Guide To 3D Printing Filaments PART-I

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Guide of 3D printer filaments

 

 

 

 

 

In this guide, you will come across various 3D printing filaments that will be explained in parts with in-depth knowledge about each of the filaments so that you can choose the best filament based on the necessity. In this part of a guide, you will learn about the importance, what they are made of, list of filaments, and in detail about all the standard 3D printer filaments.

Importance of 3d printer filament

When it comes to a 3D printer, filament plays the main character as a thread in sewing the clothes. Filament acts as thread along with 3D printers to build real-world objects. So it becomes very important to know what is it made of, different types of filaments, what is its cost, what are its benefits or applications, its advantages and disadvantages, which is the best 3D printer filament, where to store a filament and, can filament be recycled lets go on tour of all this topics one by one in this guide.

Importance of 3D filament
Why 3D printer filament is so important for 3D printing

You can now wisely choose which is the better filament for your 3D printer after understanding all the above-mentioned points related to the 3D printer filament so that you can enjoy printing what you want to print without any issues.

Do you know what is 3D filament made of?

3D filament acts as ink to the 3D printer so now let’s take a look at how it’s made. The filament is made up of plastic that undergoes 3 processes namely heating, extruding and cooling plastic to form several nurdles. The filaments are usually made of thermoplastics that have different melting point properties when needed to print.

making of 3D filament
Check this out how these are made??

The diameter of the filament depends on the pull rather than push through the nozzle after the plastic has been heated up. The diameter does not take the diameter of the extruder nozzle. And even the width as the same process as that of the diameter. All most all the filaments are 1.75 mm or 3mm diameter.

The filaments come with a variety of colors and with different properties. But the plastic nurdles are always white in color and clear to produce various colors of filaments and with unique properties, several pigments or additives are added while melting the plastic.

List of 3D printer filaments

In this, I’m gone discuss the different types of 3D printer filaments. The filaments are differentiated in 5 types based on their properties. Namely standard, flexible, composite, specialty and, support filament. When you get a 3D printer to home the first question arises to mind is which filament to buy? so let’s discuss one by one.

different types of filaments
Variety of 3D printer filaments

Standard Filament:

As the name standard filament, t is the most commonly used filament. All 3D printers are mainly capable of using these filaments in which the 2 famous filaments are PLA and ABS filaments. Now let’s go through all the standard filaments.

PLA filament
PLA

PLA ( Polylactic Acid): It is one of the most commonly used filament for most of the desktop 3D printer. And popular among Professionals and amateurs. It is also famous as “Eco-friendly 3D printer filament” because it is made of organic renewable resources like cornstarch and sugarcane which do not produce pollution or contribute to global warming. Glow-in-dark colors and translucency are the special features/effects of this 3D printer material.

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Advantages/Properties

  • PLA doesn’t require a heating bed, don’t have a contagious smell and due to its pleasant nature, many of them prefer it.
  • On the other hand, it is easier and safer than any other printer.
  • It is faster than any other printer with less wrap so it is best for beginners.

Disadvantages/issues

  • ABS is stronger or solid over PLA
  • The filament is more difficult to print when it comes in contact with moisture
  • Inclined to clogging the printer nozzle.

Applications

  • PLA filaments are mostly used in the field of Medicine for various surgical implants including its pins, rods, screws, and mesh as they all break down in the human body.
  • Also best used for cosmetic prints, prototypes, desk toys, low-stress applications.
  • Another few examples where PLA is used in food packaging, disposable tableware, and diapers.

Price Starting from : $19.98 t0 $ 50 for 1.75mm/1kg spool

Link: http://bit.ly/3209ccE

Extrusion Temperature: Vary between 180 to 230 °C.

ABS filament
ABS

ABS(Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene): ABS another most popular 3D printer material. Due to its high melting point, it becomes soft when melted so that it can take any shape and gets cooled quickly becomes more stiff, ductile, and tough to break.
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Advantages/Properties

  • Easy material to work due to it’s easy to extrude from the printer’s nozzle
  • Most flexible, lightweight, stiff, ductile, durable and strong nature makes it more preferable than any other printer with wear resistance and heat tolerance.
  • Nontoxic, water-resistance and cheapest among all the 3D filaments.
  • Post-processed with acetone to provide a glossy look.

Disadvantages/issues

  • ABS is a non-renewable resource made of petroleum
  • When heated up produces an unpleasant odor
  • Requires high heated bed to print the material
  • It requires ventilation because of its awful chemical odor.
  • UV radiations break down ABS due which loses its color and becomes brittle after long-term use in an outdoor environment
  • ABS is not good for home users.

