3D Printing Materials
Updated: Nov 6, 2017
Materials used in Additive Manufacturing
Materials and quality requirements vary according to the final use of a product. This article will assist you in gaining knowledge on the best fit of material for your product to be 3D Printed.
Not sure about the best material fit for your 3D Printing job?
We at Thirdinrev recommend you the right material that best suits your requirements for the 3D Printed object. Requirement can vary from mechanical properties, accuracy, dimension tolerances, texture, time and cost. The materials mentioned below are available in various colors and can be post processed as well depending on its end use.
ABS, PLA, PETG, HIPS, etc. are thermoplastic polymers also known most commonly as prototyping plastic and are used for its properties like strength, flexibility, and affordability. These category of materials are available in a variety of colors and can be 3D Printed using FFF (Fused Filament Fabrication) also known as FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling) Technology. Rapid, low cost prototyping using these materials allow for affordable design iterations in shorter time improving and speeds up the design process.
3D Printed objects using resin materials posses the quality of high accuracy, intricate details and smooth surfaces.
Photo-polymer Resins comes in basic white, black, grey and translucent colors and are used to print visual prototypes, casing and models, dental models (used to manufacturing clear aligners). These resins can easily be painted upon as a part of post processing if needed.
The castable resin is used for investment casting of high detailed parts and jewelry.
The bio-compatible resin specifically made for dental surgical guides is used in implant surgeries.
Polyamide 12 (PA 12) also known as PA 2200 or Nylon 12 materials are suitable for 3D Printing functional prototypes and end use products. Complexity can very well be achieved with this material which possesses strong and flexible qualities. The color of the material is white and can be dyed and spray-painted upon.
ABS-like material displays a combination of strength and temperature-resistance making it ideal for tooling & injection molds. It is one of the best fit economically for injection molding runs of 10-500 piece requirement in a short period of time. A Rubber-like material is also available for flexible prototyping.
Various metal alloys of aluminium, stainless steel, titanium and cobalt chromium are used to 3D Print functional prototyping parts and is most suitable for complex end-use parts, which are difficult or expensive to be manufactured with traditional methods. Direct metal printing reduces wastage, lowers tooling cost and improves accuracy for the part. Design complexity can easily be achieved with metal additive manufacturing. Engineering departments of Aerospace, Defense, Automobile and many more sectors find use of this technology very advantageous.
Prototypes or end use objects required in small batch with excellent finishing and realistic product match with the original intended object can be 3D Printed in full color sandstone material. Architects and Interior Designers can use this material for 3D printing models and interior decoration objects. The nature of the material is fragile due to the internal porosity of the part.
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