By Olivia Cahoon
Part 4 of 4
Three-dimensional (3D) printing material is just as important as the device used. With the proper material, manufacturers create a variety of 3D printed objects for electronics, medical devices, and toys. Here, we provide a sampling of available 3D printed materials from various vendors.
3D-Fuel offers Standard PLA, a 100 percent annually renewable, biodegradable 3D printing material. It provides a quick transition from molten to solid and is designed for detail. Standard PLA is available in fire engine red, grass green, midnight black, natural, ocean blue, and snow white.
The company also offers Workday PLA. It features a higher heat resistance than ABS once it undergoes the annealing process. It is designed for ease of use and is available in 12 colors.
3D4Makers’ material offering includes ABS, ASA, Facilan, PLA, PLLA, PCL, PET-G, PEEK, and PEI materials. Its ABS filament is offered in widths of 1.75 and 2.85 millimeters at a 750 gram weight. During the production process, 3D4Makers’ ABS filament does not come into contact with water and is directly sealed in a vacuum packaging. This allows the material to be suited for fused deposition modeling (FDM) and fused filament fabrication (FFF) 3D printing processes. It is available in black, blue, green, red, white, and natural colors.
Afinia Premium PLA filament is designed for the H-Series 3D printer. It is engineered to mitigate common issues associated with 3D printing like brittleness, nozzle clogging, bridging, and spider webbing. The material requires no pre-heating on the platform and reduces warping, lifting, or curling of models. It offers a reduced odor compared to ABS and a sweet-smelling scent.
Aleph Objects, Inc.
LulzBot, Aleph Objects’ 3D printer line, offers PolyLite PLA by PolyMaker. Available in multiple weight options, PolyLite PLA is designed as an affordable go-to choice for 3D printing performance. It includes minimal warping and shrinking and is designed for applications featuring flat surfaces, hard angles, or requiring tight fits.
PolyLite is compatible with a variety of LulzBot 3D printing devices including LulzBot Mini, LulzBot TAZ6, and LulzBot TAZ Dual Extruder.
Clariant offers flame retardant Polyamide 6 and Polyamide 6.6 using Exolit. Both materials are compatible with open source material extrusion printers. Materials achieve 0.8 millimeters V-0 UL94 requirements to allow end use capable parts to be produced.
ColorFabb offers PA-CF Low Warp, released in December 2017, to ensure users can print high-quality printed parts. It is a nylon/PA with carbon fiber for functional and stiff parts. “Even on a cold bed, PA-CF Low Warp is—due to its stiffness and strength—ideal for replacement parts and custom-made parts,” says Sander Strijbos, sales manager, ColorFabb.
According to Strijbos, its polyamide formulation prints nearly warp free on non-heated build platforms. The material allows continuous use at 120 degrees Celsius while retaining sufficient properties for the intended application. It is compatible with FDM.
ColorFabb also offers nGen_LUX, an amphora co-polyester for unique aesthetic use. According to Stribos, both PA-CF Low Warp and nGen_LUX are developed specifically for 3D printing with high-end components.
Released in 2017, DSM’s Somos Taurus is a photopolymer 3D printing material compatible with stereolithography. It offers an elastomeric material with high-temperature capability and ease of processing.
Arnitel ID 2045 was released in 2017 as a thermoplastic filament compatible with FFF. 50 percent of the material is made from renewable resources based on rapeseed instead of mineral oil. According to Hugo da Silva, VP, additive manufacturing, DSM, the material itself delivers up to a 40 percent reduction in carbon footprint compared to traditional co-polyesters.
Pricing for Somos Taurus and Arnitel ID2045 depends on a range of variables.
HP offers several 3D printing filament products including HP 3D High Reusability PA 11. It is a thermoplastic material made from renewable sources to offer optimal mechanical properties. PA 11 is used to produce low-cost, high-quality functional parts with impact resistance and ductility for prostheses, insoles, sporting goods, snap fits, and living hinges.
The company also offers PA 12 Glass Beads, a glass bead-filled thermoplastic material for producing low-cost, high-quality, functional parts with dimensional stability and repeatability. It is designed for applications that require high stiffness like enclosures, housing, molds, and tooling.
According to Fabio Annunziata, director of business development and 3D materials, 3D printing business, HP, the company is currently in the advanced development stages of bringing elastomers and polypropylene materials to further grow new markets and applications for 3D manufacturing.
MakerBot Industries, LLC
Created for engineers and designers, MakerBot Tough PLA Filament is designed for durable, high-impact strength prototypes, jigs, and fixtures. It is a workable material that responds to sanding, thread tapping, and post processing. Tough PLA is tested and optimized to print reliably and easily with the Tough PLA Smart Extruder+. It exhibits similar behavior to ABS under flexural, tensile, and impact loads.
Stratasys 3D printing materials include several variations of ABS, dental materials, nylon, and PLA. FDM Nylon 12CF combines nylon 12 and carbon fibers to achieve a high flexural strength and stiffness-to-weight ratio. The material allows manufacturers to replace metal components for lighter tools, functional prototyping, and select end use parts.
With a variety of manufacturer-specific products, it is difficult to select the best 3D printing material. Users should consider the 3D printed product’s end use including required flexibility and strength.
May2018, Industrial Print Magazine