Tag Archives: Materials

How to choose the right material for your 3D prints?

3D printing is not a unique process with just one material or one technology. In fact, when you’re looking for a 3D printed part, you can choose between many solutions and this choice will largely impact the outcome. Depending on where you are in the development lifecycle of your product, choosing the best material can be the key to your project’s success. Let us guide you through the process of picking the right material when you entrust a 3D printing service with the task to 3D print something for you.

To simplify your products’ develoment,  we created a chart you can refer to when you want to 3D print an object with a specific purpose and chose the right material on our website, and we added a glossary of a “product lifecycle management”.  Take a look at it.

Which material for which use? A chart of the different materials:

material_for_3D printing

Which 3D printed material for which use?

Glossary for your Product Lifecycle Management

To help you understand this chart clearly, we’ve added some definitions about the different of a product’s lifecycle development.

Concept Model

A concept model is used to test some aspect of the intended design without attempting to exactly simulate the visual appearance, choice of materials or intended manufacturing process. Such prototypes can be used to “prove out” a potential design approach such as range of motion, mechanics, sensors, architecture, etc.

At the early stage, Concept testing is useful to identify which design options will not work, or where further development and testing is necessary.

Design Verification

Engineering verification testing (EVT) is used on prototypes to verify that the design meets pre-
determined specifications and design goals. This valuable information is used to validate the design as is, or identify areas that need to be modified.

The Model for EVT will capture the intended design aesthetic and simulate the appearance, color and surface textures of the intended product but will not actually embody the function(s) of the final product. These models will be suitable for use in market research, executive reviews and approval, packaging mock-ups, and photo shoots for sales literature.

Form, fit, function

The term “form, fit and function”, sometimes called F3 or FFF, in the manufacturing and technology industries is a description of an item’s identifying characteristics:

  • Form: the shape, size, dimensions, mass and/or other visual parameters which uniquely characterize an item. This defines the “look” of the part or item. Sometimes weight, balance and center of mass are considerations in ‘form’. Color is not generally considered in ‘form’, except when it has a specific functional meaning.
  • Fit: the ability of an item to physically interface or interconnect with or become an integral part of another item or assembly. This relates to the associativity of the part in relation to the assembly, or to other parts, and includes tolerances.
  • Function: the action[s] that an item is designed to perform. This is the reason for the item’s existence, which also includes secondary applications.

Form, fit and function testing is useful to make the parts of an assembly, put them together and see if they fit properly. You can undertake a first evaluation of tolerances and check design errors.

Functional testing

A Functional Model is also called a working prototype. The functional prototype may be reduced in size (scaled down) in order to reduce costs. The functional Model helps you to test the parts when subjected to stresses and to check how the model will behave in its actual application. The construction of a fully working full-scale prototype and the ultimate proof of concept, is the engineers’ final check for design flaws and allows last-minute improvements to be made before larger production runs are ordered.

Fine feature detail

A fine detail is a very delicate, small, or exact part of an item. This material is appropriate for complex and delicate geometry.

Smooth surface finish

Smooth finish traditionally describes the removal of unsightly tool or machining marks. The material itself or a post-process such as polishing provide a very smooth final surface.

High heat / Chemical applications

Chemical applications require materials with specific properties. This material provides significant resistance to chemicals including acids, bases, hydrocarbons, fuels etc. This material has a low thermal expansion coefficient and a high heat deflection temperature, which enables you to use it for high heat applications.


This material can be used to make goods or wares on a larger scale than prototyping. This means that this material can be life tested (i.e. how the part will behave during the life time of the product) and used in regulatory testing.

Medical applications

Medical applications such as use in surgical instruments or medical devices requires specific properties such as biocompatibility. This material can be in contact with human or animal bodies, inside or outside the body, and will not have any toxic or injurious effects on biological systems.

Tooling (Molding)

This material can be used to create tools for a manufacturing process. For instance, wax is used to create the counterparts of a mold before casting.


That being said, we always provide guidance and support for all your project around 3D printing. Don’t hesitate to contact us directly at sales@sculpteo.com or on Facebbok and Twitter.


The Full List of 60+ Materials Available at Sculpteo. And Yes, We Do Metal and Bi-Materials !

At Sculpteo there isn’t a day without getting special requests. It can be about materials, size, model design… We are always happy to answer these questions and provide you a tailor-fit service. Our contact email is sales@sculpteo.com

We have plenty of materials available upon request. And, as always, we are paying a very special attention to the final quality of your product.

Here are the materials already available on-demand at Sculpteo, additional to our actual list of materials:

Objet Resins

Flexible Resin (Objet TangoBlack):


Transparent Resin (Objet FullCure 720):

All resins from the Objet Vero family (8 types):

We also do bi-materials 3D printing: 2 materials in the same object (one side transparent, one side flexible for example) !


Transparent Resin:

FDM Plastics


Metals (Selective Laser)

Stainless Steel

Tool Steel




Precious metals for jewelry





Simply contact sales@sculpteo.com for getting a quote.


And as a reminder, here is the list of materials you can directly choose from our website:

Polyamid (White Plastic)

Colored Plastic (9 colors available)

Polished Plastic


Silver-coated plastic

Detail resin (white or black)

Spray-painted resin (11 colors available)


Ceramic (8 colors available)

Have a great 3D printing day!

Neri Oxman and Objet in Paris: 3D Printing Organic-Like Shapes

We were this morning at the Center Pompidou in Paris for the opening of the exhibition Multiversités Créatives, exploring future of materials and 3D printing through design and contemporary art.

Pneuma 2, 2012
Série des pulmonaire / Pulmonary Series

Neri Oxman, director of the Mediated Matter research Continue reading

Lock Materials and Size for your Customers in your Sculpteo Store

We presented you a step-by-step guide for enabling customization on your Sculpteo designer store.

Some of you wrote us to ask for new customization features, as you noticed that customers were more and more interested to customize their objects to have them 3D printed.

We listened to you, and we worked to bring you some cool new customization features!

You can now select in which materials and sizes will be your object available. You customers will then be able to choose the material and size they like the most before to have it 3D printed by Sculpteo.

Let’s see how this customization feature works. Follow the guide:

1. Upload your design or select a design already in your shop

Select the design that you want to configure

2. Click on “Settings” Continue reading

Le Lieu du Design supports Sculpteo R&D

Sculpteo has been accepted to participate to the grant program of Le Lieu du Design, the public center for design and designers in the Paris region. It’s a great opportunity for us to develop R&D further more in our facilities in the French Pyrenees. 3D printing is all about innovation and pushing the limits of what can be done with additive manufacturing and complete on-demand customization. 3D printing R&D is for us a core activity.

Le Lieu du Design opened its doors less than two years ago for supporting industrial design and innovation. The Paris region is one of the most active design center in Europe and worldwide with more than 4,000 dedicated companies, 30,000 design industry workers and 2,5 billion euros turnover.

Exhibitions, workshops, information… If you’re a designer or business owner visiting Paris, Le Lieu du Design should definitively be on your list!

We will keep you up-to-date here with our latest researches on new materials and 3D printing technics.