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Passendes 3D-Druck Material finden für ein Bauteil
The most used materials for additively manufactured components

How to find the 3D printing material that suits your project best?

The selection is large: more than a hundred different additive manufacturing materials are available from the Jellypipe 3D printing service. Depending on the application, it can be difficult to find the suitable material for a component. We will introduce you to the most common materials in this blog post.

If you want to read the conclusion first, you will find it here: Which material for which application

 

Not sure which 3D printing material will fit? Find it with these steps:

The five most commonly used materials for additively manufactured components are the plastics PA12 (SLS), PA11 (SAF), PLA (FDM) and xCE-black (DLP), as well as the metal aluminum AlSi10 Mg (SLM). These "standard materials" are suitable for most industrial 3D printing projects. In addition, there are a handful of similar materials or suitable post-processings that find application once other properties are required.

First, define the properties that a component must meet. For example, does it need to withstand particularly high pressure or tension? Is it exposed to special temperatures? Does the application need certification, e.g. IS10993 for biocompatibility or food grade? Based on the most important criterion, you can narrow down the material (this is easy to do with the Jellypipe Material Wizard in the Store, for example). Or check first if one of the standard 3D printing materials is suitable, or if there is one of them with an appropriate post-processing.

If you have more than one material that is suitable, or you need an inexpensive prototype, check the price in the store. Alternatively, the delivery time may also play a role, this is immediately visible on the Jellypipe Stores at any time in relation to the price.

In summary:

  • Define technical properties
  • Check if certification is necessary
  • Narrow down the material
  • Check material selection in the store
  • Make selection

If you are unsure, you can always create an "individual inquiry" on the Store and describe your problem in detail. Or contact the corresponding Solution Partner: Contact Solution Partner

3D printing materials that fits many applications:

The most common material/technology combinations (and post-processing) are as follows:

 

You can find the conclusion here: Conclusionand application comparison

Polyamide PA12, technology MJF (Multi Jet Fusion)

The engineering plastic PA12 has good mechanical properties such as high strength and toughness. It also has excellent sliding and wear behavior. The material is inexpensive, especially for larger quantities, and is particularly suitable for robust components. In addition, MJF components whiten a higher quality surface compared to other processes.

View now: Technical properties: PA12, MJF

Polyamide PA12, technology SLS (selective laser sintering)

Processed with SLS 3D printing, the polyamide PA12 has very similar properties to MJF 3D printing. It is suitable for robust components such as hinges or gears for mechanical engineering, prototypes and also applications in the food industry.

The surface quality from MJF printing is slightly better than SLS, moreover there are also parts in gray color. Therefore, depending on the application, it must be decided whether the technology MJF or SLS is more suitable.

View now: Technical properties: PA12, SLS

Post-processing chemical smoothing

Chemical smoothing seals the surface of the component. This makes it washable and disinfectable. In addition, chemically smoothed parts have a very smooth, injection molding-like surface. For this process, the 3D printed model is suspended in a chamber and a specific mist is flowed around it. This mist slightly dissolves the surface, causing the pores to collapse and the surface to close. This finishing process does not require any size addition to the design, as only the roughness of the surface is smoothed. There is no material removal.

 

Post-processing coloring or infiltration

With the post-processing method infiltrating, the porous surface of the SLS components is compacted and sealed. The components are thus sealed and are therefore suitable for applications with liquids and can also be cleaned more easily. If the additively manufactured component is not to be white, various colors are available.

Polyamide PA 11, technology SAF (Selective Absorption Fusion)

PA 11 is a bio-based plastic made from renewable raw materials derived from sustainable castor oil. Compared to PA12, PA11 has a lower environmental impact, better heat resistance and is less brittle. The material is certified to ISO 10993-5 for cytotoxicity and UL94 HB for flammability.

Suitable applications include additively manufactured series components (less expensive than PA12 in series production), parts with permanently moving components such as hinges, or parts with thin walls and grid structures. In automotive engineering, it is suitable for crash-relevant interior components because PA11 does not splinter.

View now: Technical properties: PA11, SAF

Read more about SLS PA12 and SAF PA11 in our blog article

ClearVue (transparent), technology SLA (stereolithography)

A highly transparent plastic with excellent moisture resistance. Suitable for a wide range of applications where transparency (light transmission) is important. For example, for headlights, complex assemblies or fluid flow.

The high transparency is made possible by additional finishing with grinding, polishing and clear coating. This finishing is automatically applied with the ClearVue (transparent) option.

