3D Printing Plastics

Plastic 3D Printers



Plastics are the most common 3D printing material. Designers and engineers prefer to create functional prototypes using 3D printing materials that have the same or very similar properties as the materials used in injection molding, the technology used to create the finished product. The number of plastic materials and plastics ability to work with other materials like metals and composites make it an ideal candidate for 3D printing.







Commonly Used Plastic 3D Printing Materials:

  • ABS filament is the most commonly used 3D printing plastic. ABS has reasonable strength and can come in a variety of colors. This material is very popular for desktop 3D printers.
  • PLA (Polylactic acid) is one of the easiest materials to print, though it does have a tendency to shrink slightly after 3D printing, and it is not a very strong 3DP material. PLA is biodegradable, making it a great choice for environmental advocates who want to engage in 3D printing. It is used primarily in desktop 3D printers.
  • Nylon is an engineering thermoplastic that is non-abrasive and very flexible.
  • Polycarbonate (PC) is a high strength material designed for engineering applications.
  • Polypropylene is a thermoplastic widely used in the automotive sector, disposable professional textiles sector, and for manufacturing of hundreds of everyday objects.
  • Rubber is a high tear strength material for the production of hard rubber-like parts with slow-rebound for touch applications such as grips, handles and bumpers, as well as strain-relief applications, couplings, over molds, etc.
  • Elastomeric is a flexible material that is excellent for printing soft, rubber-like parts, such as gaskets, piping, and more. It can offer a combination of pliability and strength, with amazing elongation and full elastic memory.
  • Temperature-resistant is used in applications requiring high heat resistance. These plastics can achieve heat deflection temperatures of over 300 °C. It is well suited for the testing of high temperature components in applications including HVAC, consumer appliances, motor enclosures, stators, molds and the like. It does not necessarily require a secondary thermal post-cure.
  • Biocompatible can be used for a range of medical and industrial applications, including when biocompatibility, sterilization and/or thermal resistance is required with fluid flow visualization. Some of these materials are capable of meeting ISO 10993-5 and -10 standards for biocompatibility (cytotoxicity, sensitization and irritation) and can be sterilized by autoclave.

If you’re looking to create functional prototypes and plastic printing will work for your application, we have a wide variety of printer options ready to create plastic prototypes and end-use parts.

Popular 3D Printing Technologies Requested by Duncan-Parnell Customers:

  • SLA (Stereolithography) – The very first 3D printing technology is still one of the best. SLA is become vastly popular for its ability to produce high-accuracy, isotropic, and watertight parts in a range of advanced materials with fine features and smooth surface finish.
  • SLS (Selective Laser Sintering) - Selective laser sintering (SLS) is an additive manufacturing (AM) technology that uses a laser to sinter powdered plastic material into a solid structure based on a 3D model.
  • Figure 4 (DLP) - Figure 4 is the industry’s first scalable, fully integrated 3D printing platform with ultra-fast speed enabling throughput improvement up to 15 times over other 3D printing systems and up to 20 percent lower parts cost compared to traditionally manufactured parts and operations.
  • Multi-Jet 3D Printers (MJP) - A jetting process that uses a photo-curable, plastic resin to create precise plastic parts that are ideal for functional prototyping, rapid tooling, and many other applications. Parts have a smooth finish and can achieve accuracies approaching SLA precision – or even exceed it in some instances. MJP produces the highest fidelity, truest-to-CAD parts of any jetting 3D printing process.
  • Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) – Also known as Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM), these printers are known for their ease-of-use and range of material options. They are excellent for producing end-use parts at a reasonable cost.

If you need a quality printer for plastic 3D printing projects, contact our team here at Duncan-Parnell. We have over 70 years of experience in supporting businesses with their industrial and commercial equipment needs.

We provide our team with frequent training to stay on top of a quickly changing industry. We’re equipped to help you find the best printer for your application and work with your team to ensure successful production!