There are new materials for use with 3D printers, and then there are new materials that can only be made using 3D printing (3DP) techniques. In this slideshow, we'll show you some of both. Most of them are ones you can buy now, or very soon. We'll also tell you about some that have just been invented, so they're not yet commercially available, just so you know what's coming.
Our lineup of 3DP materials this time includes biomaterials made from coffee byproducts and cellulose, some new sources of titanium and other exotic powder metals formulated for 3DP, as well as new methods for 3D printing with glass, and composites created in the lab that can change surface textures. We've also included a new washable support material, plus improved nylon and polycarbonates.
As 3DP materials for desktops and major industrial printers get more specialized, they're also coming from more sources all the time. Not surprising, since a recent study on 3DP materials by IdTechEx says the available technologies for 3D printing for a variety of materials continues to broaden. The report also reflects the increased use of 3DP in actual manufacturing of final parts, not just prototypes, which is helping drive a huge increase in demand. It looks at a large number of materials, including not only plastics and metals, but also plaster, ceramics, silicone, biomaterials, carbon fiber and graphene.
Click on the image below to start the slideshow:
3D Systems' new Infinity Rinse-Away support material rinses off with water, reflecting a growing trend away from break-off material that doesn't quite come off cleanly and leaves a stubble. This also means you can print previously unachievable overhangs, intricate patterns, and parts of the design that suspend in space. The new support material is only compatible with PLA and Nylon cartridges. It can be rinsed off under running water or by placing the part in a tub of water and letting it soak, on average about 15 minutes.
(Source: 3D Systems)