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  • Writer's pictureM Aerospace RTC

Filament materials.

If you are part of the world of 3D printing or if you are just interested, you will realize that there are many types of 3D printer filaments made of different materials. It will probably be difficult for you to distinguish them and know how they differ. In this blog we are going to talk in more detail about the different types of filaments, analyzing the differences between them and their usefulness so that you can choose the one that best suits your needs. Filaments can be made from different materials, but plastics are the most common materials and help the environment by requiring less fuel and less machinery to create the parts. To print in 3D, you can find filaments of two sizes, which are the most used in 3D printing today because they are easier to manipulate. It is very important to take into account the diameter of the filament that we are buying. This is because not all printers can work with the same diameter since it depends on the maximum capacity of your printer's extruder. 3.00 mm or 2.85 mm coils are the most common in industrial 3D printers and are used because they are resistant. 1.75mm coils are the most common for the general public. The diameter determines the amount of material, per second, that passes through the extruder. Which, must go to a temperature that allows the melting of the filament in an efficient way. We recommend choosing a 1.75 mm diameter filament because, being the most used, you will be 100% correct in your choice. In addition, you make sure that the filament you buy is of good quality, given its demand. Among the characteristics of a 3D prototype, we cannot fail to mention the kinds of filaments that allow its creation. This is because different materials exist and continue to evolve to optimize the quality of additive printing. There are filaments of various sizes, colors, and types. Filaments are the raw material that 3D printers use to make designs possible and all the amazing things that 3D printers can do. In general, they are made from plastics, but there are other elements, these printers take the filament and melt it at a certain temperature, by the extruder, to reach the melting point of the plastic. In order to choose a good filament, we must know our 3D printer. Thus, we will be able to know what material can be introduced and the maximum temperature that our extruder can reach. There are many types of filaments, and each of these has its own characteristics and uses. Before starting to print, you have to know the type of filament you want to use and what precautions you have to take. Cheaper 3D printers have a lower temperature limit. Therefore, when choosing a filament, you must take into account the thermal capacity of your extruder. Since improper use can affect the useful life of your product. There are many types of filaments to use in our printing machines. Each type has different properties and specific temperatures for printing, and each has a different finish. Advantages Wide variety of filaments. Diversity of colors and finishes. All kinds of objects can be created. There are filaments made from recyclable materials. Prices are affordable. Disadvantages Too much information for a beginner. Technically it is difficult. There are certain materials that are toxic. What types of filament for 3D printers are there? There are many types of filaments, the most common are PLA and ABS. Of these, PLA is the most used material for its ease of use in printing. Besides, it is a biodegradable material. On the other hand, ABS is a type of resistant and hard plastic filament, to the point that it can be sanded, glued with acetone, and even drilled.

It is ideal for making small parts, due to its lower coefficient of friction. For example, decoration pieces can be created, such as figures, models, and gift items. Also, it is being used in the creation of industrial parts, such as mechanical elements and gears, in the food industry, and in the creation of toys. We are only at the beginning of discovering the possibilities of 3D printing. PLA filament Polylactic Acid, commonly known as PLA, is one of the most popular materials used in desktop 3D printing. It is the default filament of choice for most extrusion-based 3D printers because it can be printed at low temperatures and does not require a heated bed. PLA is a great first material to use while learning about 3D printing because it's easy to print, very inexpensive, and creates parts that can be used for a wide variety of applications. It is also one of the most environmentally friendly filaments on the market today. Derived from crops like corn and sugarcane, PLA is renewable and, more importantly, biodegradable. As a bonus, this also allows the plastic to give off a sweet scent during printing. This PLA filament for 3D printers is ideal as it has the following characteristics: Odorless, permanent, clear and bright. Highly resistant to moisture and grease. Similar to polyethylene in developing taste and odor barriers. Sufficiently extensible and elastic. Its level of flammability is very low which makes it stable to UV light. Although it is flexible, PLA can be formulated to be rigid. It can be copolymerized with other materials. Its manufacturing process can be varied in order to adopt mechanical characteristics. The use of PLA material within 3D printing is ideal as it is a dimensionally stable biopolymer. On the other hand, this material in the form of PLA 3d printer filament is very easily

