Types of 3D Printing Materials and 3D Print Uses

3D Printing is a growing industry and the materials available for 3D printing has also changed over the years. If you are a fan of 3D printing, there is a wide variety of materials that you can choose from to create a 3D object.

Here are some of the 3D printing materials that you should check out: 3d printing delhi ncr india


Plastics are one of the most common 3D printing materials that designers use. Here are the common types of plastics for 3D printing:

ABS is among the most common plastic materials for 3D printing. This is widely used in entry-level FDM 3D printers in filament form. ABS is a very strong plastic and comes in a variety of colors. This material can easily be brought in a filament form from non-proprietary sources making it very popular.
PLA is biodegradable, making it a great choice for environmental advocates who want to engage in 3D printing. PLA can be utilized in resin format for Digital Light Processing (DLP) and Stereolithography. It can also be used in filament form for the FDM process. Just like ABS, PLA is also available in different colors. However, it is not as durable.

Benefits: ABA and PLA are ideal for low-cost prototyping, developing mechanical parts, cases, holders, adapters, toys and scale models. However, they are not recommended for objects that require intricate designs.

Other Types of Plastics

Once you use plastic other than ABS and PLA for 3D printing, you are already using a specialized plastic with specific properties rather than for general 3D printing. Here are some of them.

Nylon or polyamide – this is commonly used in powder form with sintering process or in filament form with FDM process. This material is strong, flexible and durable. Nylon is naturally white in color, but it can be colored for pre or post printing. Nylon in powder form can be combined with powdered aluminum to produce Alumide, another common 3D printing material for sintering. Nylon is reliable for 3D printing. However, it is more costly than PLA or ABS because it used for specific material properties (resistance to specific chemicals) or due to the FDA approved material. Nylon is ideal for functional products, complex models with intricate design, moving and assembled parts, cases, holders, and adapters. However, nylon is not good for cavities with design.
High Impact Polystyrene or HIPS are plastic filamentsused for dissolvable support structures in FDM printers. HIPS have similar characteristics with ABS, only that it is completely soluble in liquid hydrocarbon called limonene. So, if you are using an FDM printer with more than one print head you can extrude ABS in one head and HIPS in another head as a support material. HIPS will dissolve away, leaving ABS behind for a cleaner output.
LayBrick and LayWood may vary in appearance depending on the temperature at which they are printed. For instance, LayBrick can be as smooth as ceramic or rough as sandstone just by increasing the heat of extrusion. You can achieve a smooth result in this material by printing at a low temperature from 165O C to 190O Meanwhile, increasing the temperature from the said temperature to around 210OC will render a rougher result. On the other hand, for LayWood, the difference in appearance is not on the texture but in the color. When you increase the temperature, it will result into a darker wood grain. If you have a printer that supports variable temperature in a single print, you can get different colors in a single print using LayWood.
T-Glase is the brand name for filament composed of Polyethylene terephthalate. This material is the most glass-like compared to other 3D printer filaments. T-Glase prints at around 221OC on a heated bed. This material is very stable, light-transmissive and curing-resistant.

Bio Materials

Biomaterials are synthetic or natural material that can be used for constructing artificial organs, prostheses, bones or tissue. This material can now be used in 3D printing for a number of medical soma applications. In fact, several studies are examining living tissues with the goal of developing applications to print human organs for transplant and external tissues for body parts where replacement is needed. Another 3D printingarea using biomaterials concentrates on developing food like meat.