PETG, one of the strongest and most durable 3D printing filaments, stands for Polyethylene Terephthalate Glycol. THE PETG filaments They boast the ease of printing of PLA and the resistance of ABS. This type of filament is best for printing functional parts of 3D models, thanks to the material's strength and excellent impact resistance.
If you want to make high-quality 3D prints like a real expert with PETG filaments, you need to know everything about this filament. In this article we have analyzed all the basics about PETG filaments and the most common problems that can be encountered during printing.
What is a PETG filament?
As previously mentioned, PETG boasts 2 excellent properties than PLA and ABS. That's why PETG filaments are so strong and durable. Printing with PETG filaments is pretty easy and the best part is that you don't even need a heatbed.
PETG filaments are ideal for both beginners and advanced users. Consumers love this filament due to its versatile nature and wide variety of applications. Not to forget, then, the bright colors of the PETG filaments.
So, finding the right shade of filament is not a problem to worry about. PETG filaments are also available in different varieties, such as transparent, shiny and with metal inserts. If you want to print 3D models of the highest level and have fun at the same time, choosing PETG filaments is an excellent solution.
Due to its chemical resistance and thermoformability properties, PETG filaments are widely used in the food industry to produce beverage bottles and cooking oil containers. PETG filaments are also used extensively to produce FDA-approved containers for food storage.
Even cosmetic industries prefer PETG filaments over others to create the packaging of their products. The filament is very light but resistant and allows you to keep distribution costs down. Lower costs translate into higher revenues, so there is no doubt that these industries choose PETG filaments.
How are PETG filaments made?
To overcome the problems of glycol-based synthetic fibers and phthalic acid polymers, scientists have developed a solution to fuse the two substances into something durable. This is how PET or polyethylene terephthalate was born in 1941. The scientists who created PET are James Dickson and John Whinfield.
To obtain long-chain PET molecules, they used the esterification process. This process consists of heating terephthalic acid and glycols. Using this mechanism, they converted PET into fibers. These fibers have low solubility but a higher melting point.
At this point, PET has become very popular and has begun to be used in sectors such as food packaging, textiles, the production of rigid bottles and much more. However, PET still had some problems. One of PET's most concerning problems was its tendency to crystallize. At high temperatures, the filament crystallizes and becomes opaque, deforming the structure of the product.
To overcome this problem, scientists began using cyclohexane dimethanol instead of ethylene glycol. This helped eliminate the crystallization problem and improve heat resistance properties. Thanks to these modifications, today we can use PETG filaments for 3D printing, thermoforming and other applications where high temperature is a crucial aspect.
PETG filaments vs PLA filaments: What are the differences?
Both PLA and PETG are highly popular among users. In a report published in 2018, 6% of 3D printers worldwide use PETG for their models. We often ask ourselves which filament is better, PLA or PETG? To come to this conclusion, you need to understand the differences between filaments. These differences are:
|Compared to PLA, PETG is more durable and reduces the possibility of warping of the print. PETG is ideal for advanced users.
|PLA is a filament that most newbies choose for its ease of printing. The filament is softer and easier to print.
|PETG filaments are more suitable for obtaining glossy, vibrant, durable and resistant prints.
|PLA filaments allow you to create high-quality, glossy 3D prints.
|PETG filaments use polyethylene terephthalate as the raw material.
|The raw material of PLA is sugar cane and corn starch. The production of this filament does not release harmful fumes.
|It is not biodegradable like PLA, but can be easily recycled.
|PLA is an environmentally friendly filament being biodegradable.
|The durability of PETG is quite high. Its tensile strength ranges from 4,100 to 8500 psi.
|PLA filaments have poor impact resistance and a shorter lifespan than PETG. Its tensile strength reaches 7,250 psi, lower than that of PETG.
|PETG is more flexible and impact resistant than PLA
|It is not true that PLA is not flexible. However, compared to PETG, it is less flexible.
|PETG has a melting point of 260°C which makes it a highly heat-resistant filament. Thanks to this property, it is possible to expose the printed parts to the sun.
|PLA is not the filament to use for printing 3D models for outdoor use, as its melting point is between 160°C and 180°C. As a result, exposure to the sun warps prints.
PLA and PETG filaments are both great for printing 3D models. Both filaments have pros and cons. Therefore, instead of asking ourselves which filament is best, we should ask ourselves which is the most suitable for your project. If you want your prints to be strong and durable, PETG is your best bet. But if you don't have much experience and want a filament that's easy to print, PLA should be the first choice.
