3D Printing Materials

ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene)

ABS is a “polymericed alloy” of the tree materials acrylonitrile, butadiene and styrene. The mechanical properties for ABS are good for impact resistance even in low temperatures. ABS is used for auto body parts, suitcases, toys etc. Extruded profiles, tubes and bolts can be made from ABS when the requirements are high impact resistance and a nice surface.

 

ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene)

ABS

 

PLA (Polylactic acid or polylactid)

PLA, or Polylactic Acid, is a biodegradable plastic with a lot of features that make it great for 3D printing — it doesn’t give off fumes like ABS does, or warp nearly as much. It’s also really shiny. PLA is harder than ABS, but more brittle, but that doesn’t mean that it’s easily breakable — it’s actually super strong — just that when it does give, it’s more likely to snap than bend.

 

PLA (Polylactic acid or polylactid)

Melted PLA cup

 

Alumide

Gentle Nylon plastic filled with Aluminum dust allows more flexibility to the product & polishing. This material gives smooth feeling for the printed product and even slight shine. Alumide Material is common in 3D printing of Jewelry, ornaments and home decor niches.

 

Alumide

Alumide iPhone case 3d printing

 

Polyamide

Models in polyamide are constructed from a white, very fine, granular powder. The result is a strong, somewhat flexible material that can take small impacts and resist some pressure while being bent. The surface has a sandy, granular look, and is slightly porous.

 

Polyamide

Polyamide material samples

 

3D Printing Resin Materials

Resin is highly close to the plastic material’s standards. It’s recommended when you want high detailed visual qualities. Resin common colors are black & white and can be sprayed with colors or left transparent.

 

3D Printing Resin materials

3D Printing Resin materials

 

Stainless Steel

Models made in stainless steel are printed in stainless steel powder that is infused with bronze. Stainless steel is the cheapest form of metal printing, very strong and suitable for very large objects.

 

Stainless steel

3D Printing Stainless steel materials

 

Titanium

Models made in titanium are printed in titanium powder that is sintered together by a laser to produce end-use metal parts that are as equally good as machined models. 3D printed titanium (unpolished) doesn’t look like the traditional shiny milled titanium. Instead it’s a bit grayer and more matte with a slightly rougher and less defined surface. If you do want it all nice and shiny, your model can be polished manually. This, of course, depends on the reachable surfaces. Some models cannot be polished. Models in titanium are very strong, precise and can have feature size as small as 0.25 mm.

 

3D Printing Materials Titanium

Titanium

 

Gold

The material is a 14k solid gold. 14k solid gold is solid gold mixed with an alloy such as copper for hardning for longer ware. This is not a thin veneer but rather your entire jewel will be made of 14k solid gold.

 

3D Printing Materials Gold

3D Printing Gold

 

Silver

The material is a solid Sterling silver, made of 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% of another metal, usually copper. Sterling silver is a standard alloy for jewelry purposes and is safe to wear on your skin. Silver is a metal with very high electrical and thermal conductivity. It shines bright when polished and is very malleable. The quality of a silver model is comparable to regular jewelry pieces you can find at jewelry stores.

 

3D Printing Silver

3D Printing Silver

 

Bronze

Models made in bronze are printed in bronze powder that is infused with bronze. Bronze is an affordable material for printing models in metal, strong and used by mankind for ages already.

This material is still under research, which means the process is not that reliable yet to set clear design rules.

 

3D Printing Bronze

3D Printing Bronze

 

Ceramic

Models made out of ceramics are constructed from alumina silica ceramic powder and sealed with porcelain and silica. The glaze that is applied after printing is a lead free, non-toxic gloss. The material is heat-resistant (up to 600°C), recyclable, and currently the only food safe 3D printing material. All of this makes it the perfect material for home decor stuff and table ware, especially when food and beverages get involved.

 

3D Printing Ceramic

3D Printing Ceramic

 

Photopolymer

photopolymer is a polymer that changes its properties when exposed to light, often in the ultraviolet frequency of the electromagnetic spectrum. These polymers are used as image carriers in flexographic printing, as components of fillings for dentistry, as ADA-compliant architectural signage, and in rapid prototyping for the stereolithography and 3D printing processes. The basic material is soft and light sensitive, and when produced will undergo a selective exposure, development and curing process.

Photopolymer is used in conjunction with this process to make stamps, as it is less expensive than real rubber. This is achieved with a metal plate coated with photopolymer film and an impression or print of the desired image on a transparent surface.

 

Photopolymer

A photopolymer printing plate for flexography.

 

Sources:

i.materialise

Shapeways

Wikipedia

3d-printerdesign.com

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