Quickparts Manufacturing Process Comparison Guide

Choosing the right process for your custom parts depends on a variety of factors. The final application use of the piece needs to be considered at the same time as material options and realistic timelines for delivery.

Our vast range of 3D printing and traditional manufacturing options cover a wide array of applications and performance characteristics. Use the comparison table below to help determine the best solution for your project. If you need additional guidance, request to speak with a manufacturing expert now.

a variety of manufacturing options

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Process Category Applications Instant Quoting Maximum Dimensions Layer Thickness Material Options Finish Options Lead Time Options Recommended Minimum Feature Size
Stereolithography (SLA) 3D Printing Excellent for fit, form, and function testing Design verification models for appearance and proof-of-concept models

Best surface quality and highest resolution, ideal for trade show quality parts

High precision and accuracy

Easily finished and painted for demonstration/presentation models
Normal/Standard Res: 1500 mm × 750 mm × 550 mm (59" × 29.5" × 21.5")

High Res: 380 mm × 380 mm × 254 mm (15" × 15" × 10")
Normal/Standard Resolution: 101.6 µm (0.004")

High Resolution: 50.8 µm (0.002")
Accura 25 (ABS/PP-Like)
Accura Xtreme White
Accura Xtreme Grey (High-Impact ABS-Like)
Accura SL 7820 Black (ABS-Like)
Accura 60 (PC-Like)
Accura ClearVue (PC-Like)
Accura Bluestone (High-Temp ABS-Like)
Accura 48 (High-Temp PC-Like)
Natural
Standard
Paint-Ready
Painted
Quick Clear
Clearpart
Custom
As little as 2 business days Normal/Standard Res: 635 µm (0.025")

High Res: 254 µm (0.015")
Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) 3D Printing Ideal for durable, impact-resistant, functional parts with a variety of applications

Capable of producing snap fits and living hinges

Excellent heat and chemically resistant
508 mm × 508 mm × 762 mm (20" × 20" × 30") 101.6 µm (0.004") Duraform PA (Nylon)
Duraform GF (Glass-Filled Nylon)
Duraform HST (Composite/High-Temperature)
Duraform EX Black (Durable Nylon)
Duraform EX Natural (Durable Nylon)
Duraform TPU (Elastomeric)
Standard Uncoated
Standard Coated
Paint-Ready
Painted, Dyed
As little as 3 business days 762 µm (0.030")
Direct Metal Printing (DMP) 3D Printing Perfect for complex metal parts that need to be manufactured quickly and accurately

Fully dense parts with excellent surface finish
269.24 mm × 269.24 mm × 400 mm (10.6" × 10.6" × 15.7") Normal/Standard Res: 60 µm (0.0024")

High Res: 30 µm (0.0012")
Titanium (Ti6Al4V Grade 5)
Stainless Steel 17-4
Stainless Steel (316L)
Anodized
EDM
Grinding
Heat-Treated
Milling
Polished
Turning
As little as 8 business days 254 µm (0.010")
Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) 3D Printing Excellent for demonstration models with full color printing

Perfect for architecture, consumer product design, healthcare, educational models, crystallography, medical teaching models, and more
914.4 mm × 609.6 mm × 914.4 mm (36" × 24" × 36") 177.8 µm, 254 µm, 330.2 µm (0.007", 0.010", 0.013") layers ABS M30
ABS M30i
ABS M100
PC
PC-ISO
PC-ABS
Ultem 9085
Ultem 1010
Nylon 12
Standard Paint-Ready Painted 3-5 (maybe longer due to size and quantity) 1524 µm (0.060")
Digital Light Processing (DLP) 3D Printing DLP delivers ultra-high speed and accuracy, with a wide range of material choices

Ideal for low-volume production and quick-turn prototyping
124.46 mm × 71.12 mm × 195.58 mm (4.9" × 2.8" × 7.7")
Normal/Standard Res: 50.8 µm (0.002")

High Res: 25.4 µm (0.001")
Stainless Steel 17-4PH (A)
Stainless Steel 316L (A)
Aluminum (AlSi10Mg) (A)
Aluminum (AlSi12) (B)
Ti is actually grade 23
Inconel 625 (Ni625) (A)
Inconel 718 (Ni718)(A)
Natural
Standard
Paint-Ready
Painted
Custom
As little as 24 hours 254 µm (0.010")
(May vary due to geometry)
Multi-Jet Printing (MJP) 3D Printing Concept modeling
Form/fit testing
Functional prototypes
Jigs/fixtures
Eggshell molding
11.6" × 8.3" × 5.6" 32 µm Engineering Class:
Visijet Armor
Rigid Class:
Visijet M2R-CL
Standard As little as 2 business days 254 µm (0.010")
Cast Urethane Traditional Ideal for marketing samples

