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Chemical Resistance of 3D Printing Filament

Scientist conducting a chemical test of a particular 3D printer filament

We frequently receive questions regarding the chemical resistance of particular materials / filaments for 3D printing. In response, we’ve created a Chemical Resistance Information Guide.

We have also summarised chemical resistance per material below (H= High Resistance, VH = Very High Resistance).

Water – PLA (H) PETg (VH), CF-PETg (VH), ASA (VH), ABS (VH), ePLA (H), ONE PET (H)

Acids – PETg (VH), ASA (VH), ABS (H)

Bases– PETg (VH), CF-PETG (VH), ASA (VH)

Alcohols –PETg (H), CF-PETG (VH), ASA (VH), ABS (H)

Hydrocarbons – N/A

Ketones –N/A

Ethers –N/A

Fuels –PETg (H), CF-PETG (H)

Salts – PLA (H), ASA (VH), ABS (VH), ePLA (H)

UV –PLA (H), ASA (VH), ABS (H), ePLA (H)

Oils – PLA (H), PETg (VH), CF-PETg (VH), ASA (H), ePLA (H)

Download Chemical Resistance Guide Here

Important Notice: COVID-19

Business as Usual

In response to enquiries related to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, we can confirm that we are currently fully operational.

Being Proactive 

The health, safety and wellbeing of our people, customers and suppliers is of paramount importance. As a business we are rigorously following official NHS guidance to avoid catching and spreading coronavirus – including Stay at home advice should any employees develop symptoms.

Management of the business centre in which we are located have also imposed proactive measures, including (but not limited to):

Hand-washing facilities and hand sanitiser available throughout premises

Closing all meeting rooms 

No third-party visitors 

Impact on Customers

We are in constant communication with key partners. Production is unaffected however, we have experienced a notable increase in sales in recent days, which may impact stock levels of some products in the short-term. Naturally, we are being proactive and aim to increase buffer stock of best-sellers to meet high demand. Whilst we are certainly not recommending ‘stocking up’ it may be worth considering should you feel the need to do so to mitigate uncertainty.

Public Health England (PHE) has advised that people receiving parcels are not at risk of contracting the coronavirus. From experience with other coronaviruses, we know that these types of viruses don’t survive long on objects, such as letters or parcels.

MARCH 31: SAME-DAY DISPATCH SUSPENDED DUE TO HIGH VOLUMES & EARLIER COURIER COLLECTION TIMES.

UK & EU Orders – Both Royal Mail (orders <2 kg) and Parcelforce (orders ≥2 kg) have advised changes to delivery procedure and suspension of UK service guarantee, plus the delivery aim for express9, express10 or expressAM is by 12pm.Further guidance here.

International Orders – For international orders (typically non-EU), we procure courier services from online providers. Their guidance can be read here at the following links:

Parcel2Go

TransGlobalExpress

Further Guidance

We are actively monitoring UK government response and will implement further measures accordingly if/when instructed. As said, until then, it is business as usual.

Should you wish to discuss this matter further, please don’t hesitate to contact us:

E: info@filamentive.com

T: +44 (0) 333 366 0020.

We face challenging times – rest assured we are doing our utmost to guarantee the wellbeing of all involved with Filamentive, whilst also minimising disruption to our day-to-day operations. 

Our well-wishes extend to all customers, suppliers and partners – thank you for your continued patience at this uncertain time.

Filamentive Release Six PETg Colours Made From 99.5% Recycled Plastic

Bradford, West Yorkshire, United Kingdom – January 16th 2020 – UK 3D printing filament brand, Filamentive, is proud to announce the release of six brand new PETg colours, made from 99.5% recycled plastic.


The brand new rPETg colours are made from post-industrial recycled plastic – 99.5% recycled content (The 0.5% consists additives to improve 3D printing performance). 

Like the existing Filamentive PETg line, this filament is strong, does not warp, and is odour-neutral – a perfect all-rounder, ideal for those strong and durable parts.


Step 1: Discarded, single-source PETg plastic waste – that would otherwise go to landfill – is received from manufacturers.

Step 2: The plastic is sorted and cleaned, to remove any unwanted debris, before being shredded and melted down to further refine the polymer.

Step 3: The plastic present in a variety of colours and so therefore undergoes a compounding to create a grey-coloured, homogeneous material.