Applications

  • ABS can be used in various fields such as automotive parts, moving parts, musical instruments, kitchen appliances, electronic housings, and various toys, like LEGO.
  • ABS to make a plastic wrap, water bottles, and cups are some other applications

Price Starting from: $22.9  for 1.75mm/1kg spool

Linkhttp://bit.ly/2nzudfh

Extrusion Temperature: Vary between 210to 250 °C.

PRO Series PLA
PRO Series PLA

PRO Series PLA: The filament is the formulation of PLA for more better and high quality finished 3D printed products for professional use. These PLA are produced with more precise specifications and tolerance of  ± 0.05mm. It has all the similar properties of PLA.

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Advantages/Properties

  •  A visually distinct finish and a more vibrant, opaque color than PLA filament.
  • PLA doesn’t require a heating bed, don’t have a contagious smell and due to its pleasant nature, many of them prefer it.
  • On the other hand, it is easier and safer than any other printer.
  • It is faster than any other printer with less wrap so it is best for beginners.

Disadvantages/issues

  • ABS is stronger or solid over PLA
  • The filament is more difficult to print when it comes in contact with moisture
  • Inclined to clogging the printer nozzle.

Applications

  • PLA filaments are mostly used in the field of Medicine for various surgical implants including its pins, rods, screws, and mesh as they all break down in the human body.
  • Also best used for cosmetic prints, prototypes, desk toys, low-stress applications.
  • Another few examples where PLA is used in food packaging, disposable tableware, and diapers.

Price Starting from : $19.98 t0 $ 50 for 1.75mm/1kg spool

Linkhttp://bit.ly/33aF1Q6

Extrusion Temperature: Vary between 180 to 230 °C.

PRO Series ABS
PRO Series

PRO Series ABS: The filament is the formulation of the ABS for more beautiful, glossy and, opaque finish with high quality, precision 3D printed products. These ABS are produced with more precise specifications and tolerance of  ± 0.05mm. It has all the similar properties of ABS.

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Advantages/Properties

  • Easy material to work due to it’s easy to extrude from the printer’s nozzle
  • Most flexible, lightweight, stiff, ductile, durable and strong nature makes it more preferable than any other printer with wear resistance and heat tolerance.
  • Nontoxic, water-resistance and cheapest among all the 3D filaments.
  • Post-processed with acetone to provide a glossy look.

Disadvantages/issues

  • ABS is a non-renewable resource made of petroleum
  • When heated up produces an unpleasant odor
  • Requires high heated bed to print the material
  • It requires ventilation because of its awful chemical odor.
  • UV radiations break down ABS due which loses its color and becomes brittle after long-term use in an outdoor environment
  • ABS is not good for home users.

Applications

  • ABS can be used in various fields such as automotive parts, moving parts, musical instruments, kitchen appliances, electronic housings, and various toys, like LEGO.
  • ABS to make a plastic wrap, water bottles, and cups are some other applications

Price Starting from: $22.9  for 1.75mm/1kg spool

Linkhttp://bit.ly/2nzudfh

Extrusion Temperature: Vary between 210to 250 °C.

Tough PLA
Tough PLA

Tough PLA:  The filament is stronger than the normal PLA with heat resistance up to 60°C. ABS comes with its own problems of overhangs, wrapping, and interlayer adhesion but this filament is slightly modified from the normal PLA and ABS which makes it the best for large printers. It still supports all the printers and also provides full geometric freedom while designing.

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Advantages/Properties

  • Tough and impact strength of its similar to ABS, makes it much better filament for the practical printing purpose.
  • Ease of printing and reliable nature makes it better for larger volume printing.
  • Combining it with PVA is more beneficial gives more complex curves, internal details, and harsh overhangs 3D print beautifully.

Disadvantages/issues

  • The filament is more difficult to print when it comes in contact with moisture
  • Inclined to clogging the printer nozzle.

Applications

  • Used to produce strong plastic parts, large models and complex geometries.

Price Starting from : $19.98 t0 $ 50 for 1.75mm/1kg spool

Linkhttp://bit.ly/33aF1Q6

Extrusion Temperature: Vary between 210 t0 230°C.

ColorFabb nGen
CnGen

ColorFabb nGen: The filament doesn’t require to refine print settings again and again so you can print once you set up the printer for a long time without any disturbance so it is good for beginners. Gives a frosty and crisp look when printed with it.

