3D Printing Materials And Their Applications in Manufacturing

Today there are six basic talking points when it comes to manufacturing. 3d printing first being changed in the economics of production.

3D Printing

So it basically refers to the repeatability factor of 3d printing being able to make the exact same piece out several times without any additional cost.

  1. Change in the economics of production- The initial start usually has some high costs associated with the manufacturing of a certain device or part.
  2. Design Freedom- Due to the fact this is additive we’re building these parts and pieces out of the combination of different materials stacking up on one another. You have more freedom in the sense that you’re not limited to the manufacturing that you typically used to so see.
  3. Increased Part Functionality- Increased part functionality so essentially printing for function as opposed to those limitations in manufacturing.
  4. Product Personalization- So as the technology has developed and come further along with materials and applications. You now have newer abilities to get everything from photorealistic prints with full-colour spectrums with more versatile and functionality in parts.
  5. Environment Sustainability- The environmental sustainability factor that refers to the just-in-time manufacturing of 3d printing. So turning out exactly what you want when you want it without having to waste any materials.
  6. New Supply Chains and Retail Models– The new supply chains and retail models refer to basically localizing your manufacturing environment by having a 3D printer in-house. Now you can get certain replacement jigs and fixtures parts.


What is Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM)?

FDM has two different spools of whats called a thermal plastic filament. One is for model and other to support. FDM technology melts this plastic down as its getting hot enough to its melting point.


It can be pushed out by the heads to make these structures layer by layer.

It will take turns between extruding model material which is the material that your actual part will be consisting of and then support material which is what helps your model be built with different geometries.

The support material can be broken off from your model part or be washed away.

Fused Deposition Modeling Materials-

  1. General Material-
  • ABS Plus-ASA
  • ABS M30-
  • ABS M30i- Biocompatible with gamma rays
  • ABS ESD7- Static dissipative material so you can it’s really good when working with certain microchips and computer processes
  • ASA- Essentially the new and improved version of abs. It’s UV stable which isn’t seen with most other materials.
  • It also has the best aesthetics of all FDM thermoplastics.
  • It means chemical composition of the material results in high resolutions.
  • It also has superior mechanical capabilities to absorb things like tensile strength, tensile elongation at break things.



  • Investment casting
  • Custom end-use parts for outdoor
  • Lighter more cost-effective concept models
  • Functional Prototypes


Benefits of ASA-

  • Low Ash Content
  • Enormous time/Cost savings
  • More design freedom


  1. Engineering Material-
  • PC-Nylon 12
  • PC-ABS –
  • PC-ISO- Biocompatible version of art
  • Nylon 12 – Strong chemical resistance. Thirty percent elongation break the most of any FDM thermoplastic. High fatigue resistance. Now because of that elongation to break and the strength that is also backing up this type of material is very good for snapfits as well as a friction fit. Inserts things like functional drill guides prototyping and use parts for ducks and things such as that are very good in terms of how you use.




  • Covers and Panels
  • Functional drill guides
  • Functional prototyping and end-user parts for low temp ducting
  • Frictional fits inserts


Benefits of Nylon 12-

  • Lower tooling cost from metal mods
  • Less wasted metal tooling
  • Nylon prototypes


FDM Advantages-

  • Tough, Aesthetic colours
  • Strong Durable ABS
  • Medical and food contact
  • Versatility
  • Economic sparse fill
  • High-performance end users

Semi-crystalline nature of nylon 12 allows it to withstand a lot of the testing that you see when trying to figure out how a prototype should look and how the end result should look.

In addition to that, you also have the less wasted metal tooling and the lower tool costs from metal modifications.

  1. High-Performance Material-
  • ULTEM 9085

A flame smoke and toxicity rating FST for short which basically means this material is in an environment that’s so hot the material starts to melt and give off a smoke.

Ultem 9085The smoke head is not toxic to humans at all which makes it great for aerospace when you don’t have access to open air.

