Our KREATIZE Glossary provides you with a complete overview and further information on KREATIZE’s subtractive CNC and additive processes as well as to which of the variety of our available materials they are applicable.
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Materials available with KREATIZE Manufacturing Services
Steel is an alloy of iron and carbon with a C-content between 0.01% and 2.06%. Steel has very good mechanical properties. Therefore, it is ideal for both machines and systems.
Whether alloyed or unalloyed, steel can be seen in the table "Limits for unalloyed steels" from DIN EN 10 020. There are around 40,000 different alloys, all of which have special properties, and that can guarantee a high degree of freedom for a designer.
Not all stainless steel is the sort used for manufacturing processes. With a chromium content of more than 10.5%, a protective passive layer of chromium oxide forms on the surface through a reaction with oxygen. Further alloy elements found in stainless steel are nickel, molybdenum, niobium, or manganese, which further optimize its corrosion resistance. Stainless steels are extremely tough and therefore difficult to machine. The first patented stainless steel is still known today under the name V2A.
Aluminum is a non-ferrous metal and is a light metal (ρ ≤ 4.5 g / cm³). It is a technically important metal and is extracted from the ore of bauxite. With a density of only 2.69 g / cm³, aluminum material is ideal for lightweight construction and is mainly used in the aerospace industry. Another important property of aluminum is its considerable formability - even the thinnest foils with thicknesses of 0.007 mm can be made from it. Strength values of up to 600 MPa can be achieved through various alloys.
Non-ferrous metals include all non-ferrous metals, excluding precious metals, i.e. light and heavy metals and their respective alloys. Due to their often colored appearance, they are referred to as non-ferrous metals. Examples include cadmium, copper, nickel, lead, tin, and zinc, but also alloys such as bronze or gunmetal.
ABS are thermoplastic terpolymers that have good strength for impact. Since these are thermoplastics, they can be easily formed and even reversed under certain temperatures. They are characterized by good temperature resistance (fatigue strength at up to 100°C) and high resistance to oils and fats, as well as being weatherproof. ABS is used in almost every sector: automotive parts, housings, skis, and even Lego bricks. If separated properly, ABS can be easily recycled.
Polylactides belong to the group of polyesters. Low moisture absorption, low flammability, and high UV resistance are advantageous properties of this plastic. These characteristics are very similar to those of PET returnable bottles. PLA is used in many industries, for example in agriculture (high biocompatibility), medical technology, and the packaging industry. Under certain environmental conditions, PLA is even biodegradable.
Polyamides are thermoplastic polymers and have excellent mechanical properties. The best-known polyamides include nylon and perlon, from which z. B. dowels or small gears are commonly made of. Due to their semi-crystalline state, they are stiff, firm, and tough. PA’s are one of the standard materials used in powder-based 3D printing processes.
Polyetherimides are high-temperature-resistant high-performance plastics. They have unusually high impact strengths and values for plastics. Substances such as diesel, gasoline, sulfuric acid, or caustic soda cannot harm them. PEI is preferably processed by injection molding at temperatures of 320-400°C. Due to its extremely low smoke gas density, its application in the aviation industry is also growing.
Synthetic resins consist of a resin and a hardener. During hardening, the viscosity (flowability) increases sharply, and at the end of the process an infusible thermoset is created. They are used in adhesives and foams, as well as dentures and composite materials. By means of targeted exposure, a wide variety of shapes can be created from synthetic resin in 3D printing processes.
Thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) is a thermoplastic elastomer. The surface hardness differs depending on their material composition and is defined with the unit "Shore". Thermoplastic polyurethane can be used for flexible components, which are expected to have a pleasant feel. Areas of application include seals, handles, panels, and components that are bent or compressed.
Polypropylene (PP) is a thermoplastic that belongs to the polyolefins group. It is harder and stronger than comparable standard plastics. Polypropylene is used in chemical-resistant components that require a high level of stability and accuracy. Areas of application include aviation and vehicle construction.
