One of the past issues with 3D printing parts is the durability and strength of the parts. Many 3D printing materials are easily breakable which poses a major issue when the thought of 3D printing end-use parts. However, it turns out there are actually a few different ways that 3D printed parts can be strengthened:
One of the ways to strengthen parts is to use electroplated 3D printed parts. The process is fairly inexpensive and serves as a cheaper alternative to metal 3D printing parts. Often times, parts are electroplated in nickel or copper which provides an attractive surface finish. The one major issue with electroplated 3D printed parts is external temperature, as heating the parts can sometimes cause the plastic interior to soften and become disfigured.
2. Interior Injection
Interior injection was an idea that came into effect a few years ago. The process is fairly simple; 3D print an object in a strong material, such as ABS, with a high internal density and leave the interior hollow. Following this, drill a couple holes into the part and then just inject an adhesive material into the hollow interior to strengthen that part. Although not the most professional way to strengthen parts, the process is very inexpensive and can be done quickly.
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3. Better Materials
3D printing has dramatically evolved over recent years, and as its technology has grown, more and more 3D printing materials have been created. 3D printing pioneers have developed the ability to print materials such as nylon, ABS, and metal. High-end 3D printers even have the ability to 3D print objects in multiple materials.
4. Interior Density
One of the most apparent ways to strengthen a 3D printed part is to simply increase the interior density. The vast majority of 3D print slicing allow users to choose just how dense they want the interior to be. This is a fairly resourceful tool of 3D printing, as the strength can be adjusted per part as the user sees fit.
5. Composite Materials
Some 3D printing materials are created by combining normal polymers with materials of stronger composition. Polymer filaments injected with strengthening agents (i.e glass fibers & carbon nanotubes) can actually be produced now. Although the strength of theses materials typically lessen when 3D printed, they still remain stronger than the traditionally uses polymers.