There are so many filaments on the market that you might be overwhelmed. However, we discussed which of the plastics would be right for you below. Let’s get to it.
Your Skill Level
Some plastics are easier to 3D print with than others. Always consider your skill level. Examples of plastics that are easier to work than others are PLA and PET-G. PLA is pretty popular among beginners, not just because it’s easy to use, but because it’s not expensive either.
Object Mechanical Properties
How sturdy of an object you want to create? This plays a big role in the type of plastic you should get. If you need to make a more solid, and impact resistant object, a tough filament like Polycarbonate or ABS will do.
However, you might need to make something more flexible – TPU filament is one of the most popular and versatile filaments. Meanwhile, TPE based options work great for semi-flexible building.
Printer Nozzle Type
The material your printer nozzle is made from affects the type of filament you’ll be able to use. Brass nozzles are the most popular, and the plastics that work the best for them are PLA and ABS.
If you’re using a rougher material, you’d need a steel nozzle.
How eco conscious are you? During the printing process, different plastics react differently to the heat they are exposed to. Hence, some of themproduce toxic VOCs.
Although ABS is a plastic that lets you build more stable objects, it creates a lot of toxic VOCs. Alwaysprint with it outdoors or at least in awell-ventilated space.
Also, some filaments react differently to humidity. Check thepackage they came in and remember to always store them in very dry environments.
ABS along with PLA and PHA can emit odours. If you are printing in a small space with others, they wouldn’t appreciate the stench.
You probably want what you are creating to look good. Some plastics are glossier than others, while some have smoother and rougher surfaces. Quite a few filaments are more translucent than others as well.
Decide how you want your final product to look before choosing a plastic.
There are some hybrid filaments that are made of PLA and a non-plastic material like wood, brick, cork or bamboo. Look into them if you want a very specific texture.
Will you be 3D printing for commercial use?Choose a filament that will produce a final product with a more professional finish. Examples that work well are PA, PAHT, CF15 and TPU. Make sure that your filament has no additives and is food-grade too.
All in all, there are many points to consider when choosing the right plastic. Some of the most important points are your skill level, how flexible you want the final product to be, and the look and finish of the object to. So, what did you think? Which of the plastics available will you be getting?