Our entry into the additive manufacturing market began a few years ago. with a Raise 3D pro. As manufacturers ourselves we are focused on applications that make sense for our internal business. With new ownership in 2020 supporting growth and strategic investment combined with the hiring of Damien Judd who has been using industrial Additive technology for 20 years and keeps track of every new press release and research paper we are excited about the future of this space at Cmac. We will be transitioning to from a basic printing service to a brand agnostic solutions partner across polymers, metals, composites and ceramics.
Whilst the hype of consumer level printing has collapsed as the novelty wore off the development at the industrial end of the market in the last two years has seen more progress than the combined history of the technology over thirty years prior. The promise of accessing a wider of engineering materials with quality, speed and price is within reach as new technologies become commercially available in the next 6-12 months. .
Reach out If you would like to explore areas that additive technology might make sense for your business.
There are a variety of plastics that are available in the market today. These plastics are also widely used for 3D printing. Here are some of them:
ABS is a common type of plastic material being used in different industries that include automotive components, manufacturing of pipes, protective gears, kitchen appliance, etc. It is one of the popular plastic materials used in industrial 3D printing.
This material is generally durable and strong. It is also popular because it is inexpensive with good mechanical properties. It is also slightly flexible and relatively resistant to heat.
PLA is also a popular plastic filament aside from ABS. it is the best choice for most extrusion-based 3D printers since it can work seamlessly with low temperature and doesn’t require a heated bed.
PLA materials are also widely used because it is easy to print with. One of the distinct characteristics of PLA is that it doesn’t warp easily. It also does not give off any foul smell during printing.
ASA was originally developed to be a weather resistant material. Therefore, it is primarily used in automotive industry. In addition, ASA is strong, rigid and easy to print with.
This plastic material is the best alternative to ABS materials. It is known for its high impact resistance and high temperature resistance. Conversely, ASA has also its printability drawbacks such as warping issues and emission of hazardous fumes dues to the presence of Styrene.
PET is a raw material that is rarely used in 3D printing. There are some variations of this material which includes PETE, PETG and PETT.
PET material is known as the polymer used in water bottles and also found in clothing fibres and food containers. It is semi-rigid and has good impact resistance. This material has also great thermal characteristics and adheres well to the bed with negligible warping.
PC is known to be the strongest plastic filament used for 3D printing. It is also resistant to physical impact and heat. Moreover, it can able to withstand a temperature of up to 110°C.
It is commonly transparent and used mainly for items such as bulletproof glass, scuba masks, etc. It is also extremely hygroscopic and should be stored in moisture-free and airtight containers.
Nylon is a well-known family of synthetic polymers that are generally used in different industrial applications. Additionally, it is also popular for its flexibility, strength and durability.
One distinct feature of nylon is it can be dyed according to the preferred colour. However, nylon is hygroscopic. This means that this material absorbs moisture and needs to be kept in a cool and dry place.
PVA is another type of plastic that is soluble in water. However, since it can be dissolved in water, extra care and attention are needed when storing it.
In 3D printing, PVA is not used to make a finished product but rather used to create support structure. Furthermore, PVA has good thermal stability. It is biodegradable with no harmful by-products.
There are specific 3D printing technologies that are compatible with plastics. These are the following:
If you are inexperienced in terms of 3d printing, you are recommended to read this 3d printing guide.
"I chose to engage C-Mac originally because of their experience with metal work and ability to provide design solutions; though in the end it was all plastic and exceeded my expectations. The team at C-Mac suggested we use 3D printing and at first I was unsure - plastic, easier, strong...were all my questions.
When I picked up the finished design, it delivered. I would definitely encourage someone for 3D printing for early design testing and the C-Mac team did an excellent job! Thank you!"
--- By Richard