Belmarking strive to provide bespoke 3D printing service
We started with a small 3D printer to create jigs and tools too assist our laser marking customers etch their components much more efficiently.
It was quickly realised that this type of bespoke service was invaluable in assisting the workflow when marking multiple items in one go.
After several large projects, we decided to invest in the latest Commercial 3D Printer. This has allowed us to print in much higher resolution with much faster prints and ability to accept larger projects previously not possible with our previous printer.
The Epsilon W50 Printer allows us to quickly and efficiently print the tools and projects we have designed without the risk of failed or warped prints with a high level of accuracy each and every print.
The dual extrusion helps to speed up production and service our customers much quicker than before.
If you have a product in mind, whether it as already been designed or it is just an idea, please get in touch and we will assist in getting a tangible product to you in no time.
In todays 3D printing arena, if you can design a project on a computer it can be printed in a material of your choice.
Some of the most common materials available are shown below (these days nearly every colour is possible). New materials are being released all the time and the Epsilon W50 allows for dual prints using separate colours to provide a more attractive print.
PLA stands for polylactic acid. It is the most widely used 3D printer filament type, partially because it is easy to print with. It has a lower printing temperature than some other filaments, including ABS, and it doesn’t easily warp, so it doesn’t require a heating bed. Another benefit of using PLA it is generally considered an odorless filament.
PLA is available in a large variety of colors and styles. Many specialty filaments use PLA as the base material, such as those with glow-in-the-dark or conductive properties. PLA is considered more environmentally friendly than most 3D printer filaments, since it is created using renewable resources like corn starch and is biodegradable.
Compared to other types of 3D printer filament, PLA is brittle, so its applications don’t include items that might be bent, twisted, or repeatedly dropped, such as phone cases or tool handles. It also can’t be used for things that must withstand higher temperatures, as PLA tends to deform around temperatures of 60 degrees Celcius or higher. For all other applications, PLA makes for an excellent choice in 3D printer filament. Commonly printed items include models, low-wear toys, prototype parts, and containers.
Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, or ABS, is the second most commonly used 3D printer filament. Products made of ABS have high durability and the ability to withstand high temperatures. Still, it does have a high printing temperature, a tendency to warp during cooling, and intense, potentially hazardous fumes while printing. When printing, a heated bed and in a well-ventilated space or enclosure is required.
ABS is moderately flexible and an excellent general-purpose 3D printer filament, but it is ideal for printing frequently handled or dropped items and parts that must withstand high temperatures. Examples include tool handles, phone cases, high-wear toys, and automotive trim components.
Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET & PETG)
Polyethylene terephthalate or PET is the most commonly used plastic in the world. Raw PET is rarely used as a 3D printing filament, but its variant PETG is increasingly popular. The ‘G’ stands for “glycol-modified,” and the resulting filament is clearer, less brittle, and most importantly, more accessible to print with than its base form. For this reason, PETG is often considered an excellent middle ground between ABS and PLA, since it is more flexible and durable than PLA and easier to print than ABS.
PETG filament absorbs moisture from the air. As this harms the material, it must be stored in a cool, dry place. It is also sticky during printing, making it a poor choice for support structures but suitable for layer adhesion. Though not brittle, PETG scratches more readily than ABS.
PETG stands out from other 3D filament types due to its flexibility, strength, and resistance to high temperature and impact. This makes it an ideal filament to use for functional objects which might experience sustained or sudden stress, such as mechanical and protective parts.
Nylon is a family of synthetic polymers used in many industrial applications. Compared to other types of 3D printer filament, it has greater strength, flexibility, and durability.
Another unique characteristic of this 3D printer filament is that it can be dyed before or after the printing process. Nylon, like PETG, is hygroscopic and absorbs moisture, so it must be stored in a cool, dry place to keep the filament in good condition.
Many nylon grades exist, but the most commonly used for 3D printer filaments are 618 and 645. Nylon 3D printer filament can create tools, functional prototypes, or mechanical parts.
Thermoplastic elastomers or TPE are essentially plastics with rubber-like qualities, making them highly flexible and durable. As such, TPE is commonly used to produce automotive parts, household appliances, and medical supplies. TPE is a broad group of copolymers. It is used to make soft and stretchable 3D printer filaments that can withstand more physical use than ABS and PLA. However, printing with it is more difficult, as TPE can be difficult to extrude.
Thermoplastic polyurethane or TPU is a type of TPE. Compared to generic TPE, TPU is a bit more rigid, which makes it easier to print. It’s also more durable and can better retain its elasticity in the cold.
TPE and TPU are used for creating objects that need to take a lot of wear. If the 3D printed part needs to bend, stretch, or compress, these 3D printer filaments should be up for the task. Their applications include toys, phone cases, and wearables items.
PC stands for polycarbonate. It is one of the strongest types of 3D printer filament and is highly durable and resistant to physical impact and heat. Since it is transparent, its applications include bulletproof glass, scuba masks, and electronic display screens.
PC is moderately flexible, though not as flexible as nylon, which allows it to bend until it eventually deforms. PC 3D printer filament is hygroscopic, so it must be stored in a cool, dry place to ensure better quality prints. It is ideal for parts that need to retain their strength, toughness, and shape in high-temperature environments, such as electrical, automotive, or mechanical components. It can also be used for lighting projects, screens, and other applications that call for transparency.