Processes available with KREATIZE Manufacturing Services
Subtractive Processes KREATIZE offers
Individual prototypes and production parts can be manufactured quickly and efficiently within a very short time using the CNC turning process. Whether metal or plastic, CNC turning is versatile.
The turning process
A wide variety of tools can be connected to the lathe so that axial and radial bores can be realized. In addition, cylindrical parts can be manufactured best with this CNC method. Whether slots, grooves, bores or flattenings, with CNC turning you get the most precise results.
Individual prototypes and production parts can be manufactured quickly and efficiently within a very short time using the CNC milling process. Whether metal or plastic, CNC milling is versatile and a perfect way to produce even complicated components thanks to 3-axis and indexed 5-axis milling processes.
The milling process
Different CNC milling machines can process different materials. In the subtractive manufacturing process, the 3-axis or 5-axis mills then cut the desired part out of a block.
Custom prototypes and production parts can be produced quickly and efficiently within a very short time with CNC waterjet cutting. In addition, this CNC manufacturing provides probably the most choice of materials to be machined. Whether aluminum, copper, ceramics, plastics or glass, with this method nothing stands in the way of your prototype or production part.
In laser cutting, a laser beam is focused by means of lenses in a cutting head to a focal spot size of a few tenths of a millimeter and directed onto a material, which is thereby melted. The remaining material is blown out by means of a concentrically arranged gas jet.
The choice of gas determines whether it is laser flame cutting (reactive gas: oxygen) or laser fusion cutting (inert gas: nitrogen). For the material steel, it is possible to choose between both cutting gases. For stainless steel and aluminum, nitrogen must be used as the cutting gas.
The maximum cutting thickness depends largely on the selection of the material. Steels can be laser cut up to a maximum thickness of 25 mm and stainless steel up to a maximum thickness of 15 mm. The quality of the cut edge decreases exponentially with increasing material thickness.
Additive Processes KREATIZE offers
Melt layering is probably the best known way to 3D print. Especially for the production of prototypes to make things more vivid, this additive process is very well suited. Small series are also possible, but fusion layering is rather less suitable for series production with high quantities.
The printing process
Fusible layering basically requires only three components. The print bed on which the part is manufactured, a spool on which the material the filament is unwound, and a print head. The material is heated in the print head so that it melts and can then be formed into the correct shape on the print bed.
Multi-jet modeling is an additive process that falls under the 3D printing methods. The distinctive feature of this process is that the material is in powder form. A nozzle is attached to the print head, which injects two heat-conducting substances into a bed of nylon powder. These are referred to as the "fusion agent" and the "detailing agent". A heat source causes the layers to fuse. This process is repeated until the part is finished.
Since Multi-Jet Modeling only hardens the powder that comes into contact with the heat source, the remaining powder can be reused. The powder is extracted by a second machine via a vacuum system to expose the parts, then the parts are cleaned again using bead blasting to ensure that no powder residue remains.
Due to the enormous precision in printing, often no post-processing is necessary so that the production part can be used directly by the customer.
Selective laser sintering (SLS), like selective laser melting, is a 3D printing process. However, selective laser sintering focuses on plastic-based materials. Parts with a high degree of complexity and great stability can be produced easily and quickly.
The SLS process
Selective laser sintering also falls under additive manufacturing processes. To make a part, a laser, which moves on the X and Y axes, material in powder form, and a build platform is needed.
Selective laser melting (SLM) can process materials such as aluminum, stainless steel, tool steel, or even titanium and create precise components. Due to the high precision, even complex and detailed jobs are no hurdle for selective laser melting (SLM).
The SLM process
Selective laser melting (SLM) is an additive manufacturing process, which accordingly falls into the 3D printing category. In order to manufacture a component, a laser passes over a powder bed of the desired material. The 3D model is divided into layers beforehand. The laser now heats the first layer, at the previously defined coordinates. The material melts but is only heated to the point where it does not oxidize or evaporate.