3D Printing Filament Complete Guide On PET, PLA, ABS, HIPS, PVA, Nylon, Carbon Fiber, Polycarbonate, and ASA

3D printing filament comes in two main types, PET and PLA. Both of these filaments have some common properties, but they also differ in some important ways. In this guide, we will explain how the two types of filament differ, how you can tell which type is appropriate for your 3D printer, and what it means to choose one over the other.

3D printing is an incredibly versatile and useful tool for many different industries. Today, many people use this technology in order to create useful things such as food containers, guns, models, glasses, makeup tools, self-filling bottles, automobiles, parts for aircraft, and DIY tools.

However, some people see the potential of 3D printing as a way to make life easier for future generations. In fact, the technology has been used by farmers who use it to create things such as seeds and irrigation pipes, which help the plants grow faster and easier.

3D Printing Filament

There are many advantages to 3D printing, and today you can choose between PET and PLA. In this guide, we will explain these advantages.

We will also explain how the two filaments differ and what they mean to you as a user. How do differentiate PET and PLA apart? Let’s Understand their functions.

What Are The Differences Between PET and PLA?

PET and PLA are both biodegradable plastics. Because of this, they can be useful for breaking down when left to decompose on their own in the soil. PLA is more widely used today because it is more often made from recycled sources than PET.

However, this also means that its price is usually lower than that of PET. Also, because PLA is more biodegradable than PET, it may be possible to use it in landfill waste collection and recycling. This saves more valuable resources from the landfill and helps to reduce the waste which would otherwise remain there.

Differences Between PET and PLA

In comparison, PET is less biodegradable. It also requires more waste removal from landfills, which means that it can be a little more expensive to recycle. It should also be mentioned that both filaments are the same color in most cases.

This can make the difference between which one is used clearer since those who use PLA will usually go for the white color to differentiate it from PET. PET and PLA are both compostable plastics. This means that they decompose like any other grass or leaf.

The end result is similar to what you would get from using grass or leaves in your compost bin. This means that they can be safely composted and used as a bio-reactor in your compost bin.

Let’s talk about different filaments of 3d printing like PET, PLA, ABS, HIPS, PVA, Nylon, Carbon Fiber, Polycarbonate, and ASA.

Have A Look At Various 3D Printing Filament

PET Filament:

PET is plastic with excellent printing quality. It has good strength and stiffness, which is essential for 3D printing the models. While PLA has a tendency to warp, PET plastic is rigid and sturdy.

PET also has a pretty decent melting point. While PLA plastic melts at around 180°C, PET plastic can withstand heat up to 260°C. PET also has a higher flash point, which means that it will not catch fire as easily as PLA.

pet 3d printing filament

One disadvantage of PET is that it does not have as much flexibility. This means that it is not as easy to scale up the model.

It also does not have a good layer adhesion, which means that the parts are easily scratched and damaged during the printing process. However, PET is best suited for small objects such as keychains and charms.

PLA Filament:

PLA is a thermoplastic that comes in all shapes and sizes. While some brands make white PLA, most of the PLA used in 3D printing is gray or black.

PLA is a good plastic for 3D printing, as it is biodegradable and environmentally friendly. The biggest drawback of PLA is that its thermoplastic nature makes it susceptible to shrinking and warping.

pla 3d printing filament

These shrinkage and warping effects make PLA a difficult plastic to 3D print with, as the parts tend to curl and twist during the printing process. PLA is a biodegradable plastic.

There are several different types of PLA, each with varying properties. A good starting PLA has a glass transition temperature of 150 °C and a melting point of 220 °C. PLA can be cut easily with a knife and is flexible. Good PLA printing machines have PLA with a glass transition temperature of 220 °C. This makes it possible to print with it.

ABS Filament:

ABS is a thermoplastic material made from polyacetal. It is an aliphatic resin that is opaque, heat-resistant, and quite strong. In general, it has a melting point of around 160 °C.

ABS is also used to make bottle caps, automotive parts, food containers, jewelry, and furniture. ABS has a melting point of between 160 °C and 180 °C, making it a good printing material for PLA.

However, if it gets too hot, the plastic becomes brittle, and its shape can change. ABS printing machines are available at a price of €2,000 and upwards (see the reviews). This is not a very good starting price for 3D printing.

The direction of the extruder nozzle on the print head for printing ABS is important for good parts and a high-quality print. There are two types of extruder nozzle, heated and non-heated.

Non-Heated Nozzle:

The direction of the non-heated nozzle will depend on the type of material being printed. For instance, if you are printing ABS and there is not much variation in temperature, the direction of the nozzle can be straight.

