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The advantages of industrial-grade FDM high-temperature plastic printing in terms of applications

The advantages of industrial-grade FDM high-temperature plastic printing in terms of applications
Without the FDM process, many prototypes would have been made with formed sheet metal, CNC machining, and injection molding, requiring substantial time and cost outlay for this level of design rigor. The capability to 3D print and test many different designs produced the best configuration to prove the reliability of the final product.
For FDM technology, the core is the controlled build chambers and real engineering plastics. Perhaps the best illustration of where FDM technology benefited Stratasys engineers was in the creation of the oven air duct. Desktop printers don’t have controlled build chambers.
In order to understand which materials can produce durable parts, we will introduce an overview of personal printers to industrial printers.
PLA, PLA with 25% ABS, PETG are filament for popular desktop printers, but these are far from high quality and industrial grade materials.
ABS, PC, Nylon, PPS, these are high-temperature FDM plastics for industrial 3d printing, which are currently extended to high-performance engineering materials such as Ultem, PEKK. The material performance and printed accuracy of high-performance materials are the embodiment of industrial-grade equipment!

Deed3d is equipped with more than 40 industrial-grade FDM Stratasys 3D printers

What areas need to apply high-performance plastics?

Plastic with excellent performance is very useful in the aerospace field. Of course, it cannot be used in plastic printing rocket engines. Its thermal stability has not yet reached such a high level, but it is very suitable for making various parts around it. An example is Stratasys And Atlas V. Rocket ’s "Climate Control" project, printing 16 plastic parts instead of 140 metal parts is faster, lighter, and more economical. This is not a theoretical project, it has already flown into space.


Another example is aviation. Aircraft interiors and airtight parts have a wide range of applications. In order to reduce the weight of parts, try to use plastics whenever possible. When aircraft manufacturing involves details of engine parts or fuselage frames, Metal is printed directly, but structural elements with lighter loads (such as cabin ventilation and interior components) are best made of high-performance plastic. Currently, mainstream airlines are increasingly accepting this trend.

We return to the ground from the sky: what is interesting is the other properties of engineering plastics. Chemical resistance, high-temperature resistance, antistatic, biocompatibility, etc. may make 3d printing create part structures that cannot be obtained by traditional processes. Compared with metal printing Compared with plastic printing, the price is lower. The printed products can be more used in the fields of medicine, oil and gas industry and chemical industry.

Difference from ordinary plastic

Why not launch PLA into space and use Ultem material to make the ventilation panel of the aircraft cabin? Engineering plastics are applied to a series of requirements related to high temperature, low temperature, fire resistance, and mechanical strength. Generally, these requirements are one rather than one of them. Therefore, when interacting with PLA and the environment, burning and generating floats is uncontrollable. Currently, such engineering plastics must actually be done in industrial printing equipment using higher basic FDM / FFF technology.

Polycarbonate-containing filament

Polycarbonate is a commonly used plastic in the industry, with high impact resistance and transparency, and can also meet the needs of FDM printing. This material can maintain temperature and acid resistance than abs, but it is sensitive to ultraviolet radiation and is affected by petroleum products to break down.

Pure polycarbonate, PC

3d printed PC part

Polycarbonate products have a maximum operating temperature of 130 ° c. Polycarbonates are biologically inert and their products can be sterilized, which allows you to use them for printing pharmaceutical packaging and accessories.

Stratasys PC, PC-ISO (Fortus printers are available). The first is for general use and the second is for biocompatibility certified medical use.

Pc-abs parts printed by Deed3d

pc-abs combines the abrasion resistance and toughness inherent in abs, with higher impact resistance and working temperature. Maintains strength at low temperatures (up to -50 ° c). Unlike pure pc, it is more suitable for applications that require grinding or Sandblasting eliminates the case of the layered structure of the part.
Application: Housings and control elements for parts and small series production, replacing batches of plastic parts in equipment

Polyamide filament

Nylon12 part printed by Deed3d

Nylon polyamide is used for the production of synthetic fibers. This is a very popular printing material. It is printed using selective laser sintering (SLS). When printing with FDM / FFF technology, nylon 6 (nylon) is mainly used. Nylon 66 (nylon) and nylon 12. Common characteristics of nylon-based filaments include chemical inertness and friction resistance. Nylon 12 is more flexible and elastic than pa6 and pa66. The maximum operating temperature is 100 ° c, and the individual can be up to 120 ° c.

First, nylon is used to print gears. The best material for this purpose, you can use it to work on a regular 3d printer with a closed camera. Abrasion resistance allows you to make traction, cams, sliding bushes. In many Manufacturers' production lines have nylon-based composite filaments with higher mechanical strength.

Stratasys nylon 6, nylon 12, nylon 12CF. The latter is a composite material filled with filament carbon fiber.

Let's enter the fun part

You can use polycarbonate or polyamide on a regular 3D printer. The filaments described below are more complicated, they need to be printed with other extruders and keep the temperature in the workroom, that is, you need to print with high-temperature plastic Special equipment, but there are exceptions, such as at NASA, for experiments, they modernized the popular U.S. Lulzbot TAZ to use high-temperature filaments.

