Filament for 3D printing

With 3D printers you call the material to print your object a filament. So it is a kind of ink for the printer. These filaments consist of different materials, these are mainly plastic materials. There are many different types: PLA, ABS, nylon, wood, stone, metal and many others. The most common are Thermoplastics, or PLA and ABS.
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What types of filament for 3D printing are there?


If only the shape of your object is important, it is recommended to always PLA to use. PLA stands for polylactic acid or polylactide. With 3D printing PLA used as raw material in the form of wire. This usually with a thickness of 1.75mm. You can go further PLA also use when making rapid prototypes or accurate prints. The print temperature is between 180 and 230°C. The print speed can vary from 25 to 100 mm/s.


ABS is a thermoplastic and a copolymer used for rigid, strong objects. It is a form-retaining material and has little tendency to creep. Creep is the permanent deformation of material that has been loaded for a long time. However, the filament can warp a bit during printing. ABS is slightly stronger and harder than PLA. The print temperature is between 220 and 260°C. The print speed can vary from 25 to 70 mm/s.


PETG is characterized by its strength, the gloss it has and the fact that it can be used in environments with a slightly higher temperature. With this filament, the properties of PLA in ABS more combined. It is both strong and easy to use. It also warps less during printing. Bee PETG the print temperature is between 230 and 250°C, the print speed is between 25 and 75 mm/s.


This filament has the property that it remains very flexible even after printing. It is therefore suitable for applications where high flexibility is required. Furthermore, TPE is very wear-resistant. It can also provide extra grip for the printed objects and can be used as a shock absorber. However, TPE requires a well-adjusted printing temperature and a slightly lower printing speed than another filament. The print temperature is between 210 and 235°C, but depends more on the composition of the filament and the print speed, which is between 15 and 35 mm/s.


TPU is similar to TPE and is also characterized by its high elasticity. It is very wear-resistant and resistant to oil, grease and chemicals. Furthermore TPU flexible, resilient and heat resistant. The difference between TPE and TPU, is that TPU firmer than TPE. TPU has a print temperature between 220 and 250°C. The print speed is about 20 to 30 mm/s.


WORK consists of a mix of high quality PLA and PHA. This makes it stronger, harder and more weather resistant than PLA. It has antistatic properties and has a higher temperature resistance. It also has the advantage of little to no warping. WORK has a print temperature of 260 to 280°C and a print speed of 30 to 60 mm/s.


HIPS stands for high impact polysyrene. This means that it is a polystyrene with extra additives that make it light and durable. HIPS is easy to paint and glue. Furthermore, it hardly warps. The filament is often used as base filament or support material. HIPS has a print temperature of 220 to 270°C and a print speed of 25 to 70 mm/s.


This filament is very resistant to UV rays, has good wear and impact resistance and high tensile and bending strength. The filament is transparent and light. Being transparent can have many advantages in 3D printing PMMA can be used almost anywhere. The downside is that it is more difficult to print than PLA of ABS. The print temperature is between 230 and 250°C.

Finishing of 3D printed objects


When a 3D print comes out of the printer, you usually start by cropping the object. With a small measure set you can easily remove excess filament, such as printing errors, edges and supports.

Sanding, auctioning or drumming

A 3D print can be finished in many different ways. If you have many irregularities, you can opt for sanding. This can be done with sandpaper, but you can also do this by drumming. This is a mechanical way of sanding or polishing. When sanding with sandpaper, the smoothness can be easily selected by the grit size of the sandpaper. Sanding is very suitable for large surfaces. When drumming, the workpiece is placed in a container with abrasive grains. By rotating the bucket, the grains move opposite the workpiece and the workpiece will be sanded. The advantage is that it is mechanical and therefore requires little manual labour. The downside is that it is a lengthy process that can take several hours. For the finer and more detailed work you can finish the project with a set auction diamond.

Pearl rays

You can also give your work a smooth finish by bead blasting. This allows you to blow small grains of material onto your workpiece, making your workpiece more even. How aggressively the material is removed can be chosen by different grain sizes. The disadvantage is that bead blasting must be done in a closed space, which limits the dimensions of the workpiece. In addition, it is a manual action that cannot be automated.

Vapor smoothing

We can also do Vapor smoothing. This is physio-chemical process that can densify and smooth thermoplastic polymers. It is a highly controllable process that enables reproducible results with no degradation of the mechanical properties of your product. Complex irregularities can also be smoothed out.


Sometimes it is better to print an object in several parts. In this case you will have to glue the parts together after printing. This is easy to do with glue for 3D printed workpieces.

The galvanizer

Electroplating is the application of a thin metal layer to an object. This can be decorative, but also functional. It gives the appearance of a metal and improves the mechanical properties. This requires a smooth surface.

To paint

Finally, you can also paint your object. Painting is usually preceded by sanding and possibly applying a primer layer. This layer ensures better adhesion of the paint. This is often used for prototypes but can also be used for finished products.

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