PLA: Cheap, low temperature resistance, and relatively brittle, this material is a WONDERFUL all rounder with amazing dimensional accuracy and some of the highest tensile strength of most hobby materials most people start printing with this and stick to it because of its cost effectiveness and versatility
PLA+: very similar to PLA, this material has a toughening agent added to it to give it a lot more of an impact resistance (at the cost of some tensile strength usually) i tend to also like the color selection in + compared to regular a lot better!
Silk PLA: A PLA polyester composite this material comes out incredibly shiny! because of its polyester it needs to be printed hotter than your standard PLA (i generally tend to find 235-245 work really well) and even then it tends to suffer from layer adhesion, not great for functional prints but it looks BEAUTIFUL
Lite PLA: this is a PLA that has less pla (lite) and more of a plant fiber filler, this comes out a beautiful matte/semigloss while also being really nicely compostable! not great for strength however.
Glass PLA: Transluscent PLA, i tend to find it needs higher temperatures.
PETG: alot gummier of a plastic typically the same material they make water bottles out of, very chemical resistant higher temp resistance and completely UV stable, can be more challenging than PLA biggest advice for troubleshooting bed adhesion is to lower the bed away from the nozzle a hair or two. Food safe however the process of 3d printing is very rarely ever food safe. generally agreed to be one of the only filaments aquarium safe
PETG+: generally alot more forgiving than petg standard, has a much longer shelf life to it, better spooling, not as susceptible to higher fan speeds so generally a lot easier to print with than petg, MINIMAL temp resistance and impact resistance improvements over standard
ABS : An older material to be sure, can be incredibly challenging to print out on most hobbyist machine and is very susceptible to drafts or unwanted cooling, warpage is so bad that it can actually warp along the layer lines causing delamination at the worst and weak layer adhesion normally, uv sensitive so unless painted or black it will become brittle in direct UV light over time, great temp resistance though! soluble in acetone so a common practice is using acetone vapors to melt the layers together giving it a smooth injection molded look (though it very rarely improves strength)
ASA: very similar to abs, and in most circles is starting to overtake abs, a tad less prone to warping but completely uv stable.
Polycarbonate: generally viewed as the end all be all for hobbyist strength printing, can be very challenging to print out much in the same ways ABS or ASA is, its a lot stiffer than abs and layers adhere to each other a lot more reliably. UV stable.
Nylon: there are a lot of different blends of nylon that all have different printing properties and post print properties, though generally seen as incredibly impact and wear resistant (while also being self lubricating!) great for gears/pinions/hinges and other pieces that will rub up against things, nylon in general is a very forgiving material to print as long as its printed dry, while all filaments have a certain shelf life to them (usually in the scale of months) Nylon tends to absorb enough moisture to make it unprintable in roughly 3 hours, to alleviate this you need to print it directly from a dry box.
Carbon Fiber: Carbon fiber materials are added to a variety of bases to add stiffness to the original material, ive seen PLA, PETG, ABS, NYLON, and even PC, the carbon fiber we stock is a nylon base, just note ANY AND ALL CARBON FIBER COMPOSITE MATERIALS REQUIRE A WEAR RESISTANT NOZZLE.
PP: our newest material this is a weird one, its flexible without being terribly elastic, completely non-bioreactive so its amazing for biomods, aquariums, or hydroponics systems. (i tend to use it for custom pipe fittings) very good chemical resistance, great for pipe fittings, living hinges, and other applications that needs a wear resistant flexible piece. bed adhesion is weird needing ~90 on the bed and CLEAR PACKING TAPE (clear packing tape is usually made of polypropylene so the pp filament will fuse to it nicely) and a very low hotend temp of ~160
Standard: Hum Drum run of the mill prints not too much to say about it.
Bio/E-resin: a bio resin ""Technically"" safer to work with (still ALWAYS recommend following all safety procedures, smell is alot less offensive however.
Water washable: a very thin resin can be cleaned with water however using alcohol still works a little better, its a very VERY easy resin to clean up if you spill it.
Jewelry casting resin: a nice replacement for lost investment wax casting, does require a furnace to burnout the printed positive from the plaster negative but once you burnout the positive you get an empty mold to pour molten gold/silver/pewter into! expensive up front material cost but overall produces a really clean no residue burnout and one sale will generally make up the material cost.
Hey @AlexPasseno Welcome to the community! Glad to have you aboard!
What is your favorite to work with? I noticed that you mentioned liking the PLA+, but if you had your choice of all of the above types, which would be your go-to?
Also, what are your thoughts on TPU?
Love petg+! i do alot of fish tank printing, so petg is my go to and the + just makes it so much easier to print, TPU is gimmicky but if you have a use case it gets the job done! also with fish tanks pp is a good alternative since that is also food safe while having alot of the same properties
Very cool. Would love to see some of your projects!
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