Ultimaker drill

How we test 3D printing material combinations

  • Applications

At Ultimaker, we rigorously test our materials to provide the best possible results. Not only to ensure excellent mechanical and aesthetic properties, but also so that the preconfigured settings in our Ultimaker Cura software offer a hassle-free 3D printing experience. In this blog we give an insight into this process and look at how we test and develop various combinations of 3D printing materials.

Having preconfigured profiles in our software makes it easy for users to start printing without any delays. Our materials and processing engineers look at a number of factors when optimizing material profiles. From the type of printer and nozzle size to needs like speed and strength, there are certain criteria that must be met before a profile is added to Ultimaker Cura.

This same rigorous process has also been applied to developing composite material profiles (printable on the Ultimaker S5), in collaboration with world-leading material manufacturers – including Owens Corning.

Behind preconfigured material profiles

In order to refine a material’s optimal printing settings, first the team establishes a baseline for recommended settings, like nozzle and bed temperature.

Then, an extensive testing and evaluation process ensures that print profiles are optimized. Material parameters such as temperature and fan settings are all analyzed and adjusted accordingly. The team also looks at the relevant speeds, wall thickness, line widths, infill, and acceleration to help set up the right material profile. Finally, a series of test prints are made to check issues like layer splitting, warping and oozing.

Benchy test prints

Creating the perfect profile

Ultimaker Cura offers over 300 possible settings. For our preconfigured profiles, these settings have been designed to take the guesswork out for you, so you can print reliably without the need for a lot of experimentation and manual configuration.

Of course, using your own custom settings is also possible, depending on what you’re trying to do with your print. For dual extrusion prints, there are also setting options for both extruders in Ultimaker Cura, so you can adjust these individually.

Combining two materials

With a dual extrusion printer like the Ultimaker S5, you can print items using two materials. This is particularly useful when it comes to support materials like Breakaway and PVA. However, it’s important to remember that some materials combine better than others due to their properties.

Breakaway has been designed as a support material that adheres well to other materials like PLA, Tough PLA, Nylon, ABS, CPE, and CPE+. PVA combines well with PLA, Tough PLA, Nylon, and CPE.

Material compatibility table

This diagram shows officially supported, experimental, and not supported material combinations. Officially supported materials can be used together reliably without problems. Experimental materials can be used together, but may not give reliable results that meet our quality standards. Materials that are not supported cannot be used together.

One of the most commonly used materials, ABS, is not recommended to print with PVA as it has a tendency to warp at the point between the two materials. So if you need to support an overhang on an ABS print, you can use our removable Breakaway support material instead.

When TPU 95A is combined with another material, it can result in negative artifacts on the print called ‘oozing’ due to its flexible nature. Some material combinations experienced more oozing than others. These are marked as unsupported, rather than experimental.

PP, while a useful material due to its fatigue-resistant properties and widespread use in manufacturing, struggles to stick to anything other than itself so it is not recommended in dual extrusion prints.

Another factor to consider with dual extrusion prints is the nozzle size that is used. For instance, printing Breakaway with a 0.25 mm nozzle results in support material that is not easy to remove and may cause damage to the print if too much force is applied. When in doubt, always refer to the compatibility tables.

Print with PVA support
Print without PVA support

While some material combinations are technically printable, due to a lack of practical applications not all combinations have been fully explored, which is why some of our combinations are marked as not supported.

Trying out new materials and discovering how different settings work can be useful if you are working on a unique or unusual project. For reliable printing, however, preconfigured printing profiles can save a lot of time. Knowing which materials can be combined, and which ones don’t work so well together, can help you in producing prints that meet your needs.

Discover our range of 3D printing materials

Read more blogs

  • Ultimaker LEHVOSS Group

    Ultimaker and LEHVOSS Group: Scaling industrial applications for 3D printing

    A partnership between Ultimaker and LEHVOSS Group is the beginning of a new level of 3D printing, lowering the barrier for industrial adoption.

    hero-og

    Discover Intent profiles in Ultimaker Cura 4.4 beta

    Intent profiles in Ultimaker Cura simplify 3D printing preparation, give you results that match your intent, and maximize your print success rate, so you can show the true value of 3D printing in your business.

