast rapid prototypes using America's most advanced 3D printing technologies all under one roof.

Selecting the right 3D printing process depends on your application, budget, and number of parts required. Determining the purpose of your part will inform which 3D printing technology will be best suited to your application. Not all parts are suitable for 3D Printing, and therefore understanding the best manufacturing method for your project will ensure you get the most out of the capabilities of each 3D printing technology.  

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26" x 22"

Max X/Y Build Volume

± 0.25

MM Part Tolerances

1-5 Day

Average Lead Time

Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)

General End-Use Parts & Prototypes

Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) is an additive manufacturing process for producing end-use parts and functional prototypes. Parts printed using SLS offer exceptional durability, accuracy and repeatability along with a matte uniform surface finish. This technology requires no support removal or post curing. This means ultra fast turnarounds of highly repeatable parts that requiring minimal labor.  Parts produced in SLS are a suitable alternative to injection molding, and is ideal for quantities anywhere from 1-1000+.  

 

Selective Laser Sintering works by using a high-powered laser to selectively melt and fuse small particles of powdered material, typically plastics or metals, layer by layer, until a 3D object is formed. The process involves spreading a thin layer of powder over a build platform, then using a computer-controlled laser to selectively melt and fuse the powder in the desired pattern. The process is repeated layer by layer until the 3D object is complete, and any excess powder can be reused in subsequent prints. Parts can be stacked in both X, Y & Z allowing for every corner of the build volume to be utilized offering excellent part throughput. A single build has the potential to 3D print thousands of highly complex parts in less than 24 hours.

 

Choose SLS technology when you need functional prototypes or or need to mass produce high volumes of complex parts. This technology is the industries catch-all with numerous applications from directly manufacturing end-use parts to one off prototypes.

Explore our SLS materials
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59" x 30"

Max X/Y Build Volume

± 0.2

MM Part Tolerances

1-3 Day

Average Lead Time

Stereolithography (SLA)

High Detail Resin

Stereolithography (SLA) is ideal for manufacturing high detail parts with fine details in a wide range of resins from rigid, flexible to transparent. Forge Labs uses 3D Systems industrial vat polymerization SLA printers, which offer exceptional mechanical properties, high tolerances and uniform surface finish. These industrial SLA 3D printers require very little supports to support parts, resulting in no visible support touchmarks. This technology is ideal for medical devices, master patterns, microfluidics, movie props, art, molds and lots more.

 

Stereolithography manufactures parts inside a vat of resin that is cured using a UV laser to form a solid object. There are two types of Stereolithography printers: Inverted and non-inverted 3D printing. Forge Labs uses non-inverted SLA 3D Printing as it significantly reduces peeling forces between each cured layers resulting in less deformation, stronger parts and a significantly better surface finish as no support defects are leftover. The process involves a build platform being lowered into a vat of liquid resin, then a computer-controlled laser is used to selectively cure the resin in the desired pattern. The process is repeated layer by layer until the 3D object is complete, and any excess resin can be reused in subsequent prints. After printing, the object is cleaned and cured with UV light to achieve its final physical properties.

 

Choose SLA technology when you need to produce prototypes, master patterns, or high detail concepts. The biggest advantage of this technology is the ultra smooth surface it offers and the excellent print resolution and accuracy.

Explore our SLA materials
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36" x 24"

Max X/Y Build Volume

± 0.15

MM Part Tolerances

1-3 Day

Average Lead Time

Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM)

High Performance Thermoplastics

Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) is the most widely known and commonly used 3D printing technology. It has been around since 1989 is typically the technology people associate most with 3D printing. Industrial FDM 3D printers are a little different than the smaller desktop machines popularized in the past decade. Forge Labs uses Stratasys Industrial 3D Printers, which offer large build volumes, as well as excellent mechanical, exceptionally high accuracy and repeatable results.  Due to the fully enclosed and heated build chamber, FDM is capable of producing parts with the tightest tolerances in the 3D printing industry in a very wide range of thermoplastics suitable for functional applications from subsea, to automotive to aerospace.

 

The process starts by creating a 3D model and transferring it to the printer as a digital file. A heated extruder melts the thermoplastic filament as it passes through a nozzle and the melted material is then deposited onto a build platform. The extruder nozzle moves along the x and y axes, while the build platform moves down along the z-axis, creating the object layer by layer. Industrial FDM 3D printers have enclosed, heated build chambers to precisely control the temperature of the printed part and prevent warping as well as improve layer adhesion.  Once builds are complete, support is dissolved off in a ultrasonic cleaning tank requiring no manual removal of supports and no defects leftover on the part.

 

Choose FDM when you need strong, functional parts that are dimensionally stable in a wide range of thermoplastics. The material is most popular for its ability to build in specialized materials useful for medical devices, electric static dissipative parts, high temperature applications or applications where Flame, Smoke Toxicity (FST) ratings are critical.

