This week Ben and Ian discuss 3D Printing.
Varying Fields of Use
- Entertainment and Art
- Weapons and Defense
- DIY and many others…
3D Printing Services
Home 3D Printers
3D Model Repositories
ABS and PLA Plastic (Common Thermoplastics)
Comes in a variety of colors.
ABS and PLA plastic printing are the most common in home 3d printing. Constructed from a thermoplastic, ABS and PLA are very useful for functional applications because they match
80% of the properties of the real injected production material. ABS models are very accurate and have a intermediate level of printed details. You have a lot of freedom for the design of your
model. However, the surface quality of the models is rougher compared to other materials. A long plastic wire is fed by a spool to a nozzle where the material is liquefied and drawn on the
platform where it immediately hardens again. The nozzle moves to drop the material at the correct location, drawing your model line by line. When a layer is drawn, the platform lowers by
one layer thickness so the printer can start with the next layer. PLA is biodegradable plastic which can come in more colors than ABS. PLA also is smoother than ABS and can be more
Compare 3D Printer PLA and ABS Filament
Polyamide (Nylon Plastic)
Usually white, but can be dyed and painted.
Constructed from a white, very fine, granular powder. The result is a strong, somewhat flexible material that can take small impacts and resist some pressure while being bent. The surface
has a sandy, granular look, and is slightly porous. The material is started with a bed of nylon plastic and is sintered layer by layer with a laser, solidifying each layer.
Alumide (Nylon Plastic and Aluminum Powder)
Gray color with a slight sparkle. –
Alumide is nylon plastic filled with Aluminum dust. This dust gives Alumide the sparkle, but also makes the material more brittle than other nylon plastics. The material is started with a
bed of mixed Nylon Plastic and Aluminum powder, and is sintered layer by layer with a laser, solidifying each layer.
Sculpteo – Alumide
Resins – (Liquid Polymers)
Usually off white, but can be dyed and painted, can come in detailed and also transparent variations.
White or dyed resin, very close to standard plastic. Rigid, opaque, smooth surface, perfect for high detailed visualization. The model is printed layer by layer with a high-performance
compound, photo polymeric liquid. Each photopolymer layer is cured by UV light immediately after being jetted.
Spray-Painted Detail Resin
Multicolor (Fully Colored Sandstone)
Off-white/grayish material colored with ink, using the 3d model’s textures.
Constructed from a fine granular powder. Models are created by printing layer and layer of binder material and colored ink into a bed of gypsum-based powder. The products are then
finished with a glue sealant to ensure durability and vivid colors. The final product is a hard, slightly brittle material that is great for little figurines and models of your favorite video game
avatar, but not suited for structural parts under great load. Colors are printed with a resolution of 600 x 540 dpi.
Common metal printing materials includes, Platinum, Gold, Silver, Bronze, Brass, Stainless Steel, Titanium, and Aluminum. The finishes for each material can be varied, using post
processing techniques such as polishing and plating. The methods using in printing the metals can also vary, depending on the desired metal. Some metals can be printed layer by layer
using a metal powder and glue. Some metals can use laser sintering to harden metal powder. Other metals use casting techniques, which prints a model out of wax, and creates a plaster
mold, from which the wax is melted out of. Liquid metal is then poured into the plaster mold, and broken free, when the metal hardens.