However, if you are printing the same part again and again or the temperature rises or falls while printing, you need to consider the direction of the nozzle when selecting a material.

For example, you can change the type of filament that you are using in the print head to make the direction of the nozzle more important.

When printing with PLA, the material needs to reach a temperature of about 175°C for it to start being printed. If the material is higher or lower than this temperature, your print will probably fail.

Heated Nozzle:

the heated nozzle prints at a different speed and temperature than the non-heated nozzle. For PLA, it needs to reach a temperature of about 175°C for it to start being printed.

However, the heated nozzle is more convenient to use because it doesn’t require the printer to stop and wait for the temperature to change.

Print Head:

The print head is installed in the extruder, and it has to reach a temperature of about 175°C before printing begins. The heated nozzle is more convenient to use because it doesn’t require the printer to stop and wait for the temperature to change.

Print Speed:

As a direct result of the above-mentioned, the speed at which you can print with PLA is lower than that of other filaments. So, the printing time is longer.

HIPS Filament:

HIPS is a heat-resistant resin, and it is classified as one of the best filaments for 3D printing. HIPS 3D printing has been used extensively in medicine and dentistry, and its benefits have even reached the fashion industry.

It is said that the continuous use of HIPS results in greater health benefits. And these are its main characteristics: Self-extrusion – self-extrusion filaments are classified as those which have no support structures, i.e., A material that is extruded from the nozzle to form a hollow object.

hips 3d printing filament

HIPS has been designed to be extruded from the hot end of the 3D printer, which makes it one of the few fialments that don’t require support structures.

The printing speed is higher, and the support structure is required very less. And it’s a good material for beginners because it prints slowly and is easy to work with.

PVA Filament:

PVA is polyvinyl alcohol, a biodegradable material that can be a promising replacement for PLA, but PVA is not that good. Its disadvantages are that it’s a brittle material, can easily break, and degrades very quickly in hot weather.

It is also not so suitable for functional parts because it doesn’t allow for fine details or parts with bent or curved surfaces.

Due to these factors, PVA is mainly used for 3D printing prototypes and small decorative parts that don’t require strength or complex structures.

PVA is a good material for beginners because it is cheap and can print quickly. Another advantage of PVA is that it can easily be converted into FDM 3D printing material.

Suggested: How Does 3D Printing work? What Are Its Benefits, Future, History, Challenges

Nylon Filament:

Nylon is a very common material for 3D printing. It is cheap, stable, and relatively lightweight. But it can also be easily stretched, which makes it unsuitable for some parts.

nylon 3d printing filament

In general, nylon is good for simple prints, and it is used for 3D printing toys, models, and other things that don’t require complicated structure.

The only drawback of nylon is that it will “shrink” a bit after printing, but this problem can be solved by using additional heaters or a dedicated vacuum chamber.

Nylon Blueprints:

Some might wonder. As far as a tooth looks on the outside, it also reflects on the inside. So why did I choose to print them in Nylon and not in PLA or Nylon Blueprints? I like the look of Nylon.

It was more fun! In addition, you need to be careful with the PLA or Nylon Blueprints since these filaments are prone to warping.

Nylon Blueprints might also be less easy to print with since it takes a lot of time and resources, especially if you need an exact structure. This is why Nylon Blueprints is not used for 3D printing as much.

Carbon Fiber Filament:

carbon fiber is very hard and is used in many areas, including the aerospace industry and sports. Some people have a misconception that 3D printing in carbon fiber is too complicated and expensive.

That is not entirely true. As long as you do your research properly, the cost is definitely worth it. If you are really serious about using this material, please refer to this article.

You can find a lot of different types of carbon fiber for 3D printing. However, it should be noted that carbon fiber does not usually provide a polished look. This is because 3D printing on carbon fiber is actually a process of removing all of the layers that are printed one by one.

carbon fiber 3d printing filament

This is why you need to polish the fiber afterward; otherwise, you might end up with a textured surface. Nylon, on the other hand, can provide a rough texture and feel. In addition to this, carbon fiber is very hard and rigid, which means that you need to print in layers to give it more strength.

This is why carbon fiber has a high printing temperature, which means that you need to be very careful when controlling the temperature for every layer.

As an example, a layer on a nozzle will be more fragile than one on a bed. This means that it is easier to have a single point of failure when printing on carbon fiber, which increases the possibility of jamming and failing.

Nylon is much softer than carbon fiber. As a result, this fiber can be used for 3D printing at lower temperatures. If you want to use a higher temperature and have the freedom to print in fewer layers, nylon is better suited for that.

The types of filaments available for 3D printing are usually characterized by their specific qualities, which means that certain material combinations can be better for some applications.

