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. Aside from these awesome design possibilities that could be acquired through 3D printing, the level of engineering used for printing fabric-like materials are simply 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. Whether you believe it or not, up to this day, plastics play a significant role in 3D printing. In the next paragraphs, we will discuss the major types of plastic that’s used in the textile industry.
Number 1. PLA – referred to as Polylactic Acid, this is one of the plastic types that now dominate the 3D printing technology. Basically, it has been sourced from renewable organic resources including sugarcane or cornstarch. In textile industry, PLA-based filaments have shown remarkable adhesion to PLA plastics. Since this can be reinforced with all kinds of materials, it’s often used in the production of smart fabric which helps in improving the functionality of textile products.
Number 2. ABS – this is otherwise known as Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene that’s basically a terpolymer made by acrylonitrile and polymerizing styrene with polybutadiene. Again, this is yet another type of bioplastic that is mostly 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. Because of this, anyone who is intending to use such material must have a place that is well ventilated for the fumes to eradicated.
Number 3. PVA – this basically stands for Polyvinyl Alcohol which is a water soluble synthetic polymer. In reality, it is a new type of 3D printing material that is being used to support hold of 3D objects in place. Don’t mistake it for being used in finished product but it is made to create support certain parts of the product. Right after the products are finished, it can now be submerged into water and the PVA support structures will begin to dissolve leaving the insoluble prints. This functions as glue, packaging film or thickener in the world of 3D printing.
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.