Why is Z strength so Important in 3D printing? Z-directional strength is impacted by the strength of the internal bond between the layers of a part. Most 3D printing technologies are unable to create parts that are as strong in the Z axis as they are in the X and Y axes due to weak bonds that form between each layer of material. Those bonds are referred to as anisotropic; that is, their physical properties have different values when measured in different directions.
Due to the way that the material bonds during the Rize APD 3D printing process, our Rizium™ One engineering- and medical-grade thermoplastic is able to retain its isotropic properties. This means that parts printed in Rizium One are isotropic, having the same strength in all directions (X, Y and Z).
Rizium One is a compound thermoplastic that is high on the engineering thermoplastic pyramid. It’s not one material. It’s not polycarbonate (PC), acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) or polylactic acid. While Rizium One has properties similar to PC, such as strength, it has twice the strength of ABS in the Z axis.
Parts made with the Rize™ One 3D printer experience no loss in isotropic properties. While typical FDM parts, on the other hand, lose around 40-percent of their Z strength and therefore are not nearly as strong as Rize parts.
Any given part is only as strong as its weakest point. So it’s important to learn the Z-axis strength of the material you are considering and how it compares to that of the X and Y axes, as well as those of other systems’ materials.