How to Choose Best Filament for Your 3D Printer?
Today, 3D printers have become commonplace, and it is not uncommon to see them in many offices and even homes. From industry applications to home business purposes, 3D printing technology has opened up many new vistas of possibility in the world. Creativity and innovation are no longer limited by money, time, or resources as 3D printers have made it possible for anyone to make their dream project a reality, or at the very least, a prototype that is functional, aesthetic, and cost effective at the same time. So it follows that many more people are looking to buy 3D printers for use industrially, commercially, or personally.
What to look for when buying 3D printers
The efficiency of 3D printers depends on a great deal on the right type and kind of filament that is used. This is something that everyone who is looking to seriously use 3D printers, whether for hobby or for business, needs to understand. Choosing the right 3D printer filament can make a world of difference to the final outcome of the object being printed. It will make a difference to the way it looks, the way it works, as well as how cost effective it is in the end. This is why you need to pay close attention to what kind of 3D printer filament you need to buy. After all, when you have invested so much in a 3D printer, it is only fair that you give it the right filament to partner with so that it can give you the perfect outcome each and every time!
How to select the right 3D printer filament
In Australia, you have access to wide range of 3D printer filaments. But there are a number of factors to consider before you invest in them. Here are a few:
- Colours: If you are running on a budget, it makes sense to choose 3D printer filaments accordingly. Ask if you can get samples at lower rates so that you know exactly what colour you are getting as sometimes the colour can look different from what is seen after it is printed.
- The grade of the filament is also an important consideration. It is always better to go for high-grade filaments even if they are a bit more expensive as they give better results and are well worth the investment when you see the final product.
- The diameter or size of the filament is equally important. You have to set your software to the right diameter as well before printing your project.
- The type of filament may be the most important consideration in the end. There are mainly two different types, which are PLA (polylactic acid) and ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene). ABS is more heat resistant and flexible but is not biodegradable and can generate fumes. PLA is biodegradable and does not require a heated build plate on the printer. It is also used in printers that are used to print supporting materials so is much stronger.
Major differences between ABS and PLA printer filaments
If you want a less glossy finish for your products, PLA can provide that. For parts that need to be more sturdy and strong and withstand a lot of stress and pressure, PLA is preferred over ABS. It is also stickier and does not warp that easily during the printing process. Its temperature for becoming malleable is just 60C. It is made from renewable sources such as sugar cane and cornstarch, so if you are looking for environmentally friendly options, PLA would be the filament to go for.
ABS is a petroleum based filament so it is made from non-renewable sources. Because of this, it is also cheaper than PLA. It is important to provide good ventilation sources when printing using ABS filaments because it produces fumes. If you want a really glossy finish to your products, ABS is the filament to go for. In fact, ABS plastic that is injection molded is what is used to make the world famous LEGO play bricks, so it has been around for more number of years than PLA and is considered a legacy filament for that reason, but is still widely popular because of its many cost effective and practical features.
When you know the right filament to choose, you can be sure of having a very successful outcome to your printing project, no matter whether you are using it for an industrial use or just as a hobby-the right filament will ensure the right success!