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An Expert Buying Guide for Best 3D Printer Filament Selection

The choice of filament is a crucial part of selecting various 3D printing materials as any production of the 3D object will be incomplete without it. A 3D printer filament, also known as 3D printer ink, usually comes in a plastic form, but also available in other materials. If you are doing your part of the research for the best 3D printer filament, then this page will help you understand various 3D printer filament material so that you can select the best available product in the market for your 3D printing purposes.

3D printer filaments come in various types, and depending on the object, you may try various filament choice to build. Check here the best 3D printer filaments available in the market for 3D printing and different purposes they serve.

Before That Let’s Know What 3D Printer Filament is

A 3D printer filament is used to make three-dimensional printing. As most used and best 3D printer filaments, ABS - Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene and PLA - Polylactic Acid is the primary selections for most of the 3D printing businesses. However, there are more types of 3D printer filaments available in the market, but they may be costly options and not suitable for all-round purposes. 

Different Best 3D Printer Filaments Available in the market

Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene – ABS

ABS filaments are the most demanding among other filaments. High-quality ABS 3D printer filaments are tough and extremely impact resistant. ABS filaments are slightly flexible and strong, which makes it a very compatible material for 3D printer filament. In addition to this, ABS 3D printer filaments can be easily extruded, which offers easy handling and operation. It requires a print temperature between 210°C – 250°C. ABS is the best 3D printer filament option for automotive parts, moving parts, toys, and electronic housing. This type of filament also can be used in various automotive components, kitchen appliances, electronic assemblies, protective headgear, and more. This is the cheapest thermoplastic available in the market and extremely popular for its lightweight, flexibility, durability, and sturdiness.

Polylactic Acid – PLA

Another popular and best 3D printer filament choice for this list. PLA printer filament is made of biodegradable thermoplastic derived from eco-friendly and renewable resources such as sugar cane, corn starch, potato starch, and tapioca roots. This 3D printing filament is an environment-friendly option compares to ABS, which is a petroleum-based non-biodegradable plastic. It doesn’t produce any toxic fume during the printing, so it’s best preferable for classroom and home uses and suitable for kids in love with 3D printing. It requires a print temperature between 180°C – 230°C. PLA can be degraded into inoffensive lactic acid, which makes it suitable for surgical implants and medical Ativan suturing. Surgically implanted pins, rods, and screws made out of PLA component naturally break down inside the body within 6 to 12 months. Aside from this, PLA is also used for disposable garments, hygiene products, disposable tableware, classroom, and training purposes. Although PLA is the easiest and best 3D printer filament for beginners, it’s prone to jamming printer nozzles. It also attracts water molecules and becomes brittle at time.

Polyvinyl Alcohol – PVA

PVA filament  is also among the best 3D printer filament choices available in the market. This 3D print is made out of special biodegradable plastic, which is water-soluble. Based on polyvinyl alcohol, PVA is completely non-toxic. It’s easy to print and a great choice for printing 3D models with overhangs, which is impossible to print without support. It requires a print temperature between 180°C – 230°C. PVA printing filaments are commonly used as a thickener, paper adhesive, feminine hygiene products, freshwater fishing sports, and more. It’s completely biodegradable and non-toxic, but not easy to use and costly compared to other available best 3D printer filaments.

Polyethylene Terephthalate with Glycol - PETG

PETG filament is an extremely tough and durable 3D printing material. It can be printed without any odor. It offers the durability of ABS but with superb flexibility and minimal warping and shrinkage, which makes it one of the best 3D printer filament choice. It offers superior impact-resistance. PETG is not brittle and requires a temperature between 220°C – 245°C to 3D print. This type of 3D filament is best to be used with printing products subject to sustained or sudden stress, such as mechanical parts and protective components. PETG is a feature-loaded for its strength, flexibility, and recyclable property. It’s also not brittle nor wrap prone, but difficult to use and has poor bridging characteristics.

High Impact Polystyrene - HIPS

Another biodegradable and best 3D printer filament choice for our list. It has absolutely no adverse effects on humans or pets in contact. It used Limonene as a solvent just like ABS and counted as a superb material 3D print supporting material. It usually could be an excellent support material when we 3D print ABS with dual extrusion printer. HIPS requires a print temperature between 210°C – 250°C. It can’t use for any specific application as it can’t fabricate the 3D object itself. It’s a popular secondary 3D printer filament material to be used with dual extrusion 3D printers to offer structural support while building complex objects. HIPS filament is mostly used in the food industry for packaging. It is also used for medicinal tray production and CD disk packing. Although it has less warping, it displays adhesion and curling issues.

