Different 3D Printing Materials
Thermoplastics (ABS, PLA)
Thermoplastics are one of the most common materials in 3D printing. They are usually tough, but they easily yield under stress.
When exposed to light, photopolymers change structure and harden. While they can’t be melted, the resin is often brittle and doesn’t last as long as thermoplastic materials, as they degrade over time from exposure to UV light.
Composites (carbon fiber)
Composites are made up of several materials. For example, carbon fiber is fused together with thermoplastic to create a carbon fiber filament. Composites reinforced with carbon fiber can be as strong as aluminum 6061 parts, as they combine strength and stiffness with the light weight of the material.
Metals (17-4 stainless steel, A13 tool steel, titanium)
Unlike thermoplastics, metals can’t always be extruded easily. Instead, they require high heat and power to achieve a formable state. Metal parts often need a few post-processing steps to complete the part.