What is 3d Printing?
3D Printing, also known as additive manufacturing, was developed in 1980’s as a process used to make 3-dimensional objects. Additive manufacturing creates parts from ground up by fusing together layers of material. The most commonly used method is called FDM (Fused Deposition Modelling)
What is FDM?
FDM or Fused Deposition Modelling, uses a single (or dual) nozzle head to extrude material, typically plastic, layer by layer onto a build platform according to the 3d data that has been supplied to the printer.
The materials used usually depend on the 3d printing process used. Most commonly used materials & provided by XPRESS 3D are listed below.
- PLA (Polylactic Acid) – PLA is hard, strong and biodegradable but is brittle, being based on plant starch rather than crude oil. PLA delivers aesthetics and strength over toughness. PLA is a biodegradable thermoplastic which is made from renewable sources. For example, cornstarch, sugar stick, tapioca roots or even potato
starch. This makes PLA the most environmentally friendly solution in the domain of 3D printing, contrasting to the various petrochemical-based plastics like ABS or PVA. The wide selection of available colors and translucencies and glossy-shiny feel often attract those who printing for display purposes or small household utilities.
- ABS(Acylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) – ABS is an oil-based plastic. XPRESS 3D utilizes ABS in the manufacture of numerous components due to its easy-to-use quality and resistance to high temperatures. ABS is perfect for end-use components and functional parts. ABS is a common thermoplastic resin and can often meet the property requirements at a reasonable price-cost effectiveness, falling between standard resins (PVC, polyethylene, polystyrene, and so on.) and engineering resins (acrylic, nylon).
- HIPS (High Impact Polystyrene) – HIPS is an engineering thermoplastic with good dimensional stability, good impact resistance, excellent machinability and excellent aesthetic qualities. HIPS can be easily sanded, primed, painted and glued using colourful acrylic paints. The material provides fantastic detailed representations of the model for exhibition. HIPS has several unique qualities that set it apart from ABS and other materials.
- Nylon – Nylon is that there is almost no deformation. The binding of thread-to thread is comparatively higher than that with ABS or PLA, despite the parts being subject to splitting at right angle transitions. Nylon undergoes a crystalline optimization procedure. This provides a high degree of transparency. The transparency permits the commercial internal control teams to gauge written components while not damaging parts.
- Poly carbonate (PC) – Poly carbonate is strong and resists deforming at higher temperatures unlike other more common 3D printing filaments. Parts 3D printed in poly carbonate will be strong, stiff and rigid. Poly carbonate (PC) is an extremely strong, lightweight and transparent thermoplastic.It has a Rockwell hardness of R 121, making it harder than PMMA, ABS and PLA. Poly carbonate can withstand tensile forces and torsional stress that shatter, deform or break other materials.This material is malleable when cool and can bend without cracking. The material properties of poly carbonate make it the most used industrial thermoplastic.
- Carbon Fiber (Carbon Fiber + PLA/PETG) – Carbon Fiber Reinforced PLA/PETG is a wonderful material, strong, lightweight, excellent layer adhesion and low warpage. Carbon Fiber PLA/PETG strength is high compared to other 3d printing materials. Carbon Fiber filament isn’t ‘stronger’ likewise other 3D materials, rather, it is more rigid. Increased rigidity from the carbon fiber means increased structural support but decreased overall flexibility. It is slightly more brittle than regular PLA. When printed, this material is a dark glossy black that glitters slightly in direct light.
- Flexible /TPU (Thermoplastic Polyurethane)
- Specialized Materials – (Woodfill, Bronzefill)
XPRESS 3D provides the following services related to 3d printing:
- Jigs & Fixtures
- Industrial Grade Patterns
- Complex Parts
- Products for Interior Decorations
- Toys for Kids
- Engineering Projects
- Educational Models