Going into aerospace because of how strong durable is and the strength to weight ratio that you’re getting from this material it could really hold up with some of the most stringent aerospace industry requirements.

It has a very high strength-to-weight ratio. Good for aerospace applications. Airbus, for instance, has about a thousand thirteen fine pieces on board in their new systems.

Because of this aerospace application is ULTEM 9085 specifically called Fulton 1985 aerospace. For this nature, there’s also a certification grade which can be sterilized for different uses.


  • The most stringent aerospace industry requirements
  • Metal Forming and Thermoforming.
  • End of arm-tooling


Benefits of ULTEM 9085-

  • >10,000 Psi
  • No operator attendance
  • FDM is faster
  • Much less waste


  • ULTEM 1010

This material has the highest FDM temperature resistance and fire resistance.

It also has the best chemical resistance, the highest tensile strength and the strongest FDA material.ULTEM 1010

Overall with the lowest coefficient of thermal expansion and this material also has FST or flames smoke and toxicity rating.

Used for things like high-pressure valving. It’s can be sterilized in an autoclave so there’s a lot of auto plating that can be used for medical applications.

Layup tooling for larger pieces like the parts of aeroplanes.

Different parts for onboard use for various aircrafts both military and civilian. The machines that scientists use are where

ULTEM 1010 came to play. So there was a lot of different valving features and portions of the machines that break down over time.

Instead of having that designed again by an engineer and machined in metal they were able to replicate this with ULTEM 1010 plastic and the benefits were eight months of life out of those parts with high repeatability. Means cheaper and faster parts getting it milder machine tooling jigs and fixtures.

Applications of ULTEM 1010

  • Lay-up tooling
  • Food production (CG)
  • Metal Forming/ Thermoforming
  • Medical Auto-Claving(CG)
  • Compression Moulding-10-50 cycles
  • Aerospace and Automotive Components: clips, housing, ducts, semi-structural components


Benefits of ULTEM 1010-

  • High pressure valving
  • Tooling, Jigs and fixtures
  • Eight months of use


Speciality Products-

  • ST-130– Sacrificial tooling to be used to invert model and support. You can print in full support then do ESD PEKKcarbon wrap-ups usually used with high automotive applications.
  • SR-35– New type of soluble support powder. It’s basically the new and improved version of ST-130 the typical soluble support.
  • Nylon 6- It falls as a combination almost between an ASA and nylon 12. UV stable has a hike in resistance as well as in similarities Nylon 12 it also has about a nineteen percent elongation at break.
  • ESD PEKK– Similar to a BSc hd7. It is electrostatic dissipative but tech specifically is used for outer space. Like International space station or the ISS for short as well as satellites. High demands on 3d printing materials are fully capable of meeting that new challenge.



PolyJet –

PolyJet is fairly different from FDM. This is not a thermoplastic but a photopolymer. In this process layers of material builds upon one another.

Instead of a spool of filament, you have a material jetting. The liquid photopolymer is sprayed out into a mist or dot matrix of various materials.Polyjet Printing

Similar to tink an inkjet printer which then has a rolling mechanism coming over each layer. There are also two lights that follow the movement of the head at any given time.

Parts that come off of PolyJet system are completely cured right off the printer. Remove support now. You can also have soluble support for PolyJet. After this you can do the post-processing. Anything like sanding, painting.


1.General Rigid-

Newer technologies because of the high colour spectrum. This category consists of all colours and our non-flexible materials.General Rigid

So vero family are blues greys blacks and whites yellow cyan magenta as well as clear are simulated polypropylenes.

PolyJet is considered to be more used for shiny tiny and pretty applications.

So complex geometries and prototypes and models that require a high resolution. PolyJet have anywhere from 30 to 216  microns of accuracy.RGD720

  • RGD720– They are considered a rigid opaque which basically means as the name implies is these are not flexible materials and they’re also not translucent.
  • Combining dimensional stability and fine detail, rigid opaque materials simulate the appearance of production parts.

