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3D Printing Materials

3D Printing Materials

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3D Printing Materials

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Hello Crowdholders!
I would like to thank you for the lovely support on the previous task, I honestly didn't expect it. As I mentioned before, today I want to share different materials you can 3D print out of.


The most conventional material is PLA. While its enviromental resistance is pretty weak, it is fairly cheap and you can get a decent roll of 1kg PLA for $20. It is often created by processing cornstarch. This is the reason of its degradation - it's a bioplastic. While the final product is strong, burying it in the ground decays it in a few years. To print with PLA, it needs to be heated up to around 200°C but it softens around 50°C, so its uses can be often limiting. 

If the model needs to withstand certain conditions, a good compromise is to use PETG. It is based on PET, one of the most used type of plastic, be it bottles or textiles for example. The price of 1kg spool is almost identical as PLA. Its durability is pretty higher - to print PETG, it has to be heated up to 240°C and it softens around 80°C. Because of its decent temperature resistance, many parts on a 3D printer are actually printed as well and the material used is none other than PETG. Another benefit of PETG is that it is food safe, same as PLA. So why not switch to PETG altogether? It is not as forgiving material as PLA, consumes humidity and printing with it is a bit harder.

Another common material is ABS. It has some pretty interesting attributes. While the printing temperature is same as PETG, it softens up around a 100°C. Unlike PETG and PLA, it is a bit flexible, but not too much. It has a nice matte finish and it is soluble in acetone, so it can render the layers pretty much invisible. It costs same as the previous materials, $20 for a 1kg. As grand as ABS sounds, it has its caveats. It produces unpleasant smell while prinitng and the material is very prone to warp and shrink while printing, like this: 
To combat warping, the printer must be in a closed space and the ambient temperature must not drop too quickly. It is also not food safe as consuming ABS is toxic.

 

The absolute beast in resistance is Nylon. It is durable both mechanically, as it bonds layers together very well, and chemically. Now comes the price increasement as 1kg of nylon costs around $30-$40. It is more flexible than ABS and absorbs humidity even more than PETG so it is incredibly essential to keep it dry.

Printing with different colors of the same material is no probles as it has the same properties, but what if you could combine different materials? It is possible to combine PLA with tiny wood particles and it can create around 30% wood material called Woodfill. It has a nice warm, wooden feel to it and you can surprisingly use wood stains on it to give it more wooden look. Combining metal and plastic is also possible. You can find mixes of iron, aluminium, copper, bronze and many more with plastic. If a model made out of this material is a bit brushed, it creates amazing metal look. It can even corrode the same way to make the model look older! These special materials can cost $30 per kilo.

 

And finally, the last material I would like to mention is Flex material. As the name suggest, it is very flexible and feels like a rubber. It is also one of the hardest material to print and not every printer can handle it. It is the most expensive material on this list, because a 0.5kg spool costs $30. It can be used to print wheels or phone cases for example.


And that's it! I know this article was a bit longer than the previous one, but there are many materials you can print out of and these only scratched the surface, the rabbit hole is much deeper.

My questions for you are:

  • Now that you know different properties of these materials, what are some unique cases where they could some of them be used?
  • Is there other material you would like to see things made out of?
  • Knowing there are so many materials, did it open your eyes about the uses of 3D printers a bit more?

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47 COMMENTS 324 VOTES

Most recent Most verbose

Vu Huu Hoang expert

I didn't know that 3D printers could provide this shape for materials. I was shocked when I got the idea. I think this project will work in the near future because they mean it. The best idea.
For unique cases: PLA can be used that can be used in printing food and wrapping paper, because it has no health effects and it can be decomposed.
Modern technology today is easier to use and more reliable with this 3d printer is great and great. Good technology above all gives this project team more power and more 3D printers to improve in a technology platform.

12 hours ago

  • Now that you know different properties of these materials, what are some unique cases where they could some of them be used?

 

I think that what is currently missing are precisely cases of use that can make materials totally disruptive. There is also the question of the ability to access them and the cost of printing. For example the use of the pet could be something very interesting to develop for the part the pollution it produces

 

  • Is there other material you would like to see things made out of?
    I think the cement / clay part that is being used in the construction part is interesting. It can be something tremendously disruptive in the future
  • Knowing there are so many materials, did it open your eyes about the uses of 3D printers a bit more?
    Yes, the article is very interesting and enjoyable.

2 days ago

TOM STEEL guru

After seeing all these I will say that I am really surprised that you can use a 3D machine for these kinds of work, I will say that getting one of these machines close by means that my visit to the hardware store will reduce. I find these works very fascinating and I think that I will try my best to get my hands on one of these machines. Already thinking about a lot of things that I will be able to create with it.

But can the machine be used to create a device that has moving parts, i.e. to build the machine at one in one whole swoop? But in all this, this machine will go a long way in changing science and technology and the way we see the world around us.

