3d Printing with Different Materials!

3d Printing with Different Materials!

So the time has come to order a fresh batch of filament for your printer at home. You've spent some time mastering the force that is Cura (or any slicing software) and the hardware you've chosen to print from. As you're browsing, you notice there is a wide variety of different filaments to choose from! What are a few of these different filaments and what can they do for you? Though the variety is wide, today we'll drift away from our normal PLA and talk about ASA, TPU, and PTEG.


Acrylonitrile Styrene Acrylate [ASA]


ASA is a common filament you will see on the market. ASA is often compared to ABS, but is seen as superior in several different aspects. ASA boasts better Tensile Strength, Elongation, and offers better UV protection than its competitor. Compared to the common PLA filament, ASA takes the cake in about every category: From print quality, to structural stability. Prints made in ASA will be able to take much more of a beating than prints made in PLA, ABS, and many other common materials. Fun facts, ASA is also significantly more resistant to chemical wear than many other mats, including PLA, PLA+, ABS, and TPU. To print with ASA, you're going to need to push your printing temperature up a tad from normal. Push your nozzle to around 250-260 degrees and you should see excellent quality in your new material. 

Some great uses for ASA prints include:

  • Outdoor products, or products that will be exposed to heat or sunlight
  • Sunglass frames, hat brims, bracelets
  • Tools such as rakes, tool handles, 
  • kitchen tools such as Spatulas, stirring spoons, etc


Thermoplastic Polyurethane [TPU]


TPU is a very exciting material in the fact that it is a very Flexible material. Many industries and hobbyists alike take advantage of the mechanical properties TPU brings to the plate. From next generation run-flat tires to footwear, TPU is an excellent choice if you're looking for an impact resistant material. With its low density, TPU is also a perfect choice to create seals, bushings, and gaskets if you're looking for an upgrade from Soft PLA. To print using TPU, a normal nozzle temp between 220 and 250 is desirable. With how soft the material is, you shouldn't have any issues with the print not sticking to your print bed. In fact, most cases suggest you turn off your heated print bed, if you have that accessory.  Depending on the size of the print, you will need to dry your creation in specific atmospheric conditions. Most prints require conditions around 60-85 degrees Celsius for around 4-5 hours to really get that quality that you want from TPU. Lastly, slowing down your print rate should optimize your prints in this material. 

A few great uses for TPU include:

  • Any object that requires a solid level of flexibility
  • bushings, seals, gaskets
  • Flexible phone cases and protective cases 


Polyethylene Terephthalate Glycol [PETG]


PETG is praised for its high strength and rigidity, but also for its ease-of-use. PETG prints very similar to PLA and ABS. But PETG also has one other defining quality that draws its consumers to use it. PETG prints clear, like glass or a water bottle. With bigger prints, this can give you a nice glossy finish, which is great for people looking to paint their products or creations. PETG is also a great material for people looking to showcase logos, or protect something they are wanting to show off! Simple phone cases are very commonly printed in PETG. The beauty of printing with PETG is, as mentioned, print settings are very similar to PLA. Printing temperature ranges between 230-250 degrees. If you possess a printer with a heated bed, try to keep it around 60 degrees Celsius. 

Some uses for PETG include:

  • Liquid Containers such as water bottles
  • Graphic showcases
  • electronic cases 
  • Photo covers
  • [Normal products you'd print in PLA]

These three materials are just a few of the many that can be used in the big, mad world of additive manufacturing. Here in the near future we will cover these materials individually and significantly more in depth! This Blog was just a quick nod to expand your knowledge on the power of occasionally switching materials to better compliment your specific print needs! 

Did all this talk sound foreign to you? Check out our monthly how-to blogs if you're looking to learn about 3d printing!




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