Advanced FDM 3D-printing materials: which ones will you choose?

21st January 2021

Advanced FDM 3D-printing materials: which ones will you choose? 

The Stratasys Fortus range of 3D printers strikes a perfect balance between efficiency, detail and toughness. 

Utilising the FDM 3D-printing technique, they can quickly turn out accurate, high-strength and heat-resistant components using many of the engineering-grade thermoplastics typical in traditional manufacturing processes. 

That makes them a popular choice for modern manufacturers who are seeking viable alternatives to low-volume metal production, for example, where fabrication is extremely time-consuming, tooling is expensive and achieving complex shapes is difficult. 

The range – made up of the Fortus 380mc, Fortus 400, Fortus 450 and Fortus 900 – is ideal for many heavy duty applications across a multitude of industries, from automotive and aerospace to the medical and energy sectors. 

Fourteen materials now available on the Fortus range 

Now, with the right Stratasys licences, it is possible to unlock 14 high-performance additive manufacturing materials across the Fortus range, meaning more creative possibilities than ever. 

Here’s a closer look at some of the most advanced and popular materials available: 

1. ABS-ESD7 – with static dissipative properties for applications where a static charge could damage products, impair performance or cause an explosion, this material is ideal for electronic parts with circuit boards, as well as the transportation and industrial equipment industries. Widely used for functional prototypes of fuel storage and delivery products, cases, enclosures and packaging. 

2ASA – boasting the best aesthetics of any FDM material, ASA has exceptional UV stability and is well-suited for functional prototyping of outdoor parts. It comes in a variety of colours, making it attractive for the design of consumer sporting goods, tools and automotive components or accessories. 

3. FDM Nylon 12 Carbon Fiber – containing 35% chopped carbon fibres for unparalleled flexural strength, this material delivers incredibly light but tough parts, with the highest stiffness-to-weight ratio available. Ideal for functional prototyping, end-use parts and rugged tooling, often replacing low-volume metal parts. 

4. Antero 840CN03 – this PEKK-based electrostatic discharge (ESD) thermoplastic has unprecedented strength, heat and chemical resistance, with low outgassing and consistent static dissipative properties. Lighter-weight alternative to metal, ideal for aerospace and high-demand applications. 

5. ULTEM 1010 – with high heat resistance, chemical resistance and tensile strength, this material has food safety and biocompatibility certification. Its outstanding toughness and thermal stability make it a good fit for advanced tooling and prototyping applications in the automotive, aerospace, medical and food production industries. 

6. ULTEM 9085 – a flame, smoke and toxicity-certified thermoplastic with high heat and chemical resistance, as well as flexural strength. Ideal for commercial transportation applications such as aeroplanes, buses, trains and boats. 

(Full Fortus FDM materials range: ABS-M30, ABS-ESD7, ASA, PC-ABS, PC, ULTEM 9085, ULTEM 1010, PC-ISO, Nylon 12 Carbon Fiber, Nylon 12, Nylon 6, ST130, Antero 800NA and Antero 840CN03) 

If you’re interested in adding 3D Printing to your manufacturing arsenal, read our new eBook – 3D Printing in Engineering

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