Video How to select the right material for 3D Printing?

Hello, today we’re live from Arkema to discuss 3D printing materials with a focus on selecting the right one.

Basically, there are 4 ways to select your material:

  • Scenario 1: start with a material you regularly use and check it’s 3D printable.
  • Scenario 2: start with a readily available machine, check your compatible materials, and make sure it works for the task at hand.
  • Scenario 3: unsure where to start? It’s time to test things out!
  • Scenario 4: focus on your needs and consult experts for advice.

What are the main selection criteria?

To select the right material, you must consider all 6 of your key criteria. Always remember your materials need to be esthetic and functional, designed for industry and supply chains, eco-responsible and cost-effective.

Is it complicated to choose?

To help you choose, standard methods are available and defined by machine manufacturer and service provider research centers. What’s more, you can use decision trees with questions as you make your choice. Last but not least, experts can leverage vast databases to help them find the right material.

Are there any selection tools?

Tens of thousands of materials are available on the market, worldwide. But there’s not so much choice with additive manufacturing. It’s a simple choice for private individuals, craftsmen and decorators. You’ll find all the info you need online.

Some examples of choice according to usage?

The same goes for professional mechanics who conduct prototyping or tooling, the choice is straightforward. On the flip side, it’s a lot more complex for manufacturers, especially in strained sectors, since you’ll have to strike the right balance between processes and materials.

Conclusion: How to select the right material for 3D Printing?

Some examples of choice according to usage?

Here are some examples of material choices based on applications: you’re a private individual with a broken part on your vacuum cleaner hose: why not select ABS, which is readily available from fablabs? You’re a food industry manufacturer needing a tool for your production line: why not choose PLA-HI which is food-safe? You’re a surgeon who needs to fit an implant: opt for titanium powder, today! Lastly, you’re a product manager at a car manufacturer needing lightweight, high-performance parts manufactured in bulk: simply choose polyamide 11, a biosourced, durable material that delivers better results than PA 12.


It’s tricky switching to additive manufacturing while keeping the same material. One little tip for you: get in touch with the specialists! They’re there to help you make the right choice.


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