Besides filaments, the settings used in 3D printing also affect the print quality. Print settings that are suitable for certain materials can lead to much better results.

Polycarbonate Filament:

Polycarbonate is a very hard and rigid plastic that can be used for printing as it has a high level of strength. This means that it can be used for more demanding printing work, such as making models for product prototypes.

The strength of the plastic makes it resistant to heat and air but also compatible with prints made at higher temperatures.

You can use polycarbonate 3D printing on both glass and metal surfaces, as the material is strong enough to handle them. In addition, it can also be used on wood, PVC, and glass.

It has the added benefit of being semi-transparent. The transparency helps make the model look more realistic, and it also saves time in post-processing as you don’t have to paint the print after.

This makes the printed object less likely to catch the attention of potential buyers. Additionally, the transparency makes the object look more natural and realistic as if it were a real object that could be found in the real world.

ASA Filament:

ASA (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) is a rubber that has a very smooth texture. It is easy to manipulate, has a high level of elasticity, and can be used on different types of surfaces. This means that it can be used on glass, metal, and wood surfaces. ASA has a transparent appearance that is comparable to acrylic.

ASA is also versatile in color, so you can choose the exact color that you want for your product. ASA is also easy to maintain and will not have you running back and forth from the hardware store every time there is a small problem.

ASA 3D Printing Service: The best part about ASA is that it is so easy to work with. You don’t have to be an expert with a lot of equipment.

Just about any hardware store or home improvement center will carry the required items to print ASA objects. One thing that sets this 3D printing service apart from other similar services is the high quality of the prints.

That is a huge plus when you have the 3D printing service in your home and don’t have to go out and buy filaments. Many people who usually use this type of printing service make one-of-a-kind items. Since they print in their own home, they can choose the colors, textures, and shapes that they want to make.

FAQ’S

What is 3D printing filament?

The filament is the material that 3D printers use to build objects. It is plastic made from natural and synthetic ingredients.

How do I keep 3D printing filament usable?

The most important part of keeping filament usable is to print as many objects as possible. To be able to print and keep the filament usable, it needs to be cooled down slowly. This is why 3D printers use a fan to cool down the filament as soon as the printer stops.

How do I clean my 3D printing filament?

3D printing filament must be cleaned regularly so that it can run again and be usable. The best way to do this is to first heat up the nozzle of the 3D printer and let it cool slowly. The heat warms up the filament and makes it more flexible. Once the nozzle is at room temperature, the filament can be taken out of the 3D printer.

What are the benefits of using 3D printing filament?

3D printing filament can be used for many different things, from small household parts to prototypes for industrial use. For example, 3D printing filament is used to make many prototypes and 3D printed jewelry.

What types of 3D printing filament are there?

There are many types of 3D printing filament. So which one is best for your specific needs depends on the project you are working on. A material that is harder, more durable, and has a better strength-to-weight ratio is normally used for architectural models. By comparison, a material that is less expensive has lower density and is softer, and is used for industrial purposes.

Differences between 3D printing filament types?

The difference between types of 3D printing filaments is mainly in the structure and material used. These different types can be divided into PLA, ABS, PC/PCO, and nylon filaments. PLA filaments are made with a PLA polymer, and ABS filaments are made with an acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) polymer. PC/PCO is a type of filament made of polycarbonate (PC) which can be combined with PCO, a polymer. PCO is more difficult to work with and is less flexible. Nylon filaments are made from nylon or composite material. They can be combined with other filaments, such as PLA.

How do I choose the right 3D printing filament for my project?

As with all 3D printing filaments, the key to choosing the right filament is by consulting with a professional engineer and considering how much you are willing to spend on your project. For example, if you are printing small parts for your hobby projects, the price per gram of the material won’t matter as much. On the other hand, if you are printing large-scale structures and prints with significant detail, it is important to consider the price per cubic meter of the material.

How do I store 3D printing filament?

The best way to store 3D printing filament is to put it in a sealed ziplock bag. This will keep the air out and also prevent the material from drying out. You can store the zip lock bag in an airtight container, such as a large Tupperware container.

Epilogue

Because this material is so safe, it is also a good choice for use on children and adults. They can enjoy the hobby of making items that they have designed, but with the safety of knowing that they will not hurt themselves.

Also, these filaments are inexpensive and easy to get. There is no hassle in having to go shopping for the necessary equipment. You just go to a 3D printing service and make your own designs.

The best part is that you can start this hobby in the comfort of your own home. The only thing you need is the right software, some 3D printing materials, and a 3D printer.

This is a hobby that can be done at home. So, the next time you are designing a new pattern for that important project, give this hobby a try.

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