Explore our FDM materials
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15" x 12"

Max X/Y Build Volume

± 0.3

MM Part Tolerances

4-8 Day

Average Lead Time

HP Multi-Jet Fusion (MJF)

High Volume Production

HP Multi-Jet Fusion is an industrial 3D printing technology that uses a combination of thermal and chemical processes to build 3D objects. The process involves a build platform that is coated with a layer of powdered material, typically nylon, and then a fusing agent is jetted onto the powder using multiple nozzles. A heating element then passes over the coated layer, melting the powder in the areas where the fusing agent has been deposited. This process is repeated layer by layer, with a layer of powder and fusing agent being added before each pass of the heating element. After printing, the object is typically bead-blasted to remove excess powder and achieve the desired surface finish. HP Multi-Jet Fusion offers high-speed printing with excellent mechanical properties and is capable of printing multiple parts simultaneously in the same build.

 

Parts are manufactured in a bed of polymer powder that is fused together via a inkjet array of sintering and detailing agents that selective fuses it together. After each pass of sintering agents, a recoater deposits another thin layer of powder over the bed in 80 micron layers until the process is complete. Parts are then cooled between 24-48 hours and then extracted from the bed of polymer powder, sorted, and bead blasted to remove any excess powder.

 

Choose MJF when you need to produce high quantities of complex functional parts. Parts can be stacked in both X, Y & Z allowing for every corner of the build volume to be utilized offering excellent part throughput. We recommend taking advantage of MJF's 3D printing speeds when you part quantities required are in excess of 100 units as the larger build volume tends to make it a less accurate and efficient than Selective Laser Sintering for smaller quantities.

Explore our MJF materials
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15" x 15"

Max X/Y Build Volume

± 0.3

MM Part Tolerances

8-12 Day

Average Lead Time

Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS)

End-Use Metal 3D Printing

Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) is ideal for manufacturing dense, functional & complex metal parts and prototypes.  Part are produced additively using a laser that selectively sinters metal powder, layer by layer to form a homogenous part. This technology is ideal for simplifying multi part assembles into a single part, or producing lightweight, hollow parts with internal channels not possible by traditional methods. This makes the technology popular in automotive and aerospace manufacturing where the manufacturing flexibility of DMLS allows for parts to be produced lighter and stronger, increasing the efficiency of the vehicle or aircraft.

 

Direct Metal Laser Sintering 3D printing builds parts using a high-powered laser to selectively melt and fuse metal powder layer by layer until a 3D object is formed. The process involves a build platform that is lowered into a bed of metal powder, then a computer-controlled laser is used to selectively melt and fuse the powder in the desired pattern. The process is repeated layer by layer until the 3D object is complete, and any excess powder can be reused in subsequent prints. After printing, the object is typically heat-treated to improve its mechanical properties and achieve the desired final finish. DMLS 3D printing offers high accuracy and precision, as well as the ability to print complex geometries and parts with intricate details.

 

Choose DMLS when you need to produce low volumes of highly complexity,  end use metal parts of geometries that cannot be easily machined. This technology is typically more expensive than machining, however it does unlock more design possibilities allowing for geometries to be built not previously possible with traditional manufacturing methods.

Explore our DMLS materials
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20" x 15"

Max X/Y Build Volume

± 0.2

MM Part Tolerances

3-5 Day

Average Lead Time

PolyJet Matrix (PJM)

Multi-Material 3D Printing

PolyJet Matrix Technology is a resin based 3D printing technology that is uniquely capable of mixing materials on the fly to create multi material prints. Forge Labs prints using a Stratasys Connex3, which is capable of blending rubber-like, rigid and clear resins into a single part. However there also exists PolyJet 3D Printers capable of 3D printing in full CMYK color to create highly realistic, full color prototypes, concepts and art. PolyJet is ideal for producing soft touch parts, over molds and rubber-like products in shore values between A30-A95.

 

PolyJet uses multiple inkjet print heads to jet microscopic layers of resin onto a build platform in 14-28 micron layers. Each layer is cured using a UV light during each pass. The photopolymer material is then cured using UV light, which solidifies the material and fuses it to the previous layer.  The process can use multiple printheads, each depositing a different material, allowing for the creation of parts with varying material properties or multi-material parts. The technology is similar to how color inkjet printing works, allowing this unique 3D printing technology to combine materials on the fly to create thousand of different combinations of colors and material properties. Polyjet 3D printing can also produce parts with high resolution and detail, with layer thicknesses as small as 16 microns.  After printing, the object may require post-processing such as sanding or painting to achieve the desired final finish. 

 

Choose PolyJet when you need to produce overmolds, soft touch parts, and rubber-like prototypes.  Rigid materials can be combined  with elastomers to create different shore values and hardness's between A30-A95.  The technology is primarily used for visual prototypes or aesthetic parts and not suitable for end-use parts.

Explore our PolyJet materials