They react less to silicon meaning you have more crisp and concise moulds coming off this polygon technology. The layer lines are fairly non-existent or not as present and noticeable.  This type of 2d printing costs approximately eighty percent less than traditional manufacturing.

Other General Rigid Material-

  • VeroBlue-
  • VeroGrey-
  • VeroBlackPlus-
  • VeroWhitePlus-
  • Vero Y/C/M
  • VeroClear
  • Durus
  • Riqur


Polyjet Benefits-

  • Reacts less to silicone
  • Cost 80% less than CNC


Polyjet Advantages- 

  • Moulding & Tooling
  • Colour Range
  • Smooth surface finish
  • Multi-material realism
  • ABS functionality
  • Choice of flexibility
  • Medical and Dental
  • Thin walls and cavities
  • Clear Transparency


  1. General Flexible-

General Flexible

This category has different flexibles with different tear rates and elasticity ratings.


  • TangoPlus-
  • TangoBlackPlus-
  • TangoBlack-
  • TangoGray-


  1. Engineering-
  • Digital ABS– It has digital ABS as well as high-temperature materials. This is considered digital material. Now the digital material is a term that you see consistently in the realm of the poly jet. Digital ABSCombining two or more materials together and the higher up in the systems you get more materials.
  • We have six different material combinations. You have primary material, secondary or third or fourth type of material they can be rigid or flexible depending what you want to make.
  • To get out of these parts and they are mixed together into a dot matrix which is then considered digital material which is a composition of primary and secondary materials.


  1. Specialty/Dental-

 Specialty Dental

  • MedGid-
  • Dental Materials-






Source – Stratasys

Different Types of 3D Printer or 3D Printing Technology

3d-printed3D Printing technology is growing fast and it is considered a 4th Industrial Revolution. Here are different types of 3D Printer that are slowly changing the world.

Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM)-

FDM stands for Fused Deposition Modeling. It can create parts in geometries that you can’t do in an injection moulding.

That’s going to create a revolution in the near future, and this technology will be adopted as a major process for manufacturing components.

Fused Deposition Modelling

It’s a fancy word for laying down a small bead of plastic. What’s really cool is you can have a real engineering grade thermal plastic.

When someone needs an ABS or polycarbonate or a high-temperature ULTEM, we can actually print it directly as opposed to a casting, part, or having the injected moulded parts done.

You’re getting close to the same quality in mechanical properties and aesthetics as you would in an injection moulded part, but you’re getting it in an additive process.

The software takes a 3D data file and it slices it into layers. Then creates a tool path that is sent to the machine.

3D Printed House

The raw material is produced into a filament-like fishing line type form.

That filament is wrapped around a spool so that your cartridge of raw material is going to be used to build parts.

The material then gets fed up through the machine all the way to the head where it’s liquefied and extruded in fine layers.

The support material is extruded at the same time, and then layer by layer the part is growing.

When the part is completed then, it’s removed from the build platform, and then the support material is removed.

We also offer pulse finishing operations that can smooth out those layers.

So whether it’s a hand finishing or cosmetic paint, we can still provide smooth-looking parts.

We’ve developed a technology to fit a full breath of geometry sets.

It can be used anywhere from small prototypes for mock-ups and test-fitting parts to really large structural pieces that go on aeroplanes or UAVs.


Stereolithography (SLA)-

Stereolithography, or SLA, is a rapid prototyping process used to create parts from 3D CAD data in a matter of hours.

SLA is a highly accurate additive manufacturing process and may also be referred to as rapid prototyping or 3D printing.


Models created with this technology are typically used as concept models, for form and fit studies, or as master patterns for moulding techniques.

The SLA process begins when CAD data is sliced into thin cross-sections or layers, typically about six-thousandths of an inch thick. This data is then transferred to an SLA additive manufacturing system containing a vat of UV-curable photopolymer.

