TYPES OF 3D PRINTER FILAMENTS IN DETAIL

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In this article i am going to share my views on types 3D Printer Filaments.

3D printing filament is the thermoplastic feedstock for fused deposition modeling 3D printers.

There are many types of filament available with different properties, requiring different temperatures to print. Filament is available in two standard diameters; 1.75 and 2.85 mm/3 mm.

Based on their properties and uses they are tagged at different prices ranging from $25 to $300 and more for 1kg of spool.

If you want to learn the different types of 3D printer filaments on the market, their purposes and edges against each other you are on the right page. Read further to learn more about 3D filaments-

 

CONTENTS

1).ABS

2).PLA

3).PVA

4).PTEG

5).NYLON

6).PC

7).WOOD

8).METAL

9).CONDUCTIVE

10).GLOW IN THE DARK

11).MAGNETIC

12).CARBON FIBRE

13).TPE,TPU,TPC

14).HIPS

 

 

 3D Printing Filament Usage  Printing Temperature Bed Temperature Difficulty to use
 ABS Household and consumer goods,LEGO bricks,bicycle helmets and phone cases. 210°C-250°C  80°C – 110°C  Medium
 PLA Food packaging, candy wrappers and disposable tableware. 180°C – 230°C   20°C – 60°C  Low
PVA  Paper adhesive, thickener,packaging for dishwasher detergent “pods” or bags full of fishing bait. 180°C – 230°C 30°C – 50°C Medium
 PETG(PET, PETT) Phone cases, jewelry, props, and electronics,food containers like cups and utensils .  220°C – 260°C 50°C – 70°C  Low
 NYLON Tools, functional prototypes, or mechanical parts (like hinges, buckles, or gears). 240°C – 260°C   70°C – 100°C Medium
PC Electrical, mechanical, or automotive components, optical clarity in lighting projects or for screens. 270°C – 310°C 90°C – 110°C Medium
WOOD  Bowls, figurines, and awards,wooden box, wooden figurine.  200°C – 260°C 90 °C-110°C  High
 METAL Figurines, models, toys, and tokens,jewelry, and statues, 195°C-220 °C 40 °C – 50 °C Medium
CONDUCTIVE LEDs, sensors,Raspberry Pi,low-voltage circuitry applications and touch sensor projects.  225°C-260 °C  90 °C-110 °C  Hard
 GLOW IN THE DARK  Halloween projects, decorations,wearable,toys and figurines.  185°C-205 °C  60 °C – 70 °C  Low
MAGNETIC  Fridge magnets, sensors, actuators, magnetic stirrers. 170°C-185 °C  20 °C-55 °C  Medium
CARBON FIBRE Mechanical  components,protective casings, shells, high durability applications.  195°C-220 °C  50 °C  Medium
TPE,TPU,TPC Toys, phone cases, or wearable perform well in harsher environments, like the outdoors. 210°C – 230°C 30°C – 60°C  High
HIPS  Costumes, models, miniature figurines, prototyping 220-230 °C 50 °C-60 °C  Medium

 

TYPES OF 3D PRINTING FILAMENT

1. ABS

Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) ranks as the second most popular 3D printer filament, after PLA. But that just means it’s the second most commonly used.It is used in a wide variety of applications due to its toughness and impact-resistance abilities. It is also strong and slightly flexible, which makes it a good material for 3D printing.

STRENGTH(0-3) FLEXIBILITY(0-3) DURABILITY(0-3)
 3 1  2

 

  • Print temperature: 210°C – 250°C
  • Print bed temperature: 80°C – 110°C
  • Food safety: Not food safe
PROS CONS
  • Very durable and strong
  • Lightweight and slightly flexible
  • Cheapest thermoplastic on the market
  • Favorite material in 3D printing community.
  • Petroleum-based non-biodegradable plastic
  • Requires a high temperature to reach a melting point (210°C – 250°C)
  • Creates mild fumes, which may irritate users or the people in the surrounding

 


2.PLA

Polylactic acid or PLA is another popular filament that is often compared against ABS. PLA is biodegradable thermoplastic that is derived from renewable resources like cornstarch, sugar cane, tapioca roots and potato starch.First and foremost, it’s easy to print with. PLA has a lower printing temperature than ABS, and it doesn’t warp as easily, meaning it doesn’t require a heating bed (although it definitely helps). Another benefit to using PLA is that it doesn’t give off an evil smell during printing. It’s generally considered an odorless filament, but many have reported smelling sweet, candy-like fumes.

STRENGTH(0-3) FLEXIBILITY(0-3) DURABILITY(0-3)
2 1 2

 

  • Print temperature: 180°C – 230°C
  • Print bed temperature: 20°C – 60°C
  • Food safety: Based on the type and quality of filament.
PROS CONS
  • Produces a sweet aroma that smells like waffles or candy when heated
  • Easiest material to work with, works well for beginners
  • Less prone to warping compared to ABS
  • Available in translucent and glow-in-the-dark colors
  • Prone to clogging or jamming the printer nozzle
  • Attracts water molecules, becoming brittle at times, difficult to print
  • Water saturated PLA needs a higher extrusion temperature

 


3.PLA

Polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) is soluble in water, and that’s exactly what commercial applications take advantage of. Popular uses include packaging for dishwasher detergent “pods” or bags full of fishing bait.

PVA is easy to print and they make a good support during a printing process for those models with overhangs that is impossible to print without a support.

STRENGTH(0-3) FLEXIBILITY(0-3) DURABILITY(0-3)
1 1 1

 

  • Print temperature: 180°C – 230°C
  • Print bed temperature: 30°C – 50°C
  • Food safety: No
PROS CONS
  • Non-toxic and biodegradable
  • Soluble in water
  • Low flexibility and safe for food
  • Never easy to use as it attracts water so much
  • Difficult to source
  • Costly compared to other materials

 


 

4.PETG

PolyEthylene Terephthalate or PET is another popular 3D filament from plastic bottles. This is a stable and harmless plastic. It does not produce any funky odors and is totally recyclable.PET filament in its original state is colorless and crystal clear. However, when exposed to heat or cold the material changes its transparency.

Three things 3D printer enthusiasts should keep in mind when using PETG:

  • PETG is hygroscopic, meaning it absorbs moisture from the air. As this has a negative effect on printing, make sure to store the 3D printer filament in a cool, dry place.
  • PETG is sticky during printing, making this 3D printer filament a poor choice for support structures, but good for layer adhesion. (Just be careful with the print bed!)
  • Though not brittle, PETG scratches more easily than ABS.
STRENGTH(0-3) FLEXIBILITY(0-3) DURABILITY(0-3)
3 2 3

 

  • Print temperature: 220°C – 260°C
  • Print bed temperature: 50°C – 70°C
  • Food safety: No
PROS CONS
  • Strength, flexible, and biocompatibility. Not brittle nor prone to warp.
  • Does not shrink, can be printed on glass without any glues
  • FDA approved and impressive in bridging
  • Flexible than the widely popular materials ABS and PLA.
  • Absorbs water from the air (store this properly)
  • Not easy to use
  • Requires fine-tuning of bed and nozzle temperature

 

 


 

Contact me if you find any error in this article

 


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