Stratasys is the leader in 3D printing technology, which means they are constantly looking for more ways to expand their printer and material lineup. With more options than ever before, selecting the right technology can be overwhelming. That's why we're here to help you understand your different options—particularly when it comes to high-performance 3D printing materials. Keep reading to learn which materials are classified as high-performance, how they rank on different tests and what industries they are ideal candidates for.
What Are Considered High-Performance Materials?
Stratasys FDM thermoplastics are broken down into three categories: standard, engineering and high-performance plastics, each increasing in thermal resistance and toughness. High-performance materials are thermoplastics designed to endure extremes for advanced applications and production runs of end-use parts.
What Material Tests Are Performed?
To discover which materials work best in unique situations, Stratasys tests different material properties. These tests are done to discover properties such as heat deflection, tensile strength, material chemical compatibility and more.
- Heat deflection: determines the temperature the material deforms. This helps determine the best material for a specific application when exposed to different heat levels.
- Tensile strength: establishes the force needed to exert on the material to break it. This helps understand the pressure or weight a part can withstand.
- Material chemical compatibility: provides the details of how a material will react when exposed to a chemical. With the large variety of industries using 3D printing, this helps give them awareness into which material can be mixed with outside chemicals.
Collectively, this information allows users to predict how the different thermoplastics could react in real-life situations, giving them insight to make the best investment for their company.
What Were the Material Test Results?
First, we tested heat deflection to see which materials could be exposed to the largest amount of heat withouth deforming. For this test, results ranged from a high of 415⁰ F to a low of 163⁰, with ULTEM 1010 leading and PPSF following behind in a close second.
Second, we tested tensile strength to see which material could withstand the most force. Again, ULTEM 1010 took the top of the leader board with Nylon 12CF not far behind. These are the only two materials that had a tensile strength above 10,000psi.
Finally, we performed the material chemical compatibility test with 20 various chemicals and rated each material on a four-scale system, from excellent (1 = high) to poor (4 = poor) chemical resistance. While a material may have excellent chemical resistance to one chemical, it can preform poorly against another. For this reason, we strongly recommend conducting your own testing prior to using them for your application. Nonetheless, Nylon 12 performed the strongest among all materials, reacting to the least amount of chemicals and receiving 13 excellent chemical resistance ratings across the 20 tested.
To see the full list of all 15 materials reviewed and eight characteristics examined, download the High Performance 3D Printing Material Guide below.