Fathom is hiring for multiple positions across our 12 nationwide sites! To see all open positions, click here.

logo fathom

3D Printing Materials

  • Parts In As Soon As Same Day
  • Complete Prototyping & Manufacturing to Your Specs
  • Responsive Engineering & Manufacturing Expertise
Quotes for 25+ Manufacturing Processes.
There's a reason why the
Best Brands in the World Trust Fathom
speed agility icon
Built On Responsiveness,
Speed, Agility & Expertise
customer specs icon
to Customer Specs
printer icon
Comprehensive Access
to Equipment & Experience
3D Printing Materials

Additive Manufacturing Material

Additive Manufacturing or additive layer manufacturing is used to create durable and lightweight parts. Additive manufacturing uses Computer-Aided-Design (CAD) or a 3D model to direct hardware how to build an object in successive layers. The CAD drawing provides a set of instructions or blueprints, illustrating all the intricacies of the product being manufactured. These blueprints instruct the machine where and when to place the material. Complex objects can be produced in this manner without the need to join together separate parts. This eliminates post-processing labor and can reduce overall cost. Some examples of products made using additive manufacturing technologies include surgical implants, parts for aerospace and defense industries, automotive parts, and rapid prototypes. Additive manufacturing is used by vastly different industries. The wide variety of materials available in additive manufacturing allows designers to easily create industry-specific products and parts.

Polymers, metals, and ceramics are the three primary types of materials that can be used for additive manufacturing. These materials are commonly available in powder or wire feedstock. Additional materials include paper, adhesive paper, chocolates/food, and polymer/adhesive sheets for Laminated Object Manufacturing. It is possible to print nearly any material using the additive manufacturing method of layering. However, the process can alter the microstructure of the material due to the high heat and pressure used during additive manufacturing. The chosen material can also affect the finish. Material characteristics may not be the same during pre-manufacture as they are post-manufacture.


Polymers are common plastics like Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) and Polycarbonate. This category also contains waxes, epoxy-based resins, and structural polymers. Polymers become soft when heated but will regain firmness after cooling. Polymer powders can be mixed with other polymers or materials to create alloys that have different structural and aesthetic properties. Polymers used in additive manufacturing include / /

  • ABS
  • Polylactide (PLA) and soft PLA
  • Polycarbonate (PC)
  • Polyamide (Nylon)
  • Nylon 12 (Tensile strength 45 MPA)
  • Epoxy Resin
  • Wax
  • Photopolymer Resins


Different metals can be used for additive manufacturing. Metal for additive manufacturing begins as either powder or filament. Parts made from metal retain superior mechanical properties. Metals used in additive manufacturing include / /

  • Aluminum Alloys
  • Cobalt-Based Alloys
  • Tool Steels
  • Nickel-Based Alloys
  • Stainless Steels
  • Titanium Alloys
  • Precious Metals (gold, silver)
  • Copper Alloys

Additive Manufacturing Parts and Images

Additive Manufacturing Materials by Technology

Fathom offers a wide variety of materials for additive manufacturing. Selecting the best medium for your unique part is critical to producing a viable product. Fathom offers six additive manufacturing technologies with a diverse range of material options.

PolyJet Materials

PolyJet technology is capable of creating smooth surfaces, thin walls, and complex geometries all while holding tolerances within 0.1 mm. PolyJet is the only technology that supports a wide selection of materials with properties that range from rubber to rigid and transparent to opaque. PolyJet can also 3D print with multiple materials in a single build. This allows designers to achieve combinations of colors and characteristics without secondary processing. Parts requiring a hard shell and soft grips can be made in one shot and be put directly to use.

How does PolyJet technology work? PolyJet is a photopolymer-based jet printing process that distributes material droplets, layer-by-layer, onto a build platform. Each layer is immediately cured with a flash of UV light. The object is fully cured and can be handled immediately without post-curing at the end of the build process. PolyJet technology utilizes a water-soluble gel as a support material. The gel material is designed to provide support for complex geometries during the printing process but can easily be removed after manufacturing. The gel dissolves in water or can be water jetted for faster removal.

