Materials

Materials

3D Printing Materials

Today, there is a wide variety of different 3D printing materials types available, that are supplied in different states: liquids, powders, filaments, among with many others. Materials development for 3D printing have come a long way since the invention of the technology. 

Generally, specific materials are now developed for use with specific 3D print platforms. They perform dedicated applications with specific material properties, such as heat resistant or conducting, transparent or opaque, all of them more precisely suiting the application. Hereafter, we’ll not provide a summary of all those materials, but mention the most common ones as used in lighting systems.

3D Printing Materials: Plastics

Currently, plastics are the most widely used materials in additive manufacturing, and the important ones are ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene), PLA (Polylactic Acid), PVA, PC (Polycarbobate), and SOFT PLA.

Transparent plastic materials from optically clear to semi-translucent materials serving a variety of purposes.
Transparent plastic materials from optically clear to semi-translucent materials serve a variety of purposes.

3D Printing Materials: Metals

Metals are the strongest materials available in the market, but they are still extremely expensive. Metals include steel, aluminum, titanium, copper, silver, gold, nickel, cobalt, along with various others.

Heat sinks created by using 3D Metal Printing.
Heat sinks created by using 3D Metal Printing.

3D Printing Materials: Polymers

As a revolutionary rapid prototyping tool 3D printing began with polymer printing over three decades ago. Today, the use of polymers in various 3D printing technologies is evolving into rapid tooling and manufacturing applications in ways that will enable the market for various thermoplastics, composites, and photopolymers to achieve massive growth over the next decade.

3DPrinting.Lighting_3D Printing Materials_Polymers
Print materials made of plastics and polymers are defined by the parameters of their parent 3D printing process.