What Types of 3D Printer Filament Are Available

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What Types of 3D Printer Filament Are Available

There are two main types of 3D printer filament that are widely spread and used by Fused deposition modeling (FDM) based 3D printers such as the MakerBot Replicator series for example these are ABS and PLA, though there are various other alternatives also available. Both ABS and PLA are thermoplastic materials that start to melt when they are heated up, so that they can be used to form another object and solidify when they cool down.

ABS(Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) is a common thermoplastic often used in 3D printing, but it also has many more applications. 3D printing using ABS has some additional requirements from the printer such as a heated bed, so not all devices are capable of supporting ABS printing. The objects printed from ABS are generally harder and more durable, can be used with higher temperature before starting to soften (about 100 degrees Celsius or more), but are also harder to print and generally provide less detail to the printed parts. If printing with ABS you must be careful and have good ventilation as the fumes produced when ABS is melted for printing are not totally safe.

PLA(Polylactide) is a biodegradable thermoplastic aliphatic polyester derived from renewable resources, such as corn starch for example. PLA is probably the most widely used material for 3D printing as it is easy to handle and offers very good detail level. The only drawback that it has is the relatively low temperature that the material starts to soften above about 65 degrees Celsius. It does not require the printer to have a heated bed like ABS for example, so it is more 3D printer friendly, especially to the lower cost models.

In general both ABS and PLA have their advantages and disadvantages compared to each other, so you should choose the material based on what you are planning to be using the 3D printed parts for. If you need to print in ABS you should be careful when choosing a 3D printer supporting ABS prints as not all do and it such cases it is better to go for a model that has support for both ABS and PLA. If you are new to 3D printing and are getting your first 3D printer to play with it at home, then it is better to go for a model supporting PLA as you probably will not need ABS printing capabilities. Both ABS and PLA filaments come in the form of thin round lines with specific diameter (1.75mm or 3mm are the most common) that are wrapped around a spool. The 3D printer filament is being sold in spools with the material calculated and priced based on its weight and not length of the line for example, there are already many available colors for both materials that you can find available from various manufacturers.

There are of course many other materials that can be used for 3D printing, though they are mostly experimental and you should be prepared to have some issues and tinker with your 3D printers settings should you decide to try them out. There are multiple alternatives for a flexible rubber type of filament available for 3D printers that will allow you to print rubber like flexible models on your device. You can also find filaments that contain carbon, wood and even small stone particles that when printed will create an effect making it like if the 3D printed object is made from carbon, wood or stone or at least looking a lot like that. There are also other kinds of interesting 3D filaments available, but again most of these are experimental and using them can cause some problems on your 3D printer such as jamming of the print head etc., so be careful when you decide to try these out.

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Build Your Own 3d Printer Filament Factory (Filament Extruder

Build Your Own 3d Printer Filament Factory (Filament Extruder)

Introduction: Build Your Own 3d Printer Filament Factory (Filament Extruder)

Cheap and high quality at a decent speed of 150-190 IPM ! (4-5 meters per minute)

3D printers are cool and they finally start to drop in price. Kickstarter campaigns like the one from QB-UP or M3D are popping up and they are finally affordable. And with affordable I mean affordable like 200 $ and not affordable like 2.199$ affordable. However, once you are a proud owner of a 3D printer you will soon realize that your wallet is far from being let alone. No ! You need plastic filament of course to print those super awesome coat hooks and wheel chocks. Since the price for these filaments tend to top the actual material costs, printing before mentioned life savers is kind of expensive and could become a problem to the development of the ever growing 3D printer community

BUT FEAR NO MORE !! Some clever gents came along – Hugh Lyman with his Lyman Extruder may be mentioned here or the guys over at – and saved the day ! YAY. And there was much rejoicing ! They have built plastic extruders everyone can build or buy at a decent price. However if you are a fellow m user the first thing that should come to your mind is I can build this by myself…and cheaper…. Building at lower costs is the nature of DIY after all.

And much more fun than putting together a premade kit, of course.

Special greetings go out to Xabbax and his plain simple but super awesomeLow Cost Filament Extruder!

So how much money do I save when making my own filament ?

Depending on the pellets you get you can make your filament starting at 1$/kg.

How long does it take to produce 1 kg of filament you may ask ??

Using the build I describe here…roughly 1 hour. (for 1,75mm filament using ABS/PC pellets).

So, lets say on a Saturday in your next workshop session you start at 10 AM and batten down the hatches at 5 PM you could make 4-5 kg of filament, saving between 125-150 $ leaving you with lots of filament for hundreds of thousands of eggcups and phone cases and other useless needful things.

Depending on shipping and local prices, I would guess around 130-150$.

Except for the electronics everything listed here can be bought at your local hardware store.

1x Wiper Motor (Ebay EU – 15€) / 5€ from the junkyard

1x Auger bit(diameter = 16mm ; length = 460mm)

1x PID Temperatur Controller – DC 12V version (Ebay)

1x SSR-25DA Solid State Relay 3-32V DC / 24-380V AC / 25A (Ebay)

1x K-type thermocouple (Ebay- like this one; does not need to be that shop 🙂 just an example)

–!!! Sometimes the PID is bundled with an SSR and an K-Type Thermocouple !!!–

1x Heating band (200 Watt 25mmx30mm) (Ebay)

1x Fitting 3/4 US Inch UNC — 1/2 German Inch – 18cm long

1x Water tap extension – 3/4 UNC threads — 1/2 German Inch – 50mm long, 27mm diameter (one core thread and one exterior thread)

1x Faucet-mounted filter – 1/2 diameter

1x Axial ball thrust bearing (Ebay) – Fitting exactly onto the auger bits shaft.

3x Rocker (previously rocket) switches

2x sockets (1 that fits on the auger bit and 1 that fits on the nuts of the motor shaft)

Take the wooden board and cut away two pieces each 15cm in length (~6). They will serve as a mount for themotorand for thebarrel.

Mount the wiper motor to the motor mount and place it somewhere at the end of the base plate. See the technical drawing for an estimation.

Use the steel angles to attach it to the base plate.

