A purchase of a 3D printer is a handful of a challenge, for the volume of the equipment available on the market can make it difficult to select the best one. When at last we manage to get the dream product, we face another dilemma, which is the purchase of the right filament. And it’s crucial, because the prints’ quality depends largely on the quality of input that we use. The choice-making is no easy task, for the wide range materials offered on the market can make our heads giddy.
What actually is the filament?
The 3D printer filament is the material that makes it possible for the printer to produce a given object. Filament for a 3D printer is what ink is for a common printer: the material that makes printing possible. However, they differ completely because filament enables the machine to make a 3D print, whereas regular ink is printed only on paper. So first of all, filament is the base of print, and without it the device cannot produce anything. Just like with a common printer: without a cartridge it’s basically useless.
What should we take into account when buying a filament?
3D printers filaments can vary a lot. There are some rules we should follow while choosing the right filament. Firstly, it should be adjusted to our printer. Various materials require different printing temperatures, and it depends on the equipment we possess. Standard materials, such as PLA or ABS, have low printing temperature, but when we want to print in filaments with additives, for instance carbon fiber, we must make sure our printer is able to heat the head to high temperatures. So the first thing we need to take into consideration is the filament’s printing temperature.
Kinds of filaments
Another consideration is related to the question: What are the prints needed for? Is the model for practical use, or just as a decoration for display? This is the main reason for selection of material for the equipment.
If we have to produce a practical element or a functional prototype of high quality and resilience, ABS will be the best choice.
ABS, that is acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene, is based on petroleum, which affects its chemical and physical properties. It’s a substance used in industry, for manufacturing of household appliances, parts of car interior, sports gear or elements of furniture. Interestingly, ABS is also the material that the popular LEGO blocks are made from.
For concept prints, figures or toys, PLA filament will do best. These objects don’t require high quality because they are just for display.
PLA, that is polylactide or lactic acid, is made from natural resources such as corn meal. Because of the worse physical properties it is less frequently used in industry. It’s used for producing biomedical goods such as dental implants or surgical threads, as well as for making disposable dishes.
Best 3D printer filaments
The filaments worthy of note are, among others,
They are characterized by high quality of make and a large choice of colors. They are humidity-proof, compatible with most printers, and most importantly, enjoy good opinion.