We have been talking about 3D printing for a long time now. We also have been mentioning the materials we use for our products and services. For people who are not really into the details of every matter we post or make, we are helping you on how to choose 3D printing materials.
We will be listing their advantage and disadvantages. We will be comparing almost every important aspect of the material.
First up is ABS. Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene or simply ABS is a common thermoplastic that is mostly used for injection molding. One of the most famous uses of this 3D printing material is for LEGO. It is also used for electronic housings and other automotive bumper parts.
For FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling) printing, ABS is perfect for it. It has a high tolerance and accuracy. Accurate parts can be as high as 0.8 mm and the details can be as high as 1.2 mm. If you are going to 3D print an object with interlocking parts, ABS can have 0.5mm accuracy and a thickness of 1-2 mm.
If you are an environmentalist and do not want to add to the trash we already have, ABS is not the number one choice for you. It is not biodegradable, however, it can be recycled. All in all, ABS is perfect for applications that need strength, flexibility, can be machined or cut easily, and its thermal stability is great.
If you want a 3D printed product that is aesthetically pleasing, you might not want to use ABS. Instead, use our second filament, which is PLA. Polylactic Acid or simply PLA is one of the most popular bioplastics existing. It is a type of thermoplastic that is made from renewable resources like corn starch and sugarcane.
Just like ABS, PLA is also perfect for FDM printing. They are both great for prototyping but PLA is more on the form side than functionality. It is easier to print compared to ABS and is better to use for products with more detailed and finer parts. Unlike ABS, PLA has a glossy finish while ABS is more on matte. Also, PLA needs great care when machi9ned as it is not as flexible as ABS.
The third material we use is Resin. It is suited best with Stereolithography technology or SLA. The resin is a liquid material that can be hardened permanently. There are natural resins in plant and those are solid ones. We use the synthetic ones but they are also biodegradable and non-toxic as well as non-hazardous.
Unlike the first two, Resins are not 3D printed layer by layer. They are printed using a laser. The liquid will be heated by the laser and it will harden. The process will be repeated until the finished product is done.
Resins are perfect for jewelry making and other super-detailed materials. It is translucent and very smooth. It can be sand and post-processing for this material is easier than the first two.
These three materials are just our basic filaments used. If you have more questions about them, do not hesitate to contact us!