As we all know with 3D printing in so much demand, it is good to know about it. Apart from selecting the right printer you also need to have the right filament. It is very important that you select the right one. The filaments can be of different shape, texture, material, style, and size. The selection of the filament totally depends on what you are going to use it for. The filaments are the core of 3D printing and the choice of the filament can decide on the end product. You will have different options which are texture, material, style, and color.
You should understand how each filament is different from each other and it is important that you understand it.
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We will look into 5 things which you should be aware of before buying a 3D printer filament.
1. Requirements of the printer
You will get many 3D printers on the market. Once the printer is purchased you will have to find the best filament for the same. You need to remember that not all filaments are compatible printers. You need to understand which filament will work best with the printer you have and buy that accordingly. A printer with no heating base cannot use ABS. It is best to get the filament as per your printer.
2. Traits of the filament
Every filament is unique in itself and they all have different uses. The filaments vary in color, shape, and texture. The end product requirements will decide which filament you will have to use. If the product needs tough exterior then you can use ABS. Similarly, for day to day products, you can use PLA quite efficiently. Hence the choice of the filament will also depend on the end product that you have to deliver. Some of the commonly used filaments are PLA, ABS, PET, PVA, and nylon. The right filaments will help you get the best output. The ABS is durable and cheap, PLA is an environment-friendly, and PET can be recycled and is easy to use. CPE is the same plastic from which disposable bottles are made.
3. Further processing
The end products at times need to be further processed to achieve the best result. The challenge is that not all filaments will give you the flexibility. If the product is not further beautified it may damage the overall feel and essence of it. Be aware of what you are creating and its application and use the filament accordingly. The PLA and ABS are widely used. The ABS uses a heated bed and a high printing temperature. On the other hand, PLA is biodegradable and can be worked with even at low temperature. Unlike ABS they are environment-friendly and has no odor.
4. Lifetime usage
The Filaments can degrade over the age and some work for a lifetime. The duration of the product also depends on what you make. The prototypes are usually made for a short period of time and once it is a success only when it is produced on a large scale. In such a case you cannot invest in filaments which do not last for very long. Use a filament which can last for a long time period. Nylon is considered to have the longest life when compared to other filaments like PLA and ABS. They are cost effective, lightweight and flexible. If your business requires heavy printing, then you can even consider UV printing large format option. This type of printer can save your company countless dollars in ink and production costs.
5. Color and packaging
When you purchase filaments, the neutral and natural colored filaments are cheaper as the cost of coloring is not included. The colored filaments are easy to use and even easy to set up but are costlier. The packaging of the filaments is also important. They are available as either reels or coils. The reels are easier to use but the filament weighs more when it is reeled up compared to coils. The difference in the weight can affect the shipping and packaging cost. The coils are less expensive and even small quantities of the filaments are available.
The above-mentioned pointers can definitely help you pick the right filament for your printer. If you select a wrong filament for the printer it can affect your overall experience and the end product. It will also lead to wastage of time and money.
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