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Advantages/Properties

  • Prints materials with a wide range of temperatures and speeds you can spend more time printing rather than refining its settings.
  • Due to its high heat resistance flows nicely into the nozzle and doesn’t clog often.
  • Best printed on the heated bed and less wrapping due to similar adhesion.
  • Good interlayer adhesion and low-odor while printing.

Disadvantages/issues

  • More expensive than any other filament
  • Brittle nature makes printed materials easily breakable.
  • Hairy prints, pillowing, filament seeping/oozing may occur during printing

Applications

  • Best for printing durable parts avoiding print failure.
  • Mind-boggling ability to print parts with many bridges successfully where other 3D printer materials have failed.

Price Starting from : $30.00 t0 $ 50 for 1.75mm/1kg spool

Extrusion Temperature: Vary between 220 t0 240°C.

Glow-In-The-Dark
GITD

Glow-In-The-Dark: As the name says Glow-in-the-dark it glows in the dark like a twinkling of stars at the night in the sky. It requires normal settings as that of PLA and ABS. The material is printed out of it glows to the brightest when there is dark and emits all the vibrant colors in which it is printed. For more glow add more perimeters to your prints. These filaments are found in three categories of filament PLA, ABS, and TPU.

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Advantages/Properties

  • Properties are similar to normal PLA doesn’t require a heated bed, eco-friendly, easy to use, renewable, safe to use, and durable.
  • During the cooling process has low shrinkage.

Disadvantages/issues

Applications

  • Mainly used to produce children’s room decor products and ceiling stars.
  • Used for light cover switches and novelty decoration products
  • For halloween themes, it is the best filament.
  • Best friend for artistic people.

Price Starting from : $18.00 t0 $ 50 for 1.75mm/1kg spool

Extrusion Temperature: Vary between 180 t0 240°C.

Nylon
Nylon

Nylon (polyamide): This is the synthetic polymer that especially has unique features compared to PLA and ABS, it is undoubtedly strong, impact, durable and versatile than the popular filaments. There are various different kinds of nylon filaments explained below.

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Advantages/Properties

  • Flexible, strong, impact and durable in nature
  • 100% thermoplastic in nature
  • Less brittle than ABS and PLA
  • Products can be moved for sales after printing without sanding, polishing, scraping, or pesky acetone vapor baths.
  • Easily colored/dyed

Disadvantages/issues

  • Nylon should be preserved in a dry area free from moist because it is very sensitive.
  • At the start, the filament may wrap while printing.
  • Printed parts are less precise due to shrinking while cooling
  • Max lifetime of 12 months of nylon of various brands

Applications

  • High interlayer adhesion makes it perfect for living hinges and other functionally strong parts.
  •  Also ready to print tough functional parts, wear parts and production-ready prints.
  • Well-suited for various consumer products, tools, mechanical components, machine parts, structural parts, containers, and much more.

Price Starting from: $40.00 t0 $ 50 for 1.75mm/1kg spool

Extrusion Temperature: Vary between 210 t0 250°C.

NylonX
NylonX

NylonX: Polyamide with the chopped carbon strands this filament comes out with the amazing properties which are better than the normal Nylon filament. Its matte finish look provides the most elegant look and standardizes the richness of the products.

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Advantages/Properties

  • Nylon combined with micro-particles of carbon makes the filament stiffer, impact resistance, and high strength.
  • As for stability and rigidity that the products are much likely to wrap compared to ordinary nylon.
  • Eliminates the post-print processing.
  • Strong like carbon and durable like nylon.
  • Products can be moved for sales after printing without sanding, polishing, scraping, or pesky acetone vapor baths.
  • Easily colored/dyed

Disadvantages/issues

  • NylonX should be preserved in a dry area free from moist because it is very sensitive.
  • At the start, the filament may wrap while printing.
  • Printed parts are less precise due to shrinking while cooling
  • Max lifetime of 12 months of nylon of various brands

Applications

  • An engineering graded filament that gives you the durability of nylon and stiffness of carbon is always ready for home products 3D printing and also ready to print tough functional parts, wear parts and production-ready prints.

Price Starting from: $39.99 t0 $ 50 for 1.75mm/1kg spool

Extrusion Temperature: Vary between 210 t0 260°C.

NylonG
NylonG

Nylon G: Polyamide with the chopped glass fiber is similar to the NylonX filament only difference is instead of carbon it is combined with the glass fiber. Due to its combination with glass fiber comes in all vibrant colors red, blue and white with matte finishing nature. NylonG provides 33% more impact resistance than NylonX which makes it more effective to use.