    The Ultimaker Material Alliance: Pushing boundaries at K 2019

    The Ultimaker Material Alliance: Pushing boundaries at K 2019

    The impact of the Ultimaker Material Alliance was evident at K 2019, the world’s premier trade fair for plastics and rubber.

  • 6 factors that affect indoor air quality when 3D printing OG

    6 key factors that affect indoor air quality when 3D printing

    Concerned about air quality and 3D printer particle emissions? Check out this blog to learn the 6 factors that affect your indoor air quality when 3D printing.

    Glass vs carbon fiber composite 3D printing materials

    Glass vs. carbon fiber 3D printing composites

    It's a common question. Which composite material is right for your 3D printing application? Carbon fiber or fiberglass? Check out this in-depth blog!

    marketplace-1m-og

    Ultimaker Marketplace hits 1 million downloads

    The Ultimaker Marketplace, our digital distribution platform, has just hit a major milestone of 1 million downloads for plugins and print profiles combined. Ultimaker now has the largest compatible material choice in the entire 3D printing market.

  • TCT Show OG

    A visual recap of TCT Show 2019

    Big crowds, big announcements, and more – get the full photographic rundown of 2019's TCT Show.

    og-image

    Ultimaker Cura 4.3: Available now

    We've released a new upgrade of our print preparation software. Join millions of users worldwide and benefit from an advanced slicing engine that offers integration with the Ultimaker Marketplace, and a cloud-connected workflow for ultimate flexibility. Don’t miss out! Update today.

    Introducing Ultimaker S3 the newest addition to our S-line of 3D printers OG

    Ultimaker S3 – the newest addition to our S-line of 3D printers

    Composite-ready, dual extrusion, auto bed leveling, touchscreen. Learn how Ultimaker S3 delivers robust desktop 3D printing so you can start innovating faster.

  • Introducing the new Ultimaker S5 Pro Bundle OG image

    Meet the Ultimaker S5 Pro Bundle

    24/7 automated material handling, air filtration, filament humidity control. Find out how our unique 3D printing solution unlocks more demanding applications.

    Owens Corning talks 3D printing

    An industrial adoption: Owens Corning talks 3D printing

    Composite materials powerhouse Owens Corning explains why and how 3D printing can transform workflows

    cura-43-beta

    6 things you can try today in Ultimaker Cura 4.3 beta

    From more 3D file formats to an easy selector for Z seam positions, here are six great features of Ultimaker Cura 4.3 beta

  • 3d-printing-and-automotive-industry

    In the driver’s seat: 3D printing and the automotive industry

    Designing and creating a vehicle is hard work – but 3D printing can lighten the load

    lean-principles-og-image

    5 lean manufacturing principles demonstrated by 3D printing

    Explore the the 5 principles of lean manufacturing and how leading brands have implemented them thanks to Ultimaker 3D printers.

    Ultimaker-Cloud-Teams-blog-hero-2

    Ultimaker Cloud: Achieve more together using Teams

    With Ultimaker Cloud's latest feature, Teams, you can connect and collaborate with colleagues and control multiple groups of Ultimaker 3D printers.

  • 3d printing for molds

    A perfect fit: 3D printing for molds and casting

    How is additive manufacturing changing the creation of molds and casts? From silicone molds to investment casting metal, check out this blog for inspiration.

    An Ultimaker printer prints a L’Oréal prototype

    Transformative beauty: L’Oréal prepares for the future with 3D printing

    If it’s happening in Ultimaker’s world, you can find out about it here. 3D printing stories about inspiring moments, original 3D printed projects and much much more.

    hero-user-context

    Ultimaker Cura 4.2: First choice for 3D printing professionals worldwide

    Today, the latest version of our powerful, easy-to-use 3D print preparation software is available for download. In this release, we’ve focused on usability improvements that simplify 3D printing workflows, whatever your 3D printing application.

  • Ford-hero-blog

    'Beyond the basement': 3D printing in the age of Industry 4.0

    The rise of 3D printing means the technology is more accessible than ever, paving the way for creation, iteration, and innovation

    Het Noordgebouw

    Onward and upward: New city, new office, new look

    If it’s happening in Ultimaker’s world, you can find out about it here. 3D printing stories about inspiring moments, original 3D printed projects and much much more.

