The world is growing, and so as technology, which means now things that were impossible earlier are now possible. 3D Printing is one such impossible thing, but now the industry of 3d Printing is growing at a faster pace. However, the designers are still confused about the best 3d printing materials to create an exact and sturdy design.
To guide all those designers, here is the introduction to the best 3d printing materials.
Top 7 3D Printing Materials And Their Characteristics
What Is 3D Printing?
Unlike Printing, where you get a 2-dimensional copy of a page, 3-dimensional Printing creates a physical copy of any object. The process is also called additive manufacturing, where a digital file is used to create a solid object.
To create an object, there is a pre-built platform over which a printer builds a tiny layer of the material.
What Are The Different 3d Printing Materials Used?
Here are the most common ones used for printing solid objects:
- Nylon- The most common material is polyamide or nylon because it’s durable, flexible, and offers resistance to corrosion. From simple to complex, any kind of solid object can be made from nylon. Moreover, nylon is cheap and durable. But, it has certain disadvantages like low shelf life,
- ABS- Another one of the best and common 3d printing materials is acrylonitrile butadiene styrene. ABS is cheap, strong, good shelf life, and widely available. But, one has to use a heated bed to use ABS for Printing. Moreover, ABS has a high melting point and releases toxic fumes as well.
- Resin- In technologies like CLP, DLP, and SLA, the use of resin is common because of its wide variety like flexible resins, tough, and castable resins. It is also a favorite material due to its low shrinkage property and high chemical resistance. Resin is also a soft and delicate material that can be easily molded. But, the resin is expensive and needs good storing as it is photo-reactive.
- PLA- Renewable resources like cornstarch give PLA or polylactic acid, which is commonly known as green plastic. This is economical, safe to use, economical, and better than ABS. However, PLA is less sturdy; thus, it may not be the right choice to design objects that need strength.
- Stainless Steel-Technologies like SLM or DMLS uses stainless steel because of its good properties like high strength and hardness. Stainless steel is also very ductile and offers great resistance against corrosion. But, it takes too much time to print an object using stainless steel. Plus, it is not cheap, and you cannot make a bigger object using it.
- Ceramics- This one is new in the printing industry due to its durability, acid resistance, glossy surface, and wide availability of colors. Ceramic is a fragile substance, so it has printing limitations too.
- PET/PETG- Often used with glass fiber and other materials, PET/PETG is widely used in 3d Printing. It’s recyclable, durable, and completely functional. Unfortunately, it is prone to scratching and needs testing before bringing it into use.
So, these were the common 3 d printing materials used widely in the industry.
3D Printing is the future of Printing, and to use this technology precisely different 3d printing materials are used. All have different characteristics, strengths, and weaknesses and are used as per the project’s requirements.