3D Printed Dragon Model for Ajlani Motors Drakuma Hypercar

Supercars have always been inspired by unique concepts, Ferrari has a black prancing horse as their logo, Lamborghini’s bull logo shows their founder’s extreme interest in Spanish bullfighting sport, similarly the two flying wings in Bentley, Jaguar’s roaring face of a Jaguar and dodge ram are all unique concept designed with passion and vision.

Similarly, the ‘Drakuma’ is a Hypercar concept design by the CEO of Ajlani Motors, Bashar Ajlani with a long held vision to become the next Pagani. After 5 years of crafting, the Drakuma hypercar was finally unveiled at the Dubai Motor Show in 2019. According to statements, this model unveiled at the show is only a full-size mock-up but the company will be moving to production in the future with a 1200 horsepower engine and V8 Biturbo engine. Still being in the concept phase, the hypercar is believed to have two seats and carbon fiber body with the doors of the drakuma opening like a dragon’s wing.

While drakuma car certainly stole the show, a gorgeous 3D printed sculpture of a dragon enriched the event by attracting visitors. This state of art of the dragon model is 3D printed by Proto21 after being approached by Bashar Ajlani on understanding our capabilities and entrusting us with a huge part of his dream project. A few other parts of the drakuma car like the left and right design parts of the car were also 3D printed by us. It also completes Proto21 goal not to compromising when it comes to quality.


As seen, the 3D printed model shows a dragon emerging from the egg which is the logo and inspiration for the Ajlani Drakuma Supercar. The entire model was 3D printed as various parts using different 3D printing technologies like the most advanced HP MJF technology and SLA technology. The 3D printed parts were carefully put together and later finished with paint job complete the dragon model. The Painting job was done by our highly experienced and skilled team using top quality European imported paint to achieve the final look and mirror finish.

The Drakuma project is a huge example of the capacity of Proto21 as a 3D printing company to become a part of the clients’ requirement and bring together different technologies like 3D Printing, model making, chrome paining and other high quality finishing services to combine all the aesthetic and functional part of the design.

3D Printing Transparent Clear Resin in Dubai, UAE

The use of transparent models in 3D printing is increasingly becoming an in-demand option for various industries and a wide range of customised projects using 3D printing in Dubai and across the region. Some of the top sectors that make good use of transparent 3D printing services are bottle manufacturers, jewelers and engineers who use the material to demonstrate their concepts with more details and with internal views.

Transparent 3D models and textures are made by solidifying liquid resin with ultraviolet light. A skillful understanding of the right techniques and process to use is required to ensure the right level of transparency and finish are achieved.

Solid training and experience with the material have equipped Proto21 with the level of mastery needed for 3D printing clear resin. Our team can provide 90 percent clear, transparent 3D prints. The printing layer height of this material can go up to 25 microns (0.025mm), providing high-quality results like any injection molded manufactured model. Minimum details can be 0.5mm with a clearance of 0.3mm.

Important Notes on 3D Printing Transparent Resin

  • Color Changes Over Time: Due to the nature of the technology, resin 3D prints solidified with UV tend to change color over time depending on the light environment.
  • Tinge: The tinge of transparent resin models may vary slightly. The greater the thickness of the model, the more noticeable the bluish tinge becomes. The tinge color is usually blue when we bring out a model from the printer. When we apply our technical finish to bring out more clarity, it gets yellowish. But the model gets clearer within 2 to 3 days of storage in an indoor or enclosed environment.
  • Technical Finish: Post-processing of clear 3D printing material at Proto21 is a long, labor-intensive process. A model can take more than one day for just post-processing. The complete lead time for a standard model with a size of 10cm x 10cm can take up to two working days.
  • Visibility: The visibility of the layers strongly depends on the shape or the design of the model. For instance, on a curved surface, layers will be much more visible. A special coat of chemical is applied to your model in order to make it transparent. This coat also protects your model from dust and helps minimize the discoloration process.

The 4 Most Exciting 3D Printing Materials: 2020 Update

Every year, as the technology improves and expands, more and more 3D printing materials are introduced to the market. With so many options, it can be overwhelming to know which ones are worth utilizing and which ones are just a fad. Additionally, it can become even more challenging to know in which circumstances or for which products each material is best suited.

