3D Printing

The X-Tiles Video Series: Our Most Popular 3D Printing Processes, Pt. 1

Xometry boasts 11 distinct manufacturing technologies available at the touch of a button. Of these, 7 are additive manufacturing processes–also known as 3D Printing. There is often much confusion around the differences between each process and how the final prints differ in outcomes

I have put together a series of videos, called the X-Tiles, to help you distinguish between SLA, SLS, poly jet, HP Multi Jet Fusion, FDM, DLS, and DMLS and choose the best process for your project. And yes, you guessed it, our X-tiles are inspired by the famous X-Files TV series.

What is an X-Tile? We took the ‘X’ from our Xometry logo and designed a custom part that is about 1.5 inches square. It has flats as well as angled surfaces. The tile is producible in multiple manufacturing processes and acts as a good comparison part for material finishes and cosmetic features like layers.

The first three videos of the series bite-sized—ranging from 2 to 4 minutes—and you can watch them below. They answer some of the most common questions regarding choices in similar 3D printing processes.

In the video below, I compare 3D printed 17-4 stainless steel and aluminum alloy (AlSi10Mg). Beyond the mechanical characteristics, it is important to be mindful of extra thermal effects that occur with aluminum. Because aluminum has a much higher thermal conductivity compared to steel, gaps and thin features may be slightly larger on the print. I recommend an offset of 0.002”-0.004” on critical surfaces to mitigate this effect on aluminum DMLS parts.

The X-Tiles Video Series: Our Most Popular 3D Printing Processes, Pt. 1