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Exploring the World of 3D Printing: A Guide to Plastic Materials and Their Properties

The versatility of plastic materials in 3D printing has transformed the way we design and invent, presenting a wide range of possibilities. Understanding the distinct characteristics and uses of each type of plastic is essential for anyone involved in the field, as it allows for the creation of innovative and functional products.


Resin: A Material with Endless Possibilities

Resins, which react to UV light, are perfect for cutting-edge technologies such as Stereolithography (SLA). They share similarities with ABS, polypropylene, and elastomers, making them a versatile choice. After printing, a UV curing process enhances their properties, rendering them an ideal material for intricate projects that require precision and detail.


Production-Grade Nylon

Industrial-strength Nylon components are created through Selective Laser Sintering (SLS), utilizing Nylon powders. These materials exhibit consistent properties in all directions, combining the benefits of rigidity and elasticity, high elongation, resistance to impact, and heat resistance, making them ideal for functional parts.


Investment Casting

By using 3D printing technology, the requirement for conventional mold-making is eliminated, making it perfect for creating personalized metal parts and for small-scale manufacturing. Our castable resins are specifically designed for aerospace casting purposes and provide options that are free from antimony.


Medical-Grade Materials

3D Systems offers a range of biocompatible materials that meet the highest standards for medical applications. Our USP Class VI certified materials adhere to ISO 10993-5 and -10 standards, making them ideal for uses such as surgical guides. Additionally, we provide 30 unique NextDent biocompatible materials specifically designed for dental purposes. All NextDent materials have received CE certification and comply with international regulations, ensuring their safety and effectiveness.


ABS and Polypropylene-Like Materials

SLS technology makes use of materials like Nylon 11, Nylon 12, and reinforced/composite materials to create ABS and Polypropylene-like parts. Through laser fusion, these materials are transformed into strong production components that offer a wide range of functionalities such as balanced properties in all directions, stiffness, flexibility, high ability to stretch, resistance to impact, and heat durability.


The advancement of 3D printing technology hinges on the creation of novel materials that can broaden its potential uses and capabilities. While it's essential to grasp the properties and categories of existing materials, the real excitement lies in the prospect of pioneering new materials that will propel 3D printing to unprecedented heights.

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