ZMorph, Polish manufacturer of the ZMorph VX multitool 3D printer, has published a Materials Library for professional users of additive and subtractive technologies. Listing the properties of 48 filaments, soft metals, hard plastics, wood derivatives, and composites, the library is designed to be a quick-reference document for use in workshops both in the factory and at home.
All of the materials showcased in the library have been tested, and are suitable for use, on the VX Multitool 3D printer, which is capable of 3D printing, CNC milling, and laser engraving. Though this makes the ZMorph Materials Library an invaluable resource for VX owners, the company also believes the document will find more general circulation among other 3D printer and CNC machine users.
Selecting and comparing the best 3D printer material for purpose
The ZMorph VX multitool 3D printer is compatible with Single Plastic Extruders and Dual Extruders with interchangeable toolheads to accommodate a wide range of materials. This also enables multi-material 3D printing features such as printing with PVA support, selective two-material printing, color blending, and image mapping.
In the ZMorph Material Library, there are currently 12 filament specifications suitable for use on the VX. This includes PLA, ABS, PET-G, Nylon, HIPS, ASA, PMMA, TPE, PC, PC/ABS, PP, and PVA. With quick reference to the library, users can easily discover the average printing and bed temperature used for each of these filaments, as well as appropriate nozzle diameters.
Thermal, mechanical and physical properties of each material are also listed in the library, facilitating the selection of the best material fit-for-purpose. As a general guide to these materials, non specific to any particular material brand, the profiles are readily accessible to any 3D printer owner.
3D printing vs CNC machining
With a CNC PRO Toolhead, the ZMorph VX becomes a CNC milling unit for plastics, composites, metals, foams and wood. In total, the ZMorph Materials Library lists 26 materials suitable for milling on the system, again providing some typical mechanical properties, such as tensile strength and elongation at break. Further metrics provided in CNC milling material property profiles are a scale bar for machining difficulty, and the work parameters, such as stepdown and speed.
Using each of the values, the ZMorph Materials Library enables users to discern which process may be better for their desired result, as well as which material or design may be better suited to a particular technology.
In the third and final part of the booklet, ZMorph provides the technical specifications of the VX equipped with a Laser PRO Toolhead. The library also demonstrates example applications of 10 materials suitable for laser cutting and engraving, suggesting new ways to discover the full possibilities of multitool fabrication.
The complete ZMorph Materials Library is a free resource available to view online here.
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Featured image shows a series of objects made using the ZMorph VX multitool 3D printer. Photo via ZMorph.