Process and Materials

3D printing can use a variety of different materials, from plastics to metals to biomaterials.

At 3DPX we specialize in Nylon powder but are capable of using many different materials and finishes.

What Do These Processes Have In Common?

3D Printing is also known as additive manufacturing. It gets this name, because you are building a part layer by layer. Building the part in layers in something almost all 3D printing has in common.

All Additive Manufacturing starts with a CAD file, that tells the printer what to make.

Many of the forms require support material when creating certain geometries. SLS Nylon is one of the few printing style where you can create without support material. This is a huge advantage during design and post processing.

Acronyms! 3D printing really loves to use abbreviations and acronyms, it eventually gets easier once you understand the difference in each process.

SLS – Nylon 12

SLS is short for selective laser sintering. The process starts with a powdered thermoplastic typically nylon. The machine lays down the powder, the material is formed together by the heat from a laser. This process creates parts that are comparable in strength to traditional manufacturing.

SLA – Resin

SLA is short fo Stereolithography. This style is unique, it starts with a liquid plastic known as resins. The resins are also known as photopolymers. These resins are cured by a UV light, layer by layer, until the part is fully formed. SLA is the second most popular home printer and does have some industrial applications. Its drawbacks include the parts can yellow or deteriorate over time due to UV sensitivities, the parts are less durable than SLS and more post processing is required than other forms of printing.

Binder Jet – Stainless Steel

Binder Jetting is a cost effective metal additive manufacturing process. The part is printed first in a powder and binder material. Layers of material are then bonded to form an object. After the object is printed metal powder is used with a heating enclosure to replace the binder material with a mixture of stainless steal and bronze. Typically post processing is a large part of this process.