Choosing the right 3D printing material for your application

Today, 3D printing is substantial for creating prototype and end-use production parts in hundreds of plastic and metal materials. But which 3D printing material should you choose for your project?

Material Selection considerations

Application

Certain materials offer bio-compatibility, sterilization capabilities, FDA certifications for skin contact, heat smoke toxicity certifications, fire-retardant certifications, chemical resistance or other certifications which may be critical for your project. When choosing a material and 3D printing process for your project it is important to ensure your material can deliver on these certifications.

Function

3D printing materials are subjected to rigorous testing in order to answer the kinds of stresses it can endure and the level of taxing environment the material will excel in. The ability of a material to function in a desired application relies partly on design.

Geometry

3D print materials are often inseparable from their corresponding technology. Additionally, each technology, whether it’s FDM, Stereolithography or Laser Sintering, excels in delivering unique geometric executions. Consider the dimensional tolerances, minimum feature execution and wall thicknesses of your design when choosing a 3D print technology.

Post Processing

3D printed designs can result in beautifully finished products with the right post-processing. Some materials may be better suited to certain post-processing methods than others – heat treating stainless steel versus post-curing a photopolymer, for example.

Download the white paper to learn about choosing the right material for the job. The paper covers the following topics:

  • Photopolymers
  • Powdered plastics
  • Metals
  • Thermoplastics
  • Certification considerations
  • Starting your 3D printing project

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