For the past few years, we have all seen the amazing things that had happened in 3D printing technology. During those years, isn’t it just wonderful on how marvelous things become. On top of remarkable design possibilities that can be acquired via 3D printing, the level of engineering that’s used for printing fabric-like materials are just astonishing.
Even though we are utilizing metal, sugar, Styrofoam or ceramic in order to create virtually anything in 3D, it has all began in plastic. Believe it or not, until this day plastic is an integral raw material for performing 3D printing. Later on, we will be discussing the major types of plastic used in textile industry.
Number 1. PLA – called also as Polylactic Acid, this is a bioplastic that is now dominating the 3D printing world. This is made from renewable organic resources similar to sugarcane or cornstarch. In the textile industry, the PLA-based filaments showed effective adhesion to PLA plastics. Due to the fact that it is possible to reinforce it to all types of materials, it is usually seen in producing smart fabric that helps to improve functionality of textile products.
Number 2. ABS – this is actually a terpolymer that is made out of acrylonitrile and polymerizing styrene with polybutadiene, which is then called also as Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene. This is again another kind of bioplastic that is widely used for 3D printing purposes. This material is extremely strong, durable, heat resistant, cost effective and flexible and the ability to form filaments.
The thing is, a potential drawback for ABS is that, it is creating unpleasant smell and at the same time, it is releasing vapor with nasty chemicals. For this reason, anyone who intends to use this material should have a well ventilated area in order for the fumes to be eliminated.
Number 3. PVA – this stands for Polyvinyl Alcohol which is actually a water soluble synthetic polymer. The fact is, PVA is a new kind of 3D printing materials used to support hold of various 3D objects in its place. This is not used for a finished product instead, it is intended to support certain portions of the product. The moment when the product is finished, it could be put into water and the PVA support structures will dissolve which leaves the rest of insoluble prints. In the world of 3D printing, this act as a glue, packaging film or thickener.
It’s without a doubt that you can find so many other materials to be used for 3D printing technology but still, the aforementioned materials are what’s most used for 3D printing application.