Filament options: What else is there? - The 3D Printer Guy

Filament options: What else is there?

The most common thermoplastic used in personal 3D printing has always been the oil-based ABS though recently its popularity seems to have been matched by the bio-degradable PLA.

Though ABS and PLA are widespread, easy to find, inexpensive and suitable for most projects, they are not the only options. Many other filaments are available for the 3d printing enthusiast and each one has unique mechanical properties worth knowing.

 

Nylon

  • This filament has great inter-layer adhesion so layer separation (delamination) is usually not an issue.
  • It can resist greater forces than your regular ABS, making it a great choice for functional parts.
  • If your part will be subject to forces or friction (levers, gears, and alike), then probably Nylon is the way to go.

 

Flex

As you can imagine, "flex" is short for "flexible". We are basically talking about a material that can be easily bent and squeezed without breaking.

  • Flexible filaments come in a few different levels of "elasticity", some stretch more than others.
  • Special care: this material may require taking some precautions to avoid extruder clogging.
  • Wrist bands, transmission belts and phone cases are some common parts where flexible filament can come in handy.
 

PET

PET is strong and it is recommended whenever you need a strong and durable part.

  • Its inter-layer adhesion allows single-wall spiral vase prints with no problems.
  • Very flexible when printed in thin layers but also hard and almost "indestructible" when the printed part is thick.
  • Precautions to be taken: this filament is prone to absorbing lots of humidity from the environment and may require some drying before printing.

 

Final thoughts

I encourage you to try all available types of filament so you can fully experience the possibilities that the 3D printing technology currently offers. In all cases, keep in mind that each filament type (and even each brand) may have specific requirements in terms of printing temperature, printing speed and even spool storage.

 

WWW.THE3DPRINTERGUY.COM carries many different varieties of filament from PLA and ABS to specialty filament.  Check out our selection of filament today!  Contact Us for special requests or bulk orders.


Back to the top