Learn more about our materials, finishing services and production options.
Additive Manufacturing, also referred to as 3D printing, refers to a variety of processes which can construct a part of nearly any geometry by depositing raw material one layer at a time. This makes Additive Manufacturing ideal for one-off parts, prototyping, and low-volume production. The huge variety of technologies we offer ensures that whatever the challenge, Fast Radius has a process to meet your needs.
Carbon’s Digital Light Synthesis (DLS) technology is a process that uses digital light projection, oxygen permeable optics and programmable liquid resins to produce parts with excellent mechanical properties, resolution and surface finish. A photochemical process carefully balances light and oxygen to shape and produce parts with isotropic material properties. It works by projecting light through an oxygen-permeable window into a reservoir of UV-curable resin. As a sequence of UV images are projected, the part solidifies and the build platform rises. Once a part is printed, it is baked in a forced-circulation oven. Heat sets off a secondary chemical reaction that gives parts their ultimate mechanical properties.
- Wide range of production-grade materials
- Excellent surface finish
- Nearly isotropic parts
- May require design optimization to account for supports
- Ideal for parts that fit in the palm of your hand; larger parts can be challenging
As one of the first production partners of HP’s Multi-Jet Fusion (MJF) technology, we deliver quick-turn prototypes all the way up to repeatable, production-grade manufacturing for end-use parts. We are continually driving innovations in post-processing for HP MJF parts, including unique coloring options, chrome plating and premium surface finishes.
We currently offer HP’s PA 12 material, a versatile thermoplastic for high-density parts. PA 12 has excellent chemical resistance and is ideal for complex assemblies, housings, enclosures, and watertight applications. We have a robust roadmap of materials for the HP MJF technology. Please contact us to learn more about additional materials currently in development.
- No support optimization required
- High-density, low porosity parts
- Strong chemical resistance
- Limited materials library
- Natural surface finish is good, but requires significant post-processing to get smooth, injection molding-like surface finish
FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling) is a type additive manufacturing that uses a heated nozzle to melt and extrude plastic thermoplastics. While following a toolpath, it extrudes one layer at a time until the final part is created. This method usually has short lead times and creates cost effective parts. Thanks to a variety of material choices and finishing options, FDM is ideal for creating everything from quick prototypes to final parts.
- Cost Effective
- Design Freedom
- Engineering Plastics
- Non-uniform Strength
Material Tech Spec Sheets:
- ULTEM 1010
- ULTEM 9085
- Nylon 12
SLA (Stereolithography) uses a laser to create parts in a pool of UV curable resin by selectively solidifying the desired layer on an inverted platform. The laser can be focused very finely, so this method can produce an exceptional surface finish, but at a lower strength than parts made with FDM. It should be considered during the design phase of any project utilizing SLA that any parts made with this process will be broken down by UV light over time. SLA is ideal for producing high-resolution parts with a limited lifetime and mechanical loads.
- Excellent resolution
- Great surface finish
- Limited Strength
- UV parts can degrade over time
Accura 25, Accura Xtreme, Accura 60, Accura ABS Black, Somos® NeXt, Somos® PerFORM, Somos® ProtoGen 18420, Somos® WaterShed XC 11122Get A Quote
Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) operates by using a high-powered laser to sinter the surface of a powder bed in a two-dimensional pattern, then applying another layer of powder to build up the part in the vertical direction. It has the ability to be used with a wide variety of materials and can produce fairly good resolution and surface finish. The strength is better than SLA, but slightly worse than traditional manufacturing methods. SLS is ideal for producing parts with a good surface finish that must still bear a mechanical load.
- Good surface finish
- Uniform strength
- Low speed
Nylon 12 PA, Nylon 12 GFGet A Quote
PolyJet is a process that sprays a layer of UV-curable resin onto a gel matrix, which is dissolved when manufacturing has been completed. This method can have an extremely low layer thickness, producing some of the best surface finishes available in 3D printing, but has lower strength than other processes. Unlike SLA, different regions of a part made with PolyJet can have varying colors or mechanical properties if the printer has the capability. Parts made with PolyJet are susceptible to the same degradation as SLA over their lifetimes; this makes PolyJet appropriate for making parts where the only requirement is the highest possible resolution, with strength and longevity secondary.
- Excellent surface finish
- High resolution
- Can print in multiple colors and materials
- Low strength
- Parts have UV sensitivity
VeroWhitePlus, Digital ABS RGD5160-DM, VeroBlue, VeroGray, VeroClear, FullCure RGD720, RGD450, PolyJet Flex & Over-Mold, PolyJet TangoPlusGet A Quote
Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) is a variation on SLS that utilizes powdered metals as the raw material. This places it in the eclectic category of additive manufacturing methods which can produce metallic products with tensile strength comparable to CNC machining. This is the process to choose if your project requires metal parts which geometries or economics prohibit CNC Manufacturing.
- Excellent mechanical properties
- Good surface finish
- High strain to failure compared to CNC machining
- Lower bending strength compared to CNC machined parts
- Highest cost of listed methods
Stainless Steel 17-4 PH, Stainless Steel 316L, Aluminum AlSi10Mg, Inconel 625, Inconel 718, Titanium Ti64, Cobalt Chrome CoCrMo