Technology has come a long way and one of the major advancements that has taken place recently involves 3D printing. For those who might not know, a 3D printing service is common in manufacturing; however, the applications of 3D printing have gradually expanded. Now, 3D printing is used in the healthcare field, the pharmaceutical industry, architecture, and even biomedical engineering. As a result, the pace of advancement in 3D printing has quickened. Now, 3D printing uses more materials than ever before. If you would like to learn more about the world of 3D printing, then check out some of the information that we have put together below
What Materials Are Used in 3D Printing?
There are a few materials that are commonly used in the world of 3D printing. A few of the most common examples include:
- Poly Lactic Acid Filament: Often shortened to PLA, this is one of the most common materials used in the world of 3D printing. Some of the benefits of this material include that it is biodegradable, it comes from biological materials (such as corn), and it is incredibly easy to print.
- Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene Filament: Often shortened to ABS, this is another common filament used in the world of 3D printing. This is a bit more durable than PLA and it can handle higher temperatures. On the other hand, it does release toxic fumes when hot, so it is critical to keep the printing area ventilated well while this material is in use.
- Wood Fiber Filament: Made from PLA and cellulose, this is a robust material that is made from wood fiber and PLA. It looks and feels the same as natural wood, making it ideal for a range of applications.
- Nylon Filament: This is an advanced filament that can be sourced using a variety of chain lengths. It is durable and heat-resistant.
- PVA Filament: This stands for Poly Vinyl Alcohol. It is a support material in numerous objects. Once the printing process is finished, PVA dissolves in water. This means that PVA can be used to create open spaces in certain objects.
These are just a few of the most common materials that are used in the world of 3D printing. What are a few examples of materials that cannot be used in 3D printing?
What Materials Cannot Be 3D Printed?
Not everything can be used in a 3D printer. In order for something to be printed using this technology, the material has to come out of the printer in a semi-molten state. Think of this like lava. If the material cannot be melted into this state quickly, then it cannot be used in 3D printing. As a result, some of the most common materials that are used include metals, plastics, and certain types of paste. Beyond these applications, not much else can be used for 3D printing. That is why the current materials list, while it might seem long because it can handle more than ink, is actually still relatively limited.
What Metals Can Be Used in 3D Printing?
There are a variety of metals that can be used in 3D printing. Furthermore, metal is actually one of the most common types of materials used in 3D printing. Some of the most common examples include:
- Sintered Powdered Metal: This type of metal can be used to print injection molds, sacrificial fixtures, and numerous other models that work well for accelerating the design of certain manufacturing tools.
- Precious Metals: Some of the most common precious metals that can be used in the world of 3D printing include stainless steel, bronze, gold, aluminum, and titanium. These metals are printed by binding metal dust and then firing it into a molten mixture. Then, the 3D printer is able to take them, print them, and produce gorgeous products using this method.
- Carbon Fiber: Composites such as carbon fiber are common tools used in the world of 3D printing. Similar to ABS, this is one of the most cost-effective tools used in the world of 3D printing. This material can be scaled up and down relatively easily. These materials are commonly used in bicycles and aeronautics.
- Concrete: Finally, some people might be surprised to hear that concrete can be used in the world of 3D printing. Concrete can be taken, melted, and placed into a 3D printer. Then, it can be used to produce a wide variety of products.
These are just a few of the biggest examples of ways that metals can be used in 3D printing. Of course, some materials are better than others for 3D printing.
What is the Best Material for 3D Printing?
If you are wondering what material is best for your 3D printing needs, then you need to think about your project. Different types of 3D printing resins are better for certain projects. Some of the most common examples include:
- Standard Resin: This is a cheap material that is great for projects with a low budget. It produces a high level of detail, it feels smooth, it is pleasant to touch, and it is translucent.
- Gray Resin: Gray resin, which used to be called prime gray, is a smooth resin. It is also easy to paint. There are also nine separate finishing colors that can be used to tailor this resin to meet your needs.
- Mammoth Resin: Another option that might work well for you is called mammoth resin. The main advantage of this material is that it can be used to print large projects. It also comes with the same level of quality as the other materials.
These are the most common examples of resins that you can use for 3D printing.
Contact Us Today!
If you would like to learn more about how we can help you with your 3D printing needs, contact us today! At Southern Model, Inc., we would be happy to help you leverage 3D printing technology to expedite your projects, save money, and meet the needs of your clients.