PolyJet 3D Printed Parts and Images

PolyJet Materials

Simulated ABS Digital ABS Plus (Ivory)
  • Simulates ABS plastics by combining strength with high temperature resistance
  • Digital ABS PlusTM offers enhanced dimensional stability for thin-walled parts
  • Ideal for functional prototypes, snap-fit parts for high or low temperature usage, electrical parts, castings, mobile telephone casings, engine parts & covers
Transparent Vero Clear
  • Print clear & tinted parts and prototypes with VeroClearTM & RGD720
  • Combine with color materials for stunning transparent shades
  • Ideal for form & fit testing of see-through parts like glass, consumer products, eyewear, light covers and cases, visualization of liquid flow, medical applications, artistic & exhibition modeling
Rigid Opaque Vero Pure White, Vero Black Plus, Vero White Plus, Vero Yellow, Vero Cyan, Vero Magenta, Vero Blue
  • Brilliant color options for unprecedented design freedom
  • Combine with rubber-like materials for overmolding, soft touch handles & more
  • Ideal for fit & form testing, moving & assembled parts, sales, marketing & exhibition models, assembly of electronic components & silicone molding
Simulated Polypropylene Rigur (White)
  • Simulates the appearance & functionality of polypropylene
  • Ideal for prototyping containers & packaging, flexible snap-fit applications & living hinges, toys, battery cases, laboratory equipment, loudspeakers & automotive components
Rubber-like Agilus30 (Clear), TangoBlack+
  • Offers various levels of elastomer characteristics
  • Combine with rigid materials for a variety of Shore A values, from Shore A 27 to Shore A 95
  • Ideal for rubber surrounds & overmolding, soft-touch coatings & nonslip surfaces, knobs, grips, pulls, handles, gaskets, seals, hoses, footwear & marketing models
Digital Materials Predetermined blends of the above materials
  • Wide range of flexibility, from Shore A 27 to Shore A 95
  • Rigid materials ranging from simulated standard plastics to the toughness & temperature resistance of Digital ABS Plus TM
  • Vibrant colors in rigid or flexible materials, with over 500,000 color options
  • Available on PolyJet multi-jetting 3D printers

*Parts over 250mm in any dimension require quote review.

Additional Flexible 3D Printing Options / / TPU 92A for FDM, TPU 88A for SLS & Urethane Casting
Order Material Samples // Keychains & Kits

PolyJet Parts In As Soon As Same Day / / Get A Quote

Stereolithography Material

Stereolithography (SLA) technology is ideal for larger parts that need high-resolution finishes. It is an extremely cost-effective solution for creating durable, aesthetically pleasing medium- or large-sized items on a tight deadline. SLA resins are available with extremely high heat deflection. These materials are an excellent choice for building molds or inserts.

How does the SLA technology work? Like PolyJet, SLA uses photopolymer resins that are cured with an ultraviolet laser. The UV laser traces a shape dictated by the original file across the surface of the resin bath. The resin touched by the laser hardens, then the build platform descends in the resin bath, and the next layer is added. This process is repeated until the entire part is complete.

SLA offers a combination of high-quality resolution and surface finishes for large pieces. SLA is also very effective at faithfully capturing the intricacies of even the most complex parts. Clear 3D printed SLA resins can achieve colorless clarity with additional post processing to mimic clear plastics. SLA specializes in creating parts that may be very cost-intensive to produce using any other method of manufacturing. Parts made with SLA are consistently used for trade show models, aesthetic parts, and snap fits/functional assemblies.

SLA 3D Printed Parts and Images 

Stereolithography Materials

Accura 25 1-3 Days* 1-10 parts 650 x 750 x 550 mm 1mm
  • High resolution
  • Detailed & complex parts
  • Smooth surface finish
  • Can be painted, plated or vacuum metalized
  • Often used for aesthetic models, complex geometries & high-quality finishes
  • Highly cost-effective for medium- to large-sized parts
  • Exceptionally tough & durable
  • Great for snap fits, assemblies & master patterns for casting
  • SLA is one of the most versatile technologies for post processing
  • Limited color
Accura Clearview 254 x 254 x 254 mm

*Parts over 250mm in any dimension require quote review.

