3D Printing Materials – Metal, Plastic, Ceramic, Paper and more
3D Printing Plastic Materials
Plastic materials are common with many forms and popular in Home 3D printing printers.
ABS: models and products made of ABS plastic will most likely be used as tools. This material is great for functional applications and also used often with producing Toys. Abs material allows high level of printed details. Since ABS material is good for complex designs, printing process is usually slower.
PLA: very similar to the ABS material in terms of product qualities, some claim it is more pleasant to work with.
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 décor niches.
Polyamide: Polyamide is a friendly material for 3D printing designers and perfect for beginners. Its price is affordable and allows freedom with 3D design printing techniques. The polyamide allows to produce strong models, but still flexible as this material constructed of granular powder. The advantage of this material is that it can be used for a large variety of complex 3D printing models. Polyamide is used in many different industries such as Toys, Home decor, tools and crafts.
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. Resin material does not allow complete freedom in the 3D design printing techniques. Resin is good for visual and display model’s thanks to its smoothness and glow appearance. It is not the best 3D printing material for complex 3D models as it has low functionality, but resin gives fantastic surface quality to the model structure.
3D Printing Metal Materials
Stainless Steel: This material is highly familiar and also the cheapest kind of 3D metal printing. Stainless steel is very solid and heavy and serves best for 3D model parts, jewelry, art, steampunk designs, and more. Stainless Steel material contains bronze and so 3D models may have different colors of bronze metal, pewter look. This material is not recommended for 3D printing thin metal models (in 3D jewelry printing it is not recommended for thin chains, necklaces & bracelets).
Silver: Silver is mostly used for 3D Jewelry printing models, in some 3D models it can be used to coat plastic with Silver shine rich look or mixed with other materials to create stiffness.
Gold: Gold is obviously used mainly with the Jewelry 3D printing niche. The gold material is melted and then used, sometimes mixed with other metals to control structure and robust level. The obvious disadvantage in using gold with your 3D printing models is the price and material cost.
Titanium: Titanium has the highest strength to weight ratio of any metal, and therefore, it’s a very popular material for 3D printing models. Titanium is used in many 3D printing industries – spare parts, medical, jewelry, home decor, tools and army. The 3D printing techniques using titanium metal powder in combination with laser building the model in layers.
Bronze: Bronze material is a great 3D printing material because it’s highly strong and affordable. Bronze is used mainly for Jewelry 3D printing.
Brass: Brass is famous thanks to its relatively cheap price but highly rich look. Brass provides prestige appearance to the 3D printing models, statues, sculptures, fashion accessories, jewelry and crafts.
3D Printing Ceramic Materials
Ceramic 3D printing techniques used mainly to print ceramic mugs, food industry, ornaments, statues, figurines, and crafts for home decor. The ceramic disadvantage is the obvious fact – it’s breakable. Ceramic is a common material in 3D printing models, but it’s a tricky material as you must design 3D printing structure that will be able to stand high heat and glazing layers to allow smoothness to a ceramic mug, for example.
Stay tuned – The 3D printer industry continues to grow and new materials are launched every month.
Coming soon – dedicated interview with Sugar 3D Printing!