3d printer filament reviews

3d printer filament reviews

3d printers have now started to become part of everyday life for3d printer filaments review - general 3d print some.
Children now have the ability to visualise ideas and within hours have that idea in their hand.
Long gone are the days of just dreaming about a new product.
There are many filament types available for 3d printers. It is dependent on what you want to achieve.
There are standard products, flexible, metallic, water soluble, wooden, stone and many more.
This list of products reviewed here will be updated periodically – so be sure to check back – or signup to be told when it is updated.

We start with the most used product at present

PLA

Pla, or polylactic acid, is made from plant material. It can be extruded from starches of corn, cassava, sugar cane, cereals or sugar beet. The material can be biodegradable under the right conditions, active compost heap with enough oxygen. The material is ROHS and REACH compliant.
PLA can be made 100% opaque or semitransparent. It can be mixed with other materials such as wood, stone and cork to simulate the smell and

material

name

Printing temp

Heated bed

Tensile modulus

Weight g/cc

notes

pla

easyfil

180-220

35-60

3310

1.24

Standard material

Glow in the dark

180-220

35-60

3310

1.24

Glow in the dark

magicfil

180-220

40-50

3310

1.24

Temp colour change

Wood

200-240

40-50

1930

1.2

30% Wood and cork filled

stone

175 smooth

210 rough

40-50

??

??

0.65mm nozzle

bronze

190-220

60

3990

3.5

Bronze filled use 0.4 mm stainless nozzle

copper

190-220

60

4210

3.4

Copper filled use 0.4mm nozzle stainless steel

The above table gives the temperature settings for the 3d printer, for both the printing nozzle and the heated bed.
The tensile modulus is an indication of the relative stiffness of the material. It is included in the tables to give a relative guide to the different materials stiffness not an absolute. The higher the number the stiffer the material. So all of the PLA materials are stiffer than the ABS, the ABS is a lot stiffer than the TPC.

ABS

ABS, or Acrylonitrile-Butadiene Styrene is a plasic manufactured from oil based material. As such it is non biodegradable. It can produce tough plastic object, it is used as car bumpers. There is a flame retardant material available. This material is more difficult to print with. The material is ROHS and REACH compliant.

material

name

Printing temp

Heated bed

Tensile modulus

Weight g/cc

notes

abs

absfil

220-270

110

1860

1.03

Standard abs

Abspro

flame retardant

240-260

110

2440

1.18

Flame retardant

titanx

240-260

110

2030

1.1

Increased strength abs

clearscent

220-260

110

1900

1.06

Transparent abs

 

Pva

PVA, or polyVinyl Alcohol, is a cold water soluble filament able to bond to thermoplastics. This is mainly used as a support material for pla and abs. Used with multi-printhead printers, this material can be easily removed after printing by placing in cold water.

material

name

Printing temp

Heated bed

Tensile modulus

Weight g/cc

notes

pva

aquasolve

180-205

 60

3860

1.23

Water soluble

atlassupport

180-205

 60

3500

1.22

Strong support water soluble

 

Sbc

SBC, or Styrene Butadiene Block Copolymer, is a material which is strong, flexible and clear. It will allow 92% of visible light through. Due to its resilience and flexibility the material can be bent up to over double without white stress marks appearing. The material has excellent interlayer bonding and low warping due to the limited water absorption.

material

name

Printing temp

Heated bed

Tensile modulus

Weight g/cc

notes

sbc

crystalflex

230-260

 70-90

1795

1.01

Very clear

 

Asa

ASA, or Acrylonitrile Styrene Acrylate, is a material which has great thermal stability and improved flow characteristics, allowing it to be used outside and within the automotive environment easily. The material is UV and weather resistant ensuring the the colour will stay at its best.

material

name

Printing temp

Heated bed

Tensile modulus

Weight g/cc

notes

asa

appolox

235-255

 50-100

2020

1.11

Weather resistant watertight

 

Tpc

TPC, or Thermoplastic Co-Polyester has a flexural memory – allowing it the return to its original shape after being bent. The material is also strong, durable with a good resistance to chemicals. It is resistant to UV and extreme temperatures making this a very useful material for most applications.

