Choosing Superglue for 3D Printed Parts

3D printing changed the game as far as technology and manufacturing was concerned. The printer has only become more effective and versatile in the 21st century ranging from use by major companies to ordinary individuals. 3D printing products can result either in complete models or separate parts that can form one large model. When models are printed by parts, one of the most important considerations to make is the choice of adhesive to use.

This begs the question; Which adhesives are the best to use? Below is more information on compatibility between materials used in 3D printing and the different superglue formulas making it easier to settle on what to use on your creations.

3D printer

    Materials Used in 3D Printing and Their Glue Compatibility

Before diving into details about superglue formulas and brands used in 3D printing, it’s important to understand the materials used. This is because these directly influence compatibility with the adhesives. Below is a list of the most commonly used 3D printing materials.

  • Plastic and poly-carbon variation: This is one of the most commonly used materials in 3D printing. They are often applied when printing is done in piecemeal where the separate parts are bonded later. This could be anything from toy parts to tiny computer components. Most adhesives used are compatible with these materials.

  • Nylon: Nylon is lighter than most materials used in 3D printing but this does not take away from its strength. It is popular for its flexibility, durability, and smoothness. When it comes to adhesives, lighter formulas are preferred. This is to avoid surface imperfections on the already light material.

  • Glass: When glass is used in 3D printing, the products are often not complete. It’s a popular choice for ornaments and other accessories with very few being 3D printed part by part. In the rare event that glass needs binding, it’s important to use highly adhesive yet light options.

  • Wax: Most models printed using wax are meant to come out whole for aesthetics and stability. However, wax tend to bond adhesives strongly and quickly making it compatible with most formulas applied in this field.

  • Metals: Things like silver, aluminum, brass and even copper are applied in industrial 3D printing. Unlike polycarbonates and other organic materials like wax and fabric, metals are not compatible with all adhesive formulas. Only strong options like epoxy and cyanoacrylate (ca) that can bond separate parts in a satisfactory manner.

    • Cyanoacrylate Glue

    Commonly referred to as superglue, CA glue is without a doubt the most effective adhesive in 3D printing. It’s unique because in addition to the superior adhesive capabilities, it can be inflitrant. This means that the molecules are small enough to penetrate through material pores. At this point, the glue polymerizes as it dries ensuring stronger and more stable bonding of the different parts. In addition to drying very quickly and being invisible, this type of glue ensures long lasting bonding resistant to mechanical and chemical changes. It is also very cheap and easy to find, however, cyanoacrylate is not without its faults. The most important is the fact that it causes degradation of dyes when used to bond colored material. The only solution in this case is to use materials whose dye formula contains and is compatible with cyanoacrylate. Other options applied include Epoxy and Neoprene glue. These are thicker, visible and take longer to dry.

      Odorless glue in 3D Printing

    All factors considered, superglue is without a doubt the best adhesive for use in 3D printing.This industrial grade adhesive offers the best of cyanoacrylate action and is ideal for both commercial and domestic 3D printing. Below is all you need to know about this glue brand and how to use it for best results.

  • Features – This superglue is thin making it easy to apply and the low viscosity also makes it dry faster. The superglue is odorless and hypoallergenic and has infiltrant effects that strengthen the bond between the printed parts. The glue also has an applicator cap for more precise application especially on small parts.

  • Compatibility and applicability - Super glue is compatible with all materials used in 3D printing. It is particularly effective on porous surfaces where its effects as an infiltrant are best demonstrated including materials like wax, polycarbonates, nylon and fabric. It is also a great option to use on clear plastics, glass and nylon. This is mainly due to the fact that it is thin and colorless. The low viscosity ensures that it infiltrates and stabilizes plaster based 3D models such as models printed from Zcorp and 3D Systems Printers. The colorless nature also facilitates seamless bonding between the different 3D parts. Finally, with the strength and fast drying speed, odorless superglue is a great option for use on metallic 3D printed parts.

  • ca glue

    With your parts ready and printed, using CA glue should be an easy task. The first step is identifying the different parts and identifying which parts go where. Once this is done, all you need to do is use the applicator to deliver the glue onto the surfaces. With heavier materials like metal, you may have to apply some pressure for a few minutes to ensure proper binding. Once the glue is applied, contact with air facilitates polymerization that results in drying and hardening of the glue. Once this happens, your parts are joined together forever.

      Bottom line

    In the end, with the right brand of superglue it is possible to bind 3D printed parts to form large complete models. All you need to know is the material your printer uses and the ca glue brands compatible with it. With the information and guidelines provided above, this should not be so hard to do. odorless superglue is without a doubt one of the best brands. In addition to the highly effective cyanoacrylate formula, it is compatible with most 3D printing materials. That way, whether you are building a plastic model train at home or printing a polycarbonate machine part in an industry, you can rest assured that the final product will be a strong and stable masterpiece.