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December 28, 2020

What are the most important bottlenecks in 3D printing?

What are the most important bottlenecks in 3D printing? Most of us tend to believe that’s the 3D printer we’re using. But actually bottlenecks in 3D printing are more commonly caused by the raw material. Any kind of the material may have its own limitations. Thus we keep on developing different materials for 3D printing.

According to a research, so far, there are more than 200 types of 3D printing materials and they are widely used in aerospace, medical, handicrafts, manufacturing and many other fields.

However, in practical applications, most of these materials can be used only in a small range due to their limitations. These are far from enough for the increasing needs of the 3D printing industry.

New materials for 3D printing emerge.

1.Somos QuickGen 500

Somos QuickGen 500 was developed by the Dutch Royal DSM Group. This material is a breakthrough and innovative fast printing general engineering resin.

The printing speed can be twice of similar materials and it’s mainly used for digital light processing (DLP) and liquid crystal display (LCD) 3D printing.

Somos QuickGen 500 is a colorless resin with excellent flexibility and resilience. It is more flexible than any other resins and has better stiffness than most elastomers. As an ideal material for detailed printing, it is widely applied on building functional components and flexible gadgets.

Ceramic 3D printing expert Tethon 3D also developed three unique materials, the GrapheniteTM, Cordierite, and Mullite for DLP printing on their Bison 1000 DLP printer.

Let’s take a look at these bottled resins with special ingredients.

2.GrapheniteTM

GrapheniteTM is a UV curable resin contains graphene with excellent performance in both mechanical and chemical properties.

As a graphene included resin, Graphenite is stronger than most materials. In addition, the flake carbon allotrope features it with excellent thermal conductivity, electrical conductivity, corrosion resistance and optical properties. 

Therefore, its target customers are manufacturers of energy storage devices, sensors, electronics, and any other components needs the high-performance properties of graphene.

3.Cordierite – liter

Cordierite-liter is a UV curable resin containing cordierite ceramic.

The material has similar performance with cordierite, light weight, high strength, low thermal expansion, and etc. Printed parts by Cordierite-liter can be used at 1200 ℃ high temperature.

Therefore, it can be used in printing heaters, thermocouples, insulators and any other refractory components.

4.Mullite

Mullite is a new type of technical ceramic material launched by Tethon. Its main component is mullite. Mullite has low thermal expansion, low thermal conductivity and high refractoriness, as well as excellent chemical stability and electrical resistivity.

The most important chemical properties of Mullite made of mullite are its excellent corrosion resistance at high temperatures, as well as high temperature loadability and peel resistance. It is said that the material can maintain its strength at high temperatures up to 1800 °C. 

Therefore, Mullite is very suitable for the production of high-temperature chemical contact parts in the aerospace and energy industries, or for window materials that work in very harsh chemical conditions to withstand high-temperature mechanical applications.

5.Complex Composite Material

The four resin materials mentioned above are all just a single raw material, but there are many kinds of products composed of two or more materials with extreme complex combinations of different materials.

In order to meet the demands for strict requirement on performance, the Polish company Sinterit, an SLS 3D printer manufacturer, has developed an anti-static printing material called PA11 ESD.

PA11 has excellent thermal properties and dissipates electric charges well. Therefore, it ensures the safe use of electronic equipment and is suitable for the field of ESD protection.

In the field of 3D printing, materials always play a vital role, whether it is with only single ingredients or a complex combination of different ingredient.

Although 3D printing technology has not yet been popularized in all fields, with the development and progress of technology, not doubt there will be more and more new materials being developed.

As the demand increases, 3D printing technology will be more widely used in electronic products, aerospace, medical, industrial design and other fields. Brand new 3D printing materials will emerge one after another, and certainly these new materials will lead us into a much broader market in 3D printing in return.

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