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Election 2016 – 3D Printing Edition


November 8, 2016 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Original Articles



On November 7, 2016, we did a survey throughout various social media outlets to determine the 3D Printing Filament of Choice. It was a pretty interesting experience, voters were mocking the real election stating, ABS grab em by the extruder, ABS is calling it a rigged system, ABS calling PLA a horrible horrible filament, and TPU not knowing the location of Alepo.

Here are the Results and descriptions of each filament:

PLA – 650 votes

    Summary of PLA

    PLA (Polylactic Acid) is one of the two most commonly-used desktop 3D printing materials (the other being ABS). It is the default recommended material for many desktop 3D printers– and with good reason. PLA is useful in a broad range of printing applications, has the virtue of being both odorless and low-warp, and does not require a heated bed. PLA plastic is also one of the more eco-friendly 3D printer materials available; it is made from annually renewable resources (cornstarch) and requires less energy to process compared traditional (petroleum-based) plastics. Outside of 3D printing, PLA plastic is often used in food containers, such as candy wrappers, and biodegradable medical implants (e.g. sutures). PLA filament for 3D printing is available in a wide range of colors in both 1.75mm and 3mm.

PETG – 215 votes

    Summary of PETG

    PET (Polyethylene terephthalate) is an industrial strength filament with several great features. Its strength is much higher than PLA, it is FDA approved for food containers and tools used for food consumption, it barely warps, and produces no odors or fumes when printed. PET filament is not biodegradable, but it is 100% reclaimable. PET 3D printer filament is known for its clarity and is also very good at bridging.

ABS – 214 votes

Summary of ABS

    ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) is another commonly-used 3D printer material best used for making durable parts that need to withstand higher temperatures. Compared to PLA, ABS plastic is less brittle and can be post-processed with acetone to provide a glossy finish. A heated printing surface is higly recommended when 3D printing with ABS, as it will contract when cooled leading to warped parts. ABS filament is available in both 1.75mm and 3mm diameter sizes.

High Temp PLA – 40 votes

Summary of High Temp PLA (provided by proto-pasta.com)

    Looking for increased heat resistance without the need to switch to ABS? Proto-pasta High Temperature PLA offers heat deflection of up to 88° C (190.4° F) compared to standard PLA of 45-54° C (113-135° F). This makes it a great choice for moving parts (gears, RepRap pieces, etc) or prints that would face moderately high temperatures. Our High Temperature PLA is white, but can be painted after annealing.

TPU – 25 votes

    Summary of TPU

    TPU (Thermoplastic Polyurethane) is an elastic, oil/grease resistant, and abrasion-resistant material with a shore hardness of 95A. TPU Plastic has several applicable uses including automotive instrument panels, caster wheels, power tools, sporting goods, medical devices, drive belts, footwear, inflatable rafts, and a variety of extruded film, sheet and profile applications. It is also commonly used in mobile phone cases.

ASA – 20 votes

Carbon Fiber Nylon – 15 votes

    Summary of Carbon Fiber Nylon

    CarbonX™ CFR Carbon Fiber Reinforced Nylon Filament is a semi-aromatic polyamide copolymer reinforced with high-modulus carbon fiber. This filament is ideal for anyone that desires a structural component with high modulus, improved chemical and thermal resistance, excellent surface quality, and ease of printing. Tired of nylon that warps? This is the answer you’ve been looking for. Excellent dimensional stability comes from the carbon fiber and the semi-aromatic nylon.

Carbon PLA – 10 votes

    Summary of Carbon PLA

    Carbon Fiber Reinforced PLA filament provides fabulous structural strength and layer adhesion with very low warpage. The carbon fiber in the filament offers increased rigidity, and therefore increased structural support built right in. Carbon Fiber filament is perfect for printing items that do not bend, such as frames, supports, propellers, and tools– drone builders and RC Hobbyists love this stuff, and it is made in the USA! The carbon fiber in the filament is specifically designed to be small enough to fit through the nozzles, but long enough to provide the extra rigidity that makes this reinforced PLA so special.

PEEK – 8 votes

    Summary of PEEK Filament

    With its unique mechanical, chemical and thermal properties, PEEK has many advantages over other polymers and is able to replace industrial materials such as aluminium and steel. It allows its users to reduce total weight, processing cycles and increase durability. Compared to metals, PEEK polymer allows a greater freedom of design and improved performance.

Glass Filled PETG – 6 votes

    Summary of Glass Filled PETG

GFR-PETG is a structural grade of Amphora™ 3D Polymer that expands your capabilities for adding strength and toughness to your printed part. We chose a specialty grade of glass fiber reinforcement that was ideal for co-polyester and 3D Printing. Our carbon fiber grades offer great structural reinforcements – but they are only available in black. GFR is ideal for applications where you want brilliant color and structural toughness.

Ninjaflex – 4 votes

    Summary of NinjaFlex

    Made from a specially formulated thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) material, this patented technology boasts a low-tack, easy-to-feed texture. The result is uniquely flexible, strong prints ideal for direct-drive extruders.

PC MAX – 4 votes

    Summary of PC Max

    Polymaker PC-Max™ is an advanced polycarbonate based filament designed specifically for desktop FDM/FFF 3D printing. In addition to high printing quality, great mechanical strength and heat resistance, Polymaker PC-Max™ offers excellent impact strength and fracture toughness, making it the ideal choice for engineering applications.

Carbon Fiber PETG – 2 votes

    Summary of Carbon Fiber PETG

    CarbonX™ CFR is an improved CF reinforced 3D printing filament vs. the competition. This filament is ideal for anyone that desires a structrual component with high modulus, excellent surface quality, dimensional stability, light weight, and ease of printing.

Nylon PLA – 1 vote

    Summary of Nylon PLA

    Nylon is an incredibly strong, durable, and versatile 3D printing material. Flexible when thin, but with very high inter-layer adhesion, nylon lends itself well to things like living hinges and other functional parts. Nylon filament prints as a bright natural to white with a translucent surface, and can absorb color added post process with most common, acid-based clothing dyes. Nylon filament is extremely sensitive to moisture, so taking drying measures during storage and immediately prior to printing (using desiccant, vacuum, or elevated temperature) is highly recommended for best results. Taulman Nylon is a specially formulated 3D printing Nylon filament that comes in a variety of sizes and packages, including 1-, 2-, and 3-packs of both 1.75mm and 3mm.

Summaries of the filaments were provided by matterhackers.com, proto-pasta.com, 3dxtech.com, and polymaker.com

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