4 days ago

Ejay Dario guru

I'm more experience and know the circulation in this Blockchain Industry.

modern technology nowadays is more easy and reliable to use with this 3d printer was nice and great to have with. Good technology above them all for the team of this project more power and more 3D printer to improve in a technology platform.

5 days ago

Promise Chibuike new user

Well with the information you have shed here about 3D printing materials, i have the following to say;

About the unique cases: PLA can be used can be used in printing food packs and wrappers, since is does not have health effect and it is degradable.

About other materials: what about protein substance, i don't really have any in mind, but i do know that cockroaches are made from proteins substance, so you can borrow a leaf from there if applicable.

Yeah, it opened my minds to the break throughs that have been achieved so far in 3D printing, and I know it can always get better.

5 days ago

I didn't kow that the 3D printers could give this shapes to the materials.. I got shocked when i got the idea.. I think this project will work in near future because they got the greatest idea. Wouw! 

1 week ago

D B new user

Digital nomad

I use the 3D modeling program Blender a lot and I would like to easily print out some of my creatons there. It would be really greating for quickly prototyping game pieces or just making little unique paper weights.

I'd like to see various types of transparency. It would be interesting if I could print an objects with both solid and trasparent parts.

I hadn't thought about 3D printers much because even normal printers are annoying and expensive because of ink. So, I learned a lot from this, and hope I can play around with one sometime.

1 week ago

I am a hobbyist 3d printer, therefore I can only advise the prospective user to try different materials after printing a scale model in PLA.

I would like to try metals. 

Micromanufacturing is the future. 

 

1 week ago

Artur Artur new user

3D это как блокчейн в области печати.

1 week ago

Lily Panter expert

I'm sugar, spice and everything nice

With an arsenal like this, anyone can be creative. You don't need skills - which are sometimes innate than acquired - anymore. All you need is your imagination and a 3D printer. 

1 week ago

I believe that it is not a printer it is game changer! This is the work of future, it is impossible to unlike it.. I think you are in the right path, you would have great and bright future if you follow the right ways..

1 week ago

Arzun Pathak expert

Don't listen to me, listen to the data and research.

You've enhanced my desire of buying a 3D printer, how much does it cost. I will buy one in near future.

1 week ago

Karen M guru

My stepson bought an Exone 3D printer on Amazon for $400 for use in his house. He loves it!

6 days ago

3d printers! Thats what im taking about. Looks like great specs too! I love how everyday tech is becoming advanced. Keep up the good work!

1 week ago

NARUTO RAPHEAL guru

I am a Mechanical Engineer with expertise in power and Mecha-tronics. An Entrepreneur

Using 3d printers is a very nice and also a very useful machine to use and hand at hand, i will say that i have not use a 3d printer before but i have read a lot about it and will say that theoretically i have used it. Seeing the high rate of precision that the output gives, i will say that it would be a very good use for making smaller parts that needs more precision thats larger parts were precison is not really an issuess. I will also say that, the finishing touches that the creator gives the work is really what matters a lot than per say the finishing of the 3d printer so a good design will definetely be based on the final finish that the work was given. But in all these 3d printers comes very much as a blessing that as a curse, because the use is just unlimited. very nice indeed, taught me a lot than i had previously known.

2 weeks ago

Ryan Olesen expert

Have acted as an advisor on multiple blockchain & crypto currency related ICO's!

Awsome to discover so many miscellaneous materials that can be used with 3D printing now. My favorite has to be the bronze fill but also like the wood composite. All are interesting and has great use cases. Great article. 

☆☆☆☆ 4-Stars

2 weeks ago

Great to see different kind of printing materials here and the advantage of one over the other,I always love to see flex printing especially when you want to see advert on a large flex materials hanging on the bill boards, so seen the same material used to print something like wheel is interesting and there is No way anything print on this will not last for so long except it burnt. 

I would love to see some other materials that can be used to print more,talk of cartoon and some ply wood materials.

2 weeks ago

  • Now that you know different properties of these materials, what are some unique cases where they could some of them be used?

I don't know how to answer to this question as I think there are many factors that need to be considered like, temperature as you wrote in the article, it is toxic or not, how long it will last in the environment. 

The hard material will be better be used for the decoration peace, so it will be handy for those who like to have decorated their house but also want to keep changing so he can use the material that doesn't last long. 

As plastic bags are being more dangerous to the environment I think if a 3d printer can find a solution will be great by making a material that lasts few days and then dissolves and also healthy to the environment.

  • Is there other material you would like to see things made out of?

Glass, material that can make stuff like road carpet that is cheaper and durable, ice and some liquid stuff like a jelly are some which will be great if we can make.

  • Knowing there are so many materials, did it open your eyes about the uses of 3D printers a bit more?

