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3D Printing in the Biomedical Library (3D@TheLibrary): Materials

Guide to materials available at the Biomedical Library 3D printing lab

Material Color Explanation of Properties Use Cases
ABS Ivory/Black Strong material used for functional prototypes and visual models. In combination with soluble support material, it can be used to create accurate models of medical scans such as skulls and brains. Resistant to degredation from radiation, withstands heat up to 98C

Strong, rectaliner mechanical prototypes - human/animal models - complex structures that require soluble support

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PLA White/Silver Metallic/Black/Transparent PLA (Polylactic Acid). More ecofriendly, better aesthetic and fuctional details and less likey to warp than ABS. Heat resistance up to 60C. Not suitable for heavy load and high temperature. Suitable for display purpose. The support is easily dissolvable in water.

Fine detail for display models. Can be used with water soluble support to create complex geometries

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Nylon Frosted transparent Better flexibility and durability than ABS. High impact and abrasian resistance. Resistant to alkali and organic chemicals. Lower tolerance for humidity than ABS/PLA. Low coefficient of friction.

Functional prototypes, wear resistant items.

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Flexible Filament (TPU 95) White A strong, durable, flexible material. TPU95 has a shore-A hardness of 95, and an elogation of up to 580% at break. It is highly chemically resistent, and stands up to wear over time. Adhesion between layers is much stronger than most other 3d printing filaments, resulting in end use parts that exhibit more uniform strength charageteristics in all dimensions.

Good for flexible pieces that can bend or stretch without breaking. Can also be used in dual material printing to simulate overmolded parts, or create living hinges. Available to print with soluble support as well.

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CPE White CPE (copolyester) materials are chemical resistant, tough and demonstrate good dimensional stability. Heat resistance up to 82C short term or 70C long term. Tougher than PLA while maintaining the same detail level.

Finer detail and better durability. Good for functional prototypes and mechanical parts.

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PC Black Extremely strong and tough material. Higher heat tolerance than ABS (up to 110C), also somewhat flame retardant.

Mechanical prototyping, parts requiring light transmission, parts requiring high layer adhesion strength.

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Standard Resins Clear, Black, Grey Rigid resins available in clear, black, and grey. Resolutions available from 25 microns to 100 microns. Heat deflection temperature of 73C. Minimal visibility of layer lines

Ideal for models that need to show fine detail, but that are not undergoing high stress (visual prototypes or models). Can be polished to improve appearance and translucency for clear.

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Flexible Resin Dark Grey Flexible but not stretchable. Feels kind of like the hard rubber of automobile tires. 85A shore hardness. Will tear easily

Cushioning and vibration-damping arts, soft-touch materials, stamps

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Elastic Resin Frosted transparent 50A Shore durometer. Similar in properties to silicone.

Wearables and consumer goods, compliant robotic features, medical product prototyping, functional parts

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Dental SG (Biocompatible) Wheat, slightly transparent Class I biocompatible resin. Rated for use in mouth for up to 24 continuous hours. Can be steam autoclaved. Extrodinarily difficult to print with, not reccomended for use cases that do not have a need for the part to be inside the body.

Used primarily for surgical guides for dental surgery. Parts should be at least 3mm thick

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Dental Model Resin Beige High detail, opaque material that can print features down to 35 microns. Can create crisp edges ideal for models with removeable parts

Ideal replacement for Dental Gypsum Models and other crown and bridge models, even those with removable dies

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Rigid Resin White Reinforced with glass to offer very high stiffness and a polished finish. Highly resistant to deformation over time.

Turbines and fan blades, jigs, fixtures,tooling, manifolds, electrical casings and automotive housings

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High Temp Resin Orange, translucent Slightly translucent, orange material that can withstand heat up to 238C. Also highly resistent to chemical degredation. Can print in fine detail

Ideal for situations with high temperatures or resistance to chemicals is important. Microfluidics and PDMS casting are common use cases, along with parts that need to be autoclaved.

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Durable Resin Frosted transparent Low-friction surface, rigid and flexible, resistance to high impact strength. Not suitable for fine details.

Ball joints, snap-fit parts, parts undergoing high strain

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Tough Resin Blue, transparent Simulates the feel and many other properties of ABS plastic. Can withstand high stress and strain. Can be machined after printing

Functional use prototypes, living hinges, designs with snap fits, simualting injection molded parts

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Castable Resin Purple Use Formlabs Castable Resin to produce detailed fine jewelry through the investment casting process. Developed specifically with investment casting in mind, Castable burns out cleanly with no ash or residue.

Investment casting only. Not meant for producing parts to be used on their own

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