3D Printing Materials
The Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) printing process is incredibly adaptable—however, 3D Printer Filament
doesn’t work for every plastic. As a result of the tight constraints required to precisely extrude plastic out of a tiny nozzle, traditional plastics originally optimized for injection molding do not print. The plastics that are printable, however, cover a massive range of compositions, print constraints, and material properties. To find the right material, you need to match the requirements of your applications to the properties of the materials you can print with. In this article, we discuss the strengths and weaknesses of a variety of thermoplastics.
In addition to printing thermoplastics, Markforged also adapts the FFF process to print non-plastic materials. In Continuous Filament Fabrication (CFF), an FFF 3D Printer
with a specialized second nozzle lays down continuous carbon fiber, fiberglass, or Kevlar? into a part. Atomic Diffusion Additive Manufacturing (ADAM) builds on the existing metal fabrication technology of Metal Injection Molding (MIM), by using an FFF based process to print metal powder encased in a plastic binder. These printed parts are placed in a solvent bath to remove binding material and sintered into fully metallic parts. Standard thermoplastics
As 3D printing has expanded rapidly, so has the variety of PETG 3D Printer Filament
s. Despite this boom, most FFF 3D-printable thermoplastics fit into three categories: basic thermoplastics, niche thermoplastics, and superplastics.
Basic thermoplastics: These plastics don’t have any excellent qualities, but are the most popular printing thermoplastics available. PLA, the most common printing plastic, prints well and possesses decent mechanical properties—however, its complete lack of heat resistance and its low durability makes it impossible to use in industrial environments. ABS has superior heat resistance, but isn’t particularly strong and reacts poorly with most manufacturing chemicals. PETG, a printing subset of polyethylene, is a cross between the two: a bit stronger than ABS and a bit more heat resistant than PLA, but still not robust enough for most manufacturing environments.
Superplastics: These materials possess all the aspects necessary to thrive in manufacturing environments. PEEK and Ultem are both strong, stiff plastics that have extremely high heat resistance and chemical resistance. Engineers used them heavily in manufacturing before they were 3D printable, and now use Multifunctional 3D Printer
s to create custom, robust fixtures out of these materials. Continuous fibers (CFF)
While chopped carbon fibers are remarkable in their ability to augment thermoplastics, continuous fibers can add far more strength to parts. Markforged uses a combination of FFF printing and Continuous Fiber Fabrication (CFF) to lay down long strand fibers in conventionally printed thermoplastic parts. This technology is also extrusion based and prints via a secondary nozzle, but instead of melting the whole PCL 3D Printer Filament
, it uses the heat of its nozzle to “iron” down fibers into a thermoplastic layer. Fibers do not melt—instead, they’re captured by the thermoplastic matrix in a similar way that thermoset adhesives like epoxy capture fibers in traditional fiber fabrication methods.
3D printing pen seems to be the buzzword around 3D printing enthusiasts and hobbyists. Be it a child or a professional artist, everyone is eager to have a 3D printing pen. The fact that it brings fun at the workplace, inspires creativity and helps in learning, is making 3D Pen
s a craze all over the world.
3D printing pens are just similar to ordinary glue guns, but these pens extrude 3D printing filaments. This extruded/melted material is used to draw figures and artwork. It is similar to a regular writing pen but in these pens the figure can stand on its own in the third dimension (Z-axis). The subsequent result is a three dimensional figure which is draw by hand and looks like a 3D printed part.
Since the drawings are made with hand they are not as finished as produced by a machine but they are a great tool to inspire creativity.
Grown out of a necessity to democratise the 3D printing technology and make it accessible to even the average person, three enthusiastic people worked on creating a device which is not as bulky, costly and techno-centric as a 3D printer. The three inventors built, Peter Dilworth, Maxwell Bogue, and Daniel Cowen of WobbleWorks, Inc their first prototype in 2012 in a makerspace. They invented the first Cordless 3d Printing Pen
which they called a 3Doodler. It is said that they had a bad experience with 3D printers and wanted to create a product that was simple & affordable to every hobbyists and artist.
The working principle of 3D printing pens is straightforward. Since the pens use polymer filament as the material the working is as simple as melting the material in a heat chamber and extruding it through the tip (read nozzle) of the pen and deposit the material on any platform. The user can then move the pen around to draw different figures and shapes. The melted material oozing out of the nozzle quickly cools and this makes the deposited material to stand on its own accord. Once cooled the plastic shape holds its shape and remains permanent.
The heating temperature is adjusted as per the material used in the pen. Only a limited number of materials can be used in a 3D Children Smart Pen
. The requirement for a material to be used in a 3D printing pen is that it should melt quickly when heated and solidify quickly once it is extruded out of the pen. The user should also note that he should not draw with the 3D pen like a regular pen. The 3D pen should be moved slowly so the figures can be drawn and it holds its shape.