Since its appearance a few years ago, 3D printing has maintained a constant struggle for the use of new materials. The objective is clear. The more materials that are possible to print in 3D, the more sectors will be able to implement the use of 3D printers.
For many years, 3D printers were limited to using PLA, a biodegradable material that is easy to print. A still widespread use in schools and that we can see in 3D printers such as the CoLiDo Compact and the CoLiDo D1315. But the mechanical limitations of PLA held back the professional use of 3D printing. With the emergence of ABS as a 3D printing material; the field lengthened. ABS, with great mechanical properties, already enabled an industrial use of 3D printers. A use that began to be global. In this way we see advanced desktop printers such as CoLiDo 3.0 and CoLiDo 3.0 WiFi, capable of working with these materials.
Appearance of new materials for 3D printers
In recent years, new materials optimized for use in 3D printing have been developed. In this way, materials based on PLA appeared but with components that mimicked wood, copper, bronze, … Materials that did not add professional values to 3D prints, but that generated different finishes in high demand.
The TPU caused a great change in the concept of 3D printing. A flexible material that allowed us to reach sectors such as fashion, sports, mechanics, … The limitations are given by the SHORE A grade that filament 3D printers could achieve based on its own technology. In this sense, the CoLiDo X3045, with a large print size, is perfectly suited to these materials.
PA (Nylon), PC (Polycarbonate), ASA, HiPS and PET-G have already taken 3D printing to another level. Advanced technical filaments that allow advanced technical features. Materials that lead 3D printing to be considered as a global production system. However, the use of these filaments implies the need for more professional and reliable 3D printers. As an example of these printers we highlight the Tumaker NX Pro and the Tumaker NX Pro DUAL, with the possibility of using filament spools of up to 8 kg.
Advanced technical materials for 3D Printers.
In the search for new materials for 3D printing, one of the most used paths has been the development of mixed materials. Materials with fiberglass reinforce, carbon fiber, minerals reinforce, … These ultra-resistant materials with thermal, flame retardant or chemical properties are often difficult to print and require abrasion resistant nozzles. The need for professional 3D printers to use it is becoming increasingly apparent. The Tumaker BigFoot Series are a clear example of professional 3D printers.
During this time, in addition, the use of advanced materials such as ULTEM or PEKK has intensified. Materials that, together with those based on Polypropylene, lead 3D printing to its objective for professional use.
Limitations in the development of new materials for 3D printing.
As we can see, the evolution in the use of materials for 3D printing has been constant. However, the development of new materials has the handicap of the cost and the need to optimize the material. A necessary optimization for its performance in 3D printing.
In the process of optimization of the materials we find several necessary previous transformations. On the one hand, to obtain your own base material. Expensive research and development, absolutely essential. Once the material is obtained, normally in pellet format, we need to transform it. We need to convert it to a filament format. This first transformation already generates a change in the chemical and physical properties of the material. When we have obtained the filament, we need to test its performance in a 3D printer. In the event that the performance is not adequate, we must proceed to go back to the beginning and make the pertinent modifications in the composition of the base material. This process will be repeated until the final product be an efficient filament and 3D printable.
Freedom in the choice of material for 3D printing.
Now, finally, we come to a truly disruptive change in the use of materials in 3D printing. A technological transformation that allows the use of unthinkable materials to date.
FDM 3D printers work with filament. Therefore, the materials are limited to those that exist in filament. For this reason, IT3D has developed the 3D Pellet Printer. A machine capable of 3D printing directly with pellets. A 3D printer that breaks with the limitations in the use of materials.
With the Tumaker NX Pro Pellets 3D Printer and the Tumaker BIGFoot Pro Pellets the user can use their own injection material. Companies can 3D print with certified and approved materials. Material developers speed up the process by not having to transform the original pellet into filament for testing on 3D printers.
Pellet 3D Printer: the new frontier in 3D printing.
Thanks to this 3D printer we can work with unthinkable materials in filament format. Technical materials such as ABS + CF, PA12 + Ferrite, PA12 + Neomidium, PP + Mineral Charge, HDPE, PC 766M, PA66, Catamold, Grilon BK.30, VALOX Resin 357X, PPC 7712, …
Thanks to this 3D printer and its 3D printing technology with pellets, we can work safely with polymers with reinforce of iron, of minerals, of fiber, … A true freedom of choice of materials.