SLA Parts In As Soon As Next Day // Get A Quote

Fused Deposition Modeling Materials

Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) technology is ideal for building concept models, functional prototypes, and end-use parts using standard, engineering-grade, and high-performance thermoplastics. The FDM process uses the same types of raw materials used in the injection molding process. This gives FDM a distinct advantage over other additive manufacturing technologies by allowing designers and engineers the chance to work with a finished product before going into mass production.

How does FDM technology work? FDM is a filament-based additive technology with a moving print head that extrudes a heated, thermoplastic material in a pattern, layer-by-layer, onto a build platform. This technology includes the use of support material to create supportive structures that are removed by force or dissolved in solution.

The FDM technology was invented 30 years ago by Stratasys founder Scott Crump. The FDM process uses the same production-grade thermoplastics found in traditional manufacturing processes. FDM is ideal for applications that require tight tolerances, extreme toughness, and environmental stability. Material options include specialized properties like electrostatic dissipation, translucence, biocompatibility, VO flammability, or FST ratings.

FDM 3D Printed Parts and Images

FDM Materials

(thermoplastic polyurethane elastomer)
  • Accurate elastomer parts with high elongation
  • Superior toughness & abrasion resistance
  • Wide variety of applications including flexible hoses, tubes, air ducts & vibration dampeners
Antero™ 800NA
  • High heat & chemical resistance
  • Low outgassing & high dimensional stability
  • Excellent strength, toughness & wear-resistant properties
ULTEM™ 1010 resin
  • Certified food safety & bio-compatibility
  • Highest heat resistance, chemical resistance & tensile strength
  • Outstanding strength & thermal stability
ULTEM 9085 resin
  • FST (flame, smoke, toxicity)-certified thermoplastic
  • High heat & chemical resistance; highest flexural strength
  • Ideal for commercial transportation applications such as airplanes, buses, trains & boats
FDM Nylon 12™
(polyamide 12)
  • Toughest nylon in additive manufacturing
  • Excellent for repetitive snap fits, press fit inserts & fatigue-resistance applications
  • Simple, clean process – free of powders
FDM Nylon 12CF™
(polyamide 12CF)
  • Carbon-filled thermoplastic with excellent structural characteristics
  • Highest flexural strength
  • Highest stiffness-to-weight ratio
  • Most widely used industrial thermoplastic with superior mechanical properties & heat resistance
  • Accurate, durable and stable for strong parts, patterns for metal bending & composite work
  • Great for demanding prototyping needs, tooling & fixtures
(polycarbonate – ISO 10993 USP Class VI biocompatible)
  • Biocompatible (ISO 10993 USP Class VI)1 material
  • Sterilize using gamma radiation or ethylene oxide (EtO) sterilization methods
  • Best fit for applications requiring higher strength & sterilization
(polycarbonate – acrylonitrile butadiene styrene)
  • High dimensional stability & colorless transparency
  • Five medical approvals including cytotoxicity, genotoxicity, delayed type hypersensitivity, irritation & USP plastic class VI
  • Ideal for applications requiring prolonged skin contact of more than 30 days & short-term mucosal membrane contact of up to 24 hours
(acrylonitrile styrene acrylate)
  • Build UV-stable parts with the best aesthetics of any FDM material
  • Ideal for production parts for outdoor infrastructure & commercial use, outdoor functional prototyping, automotive parts & accessory prototypes
(acrylonitrile butadiene styrene – static dissipative)
  • Static-dissipative with target surface resistance of 104 ohms (typical range 105 – 103 ohms)2
  • Makes great assembly tools for electronic & static-sensitive products
  • Widely used for functional prototypes of cases, enclosures & packaging
(acrylonitrile butadiene styrene)
  • Versatile material: good for form, fit & functional applications
  • Familiar production material for accurate prototyping
  • 005 inch (0.127 mm) layer thickness not available for Stratasys F900.
  • See individual material spec sheets for testing details.
  • Annealed
  • Actual surface resistance may range from 109 to 106 ohms, depending upon geometry, build style & finishing techniques.
  • Available only on the Stratasys F370

Consult a Fathom specialist for details on more material options. 

