Which 3D printing technology is suitable for my project?
Fabforma’s 3D printing team can help you out with that, for free. There are various factors taken into consideration before we narrow down the choices to a suitable 3D printing technology & material for your project.
a) Application of the 3D printed parts:
This is probably the most important consideration to begin with. 3D printing is still primarily a prototyping tool, even though rapid developments are being made to use 3D printing as a production tool for end-use applications. It is important for us to know the end-use application of your 3D printed parts before we decide on a suitable technology. The 3D printed parts may be prototypes, tooling (molds & patterns), end-use functional parts, display items, etc.
b) Design specifications:
This is another very important consideration for choosing the optimum 3D printing technology / material for your parts. Once we discuss the end-use application of your parts, we analyze the model for various parameters such as overall part size, volume, smallest feature size, thinnest walls, clearances, etc. This helps us decide if the as-is 3D model is printable in the materials suitable for the project or some design changes need to be made to the model. It also helps us decide the appropriate 3D printer for printing your parts as each 3D printing technology has its own benefits & limitations. For eg, our DLP printer can print supported walls & clearances as thin as 0.125 mm, which is just not possible for an FDM printer. On the other hand, FDM & SLS technologies can print relatively bigger parts (in a single piece) as compared to others.
You may learn more about the maximum build volumes of the various 3D printers out here.
c) Materials & finishes:
Once we know the end-use application and have analyzed the 3D model, the printing material choices are narrowed down to the most optimum materials for your parts. The material properties must be suitable for the particular end-use application of the 3D printed parts as well as satisfy the design specifications of the 3D model.
d) Budget and lead times:
Customer’s budget and the 3D printing lead times are taken into consideration when more than one material is suitable for the project. Different materials fall into different price ranges, with ABS / PLA thermoplastics being the most pocket-friendly and castable resins being the most expensive.
The relative prices and the respective lead times of different materials are listed out here.
To get a quotation for your parts quickly, you may upload your cad files / 3D models on our website or you may email us the files with all the required information at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fabforma is an ecosystem of original thinkers, 3D designers, 3D fabricators, researchers, manufacturers and consumers of 3D printed products and designs