The motor just has a threaded shaft. For the coupling to fit onto the motor I took a hex-nut with 13mm outer diameter and put it on the shaft. When the shaft rotates and the coupling is attached, the nut would untwist. To fix this I drilled a hole in-between the attached nut and the motor shaft and put in a 2mm steel bolt. This prevents the nut from opening. See the last picture above.

Drill two holes into the other piece of wood so the flanges can be attached left and right of the board. Drill another 1/2 hole for the auger bit.

Both mounting boards need their center opening to be aligned to each other so the auger / coupling / shaft-axis can rotate freely.

Fasten the flanges with two pieces of the 10mm threaded rod. The rods must be left long enough so they can be screwed to the auger kickback protection. 10 cm is good enough. They can be cut to size later on.

This will get clear in the next step.

When the auger bit turns and hauls the pellets a lot of pressure builds up. In the worst case this could damage the worm drive inside the wiper motor. To counter that problem, we need a kickback protection. This is simply done by a sturdy steel angle and an axial ball thrust bearing.These ball bearing withstand alot of force applied to them.

It works like that: The auger pushed back due to its backward turning attitude. Because of its taper the augers shaft pushes against the axial ballthrust bearing which itself pushes against the steel angle. The coupling between the auger and the motor should always have a little clearance. So that no force is applied to the motors shaft.

Now place the steel angle with the inserted rods at a distance to the barrel mount so that the augers shaft sticks out for about 3-4cm (~1.5-2).

The pictures should explain it as well. Moreover I have made a short video that should illustrate it as well. The dimensions of the parts might differ from the ones you have access to. So exact measurement might not help you very much, but the pictures should give you an idea how it should be put together.

Smooth out the ends and the seams of the pipe so the auger bit can rotate freely.

Before cutting an opening into the pipe screw it tight onto the flange and mark the upper area and remove the barrel again.

Take your multitool and cut out the marked area at the end of the pipe where the pellets should fall in. Wind some PTFE tape around that end of the pipe. This should prevent the pipe from turning with the augers movement. Remember the motor is very powerful and if there is some friction between the auger and the pellets, the pipe easily turns another 4-5 mm even if it was fastened with a monkey wrench.

The threads on the flange and fittings are not made for perfect 90 angles. So the fitting/barrel might stand in an oblique angle. To fix this take some washers and place them under the flang where necessary.

Take a square piece of wood and drill a hole lengthways for the pipe to run through. Now drill another hole orthogonal to the pipe channel so that a bottle can fit tightly. Now just cut the block in half for easy dis/-assembly.

The auger might be too long so you need to cut off its tip with an angle grinder.

The auger bit should reach up to the heater. See the pictures above.

Take a 5cm (2 inch) piece of a square steel that fits into the ends of the sockets (about 12mm edge length).

Put the coupling on the auger bit and attach the motor to the motor mount.

The coupling should now fit nicely in-between.

Alternatively you could use a spark plug socket instead of the two sockets. But therefore the distance between the motor-mount and the auger/barrel-mount needs adjustment.

I went with the above mentioned method because I did not have spark plug socket at hand but I will try this with the next build.

Depending on the material you process the diameter of the hole in the nozzle will vary and finding the right dimension is a process of trial and error. For ABS/PC blend pellets with a melting point between 240-280C a 1.5mm hole perfomed well from my experience.

Take the faucet-mounted filter and cut it into a 1/2 diameter if needed. This will act as a breaker plate. What this breaker plates does is mix the molten plastic and retains dirty (which should not be there of course) and eventually small bubbles that could occur in the melting process. This helps smoothing the plastic pushing through the nozzle.

Be sure there are no chippings or strands ! You dont want to ruin your printers nozzle !

Take a washer, place it inside the end cap and put the DIY breaker plate on top.

Drill a 2mm hole near the front of the water tap extender for the thermocouple to fit in.

Strip the thermocouple wire to length. It should just be as long as needed.

Push the band heater on the tap extender. It should sit around the end of the extender.

Next take some PTFE tape and wind it around the thread of the tap extender. This prevents the molten plastic from squeezing through the thread.

Fix the thermocouple with some heat resistant tape.

Then put on the nozzle from the previous step.

Next, take a 10cm long piece of aluminium tubing with a diameter of around 1cm and place it in front of the nozzle using some rigid wire. This gives the filament a nice curl when cooling.

Now wrap the insulation around the heater so that the nozzle is covered as well.

The front of the nozzle and the motor needs some cooling.

The filament is still very hot and soft when it exits the nozzle. To prevent it from stretching too much from the affecting g-forces when falling down, cooling is very important. The more you cool the better you can control the diameter of the filament later on.

Although the motor builds up some heat and the fan helps to keep it cool.

Now that most of the mechanical parts are set and done it is time for installing the electronics.

But before, take a piece of wood for the front enclosure and arrange the 3 rocket switches, the PID controller and the motor controllers potentiometer and fix them with some hot glue.

Main powerConnect the power cord via a rocker/t switch to the power supply (Ports L, N and Ground).

Connect the PID temperature controller via rocker switches to the power supply.

Connect the 12V ports of Solid State Relay to the PID (Port 6 and 8)

Connect port 1 of the SSR to the 220V (EU) /120V (US) port (Port L) of the power supply.

Connect port 2 of the SSR tooneof the band heater ports.

The other free port of the band heater is connected to the N port of the power supply.

The band heater is a 220V part but the PID only runs on 12V. Therefore the SSR connects the 12V PID with the 220V heater. The PID powers the SSR on and off if needed. When it is on then 220V are connected to the band heater and it gets warm. If the relay is off, the band heaters isnt connected to 220V and ergo is powered down. The idea is to control a high power device (Heater) with a low power device (PID).

Connect the motor controller via a rocker switch to the power supply. Then connect the motor to the motor controller. Use the pinout for the 2nd speed setting of the motor. The pinouts differ from model to model and you first have to find out which pins are for which speed setting.

The two fans are connected to the same ports as the motor is to the motor controller.

I am not sure if I am allowed to post the wiring diagrams for license reasons so I will link to the respective websites.

2)Filabot Wee wiring diagram (scroll down)

3) Here is a link to theSestos PIDI used.

Different materials need different extrusion settings.

