3D Printing

Ted Talk

Durability

Advantages of 3D Printing

Durability
3D printing can offer great impact strength, medium flexibility, and high resistance to environmental factors.

Part Production
3D printing with Xometry helps you produce end-use parts on-demand, increasing throughput.

Scalability
With 3D printing, you can make a single part or component as easily as dozens of production pieces.

Rapid Turnaround
Parts can typically be shipped in as little as 1 day, allowing for faster design iterations and speed to market.

Complex Geometry
Geometries can be built more easily due to the 3D printing process, adding complexity without additional cost.

Precision
We can meet tolerances of +/- 0.005” or +/- 0.002” per inch, whichever is greater. Please see our Manufacturing Standards for more details.

Advantages of 3D Printing

3D Printing Materials

Rigid Plastics Aluminum Steel Flexible Plastics Rubber-Like Plastics

Available Rigid Plastic Varieties:
ABS
ABSi
ABS-ESD7
ABS-M30
ABS-M30i
Accura 48HTR
Accura 60
Accura ABS
Accura Bluestone
Accura ClearVue
Accura Xtreme
ASA
Nylon 12 (Unfilled)
Nylon 12 (Glass-Filled)
PC-ISO
Polycarbonate
PPSF
Rigid Photopolymer
Somos NeXt
Somos PerFORM
Somos Protogen 18420
Somos ProtoTherm 12120
Somos Taurus
Somos WaterClear Ultra 10122
Somos Watershed XC 11122
Ultem 1010
Ultem 9085
Get an instant quote or learn more about rigid plastics.

Explore our materials in our materials photo gallery.

3D Printing Finishes
Standard Media Tumbled Additional Finishes

Standard
SLS parts are de-powdered with a sand blasting process, followed by detailed manual de-powdering for more complex geometries. These parts are left with a surface finish comparable to a sugar cube.

Applications for 3D Printing
Concept Models
Concept Models
The speed and versatility of 3D Printing lets product developers create physical snapshots of their designs through the iterative process.

Rapid Prototyping
Rapid Prototyping
3D Printing can be used to create fully-functional prototypes, complete with moving parts, as well as all-in-one assemblies.

Production Parts
Production Parts
The high accuracy and consistency of 3D Printing makes it an ideal way to build large quantities of discrete or customized parts.

Overview: What is 3D Printing?
A Brief History Of 3D Printing
Additive manufacturing, also called 3D Printing, began in earnest in the early 1980s. The first patent application for an additive rapid prototyping technology was filed by Dr. Hideo Kodama in Japan in 1980, though he did not receive a patent due to his failure to submit the full patent specification within one year.

In July of 1984, a group of French inventors filed a patent for stereolithography (SLA) 3D printing - a process in which layers are added to a part curing photopolymers with ultraviolet light lasers. The French patent was later abandoned due to Three weeks later, Chuck Hull, an American working who later founded 3D Systems, filed his own patent for SLA. Hull also invented the STL file format.

In the late ‘80s 3D printing took another step forward. In 1987, Carl Deckard of the University of Texas filed a patent for Selective Laser Sintering; his application was granted in 1989.

Next, S. Scott Crump, the founder of Stratasys, developed fused deposition modeling (FDM) in 1988. Stratasys was granted the patent in 1992 and soon after would launch one of the first commercially successful FDM machines. In addition, EOS, another prominent 3D printer company, was founded by Hans Langer in 1989.

Through the ‘90s and early 2000s, new technologies continued to be introduced, thought most were focused on expensive industrial applications. Companies like Solidscape, ZCorporation and Arcam were launched during this period and the selective laser melting (SLM) process was developed during this time. The market for both high-end printers and more prototyping-focused, less expensive machines both grew in this era.

It took years - until 2009 - that the first widely available commercial 3D printers went on sale. It was also about this time that the first commercial 3d printing services began to appear. Since this time, both industrial and personal 3D machines have improved in quality and gotten less expensive. In 2013, two NASA employees Samantha Snabes and Matthew Fiedler launched their large-format, affordable 3D printer, Gigabot and a new company called re:3D. Since then, 3D printers have become even more accessible.

The 3D printing services space continued to grow with the launch of Xometry in 2014. Since then, Xometry has offered instant quotes on custom parts with fast lead times to everyone from solo entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 companies. Xometry now offers six 3D printing processes: selective laser sintering, fused deposition modeling, stereolithography, direct metal laser sintering (metal), PolyJet 3D, and HP MultiJet Fusion, a faster, less expensive advanced process from Hewlett Packard.

Industries that use 3D Printing
MedicalAerospaceRoboticsIndustrialElectronicsConsumer ProductsAutomotive
Featured 3D Printing Resources
3D Printing Design Guide
3D Printing Design Guide
Download our production guide for more advice on how to produce high quality, cost-effective 3D printed parts.

Choosing The Right Additive Manufacturing Process for Your Project
Choosing The Right Additive Manufacturing Process For Your Project
Learn the basics of our six manufacturing processes including how parts are made, mechanical properties, part limitations, tolerances, materials, finishes, and layer thickness, cost, and lead time.

The 3D Printing “Complexity Paradox”
The 3D Printing “Complexity Paradox”
How to leverage the 3D printing complexity paradox.

5 Easy Ways to Reduce 3D Printing Costs
5 Easy Ways To Reduce 3D Printing Costs
There are a handful of considerations and several advantages to keep in mind when selecting 3D printing as your custom manufacturing process.

See more 3D Printing Resources
Xometry's 3D Printing Team
Our 3D printing service is led by experts with decades of industry experience

Tommy Lynch
Tommy Lynch

Applications Engineer

Tommy Lynch is the lead additive applications engineer at Xometry. He has over 14 years of experience in the industry.

Greg Paulsen
Greg Paulsen

Additive Guru

Greg Paulsen is Xometry's additive manufacturing guru and the star of many Xometry videos.

Learn more about our other capabilities
CNC Machining Sheet Metal 3D Printing Injection Molding Die Casting Extrusion Stamping

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