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Efficiency and production quality are dependent upon multiple variables in the 3DPrinting process, but the bottom line is that without a material that performs as required, speed, cost and quality are irrelevant.

Material manufacturers know this, and they are battling for custom with ‘ABS-like’ comparisons and long strings of qualitative adjectives ‘tough, durable’ but for all the marketing, it’s hard to distinguish one material from the next – even a sole company’s product line.

The informative white paper Thermoplastics: The Best Choice for 3D Printing clearly differentiates 10 of current market leader Stratasys’ materials key attributes and primary applications from ABS-M30 to polycarbonate. Then offer material spec sheets to providing values for mechanical, thermal, electrical and chemical properties.

The guide is appropriate for those of medium proficiency: for those of us that aren’t materials engineers but have an understanding of how tensile strength, elongation at break and impact strength combine to make a tough or durable material.

Doubtless market leaders and new players in this fresh market will be looking at more common ways to distinguish the materials that they produce or provide for this rapidly expanding sector. Expect updates on this blog as they, and other 3DPrint material trends, emerge.

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