It does open and cleared some questions. but does it mean that for every material we need to have a special 3d printer or can we print all everything using a different material on one printer?


I think you are more into the 3d printer and I guess you have a 3d printer and using it at your home or work, but it will be more informative if in the future you can create a video as well using the 3d printer and can explain there on the video. Not many of us have the 3d printer so it will be more clear now if you can see a video demo of it as well.

Thanks and Good luck looking forward to more informative stuff from you.

Sorry If some of my question or answers are making no sense.

2 weeks ago

Materials are not toxic, only some if digested. 3D printing dissolvable bags would be nice but bags are very thin to print. Having recycled material is whole another aspect though.
Glass is a great idea!
And I see what you mean with the video... I might create some or find some nice demo online to make everything clearer!

1 week ago

The acetone bath is a great addition to the end result. I used to print and wonder how to get a good result. I used to sand them down but never got the result acetone gave you. 

 

The wood stain was also a good use but what was it printed with and what colour. 

2 weeks ago

Sanding is necessary with other materials as only ABS reacts to acetone.

The material was "AMZ3D Wood" and stained to an oak color.
Non stained prints look like this: https://i.pinimg.com/originals/4a/a1/c7/4aa1c725ceb6ade8c8a80d055...

1 week ago

It did open my eyes to thw different materials that could be used. Wow! Just amazing.

2 weeks ago

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Free coin everyday

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2 weeks ago

1. Now that you know different properties of these materials, what are some unique cases where they could some of them be used? 

-- Production cost by 3D printers will be an important factor, but anyway it can be applied to many cases. And, depending on how precisely 3D printer can make it, the field of use will increase dramatically.
First of all, it will be applied to many household goods in the vicinity, but as mentioned above, production cost is more important than anything else.

2. Is there other material you would like to see things made out of?

-- I would like to see goods made out of plastic and Nylon.

 

3. Knowing there are so many materials, did it open your eyes about the uses of 3D rpinters a bit more?

-- Yes I have an interest in 3D printer and want to use it.

2 weeks ago

  • Now that you know different properties of these materials, what are some unique cases where they could some of them be used?
    it can be used for many things I will quote them from another comment "
  • Trophies and medals for competitions or tournaments. Soccer, tennis, ice hockey, basketball, golf, etc.
  • New designs for cooking utensils
  • Mathematical sets/instruments
  • Hard disk and pen drive covers
  • Hangers for shirts
  • Sunglasses
  • Bottle openers and keyholders
  • Headphone stands
  • Belt Hooks
  • Picture frames
  • Is there other material you would like to see things made out of?
    Yes, Ice, architect, and phone materials. 
  • Knowing there are so many materials, did it open your eyes about the uses of 3D printers a bit more?
    Yes, I'll use it sooner and will make many projects with it.

2 weeks ago

Anto puljic new user

Actually there are many applications that could be thought about, but the price you are talking about is simply too high for commercial use.

Especially "Flex" 60 $ per kg is allready in the upper range of high performance thermoset with PEEK (one of the most expensive thermoset costs aboute ~ 100 $ / kg and has allready outstanding properties like  f.e. you can use it also in human bodies without any dangerouse downsides like metals have).

 

BUT i think you are making some mistakes about the price. I know that ABS is way cheaper than 20 $ /kg (as the "pure" Material), but ABS Filaments that can be bought (Material Cost + Taxes + profit for all the companies that are involved) cost about 20$ /kg so thats a big difference. 

You should be more clear, when you are talking about prices, as f.e. for ABS 20 $/kg is the price for a customer buying it in small batches and not even close to the production costs of the Material or the price for big batches (if a company would buy it). 

Especially for use cases the price is often a go or no go.

 

Short list of Application if the price is irrelevant (what never is the case)

Flex : Bumper (Smartphone), Wall Protection (Against Doors, In a Garage ), Against slippery surfaces (Notebook bottom, dishes, glasses), Printable shoe soles and many more.

Nylon + Additive : Actually i only see it in "Design", "Art" and maybe "Board Games" (Tokens, Figures like WarHammer, etc) 

2 weeks ago

De Gem guru

Cryptocurrency enthusiast, avid reader, rapper and SDG advocate.

Good observation.

2 weeks ago

Well of course, I was writing about filaments. The raw material is much cheaper. Some might say that you can get PET for free, since water bottles are made of it. There is however no way to create a good quality filament at home out of raw materials. I also didn't include big batch prices as they are highly variable, custom based on order and I was targetting this article to an average person. But I probably should have made that clearer, you're right.

Printing board games is a massive fun, highly recommend.

1 week ago

3D printer is can used for making artificial body part.

3D printer can be used in making jewelry

I think ice is material which can be used in making sculpture using 3D printer 

2 weeks ago

Ice is an interesting material but the FDM technology wouldn't allow it. CNC might!

