As the world of desktop 3D printing continues to evolve there are two fabrication methods of printing that are leading the way Filament and Resin.
FFF (Fused Filament Fabrication), or FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling), is a relatively new method which works by laying down fine layers of heated material which bond as they cool.
FFF is the preferred method of rapid prototyping parts with standard tolerances due to its affordability and low turn-around times.
Advantages: material costs, production speed, design flexibility
Disadvantages: accuracy, overhang features
SLA (Stereolithography) is another example of building a model layer by layer, but instead of extruding molten plastic through a nozzle, the process requires a liquid plastic resin called a photopolymer which is then cured by an ultraviolet (UV) laser.
Due to the smaller cross sectional area of the laser, SLA is a significantly slower fabrication method than FFF.
Advantages: accuracy, design flexibility
Disadvantages: material flexibility, material costs, production speed