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Beginner Guide, Part 2: What are the Materials Used in 3D Printing?

มือใหม่หัดพิมพ์ ตอนที่ 2: วัสดุที่ใช้ในการพิมพ์ 3 มิติมีอะไรบ้าง?

Nowadays, 3D printing technology is becoming more and more widely known. Also, people are becoming more accessible to high-end 3D printers. Each brand of printer has a high-quality product, produces precision workpieces, easy to use, and reasonably priced. But what is equally important is “Materials used for 3D printing.”

Therefore, the question that follows is “What materials are used in 3D printing?” Today we’re going to give you a brief breakdown of the materials used in 3D printing.

The Materials Used in 3D Printing

The first thing you should know is each material has different properties and requirements for printing, such as heat resistance, toughness, strength, print speed, and temperature. So, when you know which materials can be used, don’t forget to learn about the properties and limitations of that material.

  • Plastic
  • Resin
  • Metal
  • Paper

Plastic

EOS Polymer P396 3D Printing Diversity of Materials

Plastics are considered the entry-level material for 3D printer beginners, as plastics are the most widely available and easiest to print. We can classify plastics into filaments, plastic pellets, and plastic powders. Filaments are used with FFF/FDM technology and plastic powders with SLS technology.

Various type of plastics

  • PLA is suitable for printing general parts, prototypes, DIY tools.
  • ABS is suitable for A prototype that requires a certain amount of strength, industrial accessories, a concept model of different parts.
  • PP is suitable for chemical-resistant workpieces, heat-resistant, such as laboratory equipment, molds, shockproof sleeves, lamp sleeves.
  • PC suitable for work that uses light workpieces that can shine through, molds, parts in engineering.
  • TPU is suitable for functional prototypes, workpieces that require flexibility and resistance to tearing such as grips, hinge joints, shock collar.
  • CPE is suitable for a strong and chemical resistant workpiece, industrial equipment various tools.
  • Nylon is suitable for flexible prototype, industrial models, industrial accessories, parts that can be used immediately.
  • PVA is a plastic material for water-soluble supports.

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Ultimaker S5 Composite 3D Print

Composite or composite material has a wide range of features. They are manufactured for industrial and engineering applications where heat or chemical resistance is required, such as:

  • Carbon Fiber has high hardness, high strength to weight, suitable for fixed load parts such as machine arms, installation inspection tools, forming tools, or ready-to-use parts.
  • Fiberglass is a high strength, suitable for uneven weight-bearing parts, or ready-to-use parts.
  • Kevlar is extremely impact resistant, the more tough it is to use, suitable for drone parts, robot parts.
  • HSHT Fiberglass is highly heat resistant, absorbs energy well, maintains its strength in high-temperature conditions, is suitable for mold making, welding equipment, spare parts.

Plastic Powder

Plastic powder such as Polyamide, Polyaryletherketone (PAEK), Alumide

Suitable for industrial parts, complexed parts, molds, parts, functional prototypes, ready-to-use parts, spare parts, engineering parts, medical parts, and industrial parts.

Resin

Formlabs Tough 1500 Engineering Resin Example Model

Resin is a liquid material, used with light-conducting SLA or DLP technology, to harden the resin into shape. In this type of printing, the workpiece will be finer, smooth, and very accurate.

Standard Resins for general printing. Most are available in white, gray, black and clear.

Suitable for models, prototypes, artworks, toys, models, animation works, models that need to be painted further.

Engineering Resins are more versatile, durable, stronger, more flexible, and heat resistant than conventional resins.

Suitable for prototypes, industrial accessories, spare parts, mold components, cushioning parts, pharmaceutical replacement parts, seal, packaging, impeller, insulating sleeve.

Jewelry Resins are specifically for printing ring or jewelry models before casting. Its main properties are easy to burn, clean, and have a smooth surface to provide a very high resolution.

Dental Resins are specifically for printing dental models or parts. They can be used to make bridges, crowns, or even dentures with great detail and precision.

Metal

Metal 3D Printing Materials

Metal printing is most often the use of powder material or technology known as DMLS. Nowadays, new technology has begun using more FFF / FDM technology, more metal materials that can be 3D printed are therefore increasing, such as:

  • Aluminum has good heat resistance, strength, and can be molded, suitable for the automotive and aerospace, series manufacturing, functional prototypes.
  • Cobalt Chrome is extremely heat and corrosion-resistant and can be used in industrial, engineering, medical and dental applications.
  • Nickel Alloy is for the aerospace industry, the manufacture of heat-resistant parts, and spare parts.
  • Stainless Steel is a material with excellent corrosion resistance, easy to integrate with machinery and other applications such as mold making, medical components, mechanical engineering, series of manufacturing parts.
  • Titanium is light weight but high strength, commonly used in the medical industry because of its good biological binding.

Suitable for all kinds of metal parts, spare parts or equipment, strong but lightweight metal workpieces, complex metal workpieces, molds, automotive parts. Aerospace, medical parts, engineering, industrial, casting, welding, polishing, parts requiring chemical resistance or high heat resistance.

Paper

cactus

Paper is a LOM-based material for full color printing.

Suitable for product design, concept model, high-detailed prototype work, maps for military planning, training, geological analysis, property planning, urban planning, models. GIS, architecture model, medical, education, art, animation.

In addition, there are also many special materials such as plastic and wood, fiber glass, mortar, and even food-grade materials can also be printed. But if we mention the main materials that are commonly used, there are four types that we have described above.

After learning the materials used in 3D printing, you will likely see the big picture. Finally, for anyone studying or working in any field and want to print any work, project or model, Septillion offers the largest selection of materials in Thailand.

Read our previous chapter: Beginner Guide, Part 1: What is 3D Printing?

You can contact to print, hire to print or buy a printer at [email protected] or you can consult before making a decision at the page  @septillionthailand