How durable are objects made with a 3D printer?
One of the questions that could influence the decision of whether to buy a 3D printer for business purposes or use traditional manufacturing is the durability of 3D prints. Durability depends on several factors: filament type, printing technique, and the desired life usage. 3D printing filaments are called thermoplastics which are usually 60-80% as strong as the injection molded ones.
3D printers have been adopted into various industries recently. Medicine, education, engineering, architecture, and the dental industry are benefiting from having a 3D printer. Companies like Volkswagen, KLM, and Rolls Royce are using Leapfrog’s 3D printers to create parts of their technologies in-house. All of these indicate 3D printed objects to be fairly durable and useful. Hearing aids, aerospace parts, and customized prototypes are largely printed with 3D technologies nowadays. It is possible because 3D printed objects are proved to be reliable.
3D prints which are made from different kinds of filaments vary in strength. Among the strongest types are metal and engineering type filaments.
The most strong and durable filaments for 3D printing are PLA, ABS, PETT, Nylon, and Poly-carbonate. To learn more about Leapfrog filaments click here.
Wall-thickness and filament infill could also influence durability. Infill is used to save valuable print time and material. The infill increases the products strength, weight, costs and print time. This makes it one of the most important settings when making a print. For every purpose, the infill can be reconsidered, for example, a concept or non-use print can be printed with far less material on the inside then a part that is put to use. The greater the infill the more durable is your 3D print.
The last thing about durability is the usage purposes. Bending, hanging or withstanding heat needed? Figure it out before you chose the material to make the right decision.
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