"Choosing the Right 3D Printing Materials for Your Project"
3D printing materials
3D printing is a creative and innovative way to design and make prototypes. It has been used for rapid prototyping and manufacturing for decades, but only recently has become more accessible to the general public.
The most common material used in 3D printing is plastic, which can be solid or flexible. Other materials include metals, ceramics and even food!
Here are some of the more popular 3D printing materials:
Metal alloys — Metal alloys are strong but also very heavy. They’re durable enough for industrial applications, but they’re also expensive to produce. Metal alloys can be used to create parts with complex geometries that would be difficult or impossible to make with other methods.
Polymers — Polymers are a group of man-made materials made from long chains of monomers that have been chemically bonded together in specific ways. Some polymer materials have properties similar to natural materials like rubber or plastic, while others are more rigid like glass or metal. Most polymers can be melted down and recycled into new products if needed.
PLA—PLA (polylactic acid) is a biodegradable thermoplastic made from renewable resources such as corn starch and sugar cane. It has many great qualities that make it an ideal material for beginners, including its easy-to-print nature and low cost. However, its strength properties are not as high as other materials so it may be best suited for smaller projects or prototypes. It has been used in various industries including automotive, medical and consumer goods manufacturing.
ABS — ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) is another common thermoplastic that offers similar qualities as PLA but with better strength properties and heat resistance up to 105°C / 221°F. It can be used in more industrial applications than PLA because it can withstand higher temperatures without warping or deforming when compared to PLA. ABS prints more slowly than PLA because it requires a heated print bed where most consumer printers do not have this feature built in by default.
The most common 3D printing materials include:
Plastic — Most 3D printers use plastic filament or resin as their primary material. Plastic filament is often used to print objects that need to be flexible or have a matte surface finish, while resin is more suitable for printing rigid parts with a glossy finish.
Resin — Resin is typically used for high-resolution models and prototypes that require a glossy finish. It can also be used for low-volume manufacturing (i.e., when you want to make several copies of the same part).
Clay — Clay has become very popular in recent years because it’s easy to use and results in strong and durable models. However, clay isn’t ideal for making small parts because it tends to shrink when it dries out.
3D printing materials have a lot of features that you can use to determine which ones are the best for your project.
Toughness is the ability of a material to absorb energy before breaking or fracturing. Toughness is often measured by how much energy it takes to break a given sample of material. For example, if two pieces of steel have the same thickness and density, but one piece has a higher toughness rating than the other, then it will require more force to break than the other piece of steel. This makes it more resistant to wear and tear over time.
Strength and durability
The most common 3D printing materials are made up of plastic, but there are others such as metal and rubber. The strength and durability of a material will determine how much weight it can hold, how many times you can use it before it loses its shape or breaks down, and how much pressure it can withstand before buckling or breaking.
Some materials are more expensive than others because they require more processing time or require special equipment that other materials don't need. For example, some plastics like ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) have an odor that must be removed before being used in an enclosed area like an office or living room; this means more time spent on processing than with other types of plastic such as PLA (polylactic acid).