3d printing technology has become a necessity in the mainstream manufacturing domain. Be it industrial, automotive, architecture, or aerospace, the demand for 3d printers is growing rapidly. This technology is massive and has several sub-components that engineers use to accomplish their respective tasks.
The image used for illustration purposes. Zeal 3D Printing is not the owner or creator of the image. (Image Source: Bill Oxford on Unsplash)
However, there is always a comparison between a plastic 3d printer and metal 3d printer. Business owners and individuals always remain in a dilemma to pick the right technology for their requirements. To make this process streamline, we have made the comparison.
Plastic 3d Printing Vs Metal 3d Printing
Plastic is the most common 3d printing materials that engineers and hobbyists use to turn their design into a physical object. 3d plastic printing is quick, fast, and easy to manage additive manufacturing, making it more accessible to people.
Plastic 3d printer price is relatively lower than the metal printers, and as it is more ready-to-use, people prefer to accomplish their tasks. However, plastic additive manufacturing has certain limitations, and higher material wastage is one of them.
Coming to 3d printing with plastic materials, FDM is the widely-used method that offers quick 3d printing. Plastic materials are in the form of a spool, and some of the common materials are ABS, nylon, and PET.
On the other side, SLS or Selective Laser Sintering is a popular method for metal 3d printing. SLS or DMLS methods offer a better quality product in terms of aesthetics, strength, and overall build quality. To create an object with intricate geometries, most engineers prefer metal printing services over plastic printing.
Detailed comparison among metal printing and plastic printing:
There are many factors on which we can differentiate both these technologies and pick the best one for your requirements. Below are some key points that everyone should consider while choosing one of them.
|Properties||Plastic 3d printer||Metal 3d Printer|
|Use of material||As plastic 3d printers use a spool of filaments, the usage and wastage of materials are higher than metal 3d printing.||In metal 3d printing, the materials wastage is lower. So, it makes the 3d metal printing price justifiable in the long term.|
|Suitable Printer Models||
|Cost||The cost of plastic 3d printer ranges anywhere from $600 to $4,000||3d metal printer cost ranges anywhere between $50,000 to $1 million|
|Turnaround Time||The turnaround time varies on multiple factor and it can range from as minimum as 2 hours to a couple of days||Depending on the design complexity, the turnaround time ranges from 3 days to a week|
|Sustain Rate||Both plastic and metal 3d printers offers higher sustainability rate.|
The image used for illustration purposes. Zeal 3D Printing is not the owner or creator of the image. (Image Source: Ines Álvarez Fdez on Unsplash)
Along with the above comparison, it’s essential to identify your core requirements while considering plastic or an aluminium printer. The price difference between both printers is substantial, and you to do research on which technology can help your tasks done with more accuracy.
For example, if the metal 3d printing cost is higher and you can’t take advantage of its full potential, it’s better to go for metal 3d printing services. You can get your object ready with a faster turnaround without adding up in-house resource expenditure.
Several companies now offer affordable plastic and metal 3d printing in Australia, New Zealand and many other places. If your company doesn’t have an in-house team, it’s better to go for online printing services for high-quality product delivery.
These were the core differences between plastic and metal printing technologies. Depending on your requirement, usability frequency and budget, pick the suitable additive manufacturing method for your business. Once you finalize one technology, choose the correct printer and get started.