    Ultimaker manufacturing

    Behind the scenes: How Ultimaker 3D printers are manufactured

    If it’s happening in Ultimaker’s world, you can find out about it here. 3D printing stories about inspiring moments, original 3D printed projects and much much more.

  • Upgrade your Cura experience with and Ultimaker 3D printer

    Upgrade your Ultimaker Cura experience – with an Ultimaker 3D printer

    If you use Ultimaker Cura, but don't send your print to an Ultimaker 3D printer, then you’re missing out on a ton of functionality...

    Ultimaker Marketplace

    Accelerate 3D printing productivity with the Ultimaker Marketplace

    If it’s happening in Ultimaker’s world, you can find out about it here. 3D printing stories about inspiring moments, original 3D printed projects and much much more.

    Firmware 5.2

    Activate Ultimaker Cloud with firmware 5.2

    Enjoy all the benefits of Ultimaker Cloud by updating your Ultimaker 3D printers to firmware 5.2. Cloud connectivity and new performance optimizations give you the most powerful 3D printing experience available.

  • Ultimaker Cura 4.0

    Simplify 3D printing with Ultimaker Cura 4.0

    Download Ultimaker Cura 4.0 today and enjoy a brand-new user interface designed to simplify 3D print preparation – whether you’re a beginner or an expert. This release adds integration with Ultimaker Cloud, offering you advanced cloud-based tools to support

    Ultimaker wins prestigious iF Design Award

    Ultimaker wins prestigious iF Design Award

    Ultimaker has been awarded a prestigious iF Design Award for the user interface of our Ultimaker S5 3D printer.

    Ultimaker Cloud

    Introducing Ultimaker Cloud – the next generation 3D printing workflow

    If it’s happening in Ultimaker’s world, you can find out about it here. 3D printing stories about inspiring moments, original 3D printed projects and much much more.

  • Application focus: Jigs and fixtures

    Application focus: Jigs and fixtures

    3D Printed jigs and fixtures enable businesses to work faster, save money and add flexibility.

    Ultimaker S5

    Ultimaker S5: A round-up of reviews

    We took a look at how reviewers have been finding the latest addition to our range of desktop 3D printers - the Ultimaker S5

    Ford production jigs printed on the Ultimaker S5

    The state of 3D printing: Making sense of local digital manufacturing today

    If you want to increase efficiency, reduce production time and costs, or optimize product time-to-market, now is a perfect time to get started with 3D printing. This powerful technology has quickly become an essential industry tool, with its effectiveness

  • Ultimaker S5 in an automotive manufacturing setting

    Ultimaker S5 applications: Freeing up time for innovation

    Earlier this year, Ultimaker revealed a new desktop 3D printer, specifically for the professional environment – the Ultimaker S5. In this latest blog looking at how customers are using it, we explore how the printer’s ease-of-use helps engineers and design

    Ultimaker 3D printers in 2018

    3D printing in 2018: Our year in review

    We take a look back at our highlights and developments in 3D printing in 2018, including examples from leading innovators.

    Ultimaker S5 applications: Scaling up small batches

    Ultimaker S5 applications: Scaling up small batches

    we explore some of the ways they are using the Ultimaker S5 to develop better quality products and bring them to market faster

  • Getting familiar with glass fiber – Owens Corning AMA

    Getting familiar with glass fiber – Owens Corning AMA

    To create the perfect 3D print, it’s vital to have access to the right material, but it’s also critical to use the right slicing settings. Preconfigured print profiles in Ultimaker Cura make...

    Ultimaker at Formnext 2018

    Recap: Formnext 2018, Frankfurt

    Formnext is the leading global exhibition and conference on additive manufacturing, and an annual fixture in our exhibition calendar. Held at Frankfurt Messe, Formnext brought together experts from a wide range of industry sectors, such as automotive, aer

    Pre-op planning

    Ultimaker gains certification as part of Materialise 510(k) cleared Mimics inPrint software

    By meeting FDA regulatory guidelines, the Ultimaker S5 is the first FFF 3D printer to receive FDA 510(k) clearance.