Additive Manufacturing - 3D Printing

IDEAL provides a range of high-quality 3D printing (additive manufacturing) services, including FDM, SLA, SLS. This allows for the 3D printing of plastics , and provides options for both prototyping and production.

Rapid prototyping 3D printing is the quick, easy and cost-effective way to turn great ideas into successful products. These 3D printing prototypes not only help to verify the design but also find issues early in the development process and feedback directly on design fix, preventing costly changes once the product is in full production.

Advantages of 3D Printing

  • 01

    Reduce Manufacturing Costs

    Since 3D printing uses only the required material and needs no tooling, it is one of the most affordable manufacturing processes for one-off parts or small batches. Drive to reduce production costs by eliminating the need for tools and reducing labor.

  • 02

    Build Complex Geometry

    D printers create parts layer by layer using a computer-controlled nozzle, they can be used to create highly complex shapes, including complex interior geometries.

  • 03

    Shorten Delivery Time

    Once a part has been designed using CAD software, it can be printed in a matter of hours, without a lengthy setup procedure. Parts can typically be shipped within a few days, speeding up design iterations and time to market.

Advantages of SLS 3D Printing:

Engineering-grade thermoplastics (Nylon, GF Nylon);

Excellent mechanical properties and layer bonding enabling complex geometries;

Temperature resistance, chemical resistance, abrasion resistance.

Advantages of SLA 3D Printing:

Lower layer thickness and higher accuracy;

Complex shapes and precise details;

Smooth surfaces and post-processing options.

How 3D Printing Works

  • Additive Manufacturing - 3D Printing

    Additive Manufacturing - 3D Printing

SLS 3D Printing (Stereo Laser Sintering) makes use of a high power optic laser that fuses small powder particles layer by layer to produce complex and durable geometric parts. The surface of the prototype by SLS 3D printing is loose and rough, while SLA 3D printing providing high-definition to make the surface of the parts smoother and the details clearer.

SLA 3D Printing (Stereolithography) uses an ultraviolet laser that draws on the surface of liquid thermoset resin to create thousands of thin layers until final parts are formed. A wide selection of materials, extremely high feature resolutions, and quality surface finishes are possible with SLA 3D Printing. It is suitable for the reproduction of the prototype master pattern, because it has a smooth surface, good dimensional stability and fine features. But SLA 3d printing prototypes are susceptible to moisture and chemical erosion, and in more than 38°C environments they will become soft and deform.

3D Printing Tolerances

Dimension DetailTolerance
SLs Minimum wall thicknes1.0mm
SLS Tolerance±0.2mm to ± 0.1mm
SLA Minimum wall thicknes0.5mm
SLS Tolerance±0.15mm to ± 0.05mm

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3D Printing Materials

SLS Material: SLS 3D Printing builds robust parts with filled Nylon materials, suitable for functional prototypes and end-use parts.. IDEAL can produce parts in white Nylon-12 PA650, PA 625-MF (Mineral Filled) or PA615-GF (Glass Filled).

SLA Material: SLA 3D printing can only be liquid photosensitive polymer, the performance not as good as thermoplastic plastic. SLA 3D printing should be handled with care in case the part is broken.

3D Printing FAQ

  • Q: How to choose the right 3D printing service?

    A: SLS 3D printing is rich in materials and can be made of plastic, metal, ceramic, or glass powders with good performance. The surface of the prototype by SLS 3D printing is loose and rough, while SLA 3D printing providing high-definition to make the surface of the parts smoother and the details clearer.

  • Q: Can 3D Printing working on Geometric Complexity parts?

    A: 3D printing can create parts with highly complex geometries even hollow shape that cannot be done by CNC machining, such as jewelry, crafts, etc. CNC machining offers greater dimensional accuracy (±0.005mm) and much better surface finishes (Ra 0.1μm).

  • Q: How’s the Cost, Quantity & Delivery Time of 3D Printing?

    A: 3D printing typically produces low quantities of parts without tooling, and without human intervention, so that fast turnaround and low cost is possible. The manufacturing cost of 3D printing is priced based on the amount of materials, which means that the larger parts or more quantity cost more. The process of CNC machining is complex, it requires specially trained engineers to pre-program the processing parameters and processing path of parts, and then machining according to the programs. Manufacturing costs are therefore quoted taking the extra labor into account. However, CNC machines can continuously run without human supervision, making it perfect for larger volumes.

  • Q: How can I reduce the cost of my 3D prints?

    A: The main costs associated with 3D printing are the number of unique parts, material cost, individual part volume and post-processing requirements. To reduce costs you need to understand the impact of these factors on cost.
    The most obvious tip for reducing the cost is to reduce the amount of material used. This can be achieved by reducing the size of your model, hollowing it out, and eliminating the need for support structures.
    The second most important tip is to choose the right process for the job. In general, FDM is the most economical 3D printing process for very low volumes (1-10 pieces). SLS, MJF and SLA are more expensive at low volumes, but share similar price ranges and are generally more competitive than FDM for orders of 10 or more pieces. Metal 3D printing is much more expensive than plastic 3D printing.

Request Your Free 3D Printing Quote Today

Our improved algorithm decreases 3D printing quotation times by up to 90%. Most quotes are delivered within 24 hrs. and usually much less, depending on project details.

Your customer support partner will contact you directly to ensure you’ve received and understand all aspects of your quotation and to answer any questions you may have.

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