For pure ABS a temperatur of 190C is about right.

PLA requires less heat and ABS/PC blend needs higher temperatures like 260-270C.

The Sestos PID is able to autotune to the desired temperature.

To enable the autotune function press SET for 3 seconds.

You will now see HIAL on the display. Now use the DOWN button until you see Ctrl and adjust it to 2. This is the number for the autotune function. Press SET again until you see the temperature readout again. Just after all the EP1-8 options. Set the desired temperature using the up and down buttons and wait until the display stops flashing (~10-15 minutes).

Activate the motor and let the extruding begin. You have to play around with the speed of the motor.

From my experience setting the potentiometer to half speed @ 270C for ABS/PC performed very well.

With high torq motor, can produce more filamen with less time

Hi FadlyN. Thanks for sharing your design, I really like it! Where did you find a motor like that? Did you still use the same type of auger & barrel?

i found it on ex forklift motor ^ ^, yup im still use these design

Thank you for the reply! Yeah i figured i would need something like a grinder to shred those bottles apart, and aside from saving money buying pellets i wanted to throw in a bit of green and help save the planet lol.

Thanks, so will a stepper motor have enough torque?

Im making this type extruder…Thanks for the idea….But I have a big problem : auger is jamming amd motor stop rotating the auger because plastic pallets are stuck between auger and barrel feeding slot corner (As shown in image) … How to solve this issue Please…???

the distance between auger and nozzle should not be too far, this is d Key

Your auger is turning in the wrong direction. CCW is the dull side of an Auger. I would say its a combination of the two solutions you have here.

I tried each and every thing described on Internet on different websites but nothing helped me….Then I changed the motor…I attach a big 220v very high torque motor to my extruder…. 😀 😉 Now it is working great… I have made many filament spools …

The smaller the slot is, the lesser is the surface/edge where pellets can jam.

The feeding slot is very big. The bigger it is, the more likely pellets are going to jam. Try making a feeding slot smaller so that it is above the pivot point of the curvature of the the pipe.

Do old failed prints make the new spools?

yes it does! just break failed pieces apart in pieces of ~ 3 by 3 mm and it will do the yob as pellets!

Pay attention for the material you use

On your materials list you listed 1x Fitting 3/4 US Inch UNC — 1/2 German Inch – 18cm long is this the section of pipe that makes the barrel?unless i over looked it I didnt see anything refering to this in any of the steps

how big should the hole in the nozzle be?

Hey guys, what kind of motors did you use to drive the auger bit?

What is your trick to obtain constant filament diameter?

Should I let the filament fall by itself without guiding it?

What about the cooling of the matter after it has been extruded?

I know this is designed to use plastic pellets, but would there be any issues if i tried making filament out of shredded plastic?

I live in Nebraska. Ill actually pay $500, including shipping. Id want a 30 day return policy to make sure its working as it should

I made this extruder a while ago, and I also purchased a Filawinder to auto-spool the filament, but Im having lots of troubles finding the right combination to extrude PLA with a consistent diameter of 1.75 or close. Any recommendations on RPMs, temp and nozzle hole diameter?

PLA cools down more slowly than ABS, therefore there are may issues to take into account:

First of all your extruder has to produce a consistent extrudate. Pellets have to be melt well and contain no unmelted bumps, no air bubbles and no contaminating particles.

Another thing which actually contradicts a little to the first one you should use as low temperature for extruding as possible for factory extrusion it is 205C but for home it could be around 190C (if your extruder will have enough power not to choke)

Then you should put your extruder at the height which provides consistent gravity pull (so extrudate is straight) with the required diameter (the higher is the extruder the thinner will be the resulting diameter). Then you should cool it not with one fan but install several fans along the path (within 1 or 1,5 meter length)

So here is a lot of playing around with PLA 🙂

Quick question. Im in the process of buying a 3D printer but i quickly realized how expensive filament is. So i had the idea to make my own plastic recycler since we seem to go through cases of water in no time. So if i wanted to make plastic pellets out of the PET plastic of water bottles would this extruder work to turn it into filament?

If you are able to get the bottles into pellet size easily you are good to go.

However filament isnt that expensive anymore in my humble opinion. Where I live, which is in Germany, I pay for a 800gr roll around 20€. This is made in Germany by a small company which specialzed on making filament only. But I have also seen 1kg no-name rolls on ebay for around 17€. For a really long time I used this cheaper no-name filament and the quality was very nice. Also the diameter was (with both, the cheap and the more expensive filament) absolutely constant at 1.73mm +- 0.01mm.

Speaking of which. Getting the correct diameter on self-extruded filament and maintaining that specific diameter is a science in itself. This is a lot of trail and error. A lot of. And time is money and when considering it from the economic stance I fear that buying ready made filament is a bit more economically than making it yourself. All the more if you realize that getting PET bottles into pinhead sized pellets requieres a machine (or at least some manual laborious handywork) and buying pellets might be easier in the end. Because, you know, 3d printer shops sell pellets for hilarious high prices.

Well that could be true if you are a casual user of 3D Printer, but if you really want to put your machine to produce it is expensive. Yes you can need a shreding machine and this Filament extruder and work in calibrate and got a consistente filamente, but when you got it, you can low your budget to 5Euro/Kg (pellets) or 0Euro/Kg (Recycle). But the best thing is the green. By the way you dont need make the filament Extruder. The Italian guys who made the Felfil Evo sell it in 500Euro or 280 Euro for basic parts and you put the electronics (arduino basic), there is another kits too. So I think many people can got great savings for this.

Yeah i already have a modified cross cut paper shredder and it destroys water bottles to tiny flakes with ease. Im gonna try to put this filament factory together and see how it works out. Im mostly doing this as a way to give plastic bottles a new use since i know most people dont care to recycle

I was wondering if you managed to make a good filament of the PET bottles? And if you made your own extruder or bought it somewhere.

One of the main challenges you will run into with PET is that it is not too friendly to printing in its raw form and you will likely see significant warping when printing with it, however it can be done if youre okay with the trade offs look here:

Most PET filament available is PETG or glycol modified which makes it more suitable for printing. From what I can tell the process involves treating it with some bacterial type thing and maintaining precise heating for about 6 hours.

