Additive Printing Materials Tips
Posted on May 16 2017
The Right Materials Equal The Right Outcome
Our goal at Accucode3D and Tech Expert revolves around providing you the reader with the information needed to get your next project up and running, this printing materials guide aims to expedite the printing process. Additive printing (3D printing) can become an overwhelming process when you are first getting your feet wet especially when it comes to task like choosing the correct printing material to suit the end use of your project or part. Below you will find a list of commonly used printing materials as well as common use cases for each material.
79% of the time SLS will probably be the material you use for prototyping with this method! SLS use a heated powder bed while a laser etches the part’s profile, building your design layer by layer. Nylon is heat and chemical resistant and has end-use durability for engineered applications. We recommend you limit your build size to about a foot since there is no need for support structures the process handles complex parts easily.
FDM (ABS and ASA)
FDM constructs parts by extruding a melted filament which zig-zags to form the shape of the design. Common materials include ABS and ASA, which have very similar properties as a plastic. FDM allows for very large build volume to large parts up to 3 feet or production runs of smaller parts as well as the ability to print in a variety of colors.
Need something printed in metal? Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) builds designs by melting a powder bed of metal, layer after layer, to build a metal geometry from CAD. This is an excellent way to get an intricate part or something that would eventually be milled from a casting while avoiding major setup and tooling fees. DMLS is also more economical transparent than traditional milling.
Still, need some additional tips on 3D printing, here a great 3D printing materials guide from 3D Hubs that should help.