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3D Printer Filament Comparison: PLA versus ABS

PLA and ABS are two of the most popular 3D printer filament materials. This comparison will hopefully give you more knowledge on both materials and help you select the best filament for your project.

ABS – Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene

  • Sturdy, strong
  • High melting point
  • Not easy to print

ABS is a very common thermoplastic known in the injection molding industry. It is used for toys such as LEGO, constructions in the automotive industry and in protective headgear. Compared to PLA, parts printed in ABS tend to have higher strength, flexibility and last longer. However, ABS filaments tend to warp and it is an absolute must to have a heated bed for successful prints. ABS also tends to give out more toxic and unpleasant fumes while being printed and hence it is extremely important to have good ventilation while printing.

Did you know? Our ABS 3D Printer Filament is strong, minimal warp and contains up to 64% recycled material.


PLA – Polylactic Acid

  • Biodegradable, derived from corn starch / sugarcane
  • Shinier / Smoother finish
  • Easy to print
  • Very little issues of shrinkage, warp or cracks while printing

PLA is one of the most popular bioplastics that is usually used in plastic cups, disposable tableware or food packaging. Along with a much lower printing temperature compared to ABS, PLA does not require a heated bed to be printed. However, it is important to note that PLA is a lot more brittle than ABS. As a result, PLA is more commonly used in applications where form is more important than function. The overall 3D printing experience would be a lot better with PLA as it does not give off an unpleasant odour while printing.

Did you know? Our PLA 3D Printer Filament low warp, has limited smell and premium print quality – plus contains a high percentage of recycled material.


With similar price ranges between the two materials, it often comes down to the application of the print as to which material is superior. Although ABS has superior mechanical properties, it is a lot harder to print with and requires a heated bed. On the other hand, PLA is ideal for prints where aesthetics are important.


ePLA engineering PLA – best of both worlds?

Do you know our ePLA range of products aims to take the best aspects of PLA and ABS and combine them into a single material?

An engineering-grade PLA filament, with performance comparable to ABS. Features a heat resistance of 95°C< (after annealing) and the ability to print at speeds up to 120mm/s. ePLA gives a semi-matte finish. Tough and strong PLA.

With the mechanical properties of ABS and the ease of printing of PLA, e-PLA might just suit the exact requirement for your next project! Check it out here!


What to do with Failed Prints and 3D Printing Waste? 

What to do with Failed Prints and 3D Printing Waste? 

Recently we sent out a material sustainability survey (thank you to those who contributed). One question was What do you consider as the biggest cause/s of 3D printing waste? – as you can see from the results table below, 80.98% of respondents indicated that failed prints was the biggest cause. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


In a previous blog post, we had briefly discussed about the possibility of using failed prints for extrusion purposes. However, we understand that having such a set up can be expensive and impractical for someone doing 3D printing as a hobby.

As a big advocate for sustainability in the 3D printing world, one of the things that caught our attention recently was the endeavours of Devin at Make Anything and Michael at Teaching Tech.

They had both made attempts to recycle then upcycle failed prints. They took failed prints, support materials and purging elements and shredded them to much finer parts. Then, they laid it all out onto a baking dish / moulds and left it for a short period of time until the plastics combined and took on the form of the container.  It was interesting to see how failed prints can be used in other ways, apart from being thrown into an extruder to be made into filament again. We believe that these could potentially be options for makers around the world to explore in terms of recycling failed prints as they do not require much more expensive equipment to pull off.

These methods are further explained by their respective content creators as shown here:

Recycle waste 3D prints [Teaching Tech.]

Failed Print Recycling Revisited [Make Anything]

Recently, our friend Daniel Melville from HandyDan’s3DPrints demonstrated how he up-cycled failed prints into funky coasters.

HandyDans Upcycled Failed Prints

HandyDans Upcycled Failed Prints

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Moving forward

Whilst recycling failed prints and 3D printing waste from customers remains challenging for Filamentive as a business, we feel the methods discussed in this blog post at least provide a source of creative inspiration to those looking recycling & upcycle their 3D printing waste – especially if a filament extruder is not a viable option. 

