ThermoJet Modeler

This machine illustrated is a Solidscape system however other manufactures make other versions. This machine uses a single jet each for a plastic build material and a wax-like support material, which are held in a melted liquid state in reservoirs. The liquids are fed to individual jetting heads which squirt tiny droplets of the materials as they are moved in X-Y fashion in the required pattern to form a layer of the object. The materials harden by rapidly dropping in temperature as they are deposited.

After an entire layer of the object is formed by jetting, a milling head is passed over the layer to make it a uniform thickness. Particles are vacuumed away as the milling head cuts and are captured in a filter. The process is repeated to form the entire object. After the object is completed, the wax support material is either melted or dissolved away.

The most outstanding characteristic of the Solidscape system is the ability to produce extremely fine resolution and surface finishes, essentially equivalent to CNC machines. However, the technique is very slow for large objects. While the size of the machine and materials are office-friendly, the use of a milling head creates noise which may be objectionable in an office environment.