12 New 3D Printing Materials: From Desktops to Powder Bed Fusion

Most of the new 3D printing (3DP) materials we feature in this slideshow are plastic filaments for desktop printers using the filament fusion process, also known by Stratasys' fused deposition modeling (FDM) label. We've even thrown in a new filament-making extruder if you want to make your own from pellets (see the last slide).

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Some are fun filaments for desktops: glow-in-the-dark and luminescent UV-sensitive PLAs, as well as a conductive ABS. Two are metal filaments, one of which is a Kickstarter project that we hope reaches its goal: it's got an incredible 85% metal content. There's also a carbon-fiber-filled filament, a recycled ABS filament, and two new proprietary materials from Stratasys for use with its own printers.

One of the new materials isn't available yet commercially. But it will likely change what's possible in powder bed fusion additive manufacturing (AM) once it gets there. It's the latest step in a 3D-printable nanosteel powder in development by The NanoSteel Company, a maker of proprietary nanostructured steel alloy materials. Now they've used it with a freeform direct laser deposition AM process to produce a gradient piece with varying hardness levels.

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Click on the image below to start the slideshow

Ann R. Thryft is senior technical editor, materials & assembly, for Design News. She's been writing about manufacturing- and electronics-related technologies for 25 years, covering manufacturing materials & processes, alternative energy, machine vision, and all kinds of communications.

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