My advice is dont use raw PET for anything that will see heavy use and handling, but small figurines should be fine.

I am doing the same thing. My county does not have recycling and i wanted to repurpose it. Did you make any headway with it?

What brand are you looking at? Theres some decent filament out there for a fair price of around $25 a KG.

can I use a 300w heater and change the power supply for 350 watts?

ok … how did you get the auger inside the barrel? i bought an 16mm auger and a 1/2 barrel. I am from germany too. Somehow the openings of the barrels are too small.

You have to sand both ends of the barrel, for some reason, the ends are smalled than the inside of the tube. There is a picture on the guide showing it:

The reason the ends of pipe neck down is because of the pressure from cutting it, and threading it. Just cutting pipe with a pipe cutter crushes it down some.

If i want to manufacture my own ABS what is the pillets material i want to open a small production line ? Any help ?

Just as an advice: DONT CONNECT THE HEATER UNTIL YOU HAVE CONFIGURED THE PID (See PID controller setup). I tried to test the machine before setting up the PID and it was configured to heat to like Volcanic-Rock-Melting-Point, and my Mica heating band almost burned. Also, the guide says Connect the 12V ports of Solid State Relay to the PID (Port 6 and 8) but it doesnt tell you that you must connect the cables with the correct polarity, otherwise the SSR wont transfer voltage. Make sure that the port 6 of the PID (negative) goes to port 4 of the SSR (negative) and port 8 of the PID (positive) goes to port 3 of the SSR (positive)

Hi. I have a 12V DC heater element (~12A). Do you think that if I connect the heater directly to the PID will work fine (PID powered with the 12V 300W power supply)? Or should I make a sepparate circuit with a DC/DC SSR?

It might be possible but I dont recommend it, when the Heating band gets hot it starts drawing more amps which might burn your PID. Regardless of the type of heating band you have I recommend you to get an SSR, it will serve as a kind of safety device to avoid your PID from getting burnt. SSRs are cheap, PIDs are not ;

Ok, thanks. Should I put two different power supplies, one for the PID and another for the heater element? Or should it work with the same power supply?

One should be enough for the entire project

I need help. I dont know how to setup the pid controller. I have tried and my heater burned. And i dont know how to setup the pid to control the temperature of the heater ;/

Sorry for not replying earlier, I dont check Instructables very often 🙁

I guess you figured out your PID controller problem 😉

I had the same problem, and I can gladly help you 🙂

My filament is 1.75mm, can this make it.

Hey, whats the overall cost of this machine, and how difficult was it to source the parts?

Will a stepper motor be strong enough to replace the wiper motor?

Not it is not enought, however you can look a geared stepper and check the Torque, you will need gears reduction because torque is big.

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What are the physical properties of the various types of 3d printer filaments? Printers

This first category introduces the six most commonly used 3D printer filaments in desktop 3D printing, popular for their ease of use and their physical properties.

In addition to providing general information for each of the following filaments, this section also attempts to present a comparison of their properties, as well as suggest in which situations they might be used.

We apologize in advance to any readers who have knowledge about 3D printing materials; some of the following information could be a bit of review.

In the realm of home 3D printing,poly lactic acid [pla] 3D Printer Filamentsis king. Although its often compared to ABS next in line to the throne PLA is easily the most popular 3D printer filament, and for good reason.

First and foremost, itseasy to print with. PLA has a lower printing temperature than ABS, and it doesnt warp as easily, meaning it doesnt require a heating bed (although it definitely helps). Another benefit to using PLA is that it doesnt give off an evil smell during printing. Its generally considered anodorless filament, but many have reported smelling sweet,candy-likefumes. Finally, as a biodegradable thermoplastic, PLA is moreenvironmentally friendlythan most 3D printer filaments, being made from annually renewable resources such as corn starch or sugar cane.

Like ABS, PLA is the base material used in manyexotic or recreational filaments, such as those with conductive or glow-in-the-dark properties, or those infused with wood or metal.

Strength: High Flexibility: Low Durability: Medium

Print bed temperature: 20C 60C (but not needed)

Food safety: Refer to manufacturer guidelines

When should I use PLA 3D printer filament?

In this case, the better question might be,When shouldnt I use PLA?Compared to other types of 3D printer filament, PLA is brittle, so avoid using it when making items that might be bent, twisted, or dropped repeatedly, such as phone cases, high-wear toys, or tool handles. You should also avoid using it with items which need to withstand higher temperatures, as PLA tends to malform around temperatures of 60C or higher. For all other applications, PLA makes for a good overall choice in filament. Common prints includemodels,low-wear toys,prototype parts, andcontainers.

Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene [abs] 3D Printer Filamentsranks as the second most popular 3D printer filament, after PLA. But that just means its the second most commonlyused. With respect to its material properties, ABS is actually moderately superior to PLA, despite being slightly more difficult to print with. Its for this reason that ABS is found in many manufactured household and consumer goods, including LEGO bricks and bicycle helmets!

Products made of ABS boasthigh durabilityand acapacity to withstand high temperatures, but 3D printer enthusiasts should be mindful of the filamentshigh printing temperature,tendency to warpduring cooling, andintense fumes. Be sure to print with a heating bed, and in a well-ventilated space.

Read our in-depth article on this 3D printer filament

When should I use ABS 3D printer filament?

ABS is tough able to withstand high stress and temperature. Its also moderately flexible. Together these properties make ABS a good general-purpose 3D printer filament, but where it really shines is with items that are frequently handled, dropped, or heated. Examples includephone cases,high-wear toys,tool handles,automotive trim components, andelectrical enclosures.

3D Printer Filament Types 3:PETG (PET, PETT)

Polyethylene teraphthalate [petg] 3D Printer Filamentsis the most commonly used plastic in the world. Best known as the polymer used in water bottles, it is also found in clothing fibres and food containers.

While raw PET is rarely used in 3D printing, its variantPETGis a popular 3D printer filament. The G stands for glycol-modified, and the result is a filament which is clearer, less brittle, and most importantly, easier to use than its base form. For this reason, PETG is often considered a good middle ground between ABS and PLA, the two most commonly used 3D printer filaments, as it ismore flexible and durable than PLAandeasier to print than ABS.

