3D printing emerged onto the market several years ago. While it is still a relatively novel technology, it is incredibly useful in several industries. From arts and crafts to medical advancements, 3D printing has quickly become one of the optimal resources around the world.
If you are investing in a 3D printer or if you want to start using your existing unit, it’s essential to know which materials are best suited for specific projects.
The Best Materials You Can 3D Print With
As with any project, choosing the correct 3D printing materials will depend on the final product’s purpose. For example, you wouldn’t want to use the same material for a food-based item as you would for a visual arts project, right?
As such, having an assortment of materials, depending on your needs, can be the best option when it comes time to start 3D printing. When selecting materials, you need to make sure the materials are environmentally friendly. Unfortunately, it seems like conscious consumerism is a foreign concept to Americans. Take a look at this article for more information on the importance of promoting environmental sustainability.
If you were to look at the composition of most items in your household, you’d find that they are primarily made from thermoplastics, which makes plastic one of the most popular materials for 3D printing. You’ll also find that plastics are one of the least expensive materials for both personal and professional projects, which makes it ideal for household tasks, as well.
Instead of investing thousands of dollars into prototypes made from metal, for example, professionals will use plastics to create functional items to showcase the properties of a project’s final version.
Another advantage of using plastic for 3D printing is that it works exceptionally close to the manufacturing processes used to create a final product. Most items are made using a process called injection molding, and plastic is one of the top 3D printing materials that operate similarly.
As one of the best types of plastic for an assortment of projects, ABS is highly durable and reliable. In turn, this makes it ideal for a variety of prototypes and finished products. You can also easily find ABS filament in an assortment of colors, which makes it even simpler to produce highly creative products.
With that said, know that if ABS is overheated, it tends to produce toxic fumes, so the plastic should only be heated up to 250 degrees Celsius.
Another essential thing to make a note of with ABS plastic is that it is highly likely to warp while cooling. Therefore, you will want to make sure it is kept in a controlled environment for the highest quality finished product.
Overall, it is durable, lightweight, flexible, and allows you to print at a relatively high resolution for most architectural and DIY projects.
PLA is by far the most popular material used to 3D print food-safe products. It is made from a derivative of cornstarch, tapioca, or sugar cane. When it is heated, unlike ABS, PLA has a sweet and safe smell, which makes it convenient for beginners to put to good use, especially if you don’t want to be exposed to toxic fumes.
You’ll also find that it’s one of the most comfortable materials to use while 3D printing. However, it is substantially less durable than ABS and is very likely to be affected by heat.
Fortunately, you can find PLA materials in an assortment of colors, similar to ABS. However, there are also different composites to consider, as well. Often, you can find PLA filament that emulates the appearance of metal or wood.
Also referred to as nylon, polyamide is another popular 3D printing material that is frequently used in the medical field. It is also ideal for engineering and artistic projects.
When you 3D print an item with nylon, it starts with a rough surface, but you have the ability to smooth it down to create a more seamless appeal. It’s one of the better options for projects that require a lot of mechanical strength.
Still, it’s important to note that this material will degrade if exposed to high humidity, similar to other thermoplastics. Polyamide is relatively flexible and is also chemically resistant, which makes it great for tooling, visual arts, and medical applications alike.
When you start shopping for 3D printing materials, you’ll find that PEEK is one of the most expensive, especially as it is typically reserved for aerospace, medical, and automotive applications, according to makerindustry.com.
Its highly resistant nature and incredible durability make it the most reliable 3D printing material you can get your hands on, especially as it is also bio-compatible. You’ll find that PEEK is resistant to temperature, chemicals, repeated stress, gamma radiation, and X-rays, making it exceptionally easy to manufacture.
Designers will also be able to heat this material to 400 degrees Celsius, compared to others that aren’t recommended to be heated past half that amount. With that said, due to the high heat needed to create items with this material, it is best used by professionals and should not be used for DIY or personal projects.
When you start to look for materials for your 3D printer, you’ll be glad to know there are plenty to choose from, from food-safe items to articles specifically recommended for aerospace parts. Knowing what materials are best for your project can help you to make the most out of your budget to create functional products.
- Silk Shiny Glossy Surface: The Finished 3D Printing Item with Shiny Silk Smooth Appearance; It’s Shiny Eye-popping Glossy Outstanding Print Shiny Surface. Perfect for 3D Design, 3D Craft, 3D Modeling Projects
- Widely Support for FDM 3D Printer: 100% New Raw Material, High Quality Controlled, Mostly Support for All Brand FDM 3D Printers on Market, High Precise Filament Diameter Tolerance, The Filament Diameter is Accurate and Consistent
- Tange-Free and Easy to Print: Excellent Production Line Controlled, To Reduce Warpage and Shrinkage, To Make Sure Printing with No-Bubble and No-Jam, It’s Well Wrapped and Tangle-Free, It’s Easy to Print and Smooth Extrusion with Stable Printing Performance
- Package and Extra Sample Bag: Each Spool Filament is Packed in a Sealed Vacuum Bag, To Keep it Dry and Maintain Its High Performance for Long Time; Each Filament Packed Together with One Filament Sample Bag
- Satisfaction Warranty: High Quality Guarantee and Premium Customer Services within 24 Hours Reply. If You Have Any Question with This Filament, Please Kindly Contact Us at ANY TIME
- 1 KG (approximately 2.20 lbs) Spool
- 1.75mm Filament Diameter (Dimensional Accuracy +/- 0.03mm)
- PLA (Polylactic Acid) 3D Printer Filament Vacuumed Sealed With Desiccant
- Recommended Extrusion/Nozzle Temperature 180°C - 220°C
- Spool Diameter: 7.88" - Spool Width: 2.69" - Spool Hub Hole Diameter: 2.20"
- High Quality:High Diameter Accuracy +/-0.05mm, No Bubble, Low Odor, Eco-Friendly
- Strong Compatibility:Universal Compatible with Various FDM 3D Printer on Market
- Package: Pack Contains 3 Spools,Each Spool Contains 500g Filament,Total 1.5kgs, Colors: White, Black, Blue
- Extra Gift: One Premium Quality 3D Print Remove Tool or One Bottle Solid Glue Stick, Pack and Ship Together
- Warranty:We are Confident about PLA Filament quality,Within 24 hours response,100% Satisfaction Guarantee
- PLA (Polylactic Acid) 3D printer filament vacuumed sealed with desiccant
- Recommended Nozzle Temperature: 205 - 225 C; Filament diameter - 1.75mm +/- 0.03mm
- Net weight: 200 grams / Spool Diameter: 6" / Spool Width: 1.5" / Spool Hub Diameter: 2.25"
- PLA filament is compatible with various 3D printers such as the Creality Ender 3, Anycubic, Flashforge, QIDI, Monoprice, and many more
- Perfect compliment to sample colors for your 3D printer or 3D pen. Each spool contains 200g and included colors are Blue, Green, Orange, and Red
- Compact and productive: The da Vinci mini is 30％ smaller than da Vinci Jr. 1.0 and has a 5.9" X 5.9" X 5.9" Aluminum printer bed for larger and finer prints
- Connect wirelessly to your home network for easy 3D printing
- The Da Vinci mini filaments are made using PLA plastics derived from corn starch, making them environmental and non-toxic
- The Da Vinci mini streamlines its printing function through a single-button printer design as well as providing different colored LEDs to indicate printing Conditions
- Make your dreams into reality with the FREE downloadable version of XYZmaker 3D modeling design software for beginners. Connector type: Wi-Fi (802.11b/g/n); USB 2.0