To help you make a well-informed decision, we have put together a list of the four most exciting 3D printing materials in 2020. Keep reading to learn more.

1. Plastics

For a long time, plastics have been the most commonly used material for 3D printing as they provide a wide variety of options with different specs that can be utilized for different purposes. That being said, PLA and ABS are two of the most popular plastics for many product development applications.

Polylactic acid (PLA)is derived from plant starches – which makes it one of the most affordable options – and is known for its ease of usage, ability to print excellent details, and its strong form. Additionally, PLA comes in an extensive rainbow of colors, which makes it ideal if you want 3D printing that has high visual appeal.

The advantages of acrylonitrile, butadiene, and styrene (ABS) include its ability to create functional prototypes, and its high mechanical strengths and high thermal resistance. Its durability and toughness are among the main reasons industries worldwide opt to use this material for their 3D printing needs.

2. Polyamide (Nylon)

Slightly more expensive than plastic, polyamide is an exciting material for professional 3D printing services due to its superior flexibility and strength.

Its strong bonding quality makes it ideal for parts that require mechanical strength. Because of its rough surface that can be developed in many ways (colored, polished, spray-painted, velvet glazed), polyamide tends to be the first choice for many fields including engineering and architecture, medicine, and in the arts (e.g., sculpture).

As this material works with FDM and SLS technologies, at Proto21, we believe it performs its best when applied to concept models, functional models, medical applications, tooling, and visual arts. Other advantages include the fact that it is chemical resistant, food safe, and has high thermal properties and low moisture absorption.

3. Sandstone (Full Color)

If you require a multicolored object, then you are going to be excited to hear about sandstone, which is the ultimate full-color 3D printing material.

Often used to create figurines, avatars, or to showcase models, sandstone 3D printing is achieved by adding one layer of color at a time. At Proto21, once the model has been printed, we finish it with cyanoacrylate (super glue) sealant to guarantee durability and to sustain the vivid colors.

For many people, having a 3D printed sandstone model on their desk is the most significant benefit of this material; however, there are other advantages as well such as the affordable pricing and fast turnaround time.

That being said, it is crucial to understand that this material is not suited for producing functional parts or daily handling; else, the colors will quickly fade.

4. Resin

One of the best choices for functional and concept models, resin is especially suited for the manufacture of large parts within a shorter period of time, while preserving a tremendous amount of detail.

As a photopolymer, the resin begins as a viscous liquid that is then turned into a solid by exposing it to UV light.

There are a number of different resins available, all of which are used for different applications. At Proto21, we offer six types of resin for 3D printing and rapid prototyping:

    • Standard Grey Resin: Standard grey resin (SLA) is a high-detail resin that constructs components with a silky surface finish. Due to its fragile nature, this type of resin is best used for non-functional parts.
      Dental Resin: Dental resins (SLA) produce highly-accurate, sterilizable, and biocompatible pieces that are used to create dental implants.
    • Castable Resin: Castable resin (SLA) is a high-detail resin utilized when producing patterns for investment casting as it burns out cleanly with minimal ash or residue.
      Tough Resin: The ultimate choice when prototyping strong functional parts that can endure stress, tough resin even comes in a brilliant transparent turquoise color.
    • Durable Resin: For products or parts that have high wear and tear, the best choice is durable resin as its high elongation and high impact strength with excellent resistance from deformation ensure that it can survive the toughest conditions. Parts printed on durable resin have smooth glossy finishes, too.
    • Flexible Resin: The pieces created with flexible resin can twist and contract, making this material ideal for wearable models, such as handles, catches, and packaging.

Has your business started utilizing the exciting technology of 3D printing? If so, what do you tend to get printed and which materials do you like to use?

Alternatively, if you haven’t tried it yet (and, therefore, aren’t aware of the myriad benefits it can bring to your company), what is stopping you?

Do you have any questions about 3D printing technology and materials as they apply to your business? We can help.

Get in touch with us today.

The Autodesk Technology Impact Program

Poto21 3D Printing LLC is now officially a member of the Autodesk technology impact program in Dubai UAE

The Autodesk technology impact program is a donation by Autodesk software to nonprofits, startups, and entrepreneurs that are using design for environmental or social good. Through this donation, Autodesk helps eligible visionaries’ and entrepreneurs to automate their workflow and bring their products to the market faster.

