Which Materials Are Used For 3D Printing?

The materials used for 3D printing are as diverse as the products that result from the process. As such, 3D printing is flexible enough to allow manufacturers to determine the shape, texture, and strength of a product. 

Best of all, these qualities can be achieved with far fewer steps than what is typically required in traditional means of production. Moreover, these products can be made with various types of 3D printing materials. You can get the best idea about 3D printing from the top online 3D design websites.


Out of all the raw materials for 3D printing in use today, plastic is the most common. Plastic is one of the most diverse materials for 3D-printed toys and household fixtures. Products made with this technique include desk utensils, vases, and action figures. 

With its firmness, flexibility, smoothness, and bright range of color options, the appeal of plastic is easy to understand. As a relatively affordable option, plastic is generally light on the pocketbooks of creators and consumers alike.

  • Polylactic acid (PLA): One of the eco-friendliest options for 3D printers, polylactic acid is sourced from natural products like sugarcane and corn starch and is therefore biodegradable. Available in soft and hard forms, plastics made from polylactic acid are expected to dominate the 3D printing industry in the coming years. Hard PLA is the stronger and therefore more ideal material for a broader range of products.

  • Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS): Valued for its strength and safety, ABS is a popular option for home-based 3D printers. Alternately referred to as “LEGO plastic,” the material consists of pasta-like filaments that give ABS its firmness and flexibility. ABS is available in various colors that make the material suitable for products like stickers and toys. Increasingly popular among craftspeople, ABC is also used to make jewelry and vases.

  • Polyvinyl Alcohol Plastic (PVA): Used in low-end home printers, PVA is a suitable plastic for support materials of the dissolvable variety. Though not suitable for products that require high strength, PVA can be a low-cost option for temporary-use items.


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