A Guide for Choosing the Best 3d Printing Service

Photo by ZMorph All-in-One 3D Printers on Unsplash

3D printing is the process of creating a three-dimensional item from a computer-aided design (CAD) model or a three-dimensional digital model.

There are many companies that provide additive manufacturing services, and you may feel a little confused. We will walk you through the process of selecting the finest 3D printing provider and materials for your project in this article. You will find useful tips in determining what factors should you consider while selecting a 3D printing company?

3D Printing

3D printing, or technology, is a broad phrase that refers to a variety of techniques. Every 3D printing method has its set of advantages and disadvantages, and each is more suited to some particular applications than others.

Common Terms:

  • Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)
  • Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM)
  • SLA (Stereolithography)
  • DLP (Digital Light Processing)
  • Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS)
  • Selective Laser Melting (SLM)
  • Material Jetting (MJ) and Binder Jetting (BJ) [Printing Technology]

Why would you need the service of a 3D Printing Company?

If you want to utilize 3D printing, you have two options: you can either purchase a 3D printer or outsource the manufacturing of your goods to a 3D printing company.

The second option may be the most cost-effective. You can choose printing companies like Orange County figure 4 3d printing company for your business.

Here are some primary factors that must be considered before making such a choice!

How to choose a 3D printing service provider?

 icon-angle-right Available Materials and Technologies

Each material for 3D printing has unique characteristics. While some are ideal for mechanical applications, others are better suited for design or creative endeavors.

Having different options enables you to 3D print items that meet your requirements. You will need to choose a material that will help you save money on your 3D print.

Also, you may want to utilize specialized 3D printing materials. For example, if you are a jeweler, choose one of the 3D printing companies that offer a diverse selection of precious metals. But first, you must verify the availability of supplies.

 icon-angle-right Design

While using a 3D printing company is very straightforward, there are few matters to keep in mind. First, to print a 3D component, you will need a model of the 3D part. A three-dimensional model is a depiction of an item in three dimensions created using 3D modeling software.

While these programs may be challenging for beginners, certain 3D printing companies may also provide the 3D modeling and training service to help you get the most out of 3D printing. It may be beneficial in obtaining the ideal 3D model for your project.

You must find out if the 3D printing business provides tools for optimizing your design without the assistance of expert 3D designers. It can help you save money on manufacturing and enhance the quality of your 3D printed products.

 icon-angle-right Cost and the Quality

The printing cost is a significant factor to consider when comparing 3D printing companies. However, you must choose which costs work best for your requirements and budget! Certain additive manufacturing services are costly.

The part’s quality is particularly critical if you are considering working with a 3D printing provider! Request a sample or review previous work by the printing business to get a better sense of the quality of their work.

Here are some common materials that are used for 3d printing.

3D Printing Materials

3D printing ingredients are often available in the form of filament, resin, or powder. The two primary material categories for 3D printing are plastic-based polymers and metals. However, additional materials (including composites or ceramics) are also available. Polymers are further classified as thermoplastics and thermosets.

If the material for the component is already known, choosing a 3D printing method is very easy, since only a few technologies create identical parts. Under these circumstances, the selection process often devolves into a cost vs. product comparison.

#1. Thermoplastics

Thermoplastics are ideal for practical applications, such as the fabrication of end-use components and functional prototypes.

Engineering thermoplastics (like Nylon, PEI, and ASA) are frequently utilized in 3D printing to create end-use components for industrial purposes. They offer excellent mechanical characteristics and strong resistance to impact, abrasion, and chemical attack. Also, they may be stuffed with carbon, glass, or other materials to improve their physical characteristics.

While SLS components have superior mechanical and physical characteristics and dimensional precision, FDM parts are more cost-effective and have a shorter lead time.

Typical 3D printing thermoplastics

  • SLS: TPU, Nylon (PA)

#2. Thermosets/Resins

Thermosets (resins) are more suitable for aesthetic purposes since they can create components with smooth surfaces and fine textural details.

They are often more challenging than thermoplastics but more brittle, making them unsuitable for regular use. There are specialty resins available for technical purposes as well as dental inlays and implants.

Material Jetting creates components with more geometric precision and usually smoother surfaces than SLA/DLP, but at a higher cost. Both methods include the use of photocurable acrylic resins.

Typical 3D printing thermosets

  • Material Jetting: Digital ABS, Standard resin, Dental resin, Durable resin (PP-like), Transparent resin.
  • SLA/DLP: Tough resin (ABS-like), Standard resin, Clear resin, Durable resin (PP-like), Dental resin.

#3. Metals

Metal 3D printed components have superior mechanical characteristics and are capable of operating at high temperatures. Due to 3D printing’s free form characteristics, these are suitable for lightweight applications in the aerospace and medical sectors.

Although SLM/DMLS components have better mechanical features and tolerances, Binder Jetting is up to ten times more affordable and capable of producing considerably larger parts.

Typical 3D printing metals

  • DMLS/SLM: Aluminum, Titanium, Stainless Steel
  • Binder Jetting: Stainless Steel (sintered or bronze-filled)

#4. Other 3D printing materials

  • Binder Jetting: Ceramics, sand

Final Words

If you are working on a one-off 3D printing project, the 3D printing provider you choose will have too little impact on your long-term work, outcome, or reputation.

However, if you consider integrating 3D printing or long-term outsourcing work, choosing the appropriate 3D printing provider should be a vital part of your integration plan.

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