21 November 2019 10:49
The market for 3D printing materials is growing rapidly. Demand is increasing, with more companies buying additive manufacturing (AM) hardware and scaling their AM usage. In 2019, the AM materials market is valued at $1.5 billion. In the next five years, it’s expected to grow into a whopping $4.5 billion opportunity.   With such an opportunity at hand, material suppliers, particularly giant chemical companies and metal producers, are becoming increasingly involved in the industry. Alongside developing new materials, they are contributing heavily to the industrialisation of AM.    In today’s article, we’ll delve into ...
20 June 2019 15:07
In rapidly maturing 3D printing industry, what are the trends shaping the materials market?   Materials are one of the three key pillars underpinning 3D printing, alongside hardware and software. According to the Wohlers Report 2019, the 3D printing material segment experienced record growth in 2018 due to the increasing use of 3D printing for series production.   In 2019, this growth is only set to continue, supported by a number of trends at which we’ll be taking a closer look at below.   1. Composite 3D printing is taking off [caption id="attachment_9672" align="aligncenter" ...
12 February 2019 11:54
Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF), or Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM) as it’s more commonly known, remains one of the most popular 3D printing technologies. And as the technology continues to evolve, FDM is finding more industrial applications on the manufacturing floor. The development of new polymer materials is a key factor behind this development.   In today’s tutorial, we’ll be looking at three popular thermoplastic materials available for FDM 3D printing: ASA, PETG and PC. We'll explore their benefits, limitations, as well as tips for successful printing.   Take a look at other guides ...
09 October 2018 17:50
So far, 2018 has been a positive year for 3D printing. With technological advancements across the scope of software, hardware and materials, the industry has firmly moved away from the hype of the early 2010s to provide significant breakthroughs for industrial production. With the industry currently valued at over $7 billion (according to the 2018 Wohlers Report), industrial 3D printing has not only cemented its value in product development and rapid prototyping, but is also gaining a stronger foothold in end-part production.    Back in January, we made a few predictions on ...
02 October 2018 13:26
[caption id="attachment_6138" align="alignright" width="300"] There are a wide range of 3D printing filaments on the market - choosing the right one depends on your specific use case and application[/caption] Materials play an integral role in the additive manufacturing process. Alongside hardware (from AM machines to post-processing systems)  and software (including design and MES), materials form the third pillar to ensuring production success for additive manufacturing. Whether it’s engineering-grade thermoplastics or metal alloys, manufacturers are continuously on the lookout for materials that provide enhanced mechanical properties and part performance.   Today, additive manufacturing is ...
02 August 2018 16:49
Additive manufacturing encourages researchers to develop new and innovative materials. These new materials offer exciting new opportunities to produce products with properties that could otherwise not be combined. One great example of a recent development in AM materials research is Scalmalloy, a high-strength metal powder alloy designed specifically with the aerospace industry in mind. But what is Scalmalloy, and what are the benefits it offers manufacturers?   Scalmalloy: A Unique Material for Metal 3D Printing Scalmalloy is an aluminium-magnesium-scandium powder alloy designed for metal 3D printing, namely with Selective Laser Melting (SLM) or ...
23 July 2018 15:07
Have you ever thought about 3D printing flexible parts? If so, Thermoplastic Polyurethane or TPU, as it’s commonly known, is definitely a material to add to your list.   TPU 3D printing offers unique possibilities that are otherwise unachievable with other 3D printing materials like ABS, PLA or nylon. Combining the properties of both plastic and rubber, TPU can produce elastic, highly durable parts that can be easily bent or compressed.   In today’s tutorial, we’ll explore the benefits and applications of TPU, the technologies that support the material, as well as ...
09 July 2018 14:50
High-performance thermoplastics, such as PEI, PAEK and PPSU are increasingly in demand for industrial-grade manufacturing applications.   Within the field of additive manufacturing, Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM) is the most commonly used technology for 3D printing with PEI, PAEK, and PPSU, with these thermoplastics used in the form of filaments.   In today’s tutorial, we’ll explore the process of 3D printing with high-performance thermoplastics, including the pros and cons, applications and the key 3D printing requirements when working with these kinds of materials.   Why Use High-Performance Thermoplastics?   High-performance thermoplastics are unique among other 3D printing plastics (including PLA and ...
29 June 2018 11:05
Material Jetting stands out among other 3D printing technologies for its ability to produce highly accurate parts with a smooth surface finish. Since its emergence in the late 1990s, Material Jetting is an ideal 3D printing technology for producing full-colour, visual prototypes, injection moulds and casting patterns.   Today’s tutorial will take a closer look at the Material Jetting process, the advantages and limitation of the technology as well as the latest applications for and developments in  Material Jetting.   How does Material Jetting work?   Material Jetting is an inkjet printing process whereby printheads are ...
23 May 2018 9:37
Multi-material 3D printing is an innovative additive manufacturing technique that enables the creation of objects with different materials and properties. By adding more complexity to a part, multi-material 3D printing can greatly enhance part performance and functionality. The technology, therefore, opens up a whole new range of possibilities of design and production - and enables the creation of objects that would otherwise be impossible. Currently, multi-material 3D printing is possible with a range of plastics, polymers and even silicones, making it an ideal solution for producing realistic, full-colour prototypes and ...