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.
- 【Toughness Enhanced PLA Filaments】---SUNLU premium PLA filaments have the advantages of incredible ease of printing Optimized printing quality, high purity with low shrinkage and superb layer bonding, meeting your demands for printing projects of functional parts with higher toughness.
- 【Dimensional Accuracy & Consistency】These tough PLA filaments to be strict tolerances. Diameter 1.75mm, dimensional accuracy + / - 0.02 mm without any exaggeration; 1 kg spool (2.2lbs)
- 【Clog-Free, Bubble-Free & Easy-to-use】--- Complete drying for 24 hours before packaging and vacuum sealed with desiccants in nylon re bag. Recommended PLA Filament Extrusion/Nozzle Temperature 215-220℃, bed 70℃ .
- 【Wide Compatibility】 --- Works and harmonizes perfectly with all common 1.75mm FDM 3D printers, thanks to the high quality standards in terms of manufacturing accuracy and the small tolerance in diameter of +/- 0.02mm.
- 【Risk-Free】 --- One-month free trial, 30 day Money-back if you’re not satisfied. Spool Diameter: 8" - Spool Width: 2.5" - Spool Hub Hole Diameter: 2.20"
- The latest Palette technology for professional and power users, Palette 2S Pro (2019 Edition) comes pre-loaded with firmware in order to streamline your Palette printing experience.. Print multi-material creations using 1 extruder printers - no modifications required! Aircraft-grade aluminum Splice Core Pro splices 20% faster, includes extended (24-month) limited warranty, and many extra spare parts.
- Palette 2S Pro provides you with the simplest multi-material printing process possible. With a plug-n-play setup, use Palette 2S Pro with any of your printers and unlock your printer’s potential.
- Soluble, flexible, and rigid materials: Upgrade your 3D printer to print in brilliant color (PLA, ABS, PETG, TPU), impossible overhangs with soluble supports (PVA, PVOH, HIPS), and functional flexible materials.
- No more anxiety from printing with partial spools. When one spool runs out, Palette 2S Pro will automatically splice to another spool to keep your print going even when you are not around.
- Use CANVAS for an enriched user experience or continue to use your favorite offline slicers, plus our post processing tools to print with your Palette 2S Pro.
- ✔️ 3D printer filament with 1.75 mm diameter + / - 0.02 mm; designed to fit most common 3D printers (check spool size for compatibility); 12 assorted colors: black, white, gray, silver, red, orange, yellow, blue, green, purple, brown, glow-in-the-dark; 500g per spool (12 spools)
- ✔️ Made of PLA, a commonly used thermoplastic material known for its lower melting temperature and ease of use (no heated bed required), plus it’s low-warp, odorless, and offers a glossy type finish
- ✔️ Engineered to reduce jamming; resealable storage bag included to protect filament between use
- ✔️ Recommended Extrusion/Nozzle Temperature 190°C - 230°C (374°F - 446°F)
- ✔️ Spool Diameter: 7.8" - Spool Width: 1.57" - Spool Hub Hole Diameter: 2.24"
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Post-Processing Machine : Polymaker Polysher is a post-processing machine designed for polishing the extrusion-based FDM/FFF 3D printed parts with PolySmooth to achieve a shining, layer-free surface finish.
Safe & Easy To Use: No heating is involved – The nebulizer technology requires only a very small reservoir – It is a liquid-phase polishing rather than vapor-phase polishing process. All electronic components are properly sealed, and no spark can be generated inside the chamber. Placing it on your desk, simply twisting the dial to set the time, the post-process will start and end automatically.
Low Costs: The Polysher is not only affordable but its running cost is incredibly low too. Isopropyl alcohol (also known as isopropanol) or Ethanol are both suitable. You can choose whatever is more easily available for you.
NOT A 3D Printer: the Polysher is NOT a 3D printer. You still need a extrusion-based, FDM/FFF 3D printer in order to use our new products. Specifically, PolySmooth is a new filament that you can print with your 3D printer, just like how you print with your PLA. Once the printing is done, you can post-process your printed objects in the Polysher to obtain the amazing surface finish. You can watch our Polysher video on YouTube.