Proto21 3D Printing LLC is honored to announce that we are now officially a member of the Autodesk Technology Impact Program and have been awarded an Autodesk software donation because of the social and environmental impact of our work. The donation contains free licenses of Product Design, Manufacturing, Architecture and Engineering software collections.

“We can’t wait to drive greater positive impact with these powerful design and creation tools. We are extremely thankful to the entire Autodesk team for supporting our mission to create positive impact! “– Founder & CEO, Pir Arkam

The following are the free software that have been awarded to Proto21 through the technology impact program:

  • Autodesk AutoCAD 2020
  • Autodesk Netfabb 2020
  • Autodesk Revit 2020
  • Autodesk Recap Pro 2020
  • Autodesk Mudbox 2018
  • Autodesk Fusion 360
  • Autodesk 3Ds max 2020
  • Autodesk Inventor 2020
  • Autodesk Maya 2019

Additionally we have the capacity to work with the following file formats like

Just like Autodesk, we believe in making an impact

Through the Autodesk technology impact program, we have the power to make anything across architecture, product design, manufacturing, engineering, entertainment industries and much more without compromising sustainability. This easy access to all the powerful software has helped us to play an important part in delivering greater social and environmental impact in the community we work in. As many of our customers work in various industries, from the manufacturing to automobiles, it is important to show them all possible solutions that fit in their budget without compromising the quality of the project.

Having access to all the best Autodesk software along with the most advanced 3D printers in UAE and in the MENA region has enabled us to design, visualize, develop and 3D print prototypes for our clients in the most cost effective way. Furthermore, we have been successful in sharing our achievements and experiences with the student community in the UAE through various 3D printing workshops and training. Proto21 is enthusiastic in supporting student group and helping them to have an easy access to designing and 3D printing technology in the most inexpensive way.

 How Proto21 is making a difference with Autodesk Impact Program and using Additive manufacturing technologies in Dubai UAE?

  • Enhance the 3D designs and Engineering capabilities
  • Optimize Building Space and Material Use
  • Conceptual Design and Planning
  • Project Visualization by generating renders
  • Run simulations of the designs to enhance and improve the product development process.
  • Meet our client expectation

Chrome Painting on 3D Printed parts in Dubai, UAE

Many of us know that 3D printing has endless possibilities and keeps getting better with new transition in the market, Just when you imagine how much more exciting 3D printing could possibly be, here is our Chrome Painting technique to enhance the appearance of your 3D printed models, giving them a beautiful and artistic finish. It also creates elegance and adds strength to the 3D printed parts. Chrome or Chromium finish is a metal finish which increases the aesthetic appearance of a 3D model and keeping the parts protected from rust or erosion.

Chrome Painting is a complicated job and requires paint booths with right equipment, correct temperature setting and experienced professionals to handle every step of the process. And here at Proto21, we have the capacity and experience to do as many as number of Chrome paint jobs from small to big size in-house. We are known for our chrome paint jobs in Dubai and our portfolio speaks for itself. We offer chrome painting as an artistic element in different colors as per our client requirement bringing out the uniqueness in each 3D printed parts.

What is the Procedure

To apply chrome finishing, there are different techniques like spray cans, spray guns or air brushes depending on the surfaces but chrome painting is more of detailing than a regular painting job. The initial process is cleaning and priming, followed by several base coats. The painting itself can even be done in various steps, by adding one layer at a time, wait for it to dry and then decide to add another. The parts are then carefully washed with distilled water to remove dust particles and placed in a clean temperature controlled environment that is free of any dust.

Why Chrome finish is important for your business

Chrome finishing is known to add an artistic element to your 3D printed parts but also makes it a marketing tool especially when you are engaged in industries like manufacturing or art.  It is also going to attract a huge number of users looking for a unique touch to their parts. Being able to finish and produce parts in chrome painting is very desirable especially for sectors like automotive, aviation and aerospace. Proto21 3D Printing ensures that you have the freedom and options to bring your ideas and concepts into reality within a short period of time but in the most effective way.

