Types of 3D Printing Materials

Helping you choose the right material for your 3D Printing Project

Getting Started

WHICH 3D Printing Material SHOULD YOU USE?

Knowing your 3D Printing Materials is essential before planning the 3D Project - as you will need to know the properties and durability for your part to ensure maximum efficiency. 

Step 1 - 3D Modelling

Design & Model your 3D Product - Make sure you determine the materials required based its required properties. Use the recommeded software to design your project - or talk to one of our Engineers about converting your sketch into a 3D Scan compatible with our 3D Slicing Software. Contact Our Team about Your Project >

Step 2 - Choose Your 3D Medium

Plastic, Carbon Fiber or Metal. See the details below to help you make your choice. See the list below >

Step 2 - Get 3D Printing

Our team can help you get your project printed in as little a a couple of days. Talk to us about your project to get a quote send us an email here.

Plastic 3D Printing


Carbon Fiber 3D Printing 


Metal 3D Printing

3d Printing Materials

KNOW YOUR FILAMENTS

  • PLA - Polylactic Acid
  • ABS - Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene
  • PETG - Polyethylene terephthalate
  • TPE - Thermoplastic elastomers
  • Nylon - Synthetic polymers 
  • PC - Polycarbonate
  • Metal Filament - Professional metal filament comprises a high percentage of metal powder plus binders resulting from a 3D printable filament sintered into fully dense metal parts. Once printed, the debinding and sintering processes are applied to remove the binder and produce the final whole metal part.
  • Conductive Filament
  • Magnetic Filament
  • Carbon Fiber Filament
  • PVA - Polypropylene Polycarbonate
  • ABS alloy - Polyoxymethylene (Acetal filament)

Talk to Our Engineers About Which Filament to Use For Your Project >

3d Printing TERMS

3d Printing Acronyms


3D file / 3D model
Three-dimensional object presented as a file, created either by a 3D modelling software or a 3D scanner
3DP
3-Dimensional Printing
ABS
Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene - opaque thermoplastic and amorphous polymer
AM
Additive Manufacturing, also known as 3D Printing
.amf
Additive Manufacturing File
BJ
Binder Jetting -3D Printing Technique. The binding liquid is deposited to join powder material together to form a 3D part
Bridge
Terminology for sections of a print that are supported at both ends but not in the middle
Bowden tube
Also called Bowden cable guides filament from the feeder to the print head on material extrusion printers
Build envelope
This is the maximum volume the Printer can print and determines how large  an object the Printer can build
Build plate
Also known as a Bed and Platform - Surface or area of the 3D Printer on which parts are formed
CAD
Computer-Aided Design
CAM
Computer-Aided Manufacturing
CDLP
Continuous Direct Light
CNC
Computer Numerical Control
Control Interface
Used for controlling the #D Printer, older Printer has an LCD Display, an SD Card slot or USB port
DED
Direct Energy Deposition
DLP
Direct Light Processing is part of the vat photopolymerization AM method where a photopolymer liquid resin is cured to make hard plastic parts
DMD
Direct Metal Deposition
DMLS
Direct Metal Laser Sintering
DOD
Drop-On-Demand
EBAM
Electron Beam Additive Manufacture
EBM
Electron Beam Melting
Extruder
Filament is pushed through a Bowden tube to the hot end of the rotating gripping wheels known as the 3d printer Head.
FDM
Acronym for Fused Deposition Modeling
FFF
Acronym for Fused Filament Fabrication
Filament
Used by FDM printers to melt plastic filament, typically made of either ABS or PLA
Fill / Infill
Terminology to printing the interior structure of a 3D object. The interior is printed with a mesh type structure. The infill is expressed as a percentage (e.g. 10% infill).
G-code
G-code -A file format used to store information that 3D printers can interpret
GDP
Gel Dispensing 3D Printing technology. Uses movement similar to FDM systems using UV sensitive material that hardens when exposed to UV light
GF
Glass-Filled
Hot end
The material extrusion method, also known as additive manufacturing. Material extruders reach temperatures to melt plastic (hot end)
Kapton tape
Heat-resistant polyimide adhesive tape. Used in material extrusion printers to cover the surface of the print bed to prevent it from warping
LCM
Lithography-based Ceramic Manufacturing is a process for the additive manufacturing of high-performance ceramics
LENS
Laser Engineered Net Shape
LMD
Laser Metal Deposition, a printing process that casts and fuses metal with a laser beam
LOM
Laminated Object Manufacturing
LS
Laser Sintering
Material Extrusion
A continuous filament of thermoplastic. Used to construct 3D parts. 
Mesh
Dividing a model into basic blocks or structures that are small
Micro
Terminology to describe a unit of length equal to one-millionth of a meter
MJ
Material Jetting
MJF
Multi Jet Fusion
Nozzle
Deposits melted plastic material.
NPJ
NanoParticle Jetting
OBJ
Object File
PA
Polyamide
PBF
Power Bed Fusion
PC
Polycarbonate
Photopolymer
Polymer material that changes its properties when exposed to light
PIM
Plastic Injecting moulding
PLA
Polylactic Acid – Biodegradable thermoplastic polymer made from plant starch.
PP
Polypropylene
Print Head
Typically, one extruder on it. On the top of the print head is a tube that feeds filament into the print head
PVA
Polyvinyl Alcohol – Water-soluble filament used as support material in 3D Printing
RAFT
Horizontal mesh of filament deposited directly onto the build platform. to minimize warping.
RE
Reverse Engineering
RM
Rapid Manufacturing
RP
Rapid Prototyping
SLA
Stereolithography Apparatus
SLICER
Software used to convert the digital 3D file into a machine-readable code. The Slicer cuts the model into skinny horizontal layers called slices and generates tool paths in the two-dimensional plane
SLS
Selective Laser Sintering
Thermoplastic
Material such as synthetic resin becomes plastic when heated above a specific temperature and hardens when cooled
TPU
Thermoplastic Polyurethane

Talk to Our Engineers About Your Project >

We help you bring your 3D Printing Project to realisation

Supporting businesses to Discover, Design and Develop, reliable and profitable additive manufacturing components sustaining their performance at their highest capacity.



3D Modelling

Conceptually having a tangible object can help you through the creative process. Retrocast 3D Printing will construct concept models that mimic the appearance of production-run parts.
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Test Your 3D Concept 

Display your design and relay the marketability of your product. Create a market for your product before production. Send your 3D Concept to Retrocast 3D Printing to explore your options and get a quote. 
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3D Performance Testing

We can test your new product is doable prior to full production. Rapid prototyping services allows us to test the form, fit, and function of your prototype.

 Ensuring durability and quality. 
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