3D PRINTER FILAMENTS
You cannot print 3D objects without a 3D printer loaded with its printing material: filaments. There are many filament types you can use with your 3D printer. Commonly available in two diameters (1.75 mm and 2.85 mm), each type has different properties and different extrusion temperatures.
WHAT IS FILAMENT?
Filament is a thin thermoplastic wire used in a 3D printer or 3D pen to print three-dimensional objects. You can see filaments as the ink, which, extruded out of the heated nozzle, is printed layer after layer to form a 3D object.
POPULAR FILAMENT TYPES
Choosing one type over the other will give you different results and requires different procedures. Here is a short overview:
- PLA (polylactic acid) filament is a very popular and easy-to-use filament type for 3D printers. It comes in many colours and its excellent fluidity allows you to print intricate and detailed objects. It is less prone to warping and does not require a heated bed. In addition, PLA is more environment friendly as it is made of biodegradable materials.
- ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) filament is a hard and durable, yet light and somewhat flexible filament type. Available in a large range of colours and easy to sand, the oil-based ABS has a higher melting temperature and is thus more heat-resistant once cooled. On the other hand, it produces a strong odour, can discolour when left in the sun, and needs to be printed on a hotbed to avoid warping.
- HIPS (high-impact polystyrene) filament is very similar to ABS as their strength, stiffness and extrusion temperature are comparable. However, HIPS is easily dissolvable. Use this filament type to print your support and remove the support by simply immerging your print in limonene instead of sanding it away. 3D printing with this removal method will not damage your actual print. HIPS needs a heated bed to prevent warping and a 3D printer with dual extrusion nozzle.
- PET-G (polyethylene terephthalate-glycol) filament combines the rigidity and strength of ABS with the ease-of-use of PLA filament. 3D printing results are a smooth finish, excellent transparency, and water-resistance. PET-G is commonly used to print larger objects due to its low shrinkage properties and is rapidly becoming the most popular filament type. It is odorless and does not require a heated bed, but the extrusion temperature is higher.
- Cleaning filament is a filament type specifically used to clean a clogged extrusion nozzle. Though it is only helpful with partial clogs, it is very efficient with minimal mechanical load on your 3D printer.
Whadda offers an extended range of filaments to suit your every need and preference.