Despite the challenges, recycling 3D printing waste has long been an aspiration of ours and we’re continuously researching the viability of a waste management service. Offering such a service one-day will truly help us move one step closer to achieving a circular economy and reduce – if not eliminate – plastic waste within 3D printing. Until such a solution is achieved, we will still continue to be the sustainable choice in 3D printing by committing to:

  • Using recycled material (post-consumer and post-industrial) where possible 
  • Avoid the use of new, virgin polymers to reduce energy and demand for raw materials. 
  • Utlise plant-based bioplastics when there is no recycled alternative
  • Forming strategic partnerships with recycling companies to use their waste streams to produce filament
  • Using 100% recyclable cardboard spools to further reduce waste and increase the recyclability of our products/packaging

Hopefully this has been an interesting and informative read – if you have any questions about recycled filament or indeed anything related to Filamentive, please email us.

PET vs PETg Filament – What’s The Difference?

“PET filament”, “PETg filament”, “PETG filament” “PET-G filament” – all of these are common names used in 3D printing. Whilst at first glance “PET” and “PETg” may appear to be the same material, their (incorrect) interchangeable use by material companies and 3D printer users alike can be misleading. This article explains the difference between the two filament materials and summarises the benefits and disadvantages of both. 


PET (Polyethylene terephthalate)

  • Higher working temperature
  • More rigid
  • More brittle

If you are looking to get a print out that is rather rigid, PET 3D printer filament is the right material for this occasion. It has a slightly higher working temperature compared to PETG and is rigid, much like PLA. Although prints made with PET are hard, they are prone to be broken easily. So be aware if you know that your part is going to be subjected to a considerable amount of stress as the plastic would break rather abruptly, with not much sign of plastic deformation.

Did you know? Our ONE PET 3D Printer filament contains 100% recycled content made from waste PET plastic bottles.

 

PETg (Polyethylene Terephthalate Glycol)

  • Has glycol added (hence the “g”)
  • Slightly more flexible
  • Greater impact resistance
  • Absorbs more moisture (Dehydrating PETg before use is a good idea)

PETg can simply be thought of as PET with glycol added. The addition of glycol allows the material to be slightly more flexible, but not as much as TPU or TPE. Having a little more flexibility allows parts to have a greater tolerance to impact compared to PET.  Be careful of how you store your PETG as the addition of glycol means that the material absorbs more moisture. Ensure that you keep your PETg 3D printer filament in an airtight environment or dehydrate it before use.

 

Technical Data Comparison

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Conclusion

Whilst PET and PETg plastic 3D printer filament may sound as though they are very similar, it is important to remember that they offer different properties – which should be compared when choosing the most appropriate material for your project.

To summarise – where our regular PETg has a better impact resistance, ONE PET boasts superior technical properties such as tensile strength, not to mention the environmental benefit of 100% recycled content. 

Both and PETg plastic 3D printer filament can be found in our shop

Happy Holidays from the Filamentive Team!

Happy Holidays from the Filamentive Team! 2018 has been a tremendous year for us and we’d just like to thank each and every customer, supplier and partner!

In February, we made the switch from plastic to cardboard spools – reducing our plastic use and making recycling easier for our end-users. 

March saw us shortlisted for the prestigious 3D Printing Material Company of the Year award. 

In April 2018 we announced our Distribution and Reseller Agreement with 3DGBIRE. As a direct result of this, technology distribution giant Farnell element14 became stockists of the entire Filamentive range.

After a busy Summer we then joined our friends 3DGBIRE at the TCT Show 2018. This was a wonderful platform to see customers – new and old – and also forge new relationships.

Very recently, in December 2018, we announced Proto21 as exclusive Filamentive distributor in GCC region. As a result, Filamentive products are now available in UAE, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Kuwait, Jordan, Qatar.

What to look forward to in 2019

In January, we will be releasing, not one, not two, but THREE brand new 3D printer filament materials! 