HP Multi Jet Fusion Technology (MJF) in 3D Printing

Proto21 3D printing LLC is the first 3D printing service bureau to provide multi jet fusion 3D printed parts into the MENA region. As of today we are capable of manufacturing 130-600 (size dependent) functional PA12 parts isotropic mechanical properties that can be used for detailed prototyping or end-use low volume production. Our industry engagement includes Architecture, Oil and Gas, Robotics, Functional Parts, Visual merchandising, Electronics, Casing and other sectors in Dubai and in the Middle East region.

At Proto21, we have been successful in accomplishing many prestigious projects in no time especially complex models and functional parts that needs to be 3D printed and delivered in few days in the most cost-effective ways using HP MJG technology along with reverse engineering. As we enter industry 4.0, many business is going through a massive transformation and are looking for innovative solutions to expand their freedom of manufacturing flexibility for batch production and that is where the full potential of MJF technology will be used.

What is Multi Jet Fusion (MJF) technology?

Multi Jet Fusion is a powder based 3D printing technology which offers much more possibilities in digital manufacturing for complex and low cost parts. It uses a fine-grained PA12 powder material that allows for ultra-thin layers of 80 microns.
HP Multi Jet Fusion technology gives the freedom to iterate and test various designs and create faster, cheaper, and more lightweight products like gauges, models, sports performance eyewear, helmets, and trophies.
Below are samples of the fresh test prints with the HP MJF 4200 in Proto21.

The PA12 is a strong thermoplastic material well-suited for high-volume functional prototyping and low-volume production applications. It also leads to an exceptionally smooth surface straight out of the printer, hence functional parts and complex thin structures, only need minimal post-production finishing. That means short lead times, ideal for functional prototypes and small series of end-parts.

Why does manufacturing industries prefer MJF over other 3D Printing technologies?

Optimize Productivity
Produce faster and more affordable high quality parts with HP MJF.
Decrease the assembly time and streamline your production processes

Cost Reduction
Produce strong, reliable and functional parts for your exact specification and smoothen your workflow. Optimize production cost with cost-efficient materials that provides optimal output and high reusability at a lower cost per part.

Quality Functional Parts
Thanks to the HP Multi Jet Fusion technology and materials which ensures your printed parts are right for the job – exact, custom, and built to applications

No Supports Required
Multi Jet Fusion technology has the ability to create any unsupported shape with overhangs. As the underlying powder supports the parts, it doesn’t need any generated structures for printing

3d printing in architecture

3D Printing in Architecture: Seeing is Believing

[social_warfare] Architecture is one of the most competitive industries today. Clients now have a vast variety of choices, making architects face tough competition. Architectural firms need to present their designs in the best possible manner to win a project.

They also need to constantly innovate their designs in order to be recognised and highlighted. To motivate and inspire their clients, architects need to present physical models that best communicate the idea by showcasing the depth, dimensions and textures of a potential project.

To meet such requirements, using 3D models and generating 3D information have become a standard among leading architects today. 3D printing in architecture has made it possible to develop an easy workflow that takes 3D information and convert it into physical models.

In the past, models were made by traditional methods using foam, acrylics and cardboard, which is much more labor-intensive for model-makers. The rise of 3D printing helped streamline the process. Once the 3D file is ready, you can get the 3D print of your design concept overnight.

3D Model-Making Services by Proto21:

Benefits of 3D Printing in the Architecture Industry:

Numerous architecture and model-making companies in Dubai have reaped the benefits of 3D printing for their model-making needs. The following are the major advantages of using 3D printing in architecture:

  • Cost Savings: Traditional model-making is tedious and labor-intensive, resulting in the need for high investments for a single model. On the other hand, 3D printing reduces model-making costs to more than 50% due to the automated process and low wastage of material.
  • Short Lead Times: Handmade models take weeks and at times months to develop. With 3D printing, model-making becomes simply an overnight job.
  • Quality of Detail: 3D printing provides cutting-edge precision and accuracy. Standard qualities start from 100 microns and go up to 26 microns of details.
  • Better Communication: Printed 3D design is a way to present your projects to your clients in an interactive and engaging way. Clients can visualize your designs better and understand your concept design immediately. Seeing is believing!
  • Design Freedom: The beauty of 3D printing is that complexity is not a limit in additive manufacturing. Any design that is imaginable is physically possible. This gives full freedom to architects and artists to design without considering manufacturing limitations.
  • Scalability: No project is too small or too big for the technology. You can create models that will fit all your needs, from cityscapes and commercial buildings to home interiors exteriors and landscape.
  • Easy Iterations: Easily re-edit, reuse and reprint the models.
  • Easy Multiple Copies: Once the design file is ready, we can make as many copies as required.