Step 4: Premium masterbatch is then added to this neutral shade pellets to create the desired colour – the material is extruded and wound onto 100% recyclable cardboard spools ready for use!


“By using single-source PETg plastic waste as a base for this filament, we are not only diverting plastic pollution away from our landfills / physical environments, but also achieving the premium quality our global network of makers, industry and education clients require.”

Ravi Toor, Founder & Managing Director, Filamentive

New PETg colours – along with other Filamentive 3D printer filament products – can be found online via filamentive.com and available in 1.75mm diameter only, with 2.85mm coming soon.

Please note: rPETg colours originate from a different source compared to our black, white and transparent colours. As such, we advise to print slightly hotter, with a lower fan speed. Given the variation in formula we have additional datasheets for these new PETg colours, available on our Downloads page.


Filamentive (https://www.filamentive.com/info@filamentive.com) is the market leader in sustainable materials for FFF 3D Printing. The company was founded to address the environmental need to use more recycled plastics in 3D printing, and also alleviate market concerns over quality and long-term sustainability. Filamentive has experienced rapid growth and continues to address the questions surrounding 3D printing recycled materials. Headquartered in Bradford, United Kingdom, its customers include a global network of makers, industry and education clients.

PLA 3D Printer Filament Guide

Produce made from PLA

As a UK provider of PLA 3D printing filament, we are often asked by 3D printing users about the different types of PLA filament and what the best PLA filament is. This article will therefore give an overview of what PLA is, as well as explain the different types of PLA 3D printer filament we sell.

What is PLA?

Polylactic acid / polylactide (PLA) is an example of a bioplastic – a plastic made from renewable, plant / biological material.


The Material of Choice

PLA is the most popular 3D printing filament material – as exemplified in a 2019 survey which shows that more than 95% of 3D printing users use PLA. 

In the early years of desktop 3D printing, ABS emerged as the most popular filament, however, PLA soon began to takeover as the undisputed no.1 filament of choice.

3D printing users prefer PLA because it’s relatively low-cost, easy to print, less likely to warp compared and doesn’t emit any unpleasant fumes during the printing process. As a renewable bioplastic it is also more environmentally-friendly – however it’s important to note that the sustainability claims made by marketers of PLA could be perceived as greenwashing. 


PLA Filament Types

As of January 2020, Filament offer five PLA 3D printer filament materials:

  • rPLA (recycled PLA)
  • Engineering PLA – ePLA
  • Matte PLA
  • Cosmic PLA
  • Wood PLA

PLA Filament

© Spannerhands

To address the ‘plastic problem’, we have pioneered rPLA (recycled PLA) 3D printer filament, still boasting the same great PLA features such as; low warping, limited smell and premium print quality – but with the added benefit of being produced from factory waste streams as opposed to virgin pellets. All users of rPLA can feel good about reducing the demand for natural resources and therefore saving the environment, whilst being confident that the print quality will still be one of the best on the market! The go-to filament for all 3D printer owners, perfect consumer products, toys and general prototypes.

Recommended printing temperature: 190-220°C


Engineering PLA – ePLA Filament

3D print made from ePLA

ePLA is our 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 once printed.

Recommended printing temperature: 235 ± 10°C


Matte PLA Filament

© Tom Jackson / FilamentFrenzy

As the name suggests, this PLA matte filament is perfect for those desiring a matte finish. The printed surface diffuses light to give it a matte look and reduce the visibility of layer lines. Not to mention the added textured feel!

Recommended printing temperature: 205 ± 10°C


Cosmic PLA Filament

© Lancashire3D Ltd

Our highly-rated PLA now featuring metallic, glitter flakes to create prints that are “out of this world”. Ideal for creating eye-catching prints!

Recommended printing temperature: 205-225°C


Wood PLA 3D Printer Filament 

© Tom Jackson / FilamentFrenzy

Filamentive Wood is a PLA composite 3D printer filament. 40% of the formula is made from recycled wood fibres, providing a realistic wood colour, finish and even smell. Some wood filaments can be difficult to print, so our goal was to offer a wood filament that is also easy to work with and we have succeeded – many of our customers praise this filament for “printing like butter”. You can even post-process your wood prints – such as sanding, varnishing and coating – to make eye-catching, decorative wood objects.

Recommended printing temperature: 200-230°C
We also recommend a nozzle >0.5mm to easy flow / reduce blockages.


So… What is the Best PLA Filament?