  • ePLA – engineering-grade PLA filament – with the performance of ABS, 95°C heat resistance (after annealing) and the ability to print at speeds above 120mm/s – up to 90% recycled
  • PLA Matte – as the name suggests, surface diffuses light to give it a matte look, and creates a textures finish to reduce visibility of layer lines – 75% recycled material
  • ONE PET – 100% recycled filament made from post consumer PET waste. Developed by our partner Tridea – it is stiff and tough material with excellent interlayer adhesion, not to mention that it is available in a wide range of colours to suit needs and requirements.

Release dates and availability announced in due course 👀

2018 was a truly tremendous year and thanks to you we are well placed to have an even better year in 2019 and beyond. Everything we do is for YOU and we will always be committed to providing high levels of quality, sustainability and customer service.

PLEASE NOTE: We will be closed between Monday 24 December and Wednesday 2 January. All orders and emails received in this period will be dealt with upon our return on Thursday 3 January.

As a token of our appreciation, please use discount code xmas20 at checkout for 20% OFF ANY ORDER – Ends Friday 4th January 2019

Shop Now

 

A Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from all at Filamentive! 🎅🎄 See you in 2019! 

 

Filamentive announce Proto21 as exclusive distributor in GCC region

Bradford, West Yorkshire, United Kingdom – December 6th 2018 – Filamentive, a UK based company, is proud to announce a distribution partnership with Proto21 3D Printing LLC, to introduce their high-grade, environmentally friendly 3D Printing filaments in the GCC region (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and UAE).

As a 3D printing business in the region, Proto21 found it challenging to find a local supplier of high quality 3D printing filaments. Trying the top brands, which were found to be expensive, with a long delivery time, which was incompatible for rapid prototyping.

During the hunt for reputed and high-quality filaments, Filamentive was a must try considering the environmental ideologies and responsibilities. After testing some spools of different materials and see highly satisfied results, Mr. Pir Arkam, the founder of Proto21 3D Printing LLC, immediately reached out to Mr. Ravi, the director of Filamentive, with a proposal to become a distribution partner in the GCC region.

 

What is the need for environmentally sustainable raw material in 3D Printing?

Currently, PLA is one of the most commonly used materials in 3D printing. While it is plant based, PLA is not the solution to the environmental concerns. Most importantly, PLA will challenge the food and energy security in the future. Also, PLA can take hundreds of years to breakdown naturally.

“90% of all plastics we use come from non-renewable sources. As 3D printing grows, this will only exacerbate the issue. It is a social responsibility of every 3D printing professional and company to address the environmental impacts of using plastics.” Added by Mr. Pir Arkam.

Filamentive chooses to address environmental concerns with the use of recycled materials where possible without compromising on the quality of the product. All the Filamentive products are manufactured by recycled plastic materials, keeping the environment in mind. This ambitious organization has been globally recognized as “One of the Most Impactful Startups” by Web Summit in 2017.

 

The Partnership between Proto21 and Filamentive

“It is such a pleasure to introduce our recycled filaments in the exciting 3D Printing market of the Middle East, through a company possessing similar environment values,” Mr. Ravi Toor, founder of Filamentive says. “Looking forward to working with Proto21 3D Printing LLC to spread our idea, serve the industry with our environment friendly filament and promoting the use of recycled filaments in 3D printing industry.” he further commented.

All common filament material in FDM industry will be supplied by Proto21. The list of materials which will be available in the region include rPLA, PLA Cosmic rPET-G, rABS, ASA, Carbon Fiber & Wood fill. “Considering the rapid prototyping industry, we will ensure the fastest delivery with competitive prices”, Mr. Arkam said.

Used by more than 3000 makers, 3D Hubs, businesses and universities – this recyclable 3D printing material is now available in GCC countries (UAE, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Kuwait, Jordan, Qatar) with Proto21 as the exclusive distributor in the region.

 

About Proto21

Proto21 3D Printing LLC is formed in response to the burgeoning demand of the century’s requirements on 3D Printing services and consultation. To become leading Additive Manufacturer in the region, Proto21 is partnered with Joseph Group of companies. Located in the industrial hub of Dubai, the company aims to serve “Dubai 3D Printing Strategy”, launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

For inquiries, reach out to us at:

Email: info@proto21.ae

Phone Number: +971 52 104 9913

Website: proto21.ae/quote

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/company/proto21 

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