Three things 3D printer enthusiasts should keep in mind when using PETG:

. As this has a negative effect on printing, make sure to store the 3D printer filament in a cool, dry place.

during printing, making this 3D printer filament a poor choice for support structures, but good for layer adhesion. (Just be careful with the print bed!)

For more information on this 3D printer filament, check out our in-depth article on PETG

Polyethylene coTrimethylene Terephthalate (PETT)is another PET variant. Slightly more rigid than PETG, this 3D printer filament is popular for beingtransparent.

3D Printer Filament Properties: PETG (PET, PETT)

When should I use PETG 3D printer filament?

PETG is a good all-rounder but stands out from many other filaments due to its flexibility, strength, and temperature and impact resistance. This makes it an ideal 3D printer filament to use for objects which might experience sustained or sudden stress, likemechanical parts,printer parts, andprotective components.

Nylon, a popular family of synthetic polymers used in many industrial applications, is the heavyweight champion of the 3D printing world. Compared to most other filaments, it ranks as thenumber one contender when together considering strength, flexibility, and durability.

Another unique characteristic of this 3D printer filament is thatyou can dye it, either before or after the printing process. The negative side to this is that nylon, like PETG, ishygroscopic, meaning it absorbs moisture, so remember to store it in a cool, dry place to ensure better quality prints.

In general, many grades of nylon exist, but among the most common for use as 3D printer filaments are 618 and 645.

3D Printer Filament Properties: Nylon

When should I use nylon 3D printer filament?

Taking advantage of nylons strength, flexibility, and durability use this 3D printer filament to createtools,functional prototypes, ormechanical parts(like hinges, buckles, or gears).

For More head over to:3D Printer Filaments

Related QuestionsMore Answers Below

Do 3d printer filaments have a shelf life?

What is a good cheap ABS filament for my 3D printer?

What types of filaments can be used in 3D printers?

Can a trimmer wire be used as a 3D printer filament?

Do 3D printers also help us with 3D designs?

There are many types of 3D plastic filaments used in 3D printers. Explaining the physical properties of all those filaments is a little bit difficult task.

Two of the most commonly used 3D plastic filaments are ABS and PLA.

Here are the physical properties of these two filaments:

ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene)

To get the physical properties all other types of filaments, you can visit3d printer material.

It is difficult to describe each and everything here as there are many different types of 3D printer filaments available in the market.

Every filament has some different physical properties like flexibility, color changing, Water Solubility etc. The choice of filament is dependent upon the application. Some applications require flexibility where as some require color change at high temperatures. My friend has written ablogrelated to different kinds of filaments. You can check that as it contains very good information about 3D printer filaments.

What is the purpose of the filament in a 3D printer?

Where can I buy a giant 3D printer to build a house?

What is the best type of 3D printer for you?

What is the cost of professional 3D printers?

Is there only one quality/kind of ABS 3D printer filament out there?

What is the future of 3D printer filaments?

What are the pros and cons of ABS versus PLA filament in 3D printers?

What did the first hobby 3D printers use for material? Were there spools of filament?

What are the best 3D printers for under €400?

Still have a question? Ask your own!

Do 3d printer filaments have a shelf life?

What is a good cheap ABS filament for my 3D printer?

What types of filaments can be used in 3D printers?

Can a trimmer wire be used as a 3D printer filament?

Do 3D printers also help us with 3D designs?

What is the purpose of the filament in a 3D printer?

Where can I buy a giant 3D printer to build a house?

What is the best type of 3D printer for you?

What is the cost of professional 3D printers?

Is there only one quality/kind of ABS 3D printer filament out there?

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Resources on How To Make DIY Filament for your 3D Printer

Resources on How To Make DIY Filament for your 3D Printer

Resources on How To Make DIY Filament for your 3D Printer

For the die-hard DIY crowd, making your own filament can keep costs down

Most of the popular printers today use a polymer material, such asABS or PLA, which has gone from its raw pellet form into a strand or filament, then loaded onto a spool.

Why this is done, I am not sure when the raw pellet form is less costly to make. Before I tell you about some of the resources to make your own 3D printer filament, let me share about a new printer known as David that uses pellets instead.

Their premise is this: Every plastic product, even filament, starts out in pellet form. Because of this, raw pellets are readily available in thousands of different materials, colors, and grades. By printing directly with plastic pellets, David can print with many more materials than traditional 3D printers – making it useful to many more people and industries.

At first glance, it makes a lot of sense. Even at a second glance, it is a logical idea. Their Kickstarter campaign over-funded in August 2014. Not only do you get an expanded, much wider selection of materials, but an overall lower cost. Unfortunately, I have not read details from any units that have shipped. Ill return with an update shortly.

They compare the costs on the campaign site, over a period of time. You do not see immediate financial gains since their printer costs a bit more than the MakerBot Replicator, which targets the desktop hobbyist with its affordable machines.

The total cost of ownership comparisons equals out after year two of using the printer. David is a company calledSculptifywhich termed their new method of printing: FLEX (Fused Layer Extrusion).

What I like about it is the diversity of materials and the potential to mix your own. Thats the winning formula in my mind the ability to toss in some carbon fiber pellets (if such a thing exists) or wood (as they mention).

The printer appears to mirror many of the features that you would expect to find on a standard 3D printer. Items like a heated build platform, auto-leveling and different nozzle sizes (among others).  All in all, it is an elegant looking machine with an exterior made from aircraft-grade aluminum and anodized. They added extra windows so that you can see your project as it prints which is a great idea and sometimes lacking for other printers.

It makes me think about the guy who invented theFilabot, which allows you to recycle plastic items into your own filament. What if they allowed you to create pellets instead of filament? It might be a very fast process since you wouldnt have to create long strands of plastic, forced or pulled through a mold-casting type die. But making your own can save you money in the long term.

Okay, if you are set on making your own filament, here are a few resources that explain how to do it, or at least how to build a device, a machine, to help you make the strand.

The beststep-by-step outline DIY filament instructionscame from the 3D Printing for Beginners site.

Caleb Kraft at Make shares an overview of how its made:How It Is Made: 3D Printing Filament.

