Product Information and Instructions
Most of my products are made using deposition 3D printing. This means they are built upwards from a plate in layers about 0.15mm thick. A medium sized item can take 6 hours to build and then 30 minutes to construct and clean up. Where a product is described as "factory made" it has been made by selective layer sintering. This is a method where a thin layer of powder is fused using a high power laser, another layer of powder is added on top etc... SLS produces a matt and slightly porous finish.
I use 3 types of Plastic in my products. The type is selected depending on the duty it will be used for and the properties for building.
ABS: Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene is a good tough material which prints well if kept hot throughout the process. It needs a heated printer and proper ventilation for production. Lego is made from ABS.
PLA: Polylactic Acid is derived from renewable plant sources and is the most commonly used 3D printing plastic because it does not require a heated environment. It gives very precise results. It is more brittle than ABS so I only use it for non flexing parts where high accuracy is needed such as loading arms.
PETG: Polyethylene terephthalate has similar strength as ABS but is better for outdoor use because it does not absorb any moisture. It is very sticky when melted so slow to print with and a fan must be used to fix it quickly after extrusion.
Polyamide: This is a type of Nylon used in selective layer sintering.