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3D Filament

3D printing requires two physical components: a 3D printer and the material – filament. But, which materials are suitable for which applications? Here is what you need to know about 3D filament. Firstly, and most importantly, you need to know which 3D filament fits your 3D printer. In addition, configurations for nozzle-diameter, nozzle-temperature, heated bed-temperature and 3D print speed are of importance.


Favourite Types of 3D Filament: ABS and PLA

To print three-dimensionally you need a 3D desktop printer as well as a type of plastic as base material. This material, 3D filament, is usually wound onto a reel. The most popular choices of material for 3D printing are 3D filaments ABS and PLA. On the one side there is ABS filament, with the clear advantage that it is a tough and durable plastic. This makes it perfect for post-processing of printed 3D objects. Be sure to print ABS on a heated flat surface, a so-called heated bed, to avoid warped objects. The other favourite material amongst 3D printers is PLA. A stable type of plastic with little warpage. Also, PLA is biodegradable.


PLA: Pros and Cons




 Print on cold surface

 Softens at temperatures exceeding 55°C (130°F)

 Greener plastic: made from renewable sources such  as corn-starch.

 Not as solid as ABS

 Shiny and smooth finish

 Relatively shorter lifespan

 Sweetish smell during printing

 Top of hot-end should be cooled

 No toxic fumes during printing


 High printing speed


 Very detailed



ABS: Pros and Cons




 Solid, hard plastic suitable for outdoor use

 Petrochemical product, so NOT biodegradable and  NOT suitable for food preparation/storage/etc.

 Suitable for industrial use: car/machine/robot parts

 Warps when printing on cold surface


 Plastic smell during 3D printing

 Long lifespan

 Harmful fumes, ventilation required

 ABS remains solid up to 90°C (195°F)

 More difficult to print


What is the Right 3D Filament for You?

Today, pretty much anything can be printed in 3D, provided that you use the right type of 3D filament at the right temperature. When 3D printing PLA use print temperatures between 190-210°C (375-410°F). ABS filament requires a nozzle-temperature between 220-240°C (430-465°F) with a heated bed-temperature of 80-100°C (175-210°F). That said, be sure to check which materials fit your 3D printer.


Do you want to buy affordable 3D filament of the highest quality? Order whatever you need at Plasticz! Also, any 3D printing questions we are happy to answer. Call us at +31 33 8442 836 or send us a message: info@plasticz.nl.