Open menu

3D Printing Decision Guide

Use an advanced filter to select suitable materials and 3D printing technologies for your projects.
Step 1
Types of materials
Step 2
Dimensions of parts
Step 3
Project requirements
Step 4
Colors
Step 5
Result
Getting started with project settings
Let's input your project parameters to discover the most suitable 3D printing processes and materials for your project.
First and foremost, what material type is essential for this project? Feel free to select multiple options if more than one would be suitable for your needs.
Tip: Feel free to proceed to the next steps without choosing certain parameters if you’re unsure about specific details. You will be able to change your parameters afterward.
arrow down
  • Select all Clear all
arrow down
  • Select all Clear all
arrow down
  • Select all Clear all
Understand the dimensions of the parts
Each 3D printer has a build chamber with specific size limitations. By providing your part dimensions, we can exclude 3D printing processes that cannot accommodate your part within their build chamber and materials exclusive to these processes.

Build volume of 3D printing processes. Select a process to see the size limitations:

Build volume of 3D printing processes. Click here to explore dimensions by process.

Selective Laser Sintering IconSLS
HP Multi Jet Fusion IconMJF
Fused Deposition Modeling IconFDM
Stereolithography IconSLA
Carbon DLS IconCarbon DLS
Polyjet IconPolyjet
Direct Metal Laser Sintering IconDMLS
Unit:
increase
decrease
increase
decrease
increase
decrease
Define your project requirements
Our material library provides detailed functional and visual properties based on the supplier data sheets for each material. Select the properties essential for your project.

Functional

(23)

arrow down
    search cancel

Visual

(1)

arrow down

Other

Getting started with project settings
Is color crucial for your part, especially for exterior use? Choose the available colors, and we’ll filter out materials based on raw material color or finishing options like spray painting, powder coating, dyeing, or anodizing.
Tip: Feel free to proceed to the next steps without choosing certain colors. You will be able to change your parameters afterward.
Getting started with project settings

Based on your requirements, we’ve identified XX materials and X 3D printing processes that could be suitable for your project. Click the “Show Suitable Options” button to view them.

Tip: You can further refine your search by changing chosen criteria or adding more advanced parameters such as popular applications or detailed mechanical properties of materials. Adjust these parameters to see personalized suggestions in real time.
Selected:
Materials:
Special project requirements:
Colors:
Dimensions:
Start over

0 materials match the selected parameters

Tip: You can refine your search by changing your project parameters and see personalised suggestions in real time.

OK
cancel

Project parameters

Material Types

arrow down
  • Select all Clear all
arrow down
  • Select all Clear all
arrow down
  • Select all Clear all

Bounding box:

increase
decrease
increase
decrease
increase
decrease

Requirements:

Colors

(18)

arrow down

Visual

(1)

arrow down

Functional

(23)

arrow down
    search cancel

Other


Popular Applications:

Applications

(15)

arrow down
    search cancel

Technical parameters

arrow down
Advanced parameters based on 3D printing process limitations such as tolerance, minimal feature or wall thickness achievable with each process.
  • Tolerance (%)

  • Minimal feature

    increase
    decrease
  • Minimal wall thickness

    Supported

    increase
    decrease

    Unsupported

    increase
    decrease
Start over
Show 0materials

Selective Laser Sintering

Show description

Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) 3D printing is one of the most widely used industrial additive manufacturing processes. Like MJF, SLS is used to produce strong, functional plastic parts.

Advantages
No support structures required
Consistent surface finish
Complex part geometries can be achieved
Time- and cost-effective 3D printing from one-offs to batches
Produces “near-net-shape” parts with a consistent but grainy surface finish (which can be turned into a sealed and semi-gloss finish through vapor smoothing)
Optimal for manufacturing snap-fit connectors
Considerations
Thin walls may thicken
Thin gaps may close (AKA "hole shrinkage")
Text smaller than 0.5 mm (0.020") may wash out
Inaccessible areas and confined hollow cannot be cleaned of excess powder
High aspect-ratio features may warp

HP Multi Jet Fusion

Show description

Multi Jet Fusion (MJF) 3D printing is one of the most widely used industrial additive manufacturing processes. Like SLS, MJF is used to produce strong, functional plastic parts.

Advantages
Time- and cost-effective 3D printing from one-offs to batches
No support structures are required
Consistent physical and mechanical properties
Ability to print parts in full-color
Produces “near-net-shape” parts with a consistent but grainy surface finish (which can be turned into a sealed and semi-gloss finish through vapor smoothing)
Optimal for manufacturing snap-fit connectors
Considerations
Inaccessible areas and confined hollow cannot be cleaned of excess powder
Text smaller than 0.5 mm (0.020") may wash out
High aspect-ratio features may warp

Fused Deposition Modeling

Show description

Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) 3D printing is cost-effective and widely known for its great material selection, accuracy, and the possibility to print large, functional plastic parts.

Advantages
Cost-effective in low volumes
Large parts up 900 x 600 x 900 mm (35" x 23" x 35") can be achieved
Complex part geometries can be achieved
Considerations
Lower resolution
Need of support structures for overhanging features
Poor surface quality with visible layer lines
Not suitable for intricate details

Stereolithography

Show description

Stereolithography (SLA) 3D printing utilizes light-curable thermoset resins to build highly accurate, high-resolution parts. Its surface finish is one of the highest standards in the industry and recommended for aesthetic prototypes.

Advantages
Smooth surface finish
Complex part geometries can be achieved
Excellent detail and high-resolution prints
Text smaller than 0.5 mm (0.020") can be achieved
Considerations
More costly
High UV sensitivity that may lead to material degradation and fast aging
Not suitable for moving assemblies
Need of support structures for overhanging features
Thin or detailed features may be fragile for end use applications

Carbon DLS

Show description

Carbon Digital Light Synthesis™ (DLS™) 3D printing uses light projection, programmable liquid resins, and oxygen-permeable optics to produce thermoset parts and asthetic propotypes with exceptional durability, resolution, and surface finish.

Advantages
Complex part geometries can be achieved
Excellent mechanical properties
Food grade and biocompatible materials available
Smooth surface finish
Ideal for small parts or lattice structures
Considerations
Need of support structures for overhanging features
More costly
Thick walls (above 2.54 mm / 0.1") may cause shrinkage and warpage

Polyjet

Show description

PolyJet 3D printing is a photopolymer technology that produces high-detailed models and aesthetic prototypes with incredible precision and speed using multiple materials and colors.

Advantages
Multi-material and multi-coloured parts can be achieved
Smooth surface finish
Provides looks-like and feels-like prototypes
Excellent dimensional accuracy and resolution
Considerations
More costly
Not suitable for end-use parts
Long-term exposure to heat, sunlight and humidity may cause warpage and loss of strength

Direct Metal Laser Sintering

Show description

Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) 3D printing fuses together small particles of metal powder to create complex parts using a wide range of metals, from aluminium to stainless steel or nickel alloys like Inconel.

Advantages
High-strength functional metal parts can be produced
Complex part geometries can be achieved
Short production time for metal parts
High resolution
Considerations
Low throughput
Need of support structures for overhanging features
Grainy surface finish
Limited build volume (400 x 400 x 400 mm / 16 x 16 x 16 in)
High costs