A Guide to Deciding Which 3D Printing Material Is Best for Your Job

April 12, 2024

There are several factors to consider when planning a FDM 3D printing project. One of the most important factors to consider is the type of printing material to use for your job. What printing material you use will have a big impact on the quality and performance of the final product.

Selecting the right printing material for an FDM 3D printing project is crucial for several reasons. For example, choosing the appropriate material ensures that the finished object meets the desired specifications in terms of strength, flexibility, durability, and other relevant characteristics. To ensure proper functionality, the intended use of the printed object should also be considered when deciding on a printing material.

Not all materials are compatible with every 3D printer, so it’s important to choose a material that is compatible with your printer ensures successful printing and reduces the risk of technical issues. Different materials produce different surface finishes. The choice of material can influence the aesthetics of the final product.

Printing materials vary in cost. Selecting the right material can help optimize project expenses. Environmental factors and regulatory compliance may also need to be taken into account when selecting the right printing material for a 3D project.

To help you make your decision, seek advice and recommendations from experts, peers, or online communities familiar with 3D printing. Consider feedback from others who have experience with similar projects or materials to make informed decisions. Conduct small-scale tests or create prototypes using different materials to assess their suitability for the project.

ProTek Models Has the Right Material for Your Job

At ProTek Models & 3D Printing, we offer customers a wide range of printing materials to select from. Let us help you pick the right materials for your needs. Here are a few of the options available for your FDM 3D printing project:

  • ABS-ESD7 has static dissipative properties that prevent static electricity buildup. it doesn’t produce a static electricity discharge or attract other materials, making it the perfect material for parts that will come into contact with sensitive electronics.
  • ABS-M30 is ideal for prototype and light-duty production parts including concept models, jigs, fixtures, manufacturing tools, and production parts.
  • A biocompatible 3D printing material, ABS–M30i is well suited for medical, pharmaceutical, and food-packaging applications.
  • PEKK gives you design flexibility not possible with other fabrication methods. Antero 800NA-PEKK is an outstanding choice for parts requiring high-temperature resistance, long-term chemical resistance, high strength, and toughness.
  • ASA is a UV-stable, production-grade thermoplastic that’s excellent for outdoor-use production parts due to its strength, color choice, and UV resistance.
  • Nylon 12CF is an outstanding choice for FDM 3D printed parts requiring stiffness, strength, and overall toughness.
  • The strength and toughness of Nylon 6 give you tremendous design flexibility.
  • A production-grade thermoplastic, Nylon 12 combines strength with excellent fatigue properties suitable for repetitive closures, snap fits, and vibration-resistant parts.
  • PC (polycarbonate) is a production-grade thermoplastic that is excellent for automotive, aerospace, medical, and many other applications.
  • Delivering excellent feature definition and surface finish, PC–ABS is a high-impact engineering thermoplastic ideal for functional prototyping, tooling, and low-volume manufacturing.
  • PC–ISO is a bio-compatible FDM thermoplastic that allows engineers to create prototypes, molds, and products in a heat-resistant material.
  • ST-130 is engineered and tested specifically for sacrificial/washout tooling for composite fabrication.
  • One of the strongest FDM thermoplastics, ULTEM 1010 resin 3D printed parts have high heat resistance and thermal stability.
  • ULTEM 9085 resin features a high strength-to-weight ratio, high thermal and chemical resistance, and flame, smoke, and toxicity (FST) ratings.

ProTek Offers Professional 3D Printing in Houston, TX

Located just North of Houston in Conroe, TX, ProTek Models & 3D Printing provides outstanding SLA and FDM 3D printing services to companies throughout the Houston area. From one-off prototypes to custom parts, and small to medium production-run products, ProTek has the capabilities to tackle any 3D print project. Let us help you select the right print material for your job.

Get in touch with ProTek today to speak with one of our engineers about your 3D print project. You can call us at (832) 968-6636 or contact us through our website.