Stereolithography can build large parts with very good accuracy and surface finish. A wide range of material allow to build parts with specific characteristics. However, stereolithography only works with photopolymers which are not stable over time and have not well defined mechanical properties. Read more about SLA/DLP process.
Laser sintering can manufacture parts in standard plastics with good mechanical properties. There is a constantly growing set of materials available. However, parts do not have exactly the same properties as their injection molded counterparts. Read more about SLS process.
Laser melting can manufacture parts in standard metals with high density, which can be further processed as any welding part. However, the technology is rather slow and expensive as well as surface finishes are limited. Read more about SLM/DMLS process.
Multi Jet Fusion can manufacture parts in standard plastics(even with full color) with good mechanical properties. There is a constantly growing set of materials available. However, parts do not have exactly the same properties as their injection molded counterparts. Read more about MJF process.
Multiple materials can be jetted together allowing multi-material and multi-color parts. Functionally graded materials are possible. However, the technology does not work with standard materials but with UV-active photopolymers which are not durable over time. Read more about PolyJet process.
Binder Jetting Materials
Binder jetting is a rather fast and cheap technology, working with a wide arrange of material types. Parts in full color are possible. However, parts coming directly from the machine have limited mechanical characteristics. Read more about PolyJet process.
Wax Jetting Materials
Material jetting can achieve very good accuracy and surface finishes. However the technology only works with wax-like materials. The technology can achieve very good accuracy and surface finishes. Due to the type of material, parts are rather fragile. The build process is rather slow.
Fused deposition modeling can build fully functional parts in standard plastics. However, they have an anisotropy in the z-direction (vertical direction) and a step-structure on the surface. Read more about FDM process.