Breaking Down the Different Materials Used in 3D Printing
3D printer material
3D printers are not all created equal. The material you use for your printer will have a profound impact on the quality of your prints, and in some cases, the type of printer you buy.
The basic material used in 3D printing is plastic filament. This is the same material that is used to make Legos! The plastic filament is fed into the head of the printer where it melts down into tiny droplets and then deposited onto a build surface.
There are many different types of plastic filament available today that can be used with most 3D printers. A few popular ones include PLA (Polylactic acid), ABS (Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene), and PETG (Polyethylene terephthalate glycol). Each of these materials has their own unique properties which make them better suited for certain applications than others.
3D printers typically use two types of materials: thermoplastics and metals. Thermoplastics are materials that soften when heated and harden when cooled. Many different types of thermoplastics are available, each with its own properties. Some can be printed in a single step, while others may require multiple steps to complete an object.
Metal 3D printing is a specialized process for creating metal parts using a laser or electron beam to melt powdered metal. Metal 3D printing is used in aerospace, automotive and medical industries.
3D printers have come a long way since they were first invented in the mid-1980s. Now, you can print almost anything you want with them—from toys to medical devices to guns. But what are they made of? That depends on the printer.
3D printing is a process that uses additive manufacturing (also called "additive manufacturing" or AM) to build three-dimensional objects from the ground up one layer at a time. The technology has been around since the 1980s, but it wasn't until recently that it became accessible to consumers: desktop 3D printing devices are now widely available for under $1,000 or so.
There are two main types of 3D printing: fused deposition modeling (FDM) and stereolithography (SLA). FDM printers use melted plastic filament extruded out of a nozzle onto a surface; SLA printers use UV light to cure photopolymers into hard plastic parts.
3D printers are some of the most exciting developments in the world of technology. They allow you to create models and prototypes quickly and easily, with minimal cost. Most 3D printers use a variety of different materials, but there are some common ones that you will see most often.
ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene)
This is one of the most common materials used by 3D printers. It is strong and tough, making it ideal for creating durable parts that require some strength. However, it can also be brittle, which means that it can break easily if dropped or impacted too hard. This material is great for printing parts that need to be strong but not too heavy, such as automotive components or toy parts.
PLA (Polylactic Acid)
PLA is another popular material for 3D printing because it’s biodegradable and environmentally friendly. It is made from corn starch and produces less waste than other materials when processed by your printer. The downside of using PLA is that it does not hold up well over time when exposed to heat or moisture – so if you want to make something that will last more than a few weeks, then this may not be your best option.
There are other three main types of 3D printing materials:
Powder-based: Powder-based printers use a powder material that is melted and then fused together using a laser. Examples of this include Stratasys' PolyJet technology, which uses liquid resin and plastic powder, and 3D Systems' stereolithography (SLA) technology, which uses resin and photopolymers.
Extrusion: Extrusion printers use a filament of material that is heated up and extruded through a nozzle to build objects layer by layer. Examples include MakerBot's FDM technology, which uses acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) plastic filaments, and Stratasys' PolyJet technology, which uses liquid resin and plastic powder filaments.
Vat photopolymerization: Vat photopolymerization printers use light to solidify photosensitive resins into solid objects layer by layer. Examples include Formlabs' stereolithography (SLA) technology and 3D Systems' stereolithography (SLA) technology.