available and cheap. This biopolymer works more efficiently in the 3D printing machine. By using it, resistant products can be obtained using low temperatures during the manufacturing process. PLA has a relatively low printing temperature compared to other thermoplastics (its ideal printing temperature is usually 180°C, while ABS needs 220°C). This means that this material is less likely to warp in the printing process. Also, compared to ABS and other high-temperature thermoplastics, PLA filament produces better surface details and sharper properties. It is one of the easiest filaments to use for 3D printing. The material adheres easily to a variety of surfaces and does not require a heated print bed. Unlike ABS, PLA does not emit odorous fumes during the process. This material is easily pigmented and comes in a variety of colors and blends. In addition, PLA can be mixed with wood, carbon and even metal, while other pigments can be added to give the filaments luminescence or shine. Prints made with PLA filament are easily sanded, polished and painted, allowing an improvement in the surface finish without requiring much effort. Also, you can drill and glue PLA printed parts, just be careful not to melt the part. This is easily achieved by always keeping the tools cold. Biodegradable PLA is an environmentally friendly material as it is non-toxic, biodegradable and requires little energy during printing. A material made from petroleum, for example, takes thousands of years to break down. PLA filament parts, on the other hand, take a few years or even months. The material properties of PLA filament make it ideal for cases where aesthetics and shape are more important than strength and durability. Therefore, the uses of PLA tend to be more decorative than functional. They are also often a good choice for low-cost rapid prototypes, detailed and accurate models, cooking molds, and containers. In the automotive industry, PLA filament is frequently used to print tools, jigs, and accessories. However, it is important to remember that PLA cannot withstand high

temperatures and is a fragile material, therefore, its properties must be taken into account before using the print. In short, PLA filament is a great choice for industries and hobbyists alike. Its low price and ease of use are perfect for getting started in the world of 3D printing and generating low-cost prototypes. We hope that this information will serve you in your next impressions. ABS filament ABS filament is widely used in 3D printing. ABS filament has significant properties that make it a great choice, such as its strength and the fact that it is lightweight, while also being able to handle many different chemicals. The ABS material is also recyclable, meaning it is better for the environment than some other plastics by causing less waste. With a wide range of uses and applications, ABS filament is considered a very good material for 3D printing. It is available in every color imaginable, while the raw color is white. It is used with an FFF (FDM) printer and is wound around a spool. The filament unwinds during the 3D printing process. One of the main characteristics of ABS material is the fact that it is affordable, which makes it a type of additive manufacturing material that is favored by many industries. The cost of 3D printing with ABS material has been significantly reduced, due to the expiration of patents related to FFF technology, saving companies and industries a considerable amount of money. The physical properties of ABS filament are very good, such as a high level of tensile strength and stiffness. It is used for mechanical purposes and due to its electrical properties. Resistance to heat and chemicals makes ABS favorable for many applications, while also being flame retardant. Therefore, when it comes to printing and using an FFF 3D printer, ABS material is a popular choice. This is due to the way ABS material can be used for rapid prototyping at low cost and higher efficiency. Its features allow manufacturers to create 3D models that engineers and

research departments can use it to improve their knowledge and make their working methods more efficient and profitable. PETG filament PETG filament is made of a versatile material with high transparency and high impact resistance. It's easy to print with this filament plus it's tough, kink resistant and recyclable, it's tougher and offers higher impact resistance than ABS and PLA acrylic filaments. Its hardness and resistance customized it into a reliable material for many types of projects. PETG is resistant to weathering and ultraviolet rays, which means that it retains its hardness and never yellows. As with PLA, PETG filament can be printed very easily and the chances of warping are minimal. In post-production, PETG prints can be sanded, drilled, sawn, bent or cut without compromising the structural integrity or adhesion of the print layers. PETG filament can withstand various machining procedures, making it an extremely versatile material. Since PETG filament has a similar molecular structure to PET, the most commonly used plastic, PETG can also be recycled. Unlike most ABS filaments, PETG material can be recycled by traditional means or broken down through various machining methods for reuse at home. In addition to good mechanical properties and greater resistance to temperature than PLA, there are other properties that make PETG very interesting for specific uses: Approval for food use. PETG is approved by the FDA (the US agency that regulates food, drugs and cosmetics) for food use. This is a feature to be wary of for parts printed with PETG, which are printed or stored in an uncontrolled environment, can come into contact with contaminants, and have cavities and grooves that are difficult to sterilize. Chemical resistance. PETG is very stable and chemically resistant to attack by acids and bases. Transparency. PETG in its natural state (without colorants) allows around 90% of light to pass through, making it suitable for printing transparent or translucent parts. It also means that you can buy PETG filament in translucent colors, which leave a shiny