Just like how hand drawings evolved to digital prints, handmade models have evolved into 3D printed models and transformed the world of design and architecture for good. To know more ways 3D printing is transforming the world today, discover our 3D printing services.

Design Rules of 3D Printing (DFAM)

3D Printer Design Rules

Anything which can be designed in digital space cannot be necessarily 3D printed. To identify the possibilities, it’s important to understand the rules to 3D printing.

In any type of manufacturing, there are specific rules and limitations that dictate how you must design your product before manufacturing process. The same goes for 3D printing processes. Because of the design restrictions, printers need to follow a number of 3D printing design rules whether it is for prototyping or for manufacturing end-use products.

3D printing can be a bit confusing. There are numerous software, different materials, printers and printing technologies. So, it is clear that there is no one-size-fits-all approach. The limitations in 3D printing are related to the primary mechanics of additive manufacturing process.

3D printing is no different from other additive manufacturing processes. There are characteristics of hardware, software, temperature, and filament and many other factors that should be focused in detail while designing in order to transform your digital model into a 3D printed object.

In this article, we will be discussing critical design considerations for a designer to avoid any mistakes while turning a 3D model into a 3D object. That what are the elements that should be looked after while creating components and parts for 3D printing? Understanding of these elements and the 3D printer design guidelines of each process will help the designer to master the process and able to manufacture certain 3D objects through 3D printing.

Digital vs. Physical

When designing for 3D printing, is it essential to keep in mind the fact that your digital design will end up as a tangible physical object? As far as digital designing is concerned, there's no law of physics to abide by, and the prime example is the gravity.

As what the experts say: “You can design any 3D object in a digital designing environment, but there is no such possibility or guarantee that you can print anything as a physical object especially in 3D printing.”

Every 3D printing technology has their own set of limits for printing procedure. Every 3D printing engineer must keep in mind the following things in prior consideration when printing a digital 3D object into a physical 3D object:

1. Consider ‘overhangs’ before 3D printing

Every 3D printing procedure will deliberately go by end-to-end layering and designing. It is nearly impossible to draw the 3D material on thin air which is the main reason that every 3D layer of the object must use some underline or withstanding material as support before the 3D object will get printed.

Talking about overhangs, they are an area of the 3D model which might occur to support the object layer or may not support the object at all. Most of the 3D printers usually have a limit of an angle which they can adjust when printing the object without needing to help the 3D material until the allowed object anglegets exceed. The mere examples are FDM and SLA because these technologies can hold up the object angle for not more than 45 degrees only.

It is better to keep the angel degree limits in consideration when 3D printing an object to avoid overhangs.

2. Try to keep a balance of 'Wall thickness' during 3D printing

Wall thickness is the second most important thing to keep in mind when designing a 3D object for printing. Most of the 3D printing procedure mainly compose the precise features of the 3D object which might be thin up to a certain level when printing them into a physical object.

For the better results, it is wise always to check the wall thickness of your models. For The successful printing of a 3D model, it is suggested to keep the wall thickness more than 0.8 millimeters.

3. Make sure ‘Warping’ doesn’t happen when 3D printing

Sometimes the thing which mostly overlooked while designing a 3D object is the materials. The fact they are unnoticed can make a lot of physical modification in your 3D model such as:

  • They may get melt
  • They may get sintered
  • They may get scanned by a laser and solidified

The warping of the 3D objects may occur during printing due to the heating and cooling of the materials.

The warping is more likely to happen when printing on a broad or flat surface. To avoid the warping while 3D printing your model, you must use an adequate surface area in grip with the proper usage of machine calibration. It is recommended to use a more circular edge for your 3D models for printing than using large and flat surfaces.

4. Always make sure the 'Level of detail' are up to the mark

Whenever printing a 3D model with a sophisticated level of details, it is essential to keep in the mind what can be the required feature size which 3D printer might be able to print.

