3D Printing (Materials)

3D printing is widely used to print objects for different applications, so the material used also varies according to the purpose of the object to be printed. Plastics are the most commonly used materials in 3d printing, but metals and even wood filament can also be 3D printed. Some other materials that can be used are Polyamide (Nylon), alumide, photopolymers, ABS, PLA, polycarbonate, HIPS, polypropylene, epoxy resins and many more. 3D printing of food involves the usage of materials like chocolate, dough and other eatable items. ABS abbreviated as Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene is used to manufacture pipes, automotive components, and even toys. PLA or Polylactic acid is a biodegradable thermoplastic, so it is used in printing hygiene product, food packaging etc.. Polyvinyl Alcohol Plastic or PVA is a water-soluble plastic so it is used to print a support structure to an object like overhanging or when extra support is needed while printing. This material is later removed by dissolving the printed object in water, making it easy to print complex designs. Some of the commonly used metals in 3D printing are stainless steel, bronze, gold, nickel, aluminium, titanium, etc. Composites like carbon fibre are also used. To print prosthetics, implants, or organs, biocompatible biomaterials are used so that the hemostasis of the body is not disturbed and the required function of the organ is carried out as per requirement. Some of the biocompatible biomaterials used in 3D printing include some metals, ceramics, polymers and composites. Hydrogels are used in bio-printing cells for tissue fabrication.