Material Guide

3d Material guide

Polylactic Acid, commonly known as PLA, is one of the most popular materials used in desktop 3D printing. It is the default filament of choice for most extrusion-based 3D printers because it can be printed at a low temperature and does not require a heated bed. PLA is a great first material to use as you are learning about 3D printing because it is easy to print, very inexpensive, and creates parts that can be used for a wide variety of applications. It is also one of the most environmentally friendly filaments on the market today. Derived from crops such as corn and sugarcane, PLA is renewable and most importantly biodegradable. As a bonus, this also allows the plastic to give off a sweet aroma during printing.

Technology: FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling)

Properties: Biodegradable, Food safe

Applications: Concept Models, DIY Projects, DIY Projects, Functional Models, Manufacturing

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Produce durable parts with a clean finish and high break resistance. Nylon (Polyamide) is made with the same thermoplastic family widely used to manufacture automotive components, industrial machinery and sporting goods.

Technology: FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling)

Properties: Strong, Smooth surface (polished), Somewhat flexible, Chemically resistant

Applications: Concept Models, Functional Models, Medical Applications, Tooling, Visual Arts

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ASA is a common alternative to ABS and is great for outdoor applications due to its high UV, temperature, and impact resistance.

Technology: FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling)

Properties: Heat resistence, Rigid, UV Resistant

Applications: Exterior Signage, Outdoor Electronics Housings, Automotive Exterior Parts

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PET and PETG filaments are known for their ease of printability, smooth surface finish, and water resistance. PETG is a Glycol Modified version of Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET), which is commonly used to manufacture water bottles. It is a semi-rigid material with good impact resistance, but it has a slightly softer surface which makes it prone to wear. The material also benefits from great thermal characteristics, allowing the plastic to cool efficiently with almost negligible warpage.

Technology: FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling)

Properties: Strong, Food-safe, Weather Resistant, Chemical & Water Resistant

Applications: Concept Models, DIY Projects, Functional Models, Manufacturing

Carbon fiber filaments contain short fibers that are infused into a PLA or ABS base material to help increase strength and stiffness. This also means that the 3D printed parts will be much lighter and more dimensionally stable, as the fibers will help prevent shrinking of the part as it cools.

Technology: FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling)

Properties: Rigid, Composite, Lightweight

Applications: Drones, R/C Vehicles, Props, Interior Design

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Polycarbonate is known for its strength and durability. It has very high heat and impact resistance making it an ideal choice for tough environments. It can also be bent without breaking and is often used in applications where some minor flexibility is required.

Technology: FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling)

Properties: Fatigue Resistant, Rigid, Heat Resistant

Applications: High-Stregnth parts, Heat Resistant prints, Electronics

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Flexible filaments are made of Thermoplastic Elastomers (TPE) which are a blend of hard plastic and rubber. As the name suggests, this material is elastic in nature allowing the plastic to be stretched and flexed easily. There are several types of TPE, with Thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) being the most commonly used among 3D printing filaments.

Technology: FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling)

Properties: Flexible, Soft, Elastic, Fatigue Resistant

Applications: Concept Models, Vibration Damping, Grip Sleeves, Phone Cases

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Wood filaments combine a PLA base material with cork, wood dust, or other derivatives, giving the models a real wooden look and feel. This filament is also less abrasive compared to other composite filaments such as carbon-fiber filled and metal filled, since wood particles are much softer.

Technology: FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling)

Properties: Rigid, Composite, Aromatic

Applications: Toys, Props, Home Decorations

Castable Resin is a high-resolution material optimized for the accurate and automated production of patterns and master molds for jewelry manufacturing and provides extreme resolution for high end lost-wax casting of fine-detail items.

Technology: SLA/DLP

Properties: High Resolution, Smooth Surface

Applications: Jewelry, Automotive, Architectural Hardware, Dentistry