December 11, 2020

3D Printing - filament

To simplify somewhat, there are 3 kinds of filament. PLA, PETG, and ABS. ABS may be the thing for certain parts because you can "smooth" it with acetone, which can make it smoother (surprisingly), but also waterproof if that is important.

Some people print almost entirely with PETG, which makes a lot of sense to me.

My mentor, Dave says, "Honestly, I wouldn’t buy PLA but I would use it if someone gave it to me. There really is no need. PETG vs. PLA to me there is no difference."

To get started, I ordered two 1 kilo rolls. A roll of grey PLA by Overture, and a roll of blue PETG by Hatch Box.

Both companies are recommended. In particular, Hatch Box is recommended by my man Dave. I am diligently avoiding cheap filament (or trying to). It seems silly to "save" 5 or 10 dollars and have endless misery trying to print things.


I was surprised to see this as a possibility. The advantage is printing things that are virtually transparent and making things that need toughness and strength beyond what other materials offer. Perhaps if I ever need all that I can just find a shop that will do polycarbonate prints for me.

The main thing seems to be that it requires a high nozzle temperature, on the order of 270C (260-310C). In general, this requires an all metal nozzle and will not be possible with all printers. Almost certainly my Ender 3 will not handle it. And almost certainly it doesn't matter -- I don't at this point have any burning need to work with polycarbonate.

Matte black

There seem to be many options here. Some things to search on:
Black Raptor PLA (matte on any color you want)
PrimaSelect Pro PLA black
Xyltech matte black PLA
Voltivo Excelfil Black (pricey)
Proto Pasta matte fiber PLA (also expensive)
Proto Pasta PC-ABS
Colorfabb PLA/PHA black $39 for 0.75 kg

Have any comments? Questions? Drop me a line!

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