The journey to 3d printing begins with selecting the right 3d printers and continues with choosing all the right materials to get desired results. One of such important decisions involves the selection of the filament.
However, with varied options available in the market, it’s not always an easy task. That’s why we are here!
Getting your hands on the correct filament depends highly on the type of 3d printer you have. As every machine comes up with its own specified elements, finding the exact filament can take you a little time.
Hence, you need to keep a few things in mind especially regarding your printer before selecting the material.
Things to Keep in Mind
The first thing you need to check is the required filament diameter. Usually, the diameter ranges from 1.75 mm to 2.85 mm.
Secondly, check the material of the print nozzle as it will determine the type of filament. Most commonly brass nozzles are available with 3d printers that can print materials including PLA, ABS, and nylon.
However, if you are looking to utilise abrasive material, it’s better to go for a stainless steel nozzle.
Now, the filament in 3d printers is fused at a high or low temperature depending on your output. So, the next thing you need to check is the maximum extruder temperature of your printer.
A lot of filaments require a heating plate to eliminate detachment of printing parts. For instance, ABS and ASA ask for a heating plate. So, check whether you have the attachment with your printer.
Lastly, it narrows down to the choice of your output which involves taking care of its mechanical and aesthetic properties.
What kind of output are you expecting? Do you wish to have an impact-resistant part or a flexible part? In case, if your choice is the former one, Polycarbonate or ABS filament can serve your purpose.
On the contrary, if you wish to have a flexible or semi-rigid material, you should go for TPU or TPE based material.
What kind of finish do you want? Are you looking for a matte finish or a glossy one? Do you want your part to be smooth or translucent?
Depending on the type of your finish, you can find a number of hybrid materials including PLA and wood, bamboo, cork, brick, or cement that can provide you with the desired outcome in terms of colours and textures.
Finally, the last aspect involves paying heed to the kind of environment in which printing is to take place. Certain plastics emit hazardous VOCs during fusion that can be harmful to both health and environment.
In order to use such filaments, you will need to enclose the 3d printer or print outdoors.
Check the specifications of your filament. Is it sensitive to humidity? Does it emit any odour? If it does, you should go for PLA, PET, or PHA.
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