3D Printing Materials for Prototyping & Production

It had been almost three decades since Mr Chuck Hull, co-founder of 3D Systems and inventor of 3D printing, invented Stereolithography in 1983
In 1983, Chuck Hull created the first-ever 3D printed Stereolithography part and he filed his patent for Stereolithography (SLA) in 1984. In 1986, 3D Systems was co-founded and becomes the first 3D printing company in the world.

In the recent years, 3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, has been used in the design, prototyping and production stages of many industries, such as aerospace, automotive, healthcare, dental, entertainment and durable goods.

3D printing can be used as prototyping where the 3d printed part is used for look and feel or production where the 3d printed part is created in fully functional end-use parts in small quantities using engineering-grade materials.

Type of Materials available

There are wide range of materials in the market now to support different 3D printing technologies such as FDM, SLA, SLS, MJP, MJF, DLP, CJP, DMP, Wax and so on.

Do you know that there are plenty of FDM materials available in the market besides PLA and ABS that are the two commonly used materials for look and feel prototypes in FDM?

Other available materials for FDM include PP-like, Nylon, Flexible, PC, PETG, Wood, Clay/Ceramic, HIPS, PVA and many more.

Wax printing are used in jewellery and foundry industries as patterns and creation of investment casting moulds. Using wax printing, it saves the time to create the patterns compared to the conventional method.

Besides FDM, Nylon material is also available in SLS and MJF technologies. Similar to injection moulding, Nylon is also available in PA11, PA12, glass-filled, fiber-glass and carbon-fiber. Nylon is known as very strong and durable material, light-weighted and also offer the flexibility in thin walls. It can be used for prototyping and production.

Liquid resin material is used for SLA and DLP technologies for complex, high-accuracy and watertight prototypes and end-use parts with fine features and smooth surface finishing.

Do you realise that metal printing is getting popular in 3D printing? It’s because it can be used as ready-to-use functional parts, jewellery and prototypes. Using direct metal printing, it reduces material wastage and it can fabricate generative design where traditional machining cannot achieve.

Last but not least, the next material available for binder jetting printing is the powder material. It can be printed in its original white colour or in full colour which is mostly used for display or prototypes. It cannot be used for production purpose.

Feel free to contact our professional consultants to learn more on 3D printers or 3D Printing Services.

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