For additional flexible 3D printing options / / TPU 88A for SLS, PolyJet & Urethane Casting
Order Material Samples / / Keychains & Kits

FDM Parts In As Soon As Next Day / / Get A Quote

Selective Laser Sintering Material

Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) technology is a powder-based additive technology used to create models, prototypes, and end-use parts in durable, engineering-grade thermoplastics. SLS technology should be considered for applications that involve high-complexity, organic geometries, and extreme durability. SLS is ideal for short-run production and prototyping. The technology is also capable of producing parts with finer details than most processes when using high-strength plastics. SLS material composition is among the most robust available from additive manufacturing.

How does SLS technology work?

SLS uses a blade to spread a thin layer of powder over the build platform. A laser then shoots a cross-section of the part, fusing the powder together. The build platform then drops one layer and the process begins again until the part is finished. Parts are then excavated out of the build powder-cake and bead blasted to remove loose material. The unused powder in the build envelope acts as the support structures. Unused powder can also be reclaimed and used for the next project.

SLS 3D Printed Parts and Images

SLS Material


TPU 88A 2+ Days Prototypes, Low-Volume, Short-Run Production 320mm x 320mm x 610mm 1mm Standard Color: White
Medium/High Resolution
High Detail & Complexity
Dye Available (Black, Red, Blue, Green, Orange, Yellow and Pink)
High Elasticity, Rebound & Resistance to Fatigue
Water-Tight Down to 0.6mm Wall Thickness
High Burst Pressure
Excellent Flexibility & Durability
Nylon PA12 (White) 2+ Days Prototypes, Low-Volume, Short-Run Production 320mm x 320mm x 610mm 1mm Standard Color: White
Medium/High Resolution
High Detail & Complexity
Dye Available (Black, Red, Blue, Green, Orange, Yellow and Pink)
Nearly Isotropic
Parts Built Without Supports, Allowing for Complex Geometries
Durable Production-Grade Thermoplastic
PA 12 Glass Bead 3+ Days Prototypes, Low-Volume, Short-Run Production 320mm x 320mm x 610mm 1mm Standard Color: Off White
Medium/High Resolution
High Detail & Complexity
Dye Available** (Black, Red, Blue, Green, Orange, Yellow and Pink)
High Rigidity
Resistant To Wear & Tear
Thermally Resilient
PA 11 3+ Days Prototypes, Low-Volume, Short-Run Production 320mm x 320mm x 610mm 1mm Standard Color: White
Medium/High Resolution
High Detail & Complexity
Dye Available (Black, Red, Blue, Green, Orange, Yellow and Pink)
High Impact Resistance & Elongation At Break
Higher Temperature Resistance Than PA 12
Does Not Splinter Under Load
PA 11 Fire Retardant 4+ Days Prototypes, Low-Volume, Short-Run Production 320mm x 320mm x 610mm 1mm Standard Color: White High Ductility Combined With Strength
Flame-Retardant Properties Similar To ULTEM Filament
Carbon-Filled Nylon 11 4+ Days Prototypes, Low-Volume, Short-Run Production 320mm x 320mm x 610mm 1mm Standard Color: Dark Grey High Strength Combined with Increased Impact Resistance & Elongation At Break
Electrostatically Dissipative

*Geometry Dependent
**Filled Nylons Can Have Inconsistent Color When Dyed

For additional flexible 3D printing options // TPU 92A for FDM, PolyJet & Urethane Casting
Order Material Samples // Keychains & Kits

SLS Parts In As Soon As 2 Days // Get A Quote

Multi Jet Fusion Material

Multi Jet Fusion (MJF) technology is quickly becoming a popular choice for 3D printing prototypes and production parts. MJF can be used for enclosures, electronics housings, complex ducts, lattice structures, and functional assemblies. The technology is capable of 3D printing parts with high detail and durability. MJF is ideal for short production runs as the process allows for nesting in the Z-direction. To learn more about MJF, read a featured FAQ blog post by a Fathom Applications Engineer.

How does MJF technology work?

MJF builds parts by laying down a thin layer of powder on a print bed. The inkjet array in the print carriage sweeps over the print bed, jetting two agents into the powder — a fusing agent, printed where the powder will fuse together, and a detailing agent that is used to reduce fusing at the part boundary. The detailing agent enables MJF parts to achieve a high level of detail not possible with other additive manufacturing technologies.