The machine begins to build the part one layer at a time. Each layer is constructed from an ultraviolet laser that is directed by X and Y scanning mirrors.

As the laser traces the cross-section on the surface of the resin, the liquid material is hardened on contact. Once a layer is complete, the build platform is indexed down to make room for the next layer.

3D Printed

A recoater blade moves across the surface ensuring a thin coat of fresh liquid resin is evenly spread over the object.

The laser continues to trace and form each layer top of the previous layer, building from the bottom up.

The completed part is then carefully removed from the liquid and separated from the platform.

A chemical bath removes excess resin and the part is cured in an ultraviolet oven.

Any support structures are also removed at this time.

The main physical differentiation lies in the arrangement of the core components, such as the light source, the build platform, and the resin tank.

With numerous hand sanding and professional paint options available through service providers such as centurion3d, Stereolithography has become an excellent economical choice for rapid appearance models.

A wide variety of industries have embraced SLA including medical, automotive, entertainment, aerospace and consumer products.


Continuous Liquid Interface Production-

A bunch of scientists from a company called carbon 3d just introduced a totally new kind of 3d printing. They were actually inspired to make it from the movie Terminator.

Conventional 3d printing involves a printing head that passes over and over across a platform depositing a thin layer of material each time and this 3d printing forms an object continuously out of a liquid resin.

Continuous Liquid Interface Production

So what’s happening here is you have a bath of liquid resin that solidifies when the light hits it. When the platform dips into this resin and as it rises up, you have a projector underneath the resin pool that’s projecting a series of cross-sectional images that are the exact shape of the object.

As the platform slowly moves upwards the projector moves through the different images, the different cross sections and that causes the object to form in the shape you want.

Wherever the violet light hits it, that’s where the plastic solidifies. So this could be a big deal because it’s a lot faster than conventional 3d printers.

It works in minutes instead of hours. Right now 3d printing is still kind of a niche industry.

People use it to make models or prototypes but if this new 3d printer can be perfected it could be possible for it to be used to make mass-produced goods.


PolyJet Technology-

PolyJet is a 3d printing method that makes beautiful precise models in a huge variety of materials and colours.

It works like an inkjet printer but instead of jetting drops of ink PolyJet 3d printers check tiny droplets of liquid plastic.

Polyjet Printing

A UV light instantly cures the plastic solidifying it and so later bilayer complex models take shape. The most advanced poly jet systems can build multi-material parts with soft rigid clear and colourful.

You can even adjust material properties like heat resistance and durability.

The same technology that makes gorgeous prototypes also makes precise manufacturing tools.

Designers can predict future needs and serve people with the exact services. Manufacturers can deliver better products.

With faster and less waste researchers have new methods of saving lives poly jet is reshaping industries like film, fashion and medicine.


Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) –

Instead of designing or manufacture, you’re manufacturing for design. You can make anything, any design. Any curves, any undercuts. Because it’s built on layers, it’s limitless.

Laser Sintering is powder-based thermal 3D printing manufacturing process. It uses a laser to sinter or melt layers of powder to grow the part.Selective Laser Sintering

The cool thing about it is it’s a layer-by-layer additive process, and you can do very, very complex geometries that you can’t do in traditional manufacturing techniques.

Laser Sintering produces real parts, not just prototypes.

It’s very, very functional, so you can actually do field testing and do functional testing on a part.

It’s not just a show-and-tell piece. We start with a CAD file and we integrate that CAD file to create two-dimensional slices.

That entire build area is heated up to close to the melt point, and then there’s a laser that actually heats where you want the solid part to be.

The build platform drops down as each layer is grown and a new layer of power is added on top. And again, the laser shoots down sintering each layer to make a solid part.

3D Printed Auto

It’s a process that’s done at elevated temperature, so it’s done close to the melting point of that material.