Ian McMill has a great Instructable outlining the entire filament extrusion process:Build your own 3d printer filament factory (Filament Extruder).

There is even an Ethical Filament Foundation for people who are trying to source or make materials in a sustainable, concerned way. I learned about it in a post on taking old milk jugs to make your own filament.

And the well-known DIY electronics kit maker, Adafruit, has avideo of breaking up your failed 3D prints and turning them into filamentwith the above-mentioned Filabot.

Need ABS or PLA material for your 3D printer? Check this big list.

Dont have a 3D Printer? Try one of these 3D Printing Service Bureaus

Jazz up your 3D Prints with Exotic 3D Printer Metal Plastic Filaments

Are you looking for a great 3D printer? LulzBot Mini delivers…

The 7 Best 3D Printers to Buy in 2018

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Types of 3D Printer filament PowerPoint Presentation PPT – DocSlides

Types of 3D Printer filament PowerPoint Presentation, PPT – DocSlides

Materials science. ABS and PLA. Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene. (. ABS. ) was the most popular material used to print first 3D models few years ago and it is extremely popular now as well. This material is very durable, slightly flexible lightweight and can be easily extruded, which makes it perfect for 3D printing. It requires less force to extrude than when using PLA, which is another popular 3D filament. This fact makes extrusion easier for small parts. The disadvantage of ABS is that it requires higher temperature than for example PLA material. Its glass transition temperature is about 105C and temperature 210 250C is usually used for printing with ABS materials..

PowerPoint Types of 3D Printer filament PowerPoint Presentation, PPT – DocSlides Slideshow

Also there could be a lack of support inside extruder and problems with semi-jammed nozzle. But all these and other issues with this filament is just a matter of practice and experiment that definitel

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Presentations text content in Types of 3D Printer filament PowerPoint Presentation, PPT – DocSlides

) was the most popular material used to print first 3D models few years ago and it is extremely popular now as well. This material is very durable, slightly flexible lightweight and can be easily extruded, which makes it perfect for 3D printing. It requires less force to extrude than when using PLA, which is another popular 3D filament. This fact makes extrusion easier for small parts. The disadvantage of ABS is that it requires higher temperature than for example PLA material. Its glass transition temperature is about 105ÂC and temperature 210 – 250ÂC is usually used for printing with ABS materials.

Also another drawback of this material is quite intense fumes during printing that can be dangerous for people or pets with breathing difficulties. So 3D printer needs to be placed in well-ventilated area. Also good advice is to avoid breathing in the fumes during printing. Considering the cost of 3D materials ABS is the cheapest, which makes it the favorite in printing communities until now.

) is another well-spread material among 3D printing enthusiasts. It is a biodegradable thermoplastic that is derived from renewable resources. As a result PLA materials are more environmentally friendly among others plastic materials. The other great feature of PLA is its biocompatibility with a human body. The structure of PLA is harder than the one of ABS and material melts at 180 – 220ÂC, that is lower than ABS. PLA glass transition temperature is between 60 – 65 ÂC, so PLA together with ABS could be some good options for any of your projects.

3D support filaments are the class of materials that come into play when you print 3D objects that have big overlaps. You cannot start printing something in the air if there is no anything underneath of the object. The wonderful solution for this problem has come to mind of one of 3D printing enthusiasts to use temporary material that would support upper layers during printing and would dissolve in water after objects are ready. Today we are going to discuss two filament types that has named properties, that are HIPS and PVA.

(Polyvinyl alcohol) are easy to print with and used to support an object during printing process for those models with overhangs that normally would not be printed. This type of filament is a great material for a 3D printer with dual extruder. It is based on polyvinyl alcohol so it has pretty good properties, the main of them are non-toxicity and biodegradability once dissolved in water. Usually PVA dissolves in cold water but the process would go faster in hot water. Please read technical specification of the material though. Manufactures usually do not recommend to dissolve the material in water with a temperature higher than 70˚C (158˚ F).

Because of its high extensible structure PVA filaments can be considered only for restricted application. It can be used on all common desktop FDM or FFF technology 3D printers and requires a heated build platform (HBP) or simply heated bed set at Â55-60˚C. Do not exceed printing temperatures above 225˚C.

is made from a High Impact Polystyrene material and it is another example of support 3d materials. This material is well spread in food industry for packaging. It is also used to pack CD discs and to produce trays in medicine. All these applications put this material at 5th place after Polyethylene, Polyvinyl, Chloride and Polypropylene among produced polymers worldwide. Naturally this filament has bright white color and it is also biodegradable so there are no adverse effect when it is put in tight contact with a human or animal body. HIPS filaments have curling and adhesion problems, which can be reduced by using a heated bed during the printing. As was published in

blog it was HIPS material that can also be used as support structure during the printing and then dissolved in a colorless liquid hydrocarbon

Nylon is another great material to try for your projects. It is known for its great biocompatibility, which is widely used in medical industry. Majority of cartilage replacements and quite a big number of prosthetics are made using this material. There are several types of Nylon material used in 3D printing, the most popular of them are Nylon 618, which has natural white color, and Nylon 645, which is fairly clear but very difficult to work with.

Meanwhile Nylon filaments are not so popular and well-spread comparing to such filaments as ABS and PLA, that is why it is not so easy to find them. But it definitely has a lot of good features that are worth trying. Check out some videos fromÂ

Nylon 618 does not require a heated bed, it also has low warp. In addition, you don’t need to cool down your tiny or big items after printing, which is very convenient. This material has great self-bonding properties, that makes it quite strong and resistant from delimitation.

Another great feature of Nylon 618 is that you can dye your own material in a color and shade you want. An usual fabric dye can be used for these purposes. Manufactures recommend to print with filaments of natural color and then dye on preferred color. But you can try to change the color of your filament first and then print with one you have got. That is especially convenient if you’d like to have multicolor printed objects. Just put a part of coil in dyeing liquid for a required period of time, then wash coil with water and dye another part of coil with another shade or color. Please make sure to dry your nylon filament after dyeing. The results are quite impressive.

