As you probably know by now, 3D printing is a process by which an object is created layer by layer. The manner in which each layer is made differs with different methods of 3D printing and the types of 3D printer filaments used. A filament is usually kept in cartridges with large spools of material.
You can come across many different types of 3D printing filaments nowadays. The most common products are made using styrene (ABS) and polylactic acid (PLA) plastics. These two would be the most popular materials used, but there are also polypropylene, nylon, carbon fiber and polycarbonate 3D printing filaments available today. The extrusion process is done with any material that can be melted and thrust through a die. Most printers in the industry utilize plastic when they focus on extruding to create filaments.
Use the right filament for your project
When choosing the right type of filament for your project, you have to consider the actual properties of the material to be extruded. To make the best decision for this, you’ll need to have a good understanding about the properties of different materials. Being a powerful and long-lasting plastic, ABS makes a perfect choice for something structural that demands extreme strength and maximum capability to hold weight. Other types of products come with their own properties and offer unique benefits.
Benefits and uses of various types of 3D printer filament types
As mentioned above, PLA is the most common and extensively used 3D printer filament type available today. An advanced version known as Engineering PLA (EPLA) is more durable and stronger than standard PLA. You can use EPLA to make wonderful visual prototypes with extra choice of post-processing like painting and sanding. This filament type is the easiest material to work with.
ABS 3D printer filament offers excellent heat resistant properties. It is extremely useful for functional prototypes. Models 3D printed using ABS also offer appreciable wear resistance, flexibility, elasticity and durability.
Several filaments easily degrade when exposed to direct sunlight. PETG filament is an exception. This type of 3D printer filament can be utilized for storing liquids. It can also be submerged without worrying about degrading.
You cannot combine this highly chemical resistant model with anything. It shows commendable fatigue resistance so that repeated flexural forces cannot break it.
Carbon fiber filament
Carbon fiber filament is extremely strong. For increasing the rigidity and power, carbon is added to the base filament. So, if your project requires strength, this could be the filament for you.
Low friction is a special quality of the nylon filament. It is a good option for models that need movement without degradation.
High elasticity is the most prominent benefit of this type of filament. It has been used to make elastic parts such as phone cases and grips.
It is a soluble model with high impact resistance. The Hips filament has the ability to withstand forces for different functional applications.
This filament is utilized for complex geometric models and it easily dissolves in water.
Different types of projects 3D printer filament is used for
3D printing has been revolutionizing the manufacturing process in a serious way nowadays. Although the cost of this method stands higher compared to conventional methods such as injection molding and machining, 3D printing is the best choice for complex and custom parts. It can be applied to things such as custom equipment or medical devices. It is hard to find a structure that you cannot 3D print.
That is exactly why these types of filaments are used for a wide range of purposes including making sports equipment, knife handles, car phone mounts, phone cases, toys, wedding rings, food containers, paper adhesives, packaging films, miniature figurines and many more.
For use in your 3D printer at home, you will most likely be using PLA or ABS filament. Check out our range of 3D printer filaments here.