3D Printing material, metals.

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According to 3D printing,¨using plastic has limited scope due to the fragile nature of plastic. Any serious manufacturing is not possible without using metal. 3D printing using metal or Metal Additive Manufacturing has seen significant growth recently. Metals are 3D printed by melting metal powder using a laser beam to fuse it into a solid part.  Metals used for 3D printing include stainless steel, aluminum, bronze, copper, silver, gold, alloys of titanium, cobalt, titanium, nickel, among others.

3D printing of metals is used in several industries including aerospace, automobile industry, jewelry, medical, among others. The medical industry, for example, dental and orthopedics benefits from the ability to customize parts for specific individuals. The quality of the 3D printed metal objects is comparable to objects made by conventional manufacturing processes. Manufacturing based on 3D printing results in very little waste compared to conventional manufacturing. Therefore Metal Additive Manufacturing continues to grow and become a significant part of manufacture.¨

Metal Additive Manufacturing / 3D Printing News.

3D Printing Metals 2018-2028.

3D printing with metal: The final frontier of additive manufacturing.

3T Additive Manufacturing Ltd. 

Selective laser sintering.




3D Printing materials, metal mixed with ABS or PLA.

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According to Some vendors,” they provide filaments based on metal. These filaments mix metal with ABS, thereby allowing desktop 3D printers to be able to use them. Most of these filaments can be printed at a temperature similar to PLA or ABS used in the filament. Examples of these filaments are as follows.

Bronzefill Filament: A bronze fill filament is made of eighty percent bronze and twenty percent PLA. Having a mix of metal and PLA allows the filament to work with desktop 3D printers. A bronze fill 3D printed object can be polished to make it shine. A similar filament is copper fill filament that is made of copper particles mixed with PLA.


ColorFabb bronzeFill Metal Filament – 2.85mm (0.75kg).

Proto-Pasta’s Stainless Steel Filament: A filament called Proto-Pasta’s Stainless Steel combines PLA with finely ground stainless steel particles. The 3D printed object has steel-like properties including weight, density, and texture. The proto-pasta filament is not stronger than PLA because the steel is in powdered form. Nor is the Proto-pasta filament conductive because the steel particles are separated by PLA.

Proto-Pasta Stainless Steel PLA – 2.85mm (0.5kg).

Stainless Steel PLA.

Proto-Pasta’s Magnetic Iron Filament: Proto-Pasta’s magnetic iron filament is made of PLA and iron powder. It acts like iron and is attracted to magnets.  It even rusts like iron. However, since the iron particles are separated by PLA, the magnetic iron filament is not conductive.

Magnetic Iron PLA.

Tungsten Metal ABS Filament: Another metal filament called GMASS Tungsten Metal ABS Filament includes ABS and Tungsten. Adding tungsten to ABS gives the filament a metal feel and also makes it heavier like metal. Also, the material has radiation shielding properties.

GMASS Tungsten Metal ABS Filament – 1.75mm (0.5kg).

Bismuth Metal ABS filament: Another metal filament is GMASS Bismuth Metal ABS filament made of ABS and bismuth. This filament is also radiation shielding (but contains no lead) and can be used for creating parts for use in medical environments.

GMASS High-Density Bismuth Filled ABS 1.75mm (2.7g/cc).

GMASS Bismuth Metal ABS Natural Color Filament – 1.75mm (1kg).



3D Printing materials, Polyvinyl alcohol (PVA).

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Based on materials analysis, Polyvinyl Alcohol (PVA) is a type of petroleum-based plastic that is water-soluble. It is biodegradable and recyclable, and non-toxic. It can be extruded at temperatures of 190-210 deg C. It is relatively expensive compared to materials such as PLA and ABS. Due to its ability to dissolve in water, PVA-based material must be stored carefully, away from water and moisture. For example, it can be stored in sealed bags with silica gel. Once removed from its packaging PVA can absorb moisture.  
Since PVA is water-soluble, it is used for providing support for overhanging portions of objects being 3D printed. The 3D printer has to be capable of extruding two materials. A PVA-based structure is 3D printed before the overhang portions. The overhang portions are 3D printed, with support from the PVA-based structure. The final 3D printed object is put in water to let the PVA-based support structure dissolve. After the PVA-based support structure dissolves, what remains is the 3D printed object with overhangs.

3D printing material, ABS.

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ABS is a petroleum-based plastic. ABS is non-biodegradable. ABS is a strong and durable material.  Therefore it is used in various products including protective headgear, golf club heads, carrying cases, enclosures for electronic assemblies, kitchen appliances, and toys including Lego bricks.  ABS is soluble in acetone, i.e., nail polish remover.
ABS is extruded at temperatures of 210-250°C. Heating up ABS causes fumes to be released. These fumes are usually tolerable but may cause irritation in people with chemical sensitivities. These fumes include chemicals that are known to be carcinogenic. Therefore, 3D printing using ABS should be performed with caution and in places with adequate ventilation.


3D Printer Materials Guide – 3D Beginners.

3D printing material, PLA.

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Poly Lactic Acid or PLA is made from organic material, for example, cornstarch, tapioca, or sugarcane. PLA is used in the production of bags, food packaging, disposable utensils, plastic bags, and so on. PLA is used as surgical implants such as anchors, rods, pins, or plates. If inserted in the body, PLA breaks into harmless lactic acid within 6 months to a couple of years. The slow degradation helps the body to slowly take over the role of the implanted structure as it recovers.
Since PLA is made from renewable resources, it is one of the most environmentally friendly materials used for 3D printing. PLA is extruded at a temperature of 160°C to 220°C. Since PLA has a low melting temperature, parts made from PLA can warp under heated conditions. When heated for 3D printing, PLA emits a sweet smell similar to corn. These are not harmful fumes and therefore PLA can be used for 3D printing indoors. PLA comes in most colors including translucent and glows in the dark. PLA cools slowly and therefore some 3D printers install a fan to cool down the 3D printed material. When PLA cools down it is tough but rather brittle. PLA has become a popular choice of material for 3D printing due to its environmental friendliness and low toxicity.