It’s difficult to pick just one material as ‘the best’ as it depends on the application, 3D printer capability and the needs / requirements of the user.

If you’re looking for a general prototyping filament that is easy-to-print, we highly recommend our rPLA filament.

If you require something more robust / durable that may also need to be subjected to higher temperatures, our ePLA fits the bill!

If a matte finish is what you’re looking for, our PLA Matte is the obvious one to go for here!

If you’re looking for glitter / sparkly PLA for that added WOW factor, PLA Cosmic is the one!

If you need something to smell like wood / look like wood / feel like wood, Wood PLA is a no-brainer!

Due to it’s relatively low-cost, printing ease, environment credentials and the variation, it’s easy to see why PLA filament is used by more than 95% of 3D printer users.

With so many options, PLA is likely to be the best material for your project, but it is also worth noting we offer many other polymers – including ABS, ASA, PETg – so we would highly recommend reading our Materials Guide for further information.

We also offer 3D printer filament samples of all materials we sell.

Hopefully this has been an interesting and informative read – happy printing!

Any questions? Please email us!

How Green are 3D Printing Users?

Consumer awareness around sustainability has vastly increased in recent years; the debate about plastic specifically has transitioned from fringe debates into the mainstream. A 2018 Nielsen report highlighted that 81% of those surveyed felt strongly that companies should help to improve the environment

As a provider of 3D printer filament made from recycled sources (where possible), sustainability is central to our ethos and business model. As such, in early 2019 we carried our a Material Sustainability survey which gathered more than 200 responses from 3D printer users – ranging from at-home hobbyists to professionals working in global businesses. 

This post will specifically focus on the attitudinal questions regarding environmental matters, as well as market demand for recycled materials in order to ascertain,  How Green are 3D Printing Users?


After sending the survey to current customers, email database and sharing via social media and industry partners, 206 responses were received. 59.80% of respondents regarded themselves as hobbyists users, 26.47% were business / professional users – with the remainder classifying themselves as researchers / education / community users of 3D printing.


Green Value

One section of the survey consisted of questions aimed to gauge the green value of respondents – essentially their attitude to the environment / plastic problem. 

As seen in the charts above, 97.55% considered plastic pollution to be a problem and even more – 99.51% – believed it is important for them, as individuals, to act sustainably in general. Both results evident strong beliefs towards environmental sustainability. 

The third question surrounding attitude to the environment / plastic problem was more specific to 3D printing – asking whether they believe the rise in plastic use due to 3D printing to be a problem. Interestingly, the response to this question was more mixed – even still, more than two-thirds of those asked said Yes – clearly stating their thought that rising plastic use in 3D printing is a problem

This could be explained by the fact that 3D printing is fundamentally less wasteful than traditional, subtractive manufacturing methods and so on quick assessment it is more sustainable than other forms of ‘making’. However, the use of plastic as a feedstock will only increase demand for plastic.



Market Demand

The following section of the survey was geared towards market demand

98.54% of respondents indicated their preference for filament made from recycled material.

Aggregating this with the results from the green value questions in the section previous, there is a very strong correlation between environmental awareness and market demand – in summary we can conclude that 3D printing users are environmentally aware and this highly influences their purchasing intention. 

The second question in this section sought to discover underlying motivations. As seen in the chart above, lowering environmental impact was cited as their primary reason for using recycled material in 3D printing – which again correlates with stated (strong) environment awareness. 

The second most popular answer – satisfy growing environmental awareness amongst stakeholders – is also significant as it reflects the findings of the aforementioned 2018 Nielsen report which highlighted that 81% (of those surveyed) felt strongly that companies should help to improve the environment. 



Conclusion

Consumer awareness around sustainability has vastly increased in recent years and as seen in the results from this survey, it is clear that 3D printing users are extremely environmentally aware.

Despite the narrow view that 3D printing is sustainable, most are concerned that rising plastic use in 3D printing is a problem. As such, the overwhelming majority use / wish to use recycled materials – as opposed to virgin alternatives which will only worsen our plastic problem – in order to lower the environmental impact of 3D printing.



Filamentive

Recycled 3D Printer Filament

At Filamentive, environmental sustainability is central to our business model. In order to reduce the impact of (FFF) 3D printing and mitigate the Plastic Problem we commit to:

  • Using recycled materials (both 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
  • Using 100% recyclable cardboard spools to further reduce waste