If you’re planning on using 3D printing in your following manufacturing process, what is the most robust material you can use? Strength, toughness, stiffness, and high print quality are among the top requirements that industries have. To help engineers and designers, here are the Top 10 most rigid materials you can 3D print with. Nylon (often called polyamide) is an excellent synthetic thermoset thermoplastic and is the second most popular plastic polyamide material used in 3D printing. It’s a known high-quality 3D printing filament due to its low weight, flexibility, resilience, and low friction and impact resistance.
Liquid Flow & High Temperatures
ABS is an abbreviation for crystalline carbon spray resin and is usually mixed with molten plastic to create acrylic prints. The resins resist liquid flow and high temperatures, so they don’t warp when placed inside the printer. They’re also ideal for high-volume production because they require little cleaning after printing, requiring less frequent replacement and saving you money on disposables. Because it’s thick and flexible, ABS plastic has a natural bump and dip pattern that work well with 3D printers’ nozzle controls.
Sodium Boron Nitride
Graphite is commonly mixed with graphite powder or sand to produce a powder-to-sand fluid. Although less expensive than graphite, pure graphite is too brittle to handle and needs to be protected by a transparent protective additive. This additive is made from sodium boron nitride, which is the same compound as found in bulletproof vests. The powder is then compressed into a small amount of plastic to create a liquid that can be 3D printed on. In addition to the benefits of protection, this additive allows for immaculate prints with minimal post-processing cleanup.
Titanium is probably the most robust material used in 3D printing because it contains millions of microscopic pins called “neutrally aligned metallic crystals.” These tiny crystals are connected in such a way as to allow them to be pressed together at extremely high speeds, without causing any friction. This creates a strong bond between the plastic and the metal, preventing it from ripping or warping during the printing process. Because titanium is also the most challenging metal available, most 3D printers and parts come with titanium-coated parts. This provides additional strength and durability.
Best 3D Printing Materials
Another popular choice for 3D printing materials is polyester. This type of plastic is usually printed using a hot-air machine, as it doesn’t absorb heat like other plastics. If the plastic is being fused correctly, then the melted plastic will be solid and will not warp when pressed against another surface. Many top-quality manufacturers use polyester as the default plastic in most machines due to its extreme flexibility and low cost. It’s also one of the most widely available materials in 3D-printed filaments, making it easy to find parts and accessories for your projects.
Carbon fiber composites have recently become a popular choice for high-strength 3D printing services because they are incredibly lightweight, extremely durable, and highly resistant to scratching and abrasion. Carbon fiber composites have many times more flex than other materials, making them ideal for rapid production or intricate design changes.
A recent development by 3D printing companies has been to develop carbon-fiber composites with nickel-zinc alloyed layered compounds between the carbon fibers. These compounds can add extra strength and rigidity to the plastic, making it ideal for high-end industrial parts and accessories.
Perhaps the most robust material you can 3D print is polyethylene terephthalate, also known as PET. It was the first commercial vinyl material and has been around for decades. PET is so long-lasting due to its excellent chemical and mechanical properties, which make it an excellent choice for protective coating in anything from electronics to clothing. If you need something more substantial than PET, you may want to consider using composites or carbon fiber as your options. However, these materials can take a while to get ready for use in your projects, so you may want to consider a cheaper alternative first if you have limited time to devote to the project.
More robust than you might think – that’s what many people want to know if they’re looking for a 3D printing composite. Unfortunately, there is no single composite that can be considered the strongest because the properties of all composites are similar. Instead, the best thing to do is get several suitable composite materials and perform several experiments on them until you come up with a powerful one.
Several companies specialize in testing different materials to come up with stronger composites, and some of them can even provide guarantees on their work. When researching the most robust material you can 3D print, the best thing to do is to find a company that offers a guarantee and performs the testing to back up their claims.