Production-like attributes (surface finish, color, accuracy, and material properties)

Focus groups
Short-run production
Bridge to production
Viable production process for low-volume, high-value programs
N/A ABS-Like
PE-Like
PP-Like
Elastomer (25A, 30A, 40A, 50A, 60A, 70A, 80A, 90A)
Clear
High-Strength
High-Temp ABS-Like
Custom (Glass-Filled)
MRI Transparent
ABS-Like
FDA-Approved Rigid
FDA-Approved Elastomeric
UL94VO Polypropylene
UL94VO ABS-Like
Silicone
Functional
Show
Clear (Polished)
First article in as little as 6 business days 635 µm (0.025")
Injection Mold Tooling & Parts Traditional Pre-production and production applications

Functional, process validation, and reliability testing
All available in the market All available for production 1-4 weeks DFM needed
Investment Casting Traditional Complex casting patterns - protoype and production

Viable production process for lower volume programs

Excellent for high-volume, production-level components; very beneficial when there are complex features that are better-suited for casting

Functional, process validation, and reliability testing
Alternative to machined, injection-wax tooling

Iterative design opportunities resulting in better time to market vs. traditional tooled parts

Excellent dimensional stability, especially in large part geometries

Casings, impellors, rotors
609.6 mm × 609.6 mm × 609.6 mm (24" × 24" × 24") SLA - 0.002, 0.004, 0.006 Wax - 16 or 42 µm SLA - Accura CastPro, Accura Fidelity (Antimony-Free)
WAX - Visijet M2 Cast, Visijet M2 Industrial Cast
Stainless Steel
Low-Alloy Steel
Aluminum (AS7G60)
Carbon Steel
Cast Iron
Copper
Zamak 12
SLA:
Level 1 - Support removal, support bumps sanded, holes sealed, leak checked
Level 2 - Level 1 + build lines lightly sanded, clearcoat applied
Level 3 - Level 2 + surfaces sanded smooth, clearcoat applied

WAX:
Level 1 – Supports intact, requires customer removal
Level 2 – Support removal, some evidence of build lines, some white discoloration may be visible
Level 3 – Support removal, build lines smooth, little to no white discoloration

Anodize
Heat-Treated
Powder Coat
Paint
Nickel Plating
Tin Coating
Gold Plating
Silver Plating
Black Oxide
Chemical Conversion
as little as 2 business days 254 µm (0.010")
CNC Traditional Pre-production and production applications

Functional, process validation, and reliability testing

Excellent for form, fit, and function tests

Best choice for tighter tolerances and/or surface finishes

Most material-specific finishes available for machined components
Lathe Diameter: 203. mm (8")
Lathe Length: 609.6 mm (24")
Mill X: 1016 mm (40")
Mill Y: 533.4 mm (21")
Mill Z: 457.2 mm (18")
N/A Aluminum (6000 series, 7000 series, 5000 series)
Brass (100 series, 200 series, 300 series)
Bronze (900 series)
Copper (100 series, 200 series)
Stainless Steel (300 series, 400 series, 17-4)
Steel (1000 series, 1200 series, A36)
Steel Alloys (4000 series, 8000 series) Plastics (ABS, Delrin, Acrylic, G-10/FR4, HDPE, Nylon, Phenolic, Polycarbonate, Polypropylene, PTFE, PVC, Ultem, UHMW, Peek)
Anodize
Custom
Heat-Treated
Natural
Standard
Paint-Ready
Painted
Powder Coat
Nickel Plating
Tin Coating
Gold Plating
Silver Plating
Black Oxide
Chemical Conversion
3-15 business days
Project Specific
>0.25 mm (>0.0098")
Sheet Metal Traditional Pre-production and production applications

Functional, process validation, and reliability testing
Excellent for thin, simple parts, covers, and brackets with simple bends
1219.2 mm × 1219.2 mm × 5.08 mm (48" × 48" × 0.200") N/A Aluminum
Brass
Bronze
Copper
Stainless Steel
Alloy Steel
Anodize
Heat-Treated
Powder Coat
Paint
Nickel Plating
Tin Coating
Gold Plating
Silver Plating
Black Oxide
Chemical Conversion
1-4 weeks
Project Specific
>0.5 mm (>0.0019")
Die Casting Traditional Pre-production and production applications

Functional, process validation, and reliability testing

Excellent for large-volume production, standard-toleranced, metal components
152.4 mm × 152.4 mm × 152.4 mm (6" × 6" × 6") N/A Aluminum
Zinc
Anodized
Paint
3-6 weeks
Project Specific
Project Specific
Process Category

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