What kinds of 3D Printing technology does ProtoXYZ offer?
Currently, we offer Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM), Continuous Fiber Reinforcement (CFR), and Stereolithography (SLA). For FDM we offer Nylon and Nylon/Carbon Fiber composite materials. These composites give rise to properties such as increased strength, flame resistance, and electrostatic dissipation.
Our CFR service offers Carbon Fiber, Kevlar, Fiberglass, and HSHT Fiberglass. These fibers are used in conjunction with any of our FDM materials; when doing so, your 3D printed parts can be as strong as aluminum.
SLA 3D printing is recommended for prototyping parts with tight dimensional tolerances. Our SLA printers can print with a layer height of 25 μm and a x/y tolerance of ± 30 μm. That’s smaller than the diameter of a human hair!
How do I design a part for 3D Printing?
Unlike subtractive manufacturing techniques, cost isn’t necessarily linked to a part’s geometric complexity. Cost is more related to total material volume, the less material the better. Additionally, 3D printing typically requires support material which will result in a slightly rougher surface finish on where the support material contacts the part. Fortunately, we show you exactly where support material will be placed when printing your part.
What is Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM)? What are its advantages?
FDM is a process where filament is pushed into a hot extruder. The filament is heated first and then deposited, through the nozzle, onto a build platform in a layer-by-layer process to form a solid part. This process results in parts with excellent x/y tolerances and allows for unique material properties.
What is Continuous Fiber Reinforcement (CFR)? What are its advantages?
CFR process starts with FDM 3D printing, which forms the outer shell and infill of the part using a nylon composite, typically a thermoplastic filled with short-strand chopped carbon fibers. A secondary nozzle is then used to lay long-strand continuous fibers to reinforce the part, similar to rebar in concrete. This process results in the strongest 3D printed parts known to date.
What is layer height?
A 3D printed part’s layer height or in other words the thickness of each layer can also be thought of as the part’s z-resolution. When we decrease the layer height of any 3D printing process, we are allowing more layers to be printed in a given part. This allows parts to have a better surface finish, but at the cost of an increase in printing time