One of the most important factors responsible for the success of any 3D printing project is the proper choice of filament. Nowadays, with the wide availability of a variety of filaments for 3D printed plastic parts, this decision rests on the unique properties of the filament, strength being one of the most crucial of them.
Here is a list of materials ideally suited for plastic 3D printing.
Nylon 12 Carbon Fibre
This is a strong material option for 3D printing that offers stiffness and lightness of weight when it comes to the production of tools and parts. A combination of Nylon 12 and carbon fibre, this filament possesses the highest flexural strength and stiffness-to-weight ratio among all FDM materials. It is ideal for creating replacement metal parts and tools, functional prototypes and few end parts.
Polyether Imide (PEI) Ultem 9085 is a type of thermoplastic that displays amorphous properties and offers high performance. It has a glass transition temperature of 186 °C and comes with the advantage of superior mechanical performance and flame retardancy. It can be directly packaged in a vacuum packaging during the process of production and is especially suitable for FDM 3D printing.
Like PEI ULTEM 9085, Polyether Imide (PEI) Ultem 1010 is also an amorphous, thermoplastics. It has a glass transition temperature of 217 °C and is inherently flame-retardant. The filament has superior adhesive properties that translate to impact resistance, strength, and durability.
Glass-reinforced Nylon-12 is a polyamide-12 compound containing 30% glass fibres. A combination of good mechanical properties and superior stiffness makes it ideal for applications in high strength and functional parts. The filament is off-white in colour, with a grainy surface finish. It can withstand abrasion and has excellent thermal loading capability. It does not require any support structures. This material is ideal for 3D printing parts with complex and intricate geometries.
Alumide brings with the benefit of flexibility, especially if you are looking to print complex 3D models. It is durable and, most importantly, very affordable. The latter property makes it a suitable choice for printing ornamental objects as Alumide gives off a metallic appearance. It can also be used to create mechanical parts which are subject to low stresses. Alumide can be used for producing prototypes as well as end parts. Alumide is water-resistant. However, it is not waterproof. It is not very conducive to perform under high temperatures which can alter its physical form drastically.
Rigour is an advanced simulated polypropylene that offers durability and a smooth finish. It offers 3D print precision, making it ideal for prototyping purposes. Applications include test models for snap-fit assemblies, living hinges and durable housings and packaging.