Besides Nylon 618 and 645 you can also try Nylon PA6Polymer (Polyamide 6), which is very durable material and is used to print extremely robust and heavy duty parts.

of Nylon PA6 are tough, possessing high tensile strength, gloss and elasticity. This material is widely used by automobile manufactures due to its great durability. 3D printer settings for this material are similar to ones that are used for ABS filaments. The adhesion to the print bed increases with higher extrusion temperatures. Recommended temperature for printing is 260ÂC.

Another feature of all types of Nylon materials is that they absorb water from air so it needs to be stored in dry places.

For those who would like to create an object that looks and smells like wood the best idea is to use FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling) filament, named also

. This filament contains a mixture of recycled wood with a binding polymer. The parts printed with this material do not look like typical 3D prints because of its wood nature. Printing process with  Wood is very similar to the one with thermoplastic filaments like ABS and PLA. However with Wood filament you could get this unrepeatable wooden-like appearance. Printers with

technology need to be used for processing and there is no heated bed necessary as it sticks to print bed. Temperature to be set for printing of object with Wood filament is between 175ÂC and 250ÂC. Check out the video wood filament features made byÂ

As this material contains real wood fibers, when printing objects with different temperature they would have different shades of brown wooden-like surface. The higher temperature used during printing the darker brown shade print you’ll get. When the printing is done your print will look and smell like real wood. It can be decorated and post-processed like other objects from wood. For example, you can cut, grind and paint your item. Another great idea to keep in mind when using this filament type is that changing of printing temperature during processing of your item can simulate a tree’s growth ring effect.

This material is more prone to curling than PLA. The drawback of wood filament is that prints are softer and weaker than PLA ones so they easily can be broken. 3D experts advise to set perimeter speed as low as 20mm/s for the best strength, as well as consider turning off PLA cooling fan.

Terephthalate) has become well known from plastic bottles. In its original state

is a colorless and crystal clear material. But when you heat or cool down the material changes its transparency. The material has more crystalline structure when allowed to cool down slowly after printing. The filament is fairly hard and shockproof, so it makes it ideal for lightweight items.

There are different versions of PET, for example filament PETG is the modification of the one, that is clear thermoplastic with possibility to thermoform and mold the item after being printed. It is also possible to polish the material with flame. Also the thicker layer height the better clarity would have the material.

Generally PET is nice and easy material to print with quite wide temperature range from 160ÂC to 210ÂC without any problems. But it needs to be stored in a place where it would not absorb water from air

” which is short for tough glass is another right, clear and stiff filament to try. It is tougher than PET material and can be compared with PLA. Suggested range of print temperature is from 212ÂC to 224ÂC. There can be some curling during printing, than can be reduced by turning off cooling fan. There are no unpleasant fumes during printing. This material as well as PET absorbs water from air so needs to be stored accordingly. Moist filament has a reduced strength value. The main characteristics of PETT t-

are strength especially with the larger nozzles used, biocompatibility and FDA approved to be used for food containers, clarity and shrinkage.

is an extremely strong, impact resistant thermoplastic material which is widely used in automotive, aerospace, medical and many other areas. PC has great mechanical properties and heat resistance. 3D parts printed with PC are accurate, strong and durable. PC filament type has the second highest tensile strength among all FDM materials. The material is also biocompatible and can be

that is why it is so extremely popular for prototyping needs, functional testing, tooling and composite work. The material should be extruded at or above 300ÂC and high heat deflection temperature is 138ÂC.

TPE material with its high elastic characteristics feels like rubber that bounces back and forth into the shape. This material is good for FDM printers that at the same time can be used for ABS and PLA filaments. Printing temperature range for

is 210 – 230ÂC. The material has high elasticity and excellent abrasion resistance, as well as consistent diameter and smooth feeding properties.  Filament easily sticks to build platform and bonds between layers. All mentioned above allows to print high-quality things. The material doesn’t contain any toxins but still is not recommended for food contact pieces.

is one of examples of thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) that is especially flexible for 3D printers.

is another high flexible material similar to

but even softer then his close-in neighbor of 3D filaments. The material is compatible almost with all 3D printers and has printing temperature range from 220 to 230ÂC. It also doesn’t require a heated bed and is non-toxic and resistant to acetone, fuel and dissolvent. Both

are rubber-like materials and less prone to deformation from stretching then

, which is another example of flexible materials for 3D printing.

Soft PLA is a flexible 3D printing material with great roundness and tight  diameter that also feels like rubber. It can be used to print different flexible parts such as soft toys, flip-flops, molds, tires or gripping

material is extremely tough and resistant to delimitation which makes it awesome material to experiments but sometimes tricky to print with. There could be several problems during printing with this material including filament buckling and tangling inside of

. Filament Buckling can be caused by jams before getting to the extruder, which can be eliminated by simply unspooling of needed amount of filament.

Also there could be a lack of support inside extruder and problems with semi-jammed nozzle. But all these and other issues with this filament is just a matter of practice and experiment that definitely worth trying. Great advice in case of jamming issues during printing is to keep down the layer height which would maximize layer-to-layer bonding, reduce print speed and increase distance between nozzle and platform. Other settings should be pretty similar to traditional PLA to achieve the best results.  Previously loaded material can cause jamming at the beginning of printing so it’s better to reload filament each time using 3D printer.

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Mastering 3D Printing a Go-To-Guide for Filament-based 3D Printers

Wanting to take the leap into 3D printing but dont know where to begin? Whether its making a decision on purchasing the right machine or knowing the proper software tools to use when designing a 3D object, those wishing to enter the world of 3D printing must often cobble together resources online in order to get a clearer understanding of the 3D printing process.

While there is a growing library of specialized books on the subject, ultimately whats needed is an in-depth manual that covers all aspects of the 3D printing pipeline from designing printable objects to troubleshooting machines. Recently released,Mastering 3D Printingby Joan Horvath is a more definitive guide. It is one of the few books on the subject that will give newcomers a confident understanding of how 3D printing works.

It begins with an excellent history that paints a picture of how consumer 3D printing got started with insightful details on the RepRap movement and its evolution. That historical recounting naturally gears the book towards filament-based desktop 3D printing, making it an ideal reference for owners of desktop, filament-based machines. As such, it focuses more on filament-based concepts such as infills, creating support structures and techniques to ensure that prints stick to plate while still being removable.