And what that does, the powder will actually fuse together.

And that actually creates what we call a cake, or a supporting structure for the parts to be built in. And since it’s plastic, it’s easily brushed away, and those parts can be excavated like any kind of archaeology dig.

Then it goes through custom post-processing phase. It’s all dependent on the customer’s requirements or needs or the application.

We can apply paints, dyes- there are tons of options after that part comes out of the machine. The greatest advantage of the SLS technology is material of choice.

So whether you need flexibility, strength or rigidity, chances are we have a material in the SLS process that can provide the solution you need.

The sky is really the limit because people are very creative. And so, they’re going come up with new Nobel ways to use those technologies.

And Laser Sintering has been the one that has led the change.


Digital Light Projector (DLP) –

DLP 3D Printer are very flexible. It works on the DLP technology.

DLP is one of the most flexible semiconductors in use today you’ll find it in projection systems ranging from cinema projectors all the way down to cell phones.


However many developers are also using this amazing technology in new applications ranging from measuring and sensing to digital exposure to intelligent illumination.

Even wavelength control DLP can be used with many different light sources ranging from lamps to LEDs to even lasers.

Ranging from wavelengths the UV all the way up through the near-infrared at the heart of every DLP chipset is the digital micromirror device also known as the DMD.  

DMD is a MEMS device that belongs to a class of optical MEMS known as spatial light modulator x.

When combined with optics and light sources a spatial light modulator allows users to program high-speed, very efficient patterns of light.

Each DMD comes with a controller from Ti.

This ensures a reliable operation of the micromirror array as well as provides a convenient interface for users to provide data and control the patterns on the micromirrors.

DLP 3D printing is very fast because it projects the profile of an entire layer at one time, turning 2-dimensional images into a 3D object.

It also gives users an easy way to synchronize with peripheral components like sensors cameras or even motors in addition Ti offers.

This printers can produce details with much higher resolution than laser-based SLA 3D printers. 

DLP 3D printing is faster and can print objects with a higher resolution. 


Multijet Technology-

The Multijet Technology made of a printer build unit and processing station with fast cooling with a more efficient 3d printing workflow.


The jet fusion 3d printing starts producing more functional parts within the same day upto 10 times faster and at the lowest cost.

How Does A 3D Printer Work, its Types And Parts?

What can be 3d printed?

Basically, anything you want.What can be 3d printed

Any solid object you can print out like sunglasses, milk jug, a boat propeller pretty much any solid object you can print out which is awesome.

There are some famous 3d printers like MakerBot or Ultimaker. But these laser printers are expensive and they’re really high quality.

They both are good for beginners but they’re probably too expensive for people to start out. But there are some different options you can use that might be a little bit less known but still get the job done.

Global3d labs printer are best with little investment. They have category according to your budget.


CAD Modelling-

Let’s start with 3d CAD model a three-dimensional model on the computer of the object which you want to print. After designing CAD model we export that as a dot STL file share lithography file and from there we can import that STL file into our slicing software.

CAD Modelling

In the slicing software, we can edit the layers, the tool path, the temperature, the colour and how fast you want to print.

After editing send that code that it to slicer which makes a dot g-code file off to the 3d printer.

Click print button on the printer so that it makes to our object that we made in the CAD model.

Just like magic printing a button and you can get any physical model you want.

You can also download CAD file online and create a three-dimensional object.

 Types of 3D Printer

There are two main types of 3d printing

FDM- Which is the most popular one fuel deposition modelling and SLI with this Stereolithography.



FDM printers are the most popular because it works on an additive process, it’s not that messy, it’s not that hard to use and they are pretty cheap.

Prints up to 20-micron layer thickness that’s the lowest that most printers can go which is really really thin. You’re getting it nice and smooth prints with FDM.

It is an additive process so it uses a spool of filament plastic and it extrudes that through a hot nozzle at 195 degrees Celsius or around that temperature.