The primary link of the mechanism of your 3D printer of the required level of detail for 3D printing is with the competences of the selected height of your object layers.

The material you will use in your 3D printing will decide the impact of your final 3D model. So, always try to make sure you have an adequate level of details set when 3D printing a design into a physical object.



What is an overhang in 3d printing? They are geometric shapes in a 3D model that have no material underneath them making layer-based 3D printing challenging. Overhangs are areas of a model that are partially supported by the layer below or not supported at all. There is a limit on the angle in every printer can produce out of support material. Some personal 3D printers must print support structures below to avoid the overhangs from immediately collapsing during printing. Some overhangs are acceptable still you can often

safely 3D print overhangs with as much as a 45 degrees angle overhang without any issue. If you are increasing the angle from 45 to above, then you are in the state of trouble, which in this case means droopy filament strands.

Wall thickness

Another thing to keep in mind when designing a part to be 3D printed is wall thickness. Wall thickness is the value that gives a 3D model strength and durability. Thin walls for larger surfaces can be crumbling by the printer just because it is unable to print it accurately. The thinner the wall is, the more fragile and disposed to damage and warping the model is. For the avoidance of getting damage figurine, setting up a thicker wall thickness will ensure resistance to the pressure you apply when removing support and processing the model after printing.

Level of Detail

When you are creating a 3D model with intricate details, it is important to keep in mind what is the minimum feature size each 3D printing process can produce. The minimum level of detail is connected to the capabilities and mechanics of each 3D printing process and to the selected layer height.
The process and materials used will have an impact on the speed and cost of your print, so determining whether smaller details are critical to your model is an important design decision.

Horizontal Bridge Gap

Bridging is when we print a flat, horizontal part of the model midair. While using a support structure for such a role could be a solution, it often works to bridge the gap without using support. We will have to drag lines of plastic between already printed parts, in a way that the plastic won’t fall down when being printed.

Supported Walls

Fused Deposition Modeling happens on a building platform. Since models will be “built in the air”, they should be affixed to the supporting platform to keep them from crumbling. This joining is indicated as the “support” and is required for any model built utilizing this innovation. While keeping the model set up, it additionally empowers the development of components that stand out. After the making of building procedure is finished, the help is physically expelled. If it’s not too much trouble take note of that your model may show noticeable confirmation of the removed support structures.

Escape Holes

An escape hole is usually involved when creating an object with a hollowed-out center. A borehole diameter of 2mm is recommended these type of escape holes is required to remove unfused material from the interior, just leaving the printed object behind. A technique that saves on price, since less material is the result.

Pin Diameter

The minimum pin diameter is known to be 1 millimeter. Even though smaller diameters are possible, 1 mm is the advised diameter to be used as it helps in maintaining the contour shape of the object.

Connecting and Moving Parts

3D printing encloses a wide range of technologies. Some more than others are particularly efficient to create complicated assemblies. However, as the technologies are evolving, we’ve reached a point where almost all of them can create part with moving components like a hinge or a joint. If we’re often looking at SLS 3D printing as the best solution for that, since we only need to remove the uninterred powder to “free” the moving parts, technologies like FDM or Polyjet have also brought solutions to add a “support material” that will be removed

with a solvent after the printing process. In any cases, regardless to the technologies you’re using, it’s now widely accepted that 3D printing technologies allow for integrated assemblies. Some with more facilities than other.


the tolerances and precisions of some 3D printing technologies are sufficient to create assembly that will simply “snap” together or will even be used for high performance goals. As a example, General Electric released a video showing how they successfully used additive manufacturing to create a fully working jet engine. The result is astonishing.With appropriate tolerances, parts with functional hinges, chain-link style textiles, and other types of moving components can be fabricated in a single print without the need for post-print assembly. This is one of the main upside of 3D printing when you want to manufacture a product since it can considerably reduce the number of necessary components to create your end product.

Rule of thumb

There are different 3D printing processes, but the basic rules and guidelines are more or less the same in each process and vary depending on the material and type of 3D printing process being used. DfAM (Design for Additive Manufacturing) is a big umbrella which includes all the rules, considerations and parameters needed in additive manufacturing processes.

3D printing technology is advancing rapidly,and there are demand and need of designing and making more intricate, elaborate and workable objects. There are specific procedures which are necessary when making a physical object and similar guidelines are mentioned in the DfAM ‘Rule of Thumb’. These rules are fundamental when designing and implementing your 3D model.