After discussing the evolution of consumer-based 3D printing, the author segues into an in-depth analysis of various types of desktop filament-based printers, giving a breakdown of a 3D printers anatomy by providing an overview of various components (such as the extruder and hot end).

From there, the next chapters cover the 3D printing process, providing a rundown on the various ways to acquire models (i.e. designing with modeling software, online archives, and scanning), the pre-printing process of slicing (the act of dividing a computer-generated model into sections analogous to printable layers) and the optional post-processes of sanding, smoothing and painting final prints.

The book excels in giving technical details on the most important aspects of the 3D printing pipeline. In addition to slicing, readers can learn how G-code controls the printer and the various host programs available to send files to the printer. Hands-on troubleshooting techniques are also given, such as stopping a print during a job, changing filament and unclogging the extruder nozzle.

Case studies are discussed, describing several 3D printing scenarios that investigate techniques mentioned in earlier chapters. Each given scenario goes through the 3D printing process, beginning with the initial design of the model, and then how to use the software MatterControl to set up the print for final output. The outlined studies range from simple (creating a pendant) to very complex (printing a fully assembled gimbal). Each study tackles issues that everyday 3D printer users may encounter.

The final chapter establishes the role 3D printing plays in education and in scientific visualization. It is here that the authors many years of experience in aeronautic science and education shine, unveiling some very inventive ideas for using 3D printing within school curriculums. Ms. Horvath provides real-world class projects that can be highly informative for any instructor wishing to introduce 3D printing to a group of students.

With a broad range of material covered,Mastering 3D Printingis a solid reference text for seasoned 3D printing enthusiasts and an excellent manual for newcomers. Whether new to personal 3D printing or just wanting to learn more, it is a welcome addition to any bookshelf.

Mastering 3D Printing is available from thepublishers websiteand also fromAmazon, where it is receiving glowing customer reviews.

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Announcement

First 3D Printer Consumables FIlament / Tape (Types and Suppliers in the UK)

First 3D Printer Consumables FIlament / Tape (Types and Suppliers in the UK)

I have just ordered my first ever 3D printer (Anet A8) and need to buy in some consumables so that I can get started once it is built and setup.

Can anyone recommend some brands of PLA and to use and where to get it from. As this is my first 3D printer I am looking for low cost v decent quality printing.

Ive been having good luck with inland brand pla. It likes being printed a little hot–200-210c–but yields decent results. Bear in mind, though, I dont have experience with any other filament.

After having a hard time removing parts from the tape that the A8 shipped with, I covered my bed with green Frog tape. It was too slick for the filament to stick to but I fixed that by using a fine sanding sponge to scuff the surface a bit. Now the parts stick fine and are easy to remove.

Some of the best brands of PLA available are ColorFabb, Faberdashery, Proto-Pasta and Melca Printer Filament etc. You could get any of these to obtain good quality prints with the PLA

Personally I do not used tape, but when I was new to 3d printing I tried, Blue tape, Kapton, lemon juice … What I found worked best and still use today is Elmer water soluble glue sticks(purple colored) on glass surface. The advantage is you can wash the glass plate later and a smoother bottom surface on printed model.

Be aware that there are some really crap filaments out there, cheapest does not necessarily equate to good quality and shaving pennies could potentially end up costing you a fortune. In my experience buying from a reputable company is worth the investment.

I use Technology Outlet for my filament purchases. They can be more expensive however I know I get a reliable product. I have never had a bad experience with my purchases.

Search for build platform to see alternatives. Buildtak is good however you MUST print the first layer high – up to 200% – otherwise your print will bond so firmly you will never break it free. BuildTak sucks like crazy if you print too close. Expect to throw away a couple of sheets whilst you figure out the right first layer height.

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Our partner – Triton 3D – offers a wide array of filaments that are compatible with Stratasys® Fortus®, Dimension®, and legacy systems. These materials include Ultem®, PC, PC/ABS, ESD-Safe Materials and more. Save up to 50% or more on these materials.More Info

Natural (Ivory) 3DXMAX® ASA(Acrylonitirle Styrene Acrylate) is a UV-resistant weatherable polymer. Our ASA has a low-gloss matte finish that makes it a perfect filament for technical prints – especially when you dont want the high-gloss surface finish often associated with many other 3D printing materials such as ABS, PETG, or PLA. ASAs UV-stability makes it an ideal material for outdoor applications that will experience intense exposure to the sun and weather. ASAs exceptional mechanical and thermal properties – coupled with excellent UV-stability – is why this resin is used the Auto, Marine, and RV industries for exterior applications such as mirror housings, cowl covers, radiator grills, and sensor housings.Great low-cost alternative to Zortrax Z-ASA.

Outdoor / UV-Stable / Low-gloss = Great Looking Technical Parts!

Bed Temp: 90-110C, cool the bed down by about 10-20C after the first couple of layers

Bed Prep: 3DXTech Polyimide Tape, ABS / Acetone Slurry, or Hairspray on clean glass

Enclosure: We recommend using a printer with an enclosure to help keep some heat in while printing with ASA

Support: Our HIPS support works great to create complex parts. Our HIPS support can be foundHERE.

3DXMAX® ASA, Black 3D Filament, 1kg

3DXMAX® ASA, White 3D Filament, 1kg

CarbonX™ Carbon Fiber NYLON 3D Printing Filament

3DXMAX® ASA, Dark Grey 3D Filament, 750g

CarbonX™ Carbon Fiber PETG 3D Printing Filament

3DXMAX® ASA, Arctic Blue 3D Filament, 750g

3DXMAX® ASA, Ultra Blue 3D Filament, 750g

3DXMAX® ASA, Yellow 3D Filament, 750g

3DXMAX® ASA, Orange 3D Filament, 750g

Thermal Properties of our filaments

Tg ChartMany of you have asked for data on the glass transition temperature (Tg) of our materials. &

3D Printing ServiceWe have been printing parts for customers using many of our high-performance mate

Updated Test DataWe finally have the data back from the lab on our 3DXMAX® Carbon Fiber 3D Filaments

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