The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
3D printing is an easy pick when it comes to choosing CNC machining services for prototype and part production. However, when it comes to choosing the right material, it can get confusing. Let’s break it down.
The first question to ask is whether the part or piece has mechanical properties. Mechanical properties include things like tensile strength, flexibility or elasticity, hardness, and fatigue limits.
If your part does have mechanical properties, the next step is determining whether strength or flexibility is the greater need.
Parts that require strength will use ABS-like, nylon, or ABS material. Those that need high-resolution printing, in addition to high strength, call for ABS-like or nylon material. If the resolution isn’t an issue, go with ABS.
Parts that must be flexible have one option: a rubber-like material for maximum elasticity.
If your part doesn’t have mechanical properties, focus on the look and feel of your product to determine the right material.
If your part requires transparency, you’ll need clear or color-tinted transparent printing material.
Parts that require high-resolution printing and have complex geometry are best with Visiclear. For those with a high-res need but no complex geometry, Verowhite is the better material.
If your part has no high-resolution requirement but does have complex geometry, then ABS is ideal. Parts with no high-res requirements and no complex geometry can be printed with PLA.