Choosing the filament is just as important as choosing the right 3D printer. Even with the most expensive printer, you can never get the best results if the filament is selected without proper research and a thoughtful plan. Many things are important when buying the right 3D printer filament. Also, users need to have a thorough understanding of the difference the choice of 3D filaments makes.
We go through so many reviews and feedback when buying a 3D printer, but we often ignore the filament we feed our printer. Not only the quality of the models depends on these materials. Incorrect selection can damage the printer itself. It sounds scary. But don’t worry, if you only have a few points on hand, you will never face such problems.
How do I choose the right 3D printer filament?
Whether PLA or ABS, every filament has its own properties. Not only that, there are many factors that make these filaments different from one another. Choosing the right filament can keep frustration and desperation at bay.
Nozzle diameter of the 3D printer
Photo credit: blog.banggood.com
First of all, you need to be aware that the 3D printers offer different nozzle diameters. Some have interchangeable nozzles, making them compatible with different filament diameters. However, some do not have this privilege.
Hence, you need to check the filament diameter that will fit nicely into the nozzle and will not damage your 3D printer. Most often, 3D printers use a filament diameter of 1.75mm and 3.00mm. Each printer model has its own configuration when it comes to nozzle diameter. And these are designed for certain filament diameters. You can check the 3D printer instructions before placing the order.
There are 3D printers that offer a different filament diameter than the standard printers (1.75 mm and 3.00 mm). So make sure you have the correct information about your 3D printer.
Focus on filament properties
Do you know the filament options are huge? You can choose from PLA, PVA, ABS, nylon and many others. All of these filaments have their own advantages and disadvantages. You can compare these filaments and decide which properties best match the properties of your desired model. You can choose the closest one.
Photo credit: allthat3d.com
PLA: PLA is a biodegradable thermoplastic. It was obtained from renewable raw materials. Hence, the material is known to be the most environmentally friendly, including various other options such as ABS and PVA. Another feature that makes PLA one of the most popular materials is its biocompatibility with the human body. This means you can use it without worrying about allergies or rashes. It’s safe to touch and work with. This is why this material is widely used for medical applications. It has high strength and flexibility compared to the other materials. However, the material can already soften at a temperature of 50 degrees, which is a setback for many users. But a cheap option to start 3D printing.
SECTION: ABS is known for its durability. It’s durable and a bit flexible too. Its heat resistance is relatively higher than that of PLA. To use ABS to print models, users must have a heated bed printer that can be extruded at a temperature of around 225 degrees Celsius. As PLA, ABS is not biodegradable. And it generates fumes when melted at a high temperature. A well-ventilated area must be used when printing with ABS.
PVA: PVA is also one of the most popular 3D printing materials. It’s called polyvinyl alcohol. Printers with twin extruders use this filament to print the support structure. These are soluble in water. Therefore easy to remove after the model has been completely printed. However, PVA requires a special environment for storage and is also expensive.
PETG: PETG is a popular filament. These are very strong and models made with PETG are almost unbreakable. Not only is it a solid material, it is also flexible. In addition, PETG printing is easy and the material is not prone to warping. It provides strong adhesion between layers.
There are many other materials. You need to check out their properties before choosing one. Or, you may not get the results you are looking for.
Choice of filament color
What difference does color bring to the selection process? Not much, but enough to disrupt your printing costs and routine. The natural colors are cheaper than the colors. Due to the inclusion of the pigmentation costs, colored filaments are available at an additional cost. You can also choose transparent colors if you’re looking for a cheap option.
In addition, with colored filaments, the calibration of 3D printers is easier compared to the transparent material.
As you know, the filaments can be easily destroyed if not packaged properly. Therefore, proper packaging is very important during shipping. Companies that don’t care must be ignored when buying filament for your 3D printers.
If your budget is tight, you can also opt for filament spools instead of buying filament spools. Although spools of filament are easier to handle, they are expensive because of the extra weight they add to the packaging.
There are many filaments you can print with. However, not every filament would help you get the results you want. Additionally, the choice of filaments can make a huge difference to budget. You need to consider all the factors before paying for these filaments. Given the desired properties of your models and the different printing conditions, you can get to the 3D printing material you were thinking about.
Hopefully the above article will help you find the right 3D printing filament and your next printing project would be less frustrating. Knowing which filament highlights the required properties of your 3D printed objects means you can print successfully. They can be good ways to make an amazing difference in print quality.
This article does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editors or management of EconoTimes.