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What materials are commonly used for 3D printing? What are their strengths and weaknesses?

rapid prototyping and additive manufacturing

3 d printing is a type of additive manufacturing or 3-D printing, a technique that builds objects based on rapid prototyping and additive manufacturingdigital model files by printing them layer by layer using adhesive materials such as metal powder or plastic.

3D printing is usually achieved using digital technology material printers. It is often used to make models in fields such as mold making and industrial design, and then gradually used in the direct manufacturing of some products, and there are already parts that have been printed using this technology. The technology has applications in jewelry, footwear, industrial design, architecture, engineering and construction (AEC), automotive, aerospace, dental and medical industries, education, geographic information systems, civil engineering, firearms, and other fields.

January 14, 2019 - For the first time, the University of California, San Diego proposes to use enterprise rapid 3D printing information technology to fabricate a spinal cord scaffold that mimics the design structure of the central nervous network system, which is successfully needed to help restore motor control function in rats.

On May 5, 2020, China's first successful flight of the Long March 5B launch vehicle carried a "3D printer" on board. This is China's first space 3D printing experiment, but also the first international continuous fiber-reinforced composite space 3D printing experiment.

The principle of 3D printing technology

The ordinary printers used in daily life can print computer-designed flat objects, the so-called 3D printers and ordinary printers, only the material is different, the ordinary printer printing materials are ink and paper, while 3D printers contain different "printing materials", such as metal, ceramic, plastic and sand, these are the real These are the real raw materials. Once the printer is connected to rapid injection mouldinga computer, the computer controls the "print material" layer by layer, eventually turning the computer's blueprint into the real thing. In Layman's terminology, a 3D printer is a device that can "print" real 3D objects, such as robots, toy cars, models, and even food. The common name "printer" is a reference to the technology used in ordinary printers, as the layering process is very similar to inkjet printing. This printing technology is called 3D stereoscopic printing.

What materials are commonly used in 3D printing?

There are two main categories of materials studied for 3D printing: non-metallic composites and metallic structural materials. Metals for 3D design printing engineering materials: gold, silver, aluminum alloy, stainless steel, titanium alloy and other materials. Stereoscopic image printing enterprises used in the construction of materials continue to improve the expansion, for the development of three-dimensional Chinese printing electronic technology students provide a huge space. Non-metallic nano-materials can include: polylactic acid, ABS, di-aluminum, nylon, ceramics, high temperature with high toughness as well as high strength using photographic part resin, translucent photographic resin, soft rubber 3D printing, DLP imported red wax, DLP imported blue wax, full cobalt color 3D printing, CNC ABS processing, desktop ABS plastic and dozens of materials.

Metallic materials, especially aluminum alloys, stainless steel, titanium and cobalt derivatives, have groundbreaking applications in medical, aerospace and automotive manufacturing.

Some non-metallic materials are highlighted below.

ABS plastic.

It uses the initials propylene triene, butadiene and styrene. Due to its excellent surface rapid prototyping typesgloss and coloring, it is ideal for parts with cosmetic requirements. In addition, due to its high relative strength and adhesion, it can also be used for parts with strength requirements. (Tensile strength of about 40 MPa)

ABS material development is very simple and easy to print, the extruder on the market can get a very smooth extrusion, but it has the characteristics of market shrinkage when cold, 3D printing of road substrate must be heated through, or its bottom information is easy to roll up, overhang and some other problems.

The combination with other materials is better, easy to surface printing, coating and coating treatment, such as surface spraying, metal spraying, electroplating, welding, hot pressing and bonding secondary processing.

ABS produces strong odor when printed, is recyclable and non-biodegradable, has high strength, high toughness and high dimensional stability. It is currently the most commonly used 3D printing material in the market.

The printout is generally yellowish and opaque, and the surface accuracy is generally

PC material

1) PC material hardness and strength requirements are higher than ABS (about 60%), its toughness research is relatively simple to low, is a true thermoplastic composite material, to meet the construction project to carry out all the working properties of plastic: high strength, high temperature resistance, impact resistance, carry bending properties, can be used for the final realization of the parts, directly affect the assembly process used.

(2) PC material 3D printing out of the color is generally translucent, its material itself has a single color, white. Surface accuracy in general.

PLA resin.

Since PLA resin is made from ingredients of plant origin (corn, beets, peaches, sugar cane, etc.), it does not emit the unpleasant odor characteristic of resin when printing. Since the temperature of the printing resin is lower than that of ABS, it is very sensitive to high temperatures. Therefore, it has the characteristics of elasticity and hardness. It is difficult to press the surface with sandpaper and squeegee, etc. because of the hardness and the paint is difficult to be familiar with. Due to its hardness and sturdiness, it is said to be suitable for manufacturing large products.

Polylactic acid (PLA) is a thermosensitive hard plastic, a derivative of a renewable resource (starch), and has a low environmental impact. It has excellent printing properties, no irritating odor, good hardness and strength, and is biodegradable.

low cost and price, the surface to carry out the general requirements of precision, the later surface processing technology processing to ABS difficult. Natural environmental state, is generally transparent, join the Chinese color after printing out the effect of the study often through the color bright, glossy good, almost no shrinkage.

photosensitive resin

Photosensitive resin commonly known as UV resin, it is composed of polymer gum containing substances, these polymers like a scattered network of chain-connected hedge fragments. Under ultraviolet radiation, these molecules combine to form long cross-linked polymers. During the bonding process, the polymer is converted from a colloidal resin to a rigid material.

The photosensitive resin material is similar to ABS resin, with high mechanical strength, no volatile odor, wide range of application, and easy storage

Print out the surface accuracy, but expensive.

gypsum powder.

It is a resin used for molding through powder plaster, commonly used in urban sculpture or model prototypes.

Because it can be colored in full color, it can be used for design verification, etc., but it is not suitable for any strength requirements.

Application : Model/portrait

Ceramic material

It includes natural silicate materials, such as clay, Kaolin, oxide ceramic materials, nitride ceramic materials, carbide ceramic materials, etc.. These materials have many advantages over polymers and metals, such as high hardness, high temperature resistance, and stable physicochemical properties. Therefore, their 3D printed products have broad application prospects in aerospace, automotive, biomedical and other fields. This is a relatively new material. The future is bright.