The 3D models to be designed must firstly fit the 3D printer build volume and either lie flat on the build plate or be supported. Support is one of the most keys, and critical part of the metal printing process and the measurements, placement, and geometry should be correct to prevent waste of materials, printing time and cost. The alignment and positioning must consider during the design stages as upward facing surfaces have sharper edges and a better surface finish.

The process and materials used will affect the speed and cost of your 3D print, so it is better to determine the smaller details which are critical to your design. One should avoid large flat surfaces and round the corners to prevent warping. Determine the minimum level of detail your 3D model require and choose the 3D printing process accordingly.


ABS Vs. PLA in 3D Printing

Should you use ABS or PLA in 3D printing?

You can print numerous things through a 3D printer but the most significant factor to consider is using the correct material for your print. There are so many aspects which play a part in making an accurate print which includes the strength, flexibility, and reliability of the printing material.

The two most famous 3D printing materials are ABS and PLA. Both the materials are the type of thermoplastics which allow to shape them when heated and form a particular pattern when there are cool. Most of FDM printers are optimized to print either the ABS or PLA material, but there are some key PLA & ABS differences you need to be aware of.

Introduction to both:

ABS stands for Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene, three monomers mixed and linked together. Used in array of industries worldwide, well known for its exceptional mechanical properties. ABS is stronger with higher temperature resistance, but it has bad odour. ABS prints also tend to warp easily when cooled down instantly after printing therefore it is printed in an enclosed chamber. It is not suitable for food contact & in-vivo applications.

PLA stands for Polylactic acid, originally developed as bio-plastic. PLA is derived from plant starches found in potatoes, corn and soy. PLA works for wide range of 3D printing applications because it is so easy to use. It is very rigid and actually quite strong but is very brittle at the same time.

*Sourced from MakeItFrom**Sourced from Optimatter for a test specimen with 100% infill, 0.2mm layer height printed in a linear pattern*** Sourced from Amazon ABS & PLA


ABS can withstand more stress and has high structural integrity than PLA. The PLA is mostly used for generic purposes. ABS will distort and bend before breaking whereas PLA more brittle and break under stress. In strength test, PLA withstands more weight before breaking.

Both the ABS and PLA are adequate to 3D print any object due to having similar tensile strengths, but there are some applications which are suitable for one of the two materials.

Surface finish and post-processing:

For both ABS and PLA, the print layers are quite visible after printing. Although PLA tends to have a good finish and gives out better surface quality than ABS. Both the ABS and PLA prints require can be sanded and drilled after printing, but extra care is needed with the PLA print.

ABS has a matte finish, whereas in PLA prints are shinier. In post-processing ABS prints, Acetone can be used to smooth the layers and give it a glossy finish. ABS can be easily sanded and is often machined (for example, drilled) after printing, on other hand PLA post processing requires care.

Heat Resistance:

For high-temperature applications, ABS is more appropriate to use than PLA as it has glass transition temperature of 105°C compared to 60°C. PLA will rapidly sag and deform as the temperature increases and reaches 60°C or more.


PLA is steady in normal environmental conditions however it will biodegrade within 50 days in industrial waste and three years in water, ABS, however, is not biodegradable but can be recycled with different industrial processes.


ABS due to its strength, thermal stability and flexibility are used to make applications such as plastic toys, electronic housings, and car parts. PLA known for its aesthetic quality is used to manufacture bioplastics, plastic cups and also medical implants.

Melting Point:

ABS primarily has a high melting point. The standard temperature for printing is 230°C while the glass transition temperature is at 105°C.

For PLA it is recommended to operate within 60º C, the material will start to melt at temperatures between 180°C to 220°C. The glass transition temperature for PLA is at 60°C to 65°C.

Print Settings:

For ABS a heated bed is required as the material tends to warp. A person also needs correct ventilation as the fumes from ABS are unpleasant and more toxic than PLA. Careful precautions are required during the melting process as it may cause skin, eye or respiratory irritation.

The PLA is complete opposite when it comes to fumes as PLA exude sweet odor as it uses the sugar-based material. It is more convenient to use and would not warp or crack during printing.

