Bernardo Michel Luhrs
2016 SEAP Intern
Materials Used In 3D Printing
ABS - Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene or 'lego' plastic – a very common choice for 3D printing.
PLA - Polylactic acid – Is available in soft and hard grades, is becoming very popular and may overtake ABS in the near future.
Soft PLA - Soft Polylactic acid – Is rubbery and flexible, available in limited colors and sources. As 3D printing spreads, may get easy to find.
PVA - Polyvinyl alcohol – This is used as a dissolvable support material or for special applications.
PC - Polycarbonate – Polycarbonate requires high-temperature nozzle design and is in the proof-of-concept stage.
Metals - Steel, Stainless Steel, Titanium, Gold, Silver.
Chocolate – Material engineers have devised a way to use chocolate in 3D printers to obtain some delicious treats. With the help of computer-aided manufacturing systems found in 3D printers innovative designs can be developed with this delicious material.
Bio-Ink - Bio-ink comprises stem cells and cells from a patient, which can be laid down, layer by layer to form a tissue. Human organs such as blood vessels, bladders and kidney portions have been replicated using this technology.
Bone Material - A research team headed by Dr Sushmita Bose from Washington State University printed a bone-like material comprising silicon, calcium phosphate and zinc. This bone-like material was integrated with a section of undeveloped human bone cells. In about a week, growth of new bone was seen along the structure. This new material dissolved eventually and did not harm the patient.
Objet Digital Material - Objet has transformed the 3D printing world by introducing printers that can make use of several materials at the same time. These multi-jet printers can create fine models offering a range of textures, colors and attributes. These mixtures are referred to by Objet as digital material.
Objet Tango Family - Objet has also introduced a rubber-like material that is probably the only one of its kind in 3D printing. Although it is not exactly rubber, it shows a lot of similarity to rubber.
Hot Glue - A common hot glue gun was hooked up by designers to their CAM system and although hot glue may not be significant, the results if any obtained by hobbyists will truly be fascinating.
Full Color Sandstone - This material enables the production of 3D printed creations with almost any color. Fine designs for action figures, architecture and character models are becoming highly popular with this material. It is even possible to print the human face on sandstone through 3D printing.
Glass - Ground up glass powder is spread layer by layer, bonded with adhesive spray then baked resulting in 3D printed glass product.
Medication - Engineers and doctors are working together to create 3D-printed medication.
Other Materials Used - Nylon, Glass-filled Polyamide, Epoxy Resin, Wax, Photopolymers.
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