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Most of us are familiar with printing and how it works. You place ink or toner into the printer’s cartridge, press print, and get the desired print. 3D printing would likely work the same way, too, except in the third dimension, right? While the basics are similar, 3D printing is more complex than standard printing. Additionally, the technology is relatively new, making it a challenge for people to understand. As a result, many people who could benefit from 3D printers have not chosen to get them yet.
In this article, we will be discussing 3D filaments, which are essentially the ‘ink’ of 3D printers. They differ from standard printers because they are made from thermoplastics. These plastics can be melted, molded into shape, and cooled to solidify. We will be offering you various tips you must know about 3D filaments. In this way, you will know exactly which one to get when you go to your local electronic components shop.
Let’s dive in.
ABS and PLA are by far the most common 3D filament types. This is because they are relatively inexpensive and quite dynamic in their qualities. Objects made of ABS are tough and durable while being able to withstand high melting points. On the other hand, PLA is biodegradable and easier to use. Most basic 3D printers are also exclusively designed to use these filaments. Therefore, you’re better off getting them.
Thermoplastic elastomers are among the filaments with the highest elasticity. They are ideal for making objects which need to be elastic due to their rubber-like quality. Additionally, you can use them for products that need to be impact or vibration resistant, like phone cases and dampeners. TPUs are one type of TPE filament that you can use.
Soluble filaments are ideal for making things like acrylic paints and prototypes. You can even use it with other non-soluble filaments in the form of support material for dual printers. HIPS can be dissolved in a solvent known as Limonene, while PVAs can be dissolved in water. As a result, you have different soluble options that can allow you to print various types of objects.
Sometimes a standard filament just does not cut it when a product is made out of it. Instead, you can opt for composite filaments containing powders or particles of other materials mixed in. This can be anything from different types of wood, stones and metals. This allows the filament to obtain some properties of the mixed materials. As a result, the filament can become stronger or more flexible, whichever property you desire. This can allow your printed product to pass the quality test.
Not all filaments will be compatible with your 3D printer. For example, PVAs have a low melting point, resulting in them jamming the extruder nozzle of your printer. On the other hand, nylon filaments have a very high melting point, which few 3D printers can withstand. Therefore, it is vital to determine whether your 3D printer is compatible with the 3D filament you want to get.
PET and PETG filaments are ideal for making water-resistant products. Additionally, they provide a smooth surface finish, with the surface itself being soft and rigid. This mix of toughness and flexibility makes them great for printing products like water bottles, covers and guards. It is skin and food-safe, so it has many applications in the food and medicine industry.
ASA is a filament that was developed specifically for adding UV resistance. Therefore, besides being highly impact-resistant, it is also highly UV and temperature resistant. This makes it a filament that is also weather resistant. As a result, it is ideal for making products used for outdoor applications, like sunglasses, signage and outer electronic housings.
3D printing is a new technology that brings various benefits and possibilities to industries. However, it differs significantly from standard printing in multiple ways. For starters, the printing materials are thermoplastics, which vary considerably from traditional ink. These differences can be challenging to understand since the technology is so new. Therefore, we have provided you with various tips to know which filament to use for which purpose. Additionally, you can also be aware that not all filaments are compatible with all 3D printers. We hope this article proves insightful and helps you choose the suitable 3D filament or printer. Thank you for reading
By, James J. Fair
electronic components shop