Each of the materials requires a dry location for storage as both are susceptible to moisture.


Accuracy of the prints primarily depends upon the FDM’s quality and print settings. ABS and PLA filaments can be printed at 60-100 microns layer height. PLA can print complex objects where you can print a vertical overhang up to 68 degrees as compared to only 45 degrees in ABS

Midair connections or bridges also print reliably with PLA particularly with a longer distance between anchor points. But whether you use ABS or PLA, it is recommended to use a raft and make sure your built plate is flat and level.


Both materials offer different advantages. ABS is known for structural integrity whereas PLA is better known for its aesthetic quality.

PLA is convenient and safer to use but is brittle and break under stress. It is more user friendly and gives a good 3D printing experience. On the other hand, ABS is stronger and more flexible but printing with ABS is not easy to handle.

Whereas, ABS is stronger and more flexible but printing with ABS is not easy to handle.

FDM vs SLA: Which one is right for you?

FDM vs SLA: Which one is right for you?

In recent years, the 3D printing industry has gone through vast changes and gained popularity. 3D printing machines are no longer only for enthusiasts; it has become a go-to tool for prototyping and product development. Due to the fabricating nature of 3D printing, its use case has spread across many industries such as dentistry, engineering, jewelry, automotive, and a variety of other industries.

FDM vs SLA Quality Defference

 What is FDM 3D Printing?

“FDM” also known as Fused deposition modeling is popular among 3D printing enthusiasts. FDM 3D Printers operate by projecting thermoplastic filaments, like “PLA” (Polylactic Acid) or “ABS” (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) via a heated nozzle, by melting the material and layering it onto a build platform. The nozzle applies each layer one by one until the object is 3D printed.

FDM 3D Printers are suitable for low-cost prototyping of less complex parts that would otherwise be machined.

What is SLA 3D Printing?

“SLA” also known as Stereolithography, was invented in the 1980s, and it is now one of the most used technologies in 3D Printing industry. SLA technology uses the technique of “Photopolymerization” in which the laser beams convert liquid resin into solid plastic in SLA printers.

SLA resin 3D printers have grown in popularity due to their capacity to manufacture highly detailed, accurate isotropic, waterproof prototypes and components in a variety of advanced materials. The characteristics of SLA resin materials are comparable to conventional, engineering, and industrial thermoplastics.

SLA 3D printing creates transparent objects with the help of post-processing, it can be made optically clear. 3D printing on Form 3 in Clear Resin is great for producing parts requiring translucency and, with the right post-processing techniques, transparency.

Print Quality and Accuracy?

Each layer presents a chance for error or inaccuracy when additive manufacturing technologies use layer-by-layer techniques. As a result, it can impact the surface quality, accuracy of each layer, and the overall print quality of the build.

FDM 3D Printers create layers by accumulating the molten material in horizontal lines. The build resolution is determined by the size of the nozzle, and there are empty gaps between rounded lines when the nozzle fills them in the process. As an outcome, layers may not adhere completely with one another, layers are typically visible on the surface, therefore, the technique lacks the capacity to recreate intricate features that the other technologies can.

SLA 3D Printing technique uses liquid resin materials that are cured by laser beams to produce each layer, this allows SLA prints to be considered fine in features with more accurate high-quality outcomes. SLA 3D printing is well-known for its smooth surface, high-quality details, and accuracy.

Final Thoughts:


FDM should be used for:

  • Rapid Prototyping
  • Building cost-efficient models
  • Great for 3D Printing enthusiasts and consumers
  • When accuracy and surface quality is not important


SLA should be used for:

  • When details of the print are crucial and smooth surface finishing is needed
  • For mold creation for casting
  • When durability and strength of the model is not important (models created by resin can get damaged when exposed to direct sunlight for an extended period of time)


Want your own 3D Printed SLA and FDM Models?

At Proto21 3D Printing, we are one of the best 3D printing service providers in the MENA Region, we have highly talented designers, professionals in engineering & design industries, architects and a hardworking post-processing crew, who can bring your ideas into reality. We offer a variety of different technologies and materials, including FDM, SLA, HP Multi-Jet Fusion, and Color Jet Printing.

For any questions or quires please reach out to us via:


WhatsApp: +971 52 104 9913

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