 

material

name

Printing temp

Heated bed

Tensile modulus

Weight g/cc

notes

TPC

flexfil

220-260

 60-100

95

1.14

Flexible filament

 

Petg

PETG, or Polyethylene Terephthalate Glycol-modified, is a material designed to be able to withstand a wide range of temperature, along with being a tough, strong transparent material.
The material is also manufactured with 20% carbon fibre reinforcement allowing even more strength, with added stiffness.

 

material

name

Printing temp

Heated bed

Tensile modulus

Weight g/cc

notes

petg

hdglass

195-225

 –

1940

1.27

carbonfil

230-265

 –

3800

1.19

 

Hips

HIPS, or High impact Polystyrene is a disolvable material used for the support of ABS. This material dissolves completely in limonene. For use in a dual extrusion printer.

material

name

Printing temp

Heated bed

Tensile modulus

Weight g/cc

notes

Hips

limosolve

220-260

50-100

1550

1.04

Abs support material

 

Other Information

 

One question which is not answered on the above tables is how much material do you get on a reel?
Well, taking the easyfil PLA with a weight of 1.24g/cc . A 500g reel will consist of 500/1.24 = 403.226 cc of material.
So you now have the volume of material on the reel. Some models tell you the volume and others state the length of material you need.

So how do you gauge whether you have enough material?

If the material is 1.75mm diameter and the area of a circle is pi*r^2

If d=2*r, d being the diameter
And A = pi*r^2, A being the area
Solving for A
r=d/2
A=pi*(d/2)^2
A=1/4*pi*d^2
A=0.25*3.142*1.75^2 = 2.4052
So in a 500g reel we have
403.226/2.4052 = 167.66 m of material.

If the weight changes, like it does for abs to 1.03 g/cc we can recalculate the volume of material or scale the above.

We used 1.24 g/cc the new weight we use is 1.03 g/cc
So the scaling factor is
1.24/1.03 = 1.2039
Multiplying the original length by 1.2039 will give the new length
167.66*1.2039 = 201.84m
Or going back to the original calculation – the area stays the same but the volume of material changes.

The new volume is 500/1.03 = 485.43cc
This divided by the area
485.43/2.4052= 201.82m
So you can see both methods tie up within a small error.

Using these methods you can quickly calculate the length that is going to be supplied on a reel.

Hints and tips

Once you have purchased your filament – keep it in the sealed bag until you want to use it.
Open the bag carefully and reseal the filament into the bag after use – getting rid of as much air as possible. Leave the bag of silica gel in the bag to absorb the moisture.
Your filament will absorb moisture from the atmosphere gradually over time. This, when heated will bubble and possibly cause voids in the extruded material interfering with the flow, creating holes in the model. Use of the vacuum storage bags will reduce the water absorption from the atmosphere.

When trying a new filament, get a test model from Thingverse, or design your own. It only needs to be three of four layers and about 1” (25mm) square. This will show whether the temperature of the nozzle is correct, whether the model is going to adhere to the plate and what the finish of the model will be. Adjust to correct any problems with this model and you will have less problems when you come to print your final creation.
Keeping careful records of what settings you changed for what materials and whether you had any problems with the printer will assist you in solving any issues you have with the models.
Get a piece of plastic the correct height to allow easy levelling of the bed. Keep this in the record book so you know where it is.

 

Thanks for reading

Phil
photo credit: A little classroom exhibition via photopin (license)

 

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2 thoughts on “3d printer filament reviews”

    1. They are fun Arthur, they can also be time consuming.
      A lot of the tech is there but it doesn’t always work together, this is when you need a bit of patience.
      Finding out whether it is the model you have created that has a problem or is it the hardware.
      But yes they are definitely fun, and will get easier to use in the future.

      Phil

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