It extrudes it through a cone-shaped metal piece called the hot end and extrudes that out into a really really small thin strand.

The printer moves it around in three dimensional XY and z planes and squishes those layers on the bed on top of each other.


Stereolithography (SLA)-

SLA printing layers aren’t as thin but you’re still gonna get an amazing print quality because of less moving parts than FDM printers.


SLA printing uses a projector or a laser to hardened resin as a boat platform moves up. The prints upside down actually so it depends on what you want to print.

SLI is also more expensive and FDM is cheaper. So that’s why most people go with FDM printers.


RepRap Printer-

There’s a RepRap printer which works on an additive process.

The big metal part in the middle is the extruder and it has a big bed size of about eight or nine inches that’s the average size of the RepRap printer in the middle.

Here we have a Parmaan 200 printer which is still FDM but it uses two motors and three carriages to move the nozzle around and up and down on a rectangular bed.


We have an SLA printer, these are more expensive but the quality is a lot better but they don’t have as many materials as FDM printers.

There are two ways you can find models you can either make it by CAD software or download it online.

Most popular ones in a 3d printing industry are Google Sketchup in artists using 360 these are really easy software’s you can export STL file to send to your slicer software and they’re really easy for beginners to learn.

The area where 3D printing will impact first of all is in the production of large-scale but simple objects that everybody uses – Dr Adrian Bowyer.

RepRap-derived printers will be so useful that people will want to make new copies of the machine themselves.

It can print out just over half of the parts needed to build a new RepRap machine.

Printing out an object using RepRap technology is very simple, users download the model for the item they are interested in.

Insert it into one of the open-source software packages like simplify 3d and send it to the machine and hit print.



There are more different filament types. Most people print in PLL because it’s less toxic.

There is ABS from which people make Legos out if it’s a harder tougher plastic which is also harder to print.


There’s nylon filament, there’s carbon fibre, there’s TP which is flexible, there’s wood, metal. PVA materials can be printed from a 3d printer, so wood filament glow-in-the-dark come from PLA – which is cool.

So if your printer can print PLA most likely it can print wood or glow-in-the-dark.


How to find models online?

This is what a lot of people do for just a quick model there’s Thingiverse which is the most popular one.

People can just find quick models they can download them directly as an STL file send them to the slicer software and print any object.

I’ll definitely recommend going there first instead of making your own in your CAD software.


Slicing Software-

There are many different slicing software but I recommend three – the most common one called MakerBot desktop now is the slicer software for MakerBot printer.

Slicing Software

Kira is for Ultimakers and Simplify 3d is what most people use for RepRap printers.

First, you are going import your STL file into your slicer software and your slicing software is going to export it as a dot G code which we will erect into the printer

There are single and dual extruders on printers.

Extrude the filament out of the nozzle so similar series can only print in one material type but dual can print in two material types.

So your model can have two colours which are pretty cool.


 3D Printer Heated Bed-

3d printers should have heated beds which helps the material stick to them. It won’t pop off in the middle of the print so there are glass beds.

The glass beds have a nicer bottom surface but painters tape beds are usually able to stick the print down easier.

You can replace the painters tape but in glass, you can’t really take it off which gets pricey.3D Printer Bed

After a while infill is how much plastic is inside of your model, so I recommend anywhere from 10 to 35 percent infill but you can go up to 100.

It depends on how many times your heater goes around the perimeter of the object.  So one layer is going around once, two is going around twice and bottom layers are how many layers of solid material print at the bottom of your object.

I recommend about two to four bottom layers which work best bridging and overhang. Most printers can print about 45 degrees and over that, it will start to overhang.

So object orientation and your selector software is very important. You want to use as less support as possible it helps print faster and the surface will be a lot nicer. Use the least amount support and overhangs as possible.

As you can see 3d printing is an awesome technology as keep experimenting and keep researching.

For any kind of question please do comment. Thank You.