Nylon 12 is a thermoplastic that is strong enough for functional, small- to medium-sized prototypes and production parts. It is an ideal material for complex assemblies, housings, enclosures, and watertight applications. Nylon 12 will produce smooth surfaces and fine details. It provides excellent chemical resistance to oils, greases, aliphatic hydrocarbons, and alkalis. Parts produced are a non-uniform light gray but can be dyed a darker color for a uniform appearance.

MJF is similar to Selective Laser Sintering. Both processes use a powder bed. SLS uses a laser to fuse the powder while MJF is a chemical process using a fusing agent.

MJF Material

Nylon 12 (Gray or Dyed Black) 2+ Days Prototypes, Low-Volume, Short-Run Production 274mm x 370mm x 360mm 1mm
  • Medium/High Resolution
  • Very High Detail & Complexity
  • Minimal Layer Visibility
  • Paint, Plate, Metalize, Polish, Tumble
  • Nearly Isotropic
  • Very High XY Plane Resolution
  • Durable Production Quality Thermo

MJF Parts In As Soon As 2 Days // Get A Quote

Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) 3D Material  

Metal 3D printing technology, also known as Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) and Direct Metal Laser Melting (DMLM) is a metal-based additive layer manufacturing technology.   

DMLS allows designers and engineers to streamline the manufacturing process with precision metal prototypes and low-volume metal production parts. These types of parts would be impractical or cost prohibitive to machine in a conventional manner. Fathom creates metal parts using a fiber laser fired onto a metal plate, repeatedly adding layers of powdered metal and fusing them to previous layers. Additional post-processing is recommended even though the resulting part is accurate, with excellent surface quality and mechanical properties, immediately after manufacturing 

How does DMLS technology work? A metal 3D printer uses a laser beam to melt layers of metal powder, 20 to 60 microns thick, on top of each other. Powdered metal is spread across the entire build platform and selectively melted to previous layers. This additive process allows metal parts to be grown out of a bed of powdered metal. The process is like other polymer-based 3D printers that use powder bed fusion, including Selective Laser Sintering and Multi Jet Fusion. 

Benefits of Metal Prototypes / /

  • Precision
  • High-Quality
  • Low-Volume
  • Strength

Materials include / /

  • Stainless Steel
  • Maraging Steel
  • Inconel
  • Aluminum
  • Titanium
  • Other Materials Available On Demand

In-House Post-Processing / /

  • Support Removal
  • CNC Secondary Machining (Critical Dimension and Re-Qualification)
  • Tapping, Threading, and Helicoils
  • Vibratory Polishing and Surface Treatment
  • Annealing and Age Hardening
  • Painting and Finishing

Fathom uses EOS and SLM build platforms.

  • The build volume for the SLM is 11 in. x 11 in. x 13.8 in.
  • The build volume for the EOS is 9.85 in. x 9.85 in. x 8.5 in.

DMLS 3D Printing Materials & Specifications

Material Alloy Designation Layers Hardness Advantages Applications
Stainless Steel (PH1) 15-5 PH, DIN 1.4540 & UNS S15500 20 or 40 Micron Layers 30-35 HRC Built, Post Hardened to 40 HRC High Hardness & Strength Prototype & Production Parts
Stainless Steel (GP1) 17-4, European 1.4542, German X5CrNiCuNb16-4 20 or 40 Micron Layers 230 ± 20 HV1 Built, Ground & Polished to 250-400 HV1 High Toughness & Ductility Engineering Applications
Cobalt Chrome (MP1) ISO 5832-4 & ASTM F75 20, 40 or 50 Micron Layers 35-45 HRC Built High Temperature Resistance Turbines & Engine Parts
Maraging Steel (MS1) 18% Ni Maraging 300, European 1.2709, German X3NiCoMoTi 18-9-5 20 or 40 Micron Layers 33-37 HRC Built, Post Hardened to 50-56 HRC Easily Machinable & Excellent Polishability Injection Molding, Tooling, Conformal Cooling
Aluminium AlSi10Mg Typical Casting Alloy 30 Micron Layers Approx 119 ± 5 HBW Low Weight, Good Thermal Properties Automotive, Racing
NickelAlloy IN718 UNS N07718, AMS 5662, AMS 5664, W.Nr 2.4668, DIN NiCr19Fe19NbMo3 40 Micron Layers 30 HRC Built, Post Hardened 47 HRC Heat & Corrosion Resistant Turbines, Rockets, Aerospace
Stainless Steel (316L) ASTM F138 20 Micron Layers 85 HRB Corrosion & Pitting Resistant Surgical Tools, Food & Chemical Plants
Titanium Ti-64* ASTM F2924 30 or 60 Micron Layers 320 ± 15 HV5 Lightweight, High Strength, Corrosion Resistance Aerospace, Motorsport Racing
Titanium Ti-64 ELI* ASTM F136 Properties 30 or 60 Micron Layers 320 ± 15 HV5 Corrosion Resistance, Biocompatibility  