finish on the pieces and hide the striations of the layers very well. No odor when printing. Unlike ABS and similarly to PLA (which has an odor when printed, but is not a strong or unpleasant odor) PETG does not produce an odor when printed Recyclable. Being the material used in bottles and food containers, you can throw your failed prints and used parts together with the containers and bottles to be recycled. TPE filament TPE material is a flexible material. To achieve the best possible result when 3D printing with TPE material, you have to optimize the feed rate. The best results when printing with TPE will be seen when printing at a slow and consistent speed. As TPE has a high level of elasticity, it can mean that any sudden change can cause a loss of control in print speed. Fast print speeds can cause the filament to compress and cause a jam. Concluding: slow and steady is the best approach to take when printing TPE. It is extremely resistant to fatigue when it comes to flexing, making it perfect for those applications where flexing will be required. Due to its excellent electrical properties, it is often found in applications where it is required to prevent the conduction of electricity such as wiring. TPE is more difficult to print compared to other filament materials, mainly due to its flexibility. Advantages of using TPE or flexible filament: Flexible. vibration damping. Shock absorption. weather resistance. Tear resistance.

Long useful life. Impact resistance. They offer a variety of colors. PC filament Polycarbonate (PC) filament is extremely strong, durable and impact resistant. Today it is one of the most widespread thermoplastics in the manufacture of electronic devices, housings for household appliances, CDs, toys, etc. One of the biggest barriers to PC so far when getting into FDM 3D printing was its high melting point. However, with this Polycarbonate filament you can print at a temperature of between 250 and 285ºC, which makes it accessible for many 3D FDM printers. PC is a very rigid and resistant thermoplastic, with high resistance to impacts, good resistance to fire, which considerably withstands contact with oils, greases and solvents, with low deformation and which withstands temperatures of approximately 100ºC without deforming. In addition, it has good transparency, is considered a good electrical insulator and can withstand being exposed to the elements and sunlight well. Among its drawbacks, we can mention that it suffers deformations when submerged in water at high temperatures, that it is a somewhat more expensive 3D printing filament than others such as PLA, and that it gives off an unpleasant smell when it melts. The hotbed, for its part, must be at a temperature of 90º. It is recommended to print PC filament in a dry environment since humidity can affect the properties of polycarbonate, and with ventilation, due to the toxic gases produced by printing. ASA filament ASA filament is a thermoplastic made of acrylate, styrene and acrylonitrile, used in 3D printing that has properties similar to those of ABS filament. The similarities between both filaments are not too surprising, since these two materials share two monomers; acrylonitrile and styrene. This type of ASA filament was originally developed as an alternative to ABS with greater resistance to UV rays thanks to the type of rubber used in the

formulation. ASA is also known for its high impact resistance, its resistance to high temperatures and a greater difficulty in printing compared to other filaments. It is a material used mainly in outdoor applications due to its greater resistance to UV rays and its resistance to adverse weather conditions. Due to its heritage, ASA filament shares many of the drawbacks of ABS when printing. Warping remains a constant issue to be aware of, as well as the potentially dangerous fumes that the plastic emits while printing, due to the presence of styrene. ASA filament is especially resistant to weathering and UV radiation, making it the perfect material for applications created to stay outdoors. ASA filament retains its color and mechanical properties even after long exposure to the open air. It also exhibits greater resistance to environmental stress cracking than ABS, a process by which thermoplastics undergo brittle failure due to mechanical stress and attack by reagents. In addition to its excellent weather resistance, ASA also has good resistance to heat and chemical degradation. Products made with ASA filament can achieve high resistance to impact and UV radiation. ASA has good resistance to saturated hydrocarbons, lubricating oils, vegetable and animal oils, aqueous salt solutions, weak acids and alkalis, and water. However, it can be vulnerable to degradation by inorganic acids, aromatic hydrocarbons, esters, ethers, ketones, and some alcohols. One good thing about ASA's susceptibility to ketone degradation is that it can be polished with acetone, one of the most common polishing agents used in 3D printing. There are various materials in which you can print your projects, if you have questions you can write to us at:

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