If you just bought a plug and play 3D home printer for yourself, chances are that you won’t think about the printing material until you run out of it for the first time. 3D Printing can be so exciting and having you own personal 3D printer will make you try printing out your favorite things as soon as you get your hands on one.
The good news is that you can simply buy more printing material and start printing, but there are so many types of printing material and so it is good to know a bit about them before you buy the right one for your printer.
Printing filaments and their types
It is not important to just buy the best 3d PRINTER(s) for Home use, what is equally important is how you choose the right filament for your printer.
Though there are more than 30 different types of printer filaments, two of the most commonly used filaments and the most recommended 3d printer filament types for 3D printers are ABS and PLA. Here is a look at some of them.
Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) is an oil-based thermo plastic that is used as a filament to melt and create 3D structures. Due to its durability it is preferred for creating parts of machines and equipment.
Polylactic Acid (PLA) is the most popular printing material for home 3D printers. It is made from plant-based sources such as cornstarch and sugarcane, making it an eco-friendly option over ABS.
High Impact Polystyrene (HIPS) is used with ABS wherever support is required but is not part of the end product. It is removed from the end product simply by immersing in a solvent.
Polyvinyl Alcohol (PVA), like HIPS is used to support parts of a structure that are printed. It is used with PVA and is removed from the final product by simply immersing in plain water as it is water-soluble.
Cheat sheet to buying printing filament for your 3D printer
The printing material is what your final product is going to be made of, so it is vital to choose it correctly to avoid printing failures or printer damage.
* Printing material type – ABS or PLA are the best options for home 3D printers
* Filament diameter – Most commonly used printer diameters are 1.75mm and 3.00 mm.
* Filament grade – The quality of your project will also be affected by the filament grade. Some good grades for PLA are 4043D and 2003D. For ABS a filament grade of PA-747 is popular.
* Colors – The filaments are available in a variety of colors and transparencies, the latter being cheaper. Colored materials also tend to fade with sanding, in which case white is preferred.
* Printing conditions – Since ABS emits fumes, it needs a well-ventilated environment PLA on the other hand does not emit harmful fumes and works well even in cold conditions.