3D printing service Australian companies today are giving people the opportunity to create almost everything imaginable. From custom confection goodies to an artificial human skeleton made of acrylic. Truly, all these marvelous feats are proving to us that the world of 3D printing is becoming even more amazing every single day. What makes it even more exciting is the fact that there are now wide variety of materials that can be used for this purpose, starting from ceramic to metal, down to styrofoam and sugar.
Many people are thinking that the use plastic as a raw material for 3D printing is far more practical than all others simply because they are very common and offers greater flexibility of use. In the past years, 3D printed clothing came to being and we became very much fascinated about it. Whether it is in high-fashion or high-technology, 3D printing clothing proved itself as a marvel to behold. Let us now delve into the 3 types of plastics now commonly used by the Australian textile industry:
Polylactic Acid or PLA
Why are we not surprised that the most commonly used and preferred bioplastic in the world will also take the world of 3D printing by storm. The thermoplastic aliphatic polyester, otherwise known as PLA, is made from organic and renewable resources like sugarcane or corn starch.
The food packaging sector is currently utilizing this type of plastic to its advantage. And it also made its way to the biodegradable implants and medical services. One notable reason why PLA makes a great material to use for 3D printing purposes is because they are flexible to use and easy to work with. Aside from which, they also come in a variety of colors. You can also make use of them as a filament or resin.
Polyvinyl Alcohol Plastic or PVA
PVA is a qualified water-soluble plastic. We can use it as a thickener, packaging film or as a glue. In the 3D printing sphere, you don’t make use of PVA as the primary component of a finished product but has a more important role to play. It is actually used to create a support structure for the product that tend collapse or warp during and after the printing process.
Printers that come with more than 2 extruders, you can utilize one or more of its extruders so that it will make the needed PVA support structure while the rest of the plastic materials being used will create the product design out of the other available materials. Soon after the printing process is accomplished, you can dunk the cured and the finished product into water. By this measure, you will have the PVA support structure melt away from the item.
Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene or ABS
This is another type of plastic that is commonly utilized in many 3D printing projects. New users are in favor of this material than any other type of plastic due to the fact that it is easy to use when in it’s filament form. Aside from which it is also strong, durable, cost-effective, heat-resistant and flexible, too.
The one possible drawback we can see here is that it is that it is not biodegradable and it is also petroleum-based. This is the reason why ABS is losing hold of its popularity among the 3D hobbyist crowds. There are many people here from this sector who have a special preference for PLA due to them being eco-friendly nature.
Another displeasing about ABS plastic is that the moment you have them heated up in a 3D printer so you can commence with your fabrication project, they tend to produce offensive smelling fumes.
The array of materials that can be possibly utilized for 3D printing purposes will continue to expand, and perhaps evolve along with its applications and processes. Up to this very day, we still consider plastic as responsible for the many amazing things that happened in the manufacturing sector.
Tags: Rapid Prototyping