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Advantages/Properties

  • Nylon combined with micro-particles of glass makes the filament strong, impact resistance, and high strength.
  • As for stability and rigidity that the products are much likely to wrap compared to ordinary nylon.
  • Eliminates the post-print processing.
  • Strong like glass and durable like nylon.
  • Products can be moved for sales after printing without sanding, polishing, scraping, or pesky acetone vapor baths.
  • Easily colored/dyed

Disadvantages/issues

  • NylonG should be preserved in a dry area free from moist because it is very sensitive.
  • At the start, the filament may wrap while printing.
  • Printed parts are less precise due to shrinking while cooling
  • Max lifetime of 12 months of nylon of various brands

Applications

  • An engineering graded filament that gives you the durability of nylon and stiffness of glass is always ready for home products 3D printing and also ready to print tough functional parts, wear parts and production-ready prints.

Price Starting from: $39.99 t0 $ 50 for 1.75mm/1kg spool

Extrusion Temperature: Vary between 210 t0 260°C.

PRO Series Nylon: The filament is the formulation of the nylon that has all the similar properties of the ordinary nylon filament mentioned above.

PET
PET

PET(PETG, PETT): The long-form of the abbreviation is  PET – Polyethylene terephthalate and that of PETT-PolyEthylene Trimethylene Terephthalate. The filaments are copolymers and in their raw state, the material is crystal clear and has no colors when exposed to heat or cold. Amphora AM1800 is the other name for PETG in the market. Also known has T-Glass. PRO Series PETG is the formulation of the PETG and well-known for its precision and tightness.

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Advantages/Properties

  • PET makes printing easy like PLA and its strength, durability, and flexibility reminds us of ABS.
  • It is non-renewable but can be recycled and it is biocompatible
  •  The filament hardly shrinks, warp gets in contact with moist and may degrade in water.
  • Odorless and no fumes are produced by the filament.
  • It provides a glossy look with the best heat resistance.
  • Bridge structures can be done with ease
  • The price is not that high.
  • Sticks well with blue painters tape.

Disadvantages/issues

  • Not good for beginners
  • There should be great tunning between the nozzle and printer bed temperatures
  • Slowly prints the material

Applications

  • Industrially appreciated the strength filament and also approved by FDA best for the food containers products and kitchen utensils.
  • Also proved in the production of mechanical parts and snap-fit enclosure.

Price Starting from: $24.99 to $50 1.75mm/

Extrusion Temperature: Vary between 210 t0 230°C.

ASA
ASA

ASA: The filament is an alternative for the ABS known as Acrylonitrile styrene acrylate which remains in its original form rather than getting pale yellow color for outdoor prints even after long-term use. It has all the print settings similar to ABS except the temperature being different for the print.

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Advantages/Properties

  • The filament is better than ABS along with high UV resistance, weather resistance and does not turn yellowish.
  • Durable and has exceptional chemical resistance that makes well-defined shapes and color retention in direct sunlight.

Disadvantages/issues

  • Apart from its unique properties it also has some flaws releases toxic fumes while printing.
  • Very expensive compared to the other filaments
  • Critical for users to get the masking properly during the print.
  • Due to its low availability not popular among most of the users.
  • Needs higher extruder due to its high melting point and energy utilization is more that impacts the product’s economy

Applications

  • Excellent for outdoor products like outdoor clips, planters, fixtures, and other parts.
  • Also good for the automotive industry and prototyping.

Price Starting from: $27 to $50 1.75mm/1kg spool.

Extrusion Temperature: Vary between 240 t0 250°C.

PolyPropylene
PolyPropylene

PolyPropylene: The abbreviation of the filament is PP. Well-known for the longevity than PLA without any break of the parts. PP is difficult to stick with most of the surfaces include glass, Kapton, PEI, and packing tapes but sticks well with the polypropylene surface.

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Advantages/Properties

  • PP is highly flexible and has impact strength due to its semi-crystalline nature.
  • Has a low coefficient of friction and chemically passive 3D material
  • It is very resistant to moisture and good resistance to electricity
  • It is more easily repaired from damage.
  • PP bends and squeezes into the place.

Disadvantages/issues

  • PP has a high thermal expansion that limits its high-temperature applications.
  • Due to its hygroscopic nature drying is an essential step.
  • It has poor bonding properties and is susceptible to UV  degradation and oxidation.
  • High flammability

Applications

  •  Used for living hinges, medical devices, and chemistry equipment.
  • Well-known for packing and food containers.

Price Starting from: $50 1.75mm/1kg spool.

Extrusion Temperature: 240 °C.

In the up-coming parts of this guide will provide knowledge about the remaining 3D printing filaments and other topics.

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