There is a wide range of materials used in 3D printing, such as filaments, powder, pellets, beads, resin. There are now many materials from 3D printer manufacturers, but in the following lines, you can read about the most popular materials for 3D printing.
Nylon, or polyamide, is most commonly used in powder form from the sintering process or in the form of a filament for the FDM process. This material is strong, flexible and durable. It is naturally white but can be dyed before or after printing. This material can also be combined (in powder format) with powdered aluminum to produce the second most common sintering material – Alumid.ABS is the second most common plastic used for 3D printing and is used at the entry-level of FDM 3D printers in the form of filaments. It is a mostly strong plastic and comes in a wide range of colors. It can be in the form of resin for the DLP process or a filament for the FDM process. It is available in a variety of colors, including transparent, which has proven to be a useful option for some 3D printing applications. However, it is not as durable or flexible as ABS.
A growing number of metals and metal composites are used for industrial production in 3D printing. The two most common metals are aluminum and cobalt derivatives. One of the strongest and most commonly used metals for 3D printing is powder-coated stainless steel. It is naturally silver but can be mixed with other materials to achieve a gold or bronze effect. In recent years, Gold and Silver have been added to materials that can be directly applied to 3D printing due to their strength. Titanium is one of the strongest metals and is used in industrial production. In powder form, it can be used for melting/sintering.
Ceramics is a relatively new group of materials for 3D printing with different levels of success. After printing with this type of material, it is necessary to go through the process used in the traditional method of making objects made of ceramics – baking and glazing.
There is much research writing about the potential of biomaterials in 3D printing in medical applications. Living tissue is being investigated for use in the production of human organs for transplantation, or the production of body parts. Other research in this area focuses on food development – the example of meat is the best indicator.
Experiments with extruders for the production of nutrients have increased dramatically in recent years. Chocolate is the most common material. Some printers work with sugar and some experiments with pasta and meat. Also, research has already been conducted to adapt 3D technology to the production of balanced meals.