View now: Technical properties: ClearVUE (transparent), SLA.

If the part does not need to be transparent, but only translucent, SLA technology offers the following alternatives:

Read more about transparent and translucent materials in our blog

DuraForm® HST fiber-reinforced, SLS (selective laser sintering) technology

The DuraForm® HST is a fiber reinforced composite material based on PA12. The 3D printed material combines excellent mechanical strength with high heat deflection temperature (@0.45MPa 184°C). In addition, the material is very stiff. Functional prototypes are a typical area of application.

View now: Technical properties: DuraForm® HST fiber-reinforced, SLS.

xCE-black, DLP (Digital Light Processing) technology

The plastic xCE-black has high accuracy, high flexural strength and high temperature resistance. It also has a very smooth surface similar to injection molding. xCE-black is suitable for components in automotive engineering, parts in mechanical engineering and injection molding applications. For series in the range of 100 to more than 1,000 pieces, xCE-black is a good choice.

View now: Technical features: xCE-black, DLP

PLA, FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling)

3D-Druck Material PLA Technologie FDM Jellypipe 4

PLA stands for Polylactic Acid and is one of the most commonly used materials in additive manufacturing. This material from FDM 3D printing consists of renewable raw materials. It is obtained from corn plants or sugar cane, for example. The material is therefore biodegradable (in industrial composting plants), which is a great advantage. In addition, PLA processed with Fused Deposition Modeling is very inexpensive. It is available in many colors.

Typical applications of PLA are prototypes, models, toys, art objects, containers and vessels.

Technical properties: PLA, FDM

PETG, ABS and GreenTEC, FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling)

3D-Druck Material PETG Technologie FDM Jellypipe 1

PETG is a glycol-modified polyethylene terephthalate. The 3D printing material PETG (photo on the right) is more stable than PLA and scores above all with its flexibility, strength, temperature resistance and elasticity. It is suitable for visually appealing visible parts and for components subject to mechanical stress. If the stability is to be even higher than with PETG, ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) from FDM 3D printing can be used.

GreenTec is a food-safe bio-polymer made from renewable raw materials. Like PETG, the material is a good all-rounder for low-cost components with good strength. GreenTec is also heat-resistant up to 115°C according to VST and compostable according to DIN EN ISO 14855 (industrial composting). It is suitable for use in the food industry.

For larger quantities, consider whether PA12 is a better alternative, as it can be chemically smoothed.

View now: Technical properties: PETG, FDM

View now: Technical properties: ABS, FDM

View now: Technical properties: GreenTec, FDM

Metal Aluminum AlSi10mg, Technology SLM, Selective Laser Melting

Aluminum AlSi10mg (image) is the most commonly used metal in additive manufacturing. The aluminum combines high strength with low weight. It is therefore particularly suitable for thin-walled and complex geometries. The minimum wall thickness for constructions is 1mm. Typical applications are components for the aerospace industry.

View now: AlSi10Mg Technical Properties

3D printed components made of metal are much more expensive than parts made of fiber-reinforced plastics. It is therefore worthwhile to consider alternatives. Suitable for similar applications are the following materials:

Read the blog on this related topic: "When is metal 3D printing worthwhile?

Conclusion: which 3D printing material for which application?

In summary, the following statements can be made. Check if the mentioned material fits if you want to have these applications additively manufactured:

  • For series components: PA11 (SAF) or xCE-black (DLP) due to technical properties and cheaper price in series production.
  • For functional prototypes: DuraForm®HST (SLS)
  • For prototypes where the mold is tested: PLA and PETG (FDM) and PA12 (SLS).
  • For applications in the food industry: PA12, chemically smoothed (SLS) and GreenTEC (FDM)
  • For particularly robust components: PA12 (SLS or MJF), DuraForm HST (SLS).
  • For transparent components: ClearVue (SLA)
  • For illustrative models, containers and vessels: PLA (FDM)
  • For parts with high heat resistance: DuraForm HST (SLS), xPEEK (DLP)

 

You can view the Technical Properties of all materials on the material detail list here: All materials

You will find the materials mentioned above and all others here:

We are convinced that this information will make your choice a little easier. If you have any questions, we are always at your disposal. Also try our material wizard, with this functionality in our e-shops you will quickly find a selection of suitable materials for your application. The selection is also based on technical properties. We are looking forward to finding your project soon in the Jellypipe 3D printing store.

Your Jellypipe

Autor

Markus Grimm
Chief Virtual Printfactory

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