Polylactic acid.

3D printing living tissue.

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Youtube Video: 3D Bioprinter

According to Organovo,” this is a medical research company headquartered in San Diego which designs and develops three-dimensional human tissue. The living 3D printed tissue can be used for testing drugs before giving the drugs to a real person. Organovo uses a proprietary bioprinting platform called NovoGen for 3D printing tissue.
Pharmaceutical companies conventionally perform testing on animals or on cells in Petri-dishes. Both methods of testing are very different from testing on a living person. Therefore several clinical trials fail when tried on the living person even if they were considered successful on animals or cells in petri-dish. Organovo technology bridges this gap by providing 3D tissue models that are much closer to a living person. Pharmaceutical companies can use the 3D tissues developed using this technology for testing.
In 2014 Organovo announced the commercial release of exVive3DTM Human Liver Tissue for preclinical drug discovery testing. In April 2015, Organovo presented results of 3D printing in vitro 3D kidney tissue at the 2015 Experimental Biology conference in Boston. In 2015 L’Oreal signed an agreement with Organovo to produce 3D-printed skin for use in testing cosmetics. The long-term goal of Organovo’s 3D bioprinting technology is to be able to create organs for transplantation.¨


A search engine for 3D models.

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According to Yobi3D,” this is a Search Engine for 3D Models, which allows users to perform the keyword search for 3D models on the Internet. Yobi3D provides a built-in viewer that allows users to see 3D models from different angles using the browser. Users can rotate the 3D model in any direction using the cursor. Users can also zoom in and zoom out, view a wireframe of the object, and go to the website where the model can be downloaded.  Yobi3D has been considered the Google of 3D models.  Advanced search parameters can be specified, for example, minimum or maximum number of vertices, minimum or maximum number of polygons, type of license, file formats, level of difficulty for printing (easy, medium, or hard), and so on.
Yobi3D was founded by Jessy Lee, Ph.D. from the University of Southern California.  Yobi3D is headquartered in Taiwan.¨



DIY 3D printer.

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According to the Fab@home,” it was one of the first two open sources for do-it-yourself (DIY) 3D printer (the other open-source DIY 3D printer was RepRap. The Fab@Home 3D printer utilizes syringe tools that can make objects out of multiple materials. The first version of the Fab@Home print head had two syringes. Later versions of Fab@Home 3D printers had more syringes going all the way up to eight syringes that could be used simultaneously.  Fab@Home 3D printers could be used with several materials including epoxy, silicone, food materials such as chocolate, cookie dough, and cheese, among others.
The Fab@Home project was started by Hod Lipson and Evan Malone of the Cornell University Computational Synthesis Laboratory in 2006.  Before the release of open-source 3D printers, the 3D printer market was dominated by industrial 3D printers. The goal of Fab@Home was to make 3D printers more popular and accessible for common people. The project was continued until 2012. The project was considered complete when the rate at which do-it-yourself 3D printers and consumer printers were being distributed exceeded the rate of industrial 3D printers.¨

Easy to remove printouts from 3D printers.

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According to the CoLiDo Technology,” it is easy to remove printouts from 3D printers. 3D printers print objects on a build tray. The filament used for 3D printing objects (for example, PLA filament) is melted for creating the 3D printed objects and cools down on the build tray. As the melted filament cools down, the generated object sticks firmly to the build tray. Removing the object can be messy.  It often requires tools like cutters, knives, or hammers. In the process, the object can break or the build tray can get scratched.
Colido 3D printers address the problem of the melted filament sticking to the tray. CoLiDo 3D printers use a patented glass platform that is coated with a material that prevents the melted filament from sticking to it. This allows the 3D-printed object to be removed easily. CoLiDo printers show the temperature of the build tray so you know if it has cooled down. Once the tray has cooled down sufficiently, one can remove the object with bare hands. Any waste remaining on the tray can be wiped clean.
CoLiDo 3D printers and filaments are powered by Print-Rite. Print-Rite is a leader in the aftermarket printer consumable industry. Print-Rite is headquartered in Hong Kong and has manufacturing facilities in Zhuhai, Shanghai. Print-Rite has over 1,800 patents in aftermarket printer consumables. Print-Rite provides information for the CoLiDo brand of 3D printers and related products through CoLiDo.com.¨

3Dprint360, access to 3D printers.

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According to the 3DPrint360,” it is a New York-based startup that aims to provide affordable access to 3D printers for schools, homes, and businesses.  3DPrint360 provides access to new, refurbished, and used 3d printers as well as 3D printing materials, installation, and service agreements related to 3D printers.

3DPrint360 works with schools to ensure that they procure the right 3d printers, materials, and tools for their needs. They provide schools with a dedicated installation and maintenance agent that provides any needed support and maintenance help. For people who are not ready to purchase and own a 3D printer, 3DPrint360 provides access to 3D printer rentals (presently for customers in the Tri-State area).
According to Zach Lichaa, Founder and CEO of 3DPrint360, “It is our simple belief that more interaction with 3d printing will positively affect industry, education, the environment, and society as a whole. Accordingly, we work every day to provide knowledgeable, affordable and welcoming access to technology for our clients around the world.¨