Polyamide or Nylon

It’s a popular 3D printer filament option, especially for industrial applications. It’s a cost-effective option and known for its excellent properties such as lightweight, strong, wear-resistant, flexibility. It could be the best 3D printer filament choice for functional and mechanical parts due to its high melting point and strength. It has a print temperature range between 210°C – 250°C. Nylon filament is an ideal selection for machine parts, gear and bearings, structural parts, dynamic load, mechanical components, tools, consumer products, toys, and more.

At MakeShaper, we are offering a wide range of best 3D printer filaments with the assurance of high-quality and best market price. Browse our website today to check all our product offerings, their respective prices, and feature sets. For instant query solving and questions, give us a call at 1-330-753-0100 now. We will be happy to help you.

Important Advantages of PETG Filament in 3D Printing

ABS and PLA filaments are widely known in the 3D printing universe, but there are important advantages of PETG filament in 3D printing that are causing it to quickly growing as a popular option for builds. The properties of PETG make it an appropriate choice for producing a vast array of impact-resistant and flexible items.

Composition

PETG is a modified form of polyethylene terephthalate (PET), a thermoplastic widely used in plastic bottles. In fact, 43 percent of U.S. soft drinks are delivered in PET bottles. Glplastic-bottles-webycol-modified PET (PETG) is an increasingly popular filament material because it's more durable than common alternatives. The addition of glycol prevents crystallization so it won't become brittle when heated. PETG is a highly transparent co-polyester that can be dyed as required. It is possible to produce brightly colored, translucent prints with a nice, glossy finish with minimal post-processing.

Advantages

As the 3D printing industry matured, PETG emerged as a viable and attractive alternative to ABS and PLA. Here are some of the qualities that drive interest in this advanced filament material:
  • Excellent layer adhesion
  • Warp resistance
  • Reduced shrinkage
  • Higher density
  • Chemical resistance to both acidic and alkali compounds
  • Flexible printing on glass, acrylic, glass, blue tape and polyimide tape
  • Odorlessness during printing
Finished prints are pliable and more impact-resistant. In fact, PETG is flexible enough that it is virtually unbreakable in the layer direction. Excellent layer adhesion translates into improved surface finishes. Low shrinkage means it is often a good choice for printing larger items.

Versatile Applications

printing with petg, petg, 3d print petgPETG is worth considering any time your 3D print needs to be tough, durable, flexible and impact-resistant. It is ideal for use in the production of a wide array of mechanical parts. The rapidly expanding robotics technology sector is also embracing PETG printing. The smooth finish of PETG prints, and the fact that the plastic is FDA-compliant makes it an appropriate choice for printing creative and/or intricate kitchenware designs. You are really only limited by your imagination. Enterprises looking for a filament that will produce translucent, shatter-resistant items like phone cases will also want to take a close look at using PETG filament.

Filament Comparisons

PETG filament favorably compares to other popular 3D printing materials:
  • PLA/PHA filament -- Polylactic (PLA) is a biopolymer commonly derived from cornstarch and sugarcane. PETG print speeds are similar to those of PLA, although the melting point is higher. Like, PETG, PLA and PHA filaments are relatively easy to use. However, PETG is denser (1.38g/cm3).
  • ABS filament -- Acrylonitrile-Butadiene Styrene (ABS) is temperature-resistant like PETG. While ABS is harder, PETG is more flexible and more durable. PETG is odorless during printing, while ABS emits a noticeable odor.
  • TPU filament -- Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU) is not as dense as PETG; the density of flexible TPU filament is just 1.21g/cm3. The chemical resistance of TPU is good, while the chemical resistance of PETG is excellent.
Once you do the math, you'll see that PETG can be a high-quality, cost-effective alternative to these other filaments.

Sustainability

One of PETG's virtues is that it is recyclable. It is different from many other plastics because its polymer chains are readily recovered for future use. PETG can be recycled for use as a gas barrier. Its chemical resistance makes it a good barrier when used with solvents and alcohol. Be sure to always check with your local recycler for their rules and regulations on what you can bring and what they can recycle. We here at MakeShaper are excited to launch our line of PETG filaments. Available in two diameters and a dozen colors, our filaments provide superb extrusion every time, in every project. We also offer a wide range of made-in-the-USA filaments in a spectrum of deep, saturated colors and full range of diameters and spool sizes.  Crafted in Sanford, North Carolina, from high-purity raw materials, MakeShaper makes high quality performance filament so you can make anything!