So, evaluate the elements mentioned above and compare them with your needs before choosing. Check which filament is best suited for your needs.
How to print PETG filaments
When printing with PETG there are some fundamental aspects to consider that always ensure resistant and high-quality 3D prints. Among these factors we remember:
As a general rule, the best printing temperature for PETG filaments is between 220 and 240° Celsius. At this temperature, the adhesion of the layers of the different parts is excellent. Furthermore, the printing surface remains smooth.
The temperature of the print bed should not exceed 80° to 100° Celsius. Maintaining this temperature is important because it reduces the likelihood of warping of the print. Additionally, this helps ensure that the first layer of PETG remains firmly adhered to the print bed. This minimizes layer bleed and keeps the print area nice and warm. The corners of large prints do not peel off easily if the print bed is heated properly.
Adherence to the plan
Some of the best print beds for PETG filaments include PEI, Kapton tape, blue tape, and glass beds. PETG adheres easily to PEI sheets. It's also easy to remove them once the print has cooled. If you are printing on a large print area, use PEI sheets.
Glass beds are also great when it comes to print adhesion and removal. These beds are strong enough to absorb blows from the nozzle and are less susceptible to human error. Blue ribbons are also great. There is no need to buy a new print bed. Simply cover the print bed with tape and you're done.
The ideal printing speed for PETG filaments should be above 50 mm/s. To make better PETG prints, it is advisable to maintain a speed of 60-80 mm/s. Any speed above this may cause stringing or cause the corners of the print to peel off. A printing speed lower than 50 mm/s may cause the PETG filaments to come out. It can also generate air bubbles.
Advanced tips and troubleshooting for PETG filaments
You may face some common problems while printing with PETG filaments. But don't worry, just follow our Troubleshooting tips to retain the quality of your prints.
The filament strings when the temperature of the extrudate is too high. Excessive heat liquefies the PETG more than necessary and the filament ends up stringing. Too low retraction settings and nozzle size can be other reasons for PETG stringing.
To avoid this problem, you need to readjust the restriction settings and reduce the nozzle temperature. You need to use the right type of nozzle. Reducing the print speed can also help in this regard.
This problem occurs when the ambient humidity is low or the nozzle temperature is too high. Parts that protrude and are not supported can also cause deformation. The best thing you can do to reduce the problem is to make the necessary adjustments.
Adherence to the plan
This problem can occur if the filament is wet, the printing surface is not adequate, the temperature is too low or the printing speed needs to be adjusted. You can solve this problem by checking whether the nozzle and print bed temperatures are between 220°C and 260°C and 80° and 100° Celsius respectively. Drying of the PETG filaments and speed regulation are also important factors.
By giving the hot end time to cool, the nozzle clogging problem will no longer arise. Poor ventilation and low environmental humidity also cause this problem. It is therefore necessary to provide better ventilation and regulate the ambient humidity and printing heat.
PETG filaments also absorb moisture from the air or water. Excessive humidity reduces the quality of the filament and the functionality of the printer. You can heat PETG in an oven to remove moisture or use a filament dryer.
Refill of PETG Filaments
We are happy to have a selection of refill PETG filaments (only for supplies of at least 5 spools at a time and on request) . These refills are extraordinarily strong, durable, food safe and odorless. 6 color variations are available: white, tiger orange, black, blue, lipstick red and grey.
The refills are made by combining strength and flexibility, which is why their shrinkage is minimal. With our PETG filament refill you can print large 3D models or produce mechanical parts in robotics.
To protect the environment and limit waste, try our reel REELfinity . The 1kg PETG filament refills are designed to be used with the spool. So, what are you waiting for? Buy our PETG filament refill together with the REELfinity spool now.
What is recommended for using PETG filaments?
Incorrect nozzle temperature, print speed and retraction settings often cause many problems when printing with PETG. It is therefore necessary to pay attention to these factors and make appropriate adjustments when necessary.
For what purposes is it best to use PETG filaments?
PETG filaments are widely used to make food containers, bottles, and cosmetic and medical device packaging.
What are common PETG problems?
Stringing, warping, bubbles and poor bed adhesion are some of the most common problems with this filament.
Why is PETG so difficult to print?
PETG filaments are relatively more difficult to print, as you need to be quite expert. Additionally, the post-processing stage can prove a little difficult for many people. But as you become familiar with the filament, it becomes easier to work with.
PETG filaments are great for printing. However, in order to take full advantage of your printing, you need to know the best practices related to PETG filaments. We hope this guide can help you understand everything you need to know about PETG to ensure a better printing experience.