1 week ago

mike dmann expert

I am excited about the future of all crypto currency.

I have used ABS in many projects. My main use is for project box's and cases for pi"s.

I am interested in seeing large printers for construction projects using concrete or asphalt.

I am always excited about learning more about materials used in 3d printing. I like the properties of using nylon.

2 weeks ago

I am in awe of concrete building printers. There are plans to have a 3D printed village and I am wondering if that could maybe drive the price of houses down.

1 week ago

Dean Walsh guru

Don't listen to me because of who I am, I'm nobody like everone else.

I can't think of any unique use cases or different materials, but yes this information did open my eyes somewhat about the potential of 3D printing because I didn't know there were so many different choices of materials with different properties.

The ones which are combined with wood and metal actually have a very attractive appearance to them based on the pictures you included, so I like them.

2 weeks ago

   I could see where a telephone company could print custimised phone cases.  

It would be interesting to see conductive meterals printed with it.  I like the idea of futuristic graphine electronics but that may be science fiction.

It let me know more of the properties of the printing material so that helps with design and work flow issues.

 

 

2 weeks ago

There is a conductive filament.
https://www.blackmagic3d.com/Conductive-p/grphn-pla.htm
It is however incredibly expensive and the applications of it are questionable. But maybe it can create some small circuits that would be harder to solder by hand :)

1 week ago

De Gem guru

Cryptocurrency enthusiast, avid reader, rapper and SDG advocate.

They can be used in a lot of cases. They can be used for creating

  • Trophies and medals for competitions or tournaments. Soccer, tennis, ice hockey, basketball, golf, etc.
  • New designs for cooking utensils
  • Mathematical sets/instruments
  • Hard disk and pendrive covers
  • Hangers for shirts
  • Sunglasses
  • Bottle openers and keyholders
  • Headphone stands
  • Belt hooks
  • Picture frames

I would like to see some objects made out of high-density polyethylene and low-density polyethylene. Since these are capable of melting easily, I'd like to see a mixture of these with any of the ones you stated PLA, PETG, Flex, ABS and Nylon. I'm very sure the outcomes will generate something positive. Who knows it might lead to the next cheapest material for 3D printing on the market.

This has really opened my eyes. It's all new info for me. I've also gotten to realise that 3D printing is more efficient than I thought. With the right mindset and the right attitude, one can make a very serious business out of this.

2 weeks ago

Exactly, once I saw that you can combine materials, it opened my eyes. Sky really is the limit and combining new materials might discover something uselful!

1 week ago

De Gem guru

Cryptocurrency enthusiast, avid reader, rapper and SDG advocate.

Thanks for replying. We're are in a century of endless possibilities and unprecedented happenings

23 hours ago

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I loved your first task and now this. great work. though verbose, the images rescued you. I am thinking of going into this line of business since you make it look so attractive. thumbs up.

2 weeks ago

Haha, yeah, I realised half way through that the picture are a must to keep attention :D

1 week ago

Rapheal Ngene expert

I like this alot and i find it very interstung and a fun way and very accurate way to make things. For me presently i think that this will be a very important tool for use in building electronics parts like phones casing, rubeer and plastic casing and such. I will like to see it use in designing parts for computers and printers also.

2 weeks ago

Didn't know that it is possible to print wood or metal, even if its combined with PLA, it looks amazing. But as I assumed, for the moment speaking 3D printing is nowhere near a practical use case. Thank you again for your interesting end enlightening article.

2 weeks ago

Great to see different kind of printing materials here and the advantage of one over the other,I always love to see flex printing especially when you want to see advert on a large flex materials hanging on the bill boards, so seen the same material used to print something like wheel is interesting and there is No way anything print on this will not last for so long except it burnt. 

I would love to see some other materials that can be used to print more,talk of cartoon and some ply wood materials.

This Eye-opener is a good learning for people especially that usually Wonder how some materials are being printed. 

2 weeks ago

Yeah, I am also not so sure about the long term usage of flex materials but who knows? Maybe it actually is durable!

1 week ago

Karen M guru

I'm forever amazed by 3d printing and it's capabilities! I think with the wood, how about if a chair or table leg broke, print a new one. Or a drawer pull to match the set. With metal, o would live garden statues! The ideas are endless. I would love to see water bottles & plastic bags be recycled as a material for 3d printing. You did open my eyes more with this article. I hadn't known about the metal or wood components. Keep writing and check out the company I mentioned before- Exone- let me know what you think.

2 weeks ago

I haven't heard about this company before you wrote it here and after looking at them, I think they are a solid investment. While their machines don't really seem consumer friendly, I think that industrial potential is great, especially because of its pure metal printing abilities.

1 week ago

Karen M guru

My stepson actually bought an Exone 3D printer on Amazon for about $400. He uses it at home. He has made custom keychains, toys and logos for his business.

1 week ago

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