Polyetheretherketone, peek

The working temperature of PEEK products reaches 250 ° c, which can be heated to 300 ° c for a short time-reinforced filament indicator. Peek has two disadvantages: high price and moderate impact resistance. The rest are advantages, self-extinguishing, heat resistance, Chemically inert. Peek produces medical devices and implants with an abrasion resistance that enables it to print out machine details.

Polyetherimide, PEI

Ultem1010 parts printed by Deed3d

Ultra-high voltage electric connector printed by Ulmum 9085

The plastic developed by Ultem SABIC has slightly lower PEI characteristics than the PEEK index, but the cost is much lower. Ultem 1010 and 9085 are the core materials of Stratasys for printing functional parts. The aerospace industry has a great demand for PEI, which is similar to aluminum Compared to it, its weight is much smaller. The working temperature of the product can reach 217 ° C according to the manufacturer, and it can reach 213 ° C according to the results of Stratasys testing.

PEI has the same advantages as PEEK, chemical resistance, high-temperature resistance, and high mechanical strength. It is exactly this material that Stratasys promotes, which can replace metals in aerospace, for the manufacture of drones, forming tools, and in testing. Print features quickly.

At the beginning of this report, the Atlas V rocket cooling system components and plastic components for Airbus aircraft were made of Ultem 9085.

Polyphenylsulfone, ppsf / ppsu

Another material that combines temperature resistance, mechanical strength, and chemical resistance. Stratasys PPSF has been certified for aerospace and medical applications. It is positioned as a raw material for the production of auxiliary medical equipment and can be sterilized in a steam autoclave. Used in the manufacture of parts for laboratory equipment in the chemical industry.
The material is white in color, biocompatible (ISO 10993 USP VI), and can be sterilized by gamma or EtO. It is usually used for food and drug packaging and medical device manufacturing. The strength and medical compatibility of the material can be used for conceptual construction Molds, functional prototyping, and end-use parts. The material can be printed with Stratasys Fortus series equipment.

MRI printed by PC-ISO

Comparison of material parameters
material Tensile yield strength (type 1,0.125 ", 0.2" / min) Tensile modulus (type 1,0.125 ", 0.2" / min) Notched impact, xz direction (method a, 23 ) Thermal Deformation (HDT) @ 264psi
PC 30-40 1944-1958 28-73 127
PC-ABS 41 1900 196 96
PA6 28.9-49.3 1817-2232 43-106 93
PA12 28-32 1138-1282 53-135 82*
PA12CF 28.8-63.4 2300-7515 21.4-85 143
PEEK** 97 3700   160
Ultem 1010 42-64 2200-2770 24-41 213
Ultem 9085 41-64 2150-2270 48-120 153
PPSF 55 2100 58.7 189
* Calcined at 140 ° c for 2 hours
** Unable to obtain Apium PEEK 450 natural, impact test results by similar methods.
Missing, heat resistance is designated as unfinished peek.

The parameters are data provided by Stratasys, except PEEK. If the range of values ​​is indicated, the test is performed along with the various layers of the part.

About composite filament

3d printed nylon12cf bearing bracket

Most materials used for FDM printing have a composite version. If we talk about PLA, add metal or wood powder to PLA to change its aesthetic characteristics. Engineering plastics are reinforced with carbon fibers to increase the rigidity of the parts. These additives are The effect of plastic properties depends not only on its quantity but also on the size of the fibers. If fine powder can be considered as a decorative additive, fibers have significantly changed the characteristics of plastics. The word "carbon" in the material name does not It means excellent performance, you need to check the test results. For example, Stratasys Nylon12CF tensile strength when tested along the layer is almost twice that of Nylon12.

A special option is the continuous strengthening achieved by Markforged, which provides reinforcing fiber filaments for FDM joint printing with other plastics.

Other specific attributes

3d printed Remote control for miner equipment
Made of anti-static abs-esd7 material, effectively avoiding the possibility of accidents caused by static sparks

Engineering plastics not only have high-temperature resistance and mechanical strength. For housings or boxes used to store electronic equipment, and under working conditions with flammable volatile liquids, materials with antistatic properties are required. In the Stratasys product line, ABS -ESD7 and Nylon12 CF materials are applicable.

The conventional abs are not resistant to ultraviolet radiation, which limits its use in the absence of a protective coating outdoors. As an alternative, ASA material was proposed, except for its excellent UV resistance, other characteristics are similar to abs.

Metal alternatives

Plastic can replace metal in many fields because it surpasses metal in lightness, heat insulation and electrical insulation, and durability. However, in special alloys and areas where mechanical strength is required, the best FDM materials currently print Can't reach the physical index of metal products.


Special engineering plastics

To sum up. In short: the printing materials considered above are different from conventional materials with higher printing temperatures, these need to be printed with special equipment, and the heat resistance and mechanical strength of the manufactured parts are high. This kind of wire requires the use of an industrial-grade 3d printer with an extruder operating temperature of 350 ° C and a thermally stable molding space. As a personal enthusiast or junior education, you can use desktop printing equipment. They do not require the most professional knowledge. But if you are an engineer or a partial professional who customizes parts based on production engineering materials, be sure to choose a supplier that can meet your industrial-grade equipment and corresponding materials, or a comprehensive service that uses such equipment to provide services.