Medical, Biomedical, Implants

*Please contact an Expert@Fathommfg.com for more information  

DMLS Parts In As Soon As 3 Days / / Get A Quote

3D Printing Material Finishes

Parts made using additive manufacturing can have the same look, feel, and finish as a product made with traditional manufacturing processes. Any finishing that may be required depends on the kind of additive manufacturing method used. Finishing may include / /

  • Support Removal / / This may be done with a water jet, removing the support by hand, a chemical bath, or digging. Support removal varies by the technology used.
  • Sanding / / The part may need to be sanded by hand or mechanically once the support has been removed. Sanding is necessary if there are any traces of the support structures.
  • Mass finishing / / The parts are placed inside a tub filled with sanding/polishing media. The parts are tumbled inside the tub and the movement works to remove imperfections from the surface of the part. This method is not suitable for objects with delicate features. Mass finishing may be used if sanding by hand is deemed too time consuming.
  • Painting / / Parts may be dyed or painted. Some parts may be sprayed with a specialty paint that gives the object a different texture. Painting is necessary when a designer would like to change the color or texture of a part.
  • Electroplating / / The part is immersed in a solution of water and metal salts and an electrical current is passed through it. This allows metal cations to form around the part. Several layers may be applied to attain the desired thickness. Electroplating increases the strength of the part by adding an exoskeleton. The electroplating process may be used to give an object the look of a higher quality material.
  • Bonding / / Bonding may include solvent bonding, super gluing, epoxies, hot air welding, or ultrasonic spot welding. Bonding is necessary when a part is printed in small pieces that must be assembled to form a larger product.
  • Infiltration / / Infiltration uses an epoxy resin that is brushed onto the surface of the part. The resin sinks into the pores within the material. The part is then cured inside an oven. Infiltration adds strength, water tightness, and chemical resistance to an object. This process may be used if a 3D printed part is fragile.
  • Bead blasting / / Plastic or glass beads are sprayed over a part using a blaster gun, giving the part a uniform matte finish. This is particularly useful for parts made using Selective Laser Sintering as it removes any loose powder that may be stuck to the surface. Bead blasting prepares the part for painting.

Get a 3D Printing Quote

Fathom works with companies of all sizes, from medical to consumer products, electronics, automotive, aerospace, and more.  Receive instant quotes and project cost calculation for rapid turnaround projects.

Additional Resources

Manufacturing Locations Across National Time Zones
Manufacturing Locations Across National Time Zones
The Fathom Advanced Manufacturing Platform
new map update 3

1050 Walnut Ridge Drive
Hartland, WI 53029
ISO 9001:2015


444 W. 21st St. Ste. 101
Tempe, AZ 85282
ISO 9001:2015
NIST800-171 Compliant


7770 Washington St.
Denver, CO 80229
ISO 9001:2015


13758 Johnson Street NE
Ham Lake, MN 55304


1801 Rowe Lane
Pflugerville, TX 78660
ISO 9001:2015

1513 Sam Bass Rd
Round Rock, TX 78681
ISO 9001:2015
ISO 13485:2016


46758 Lakeview Blvd,
Fremont, CA 94538
ISO 9001:2015 Design Certified
NIST 800-171 Compliant


14000 N.W. 58th Court
Miami Lakes, FL 33014


1920 Slaterville Rd
Ithaca, NY 14850

401 W. Shore Blvd.
Newark, NY 14513
ISO 9001:2015


1207 Adams Drive
McHenry, IL 60051
ISO 9001:2015

1401 Brummel Ave
Elk Grove, IL 60007
ISO 9001:2015 Design Certified

fathom yellow color logo