Which is the best 3D printing filament?

When we carry out a 3D printing service, we have to consider the materials used. We don’t just use the same plastic every time, as different plastics are better depending on the environment that they’d be used in.

Here’s a little introduction to the types of 3D printing materials that are out there, and the contexts in which we use them.

Environmental suitability

Certain plastics have lower melting points than others and thus go softer at lower temperatures.

PLA (Polylactic acid) is a very strong and rigid filament but it starts to go soft at 60°C. This obviously makes it unsuitable in high temperature applications as it has been known to even go soft in hot cars in summer.

Nylon is a more flexible filament than PLA but is more durable. Nylon parts are more likely to tear than their PLA counterparts. Therefore parts that need impact resistance are better printed in Nylon than PLA.

ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) is a common plastic used for 3D Printing. It is durable and has a reasonable temperature resistance, but its fumes make it less popular with hobbyist 3D printer enthusiasts.

PETG (Polyethylene Terephthalate Glycol) is a good alternative to ABS. It is durable like ABS and doesn’t produce fumes that are carcinogenic. PETG doesn’t have as good a temperature resistance as ABS but this is a small tradeoff.

For more information or to speak to one of our experts about your next project, call 01527 558 282 or fill out our contact form.