PET filament is a great filament to use for 3D printing. It has the same strength as ABS filament but it is as easy to use as PLA filament. It is waterproof and is safe to use for food.
3D printing is a fun activity where you can design different objects and then print them. It is now very accessible because 3D printers are becoming widely available for hobbyists and professionals alike.
There are many types of 3D filaments and one that performs excellently is PET. Get to know its properties and features so that you will know if this is the filament you are looking for to use in your next 3D printing projects.
What is PET Filament?
PET stands for PolyEthylene Terephthalate. It is a common material that is used to make plastic bottles. The original state of a PET printer filament is a crystal clear and colorless material. However, when PET is heated or cooled, its transparency changes.
When you cool down the material slowly after using it for 3D printing, it will have a structure that is more crystalline. PET is a shockproof and hard material. It is great to use for items that are lightweight.
PET has a different version such as PETG (polyethylene terephthalate glycol) and PETT (polyethylene coTrimethylene terephthalate). These are modifications of PET. PET filaments are clear thermoplastic. You can consider it a food-safe filament or food-grade 3D filament. PET makes a good material for food containers or any 3D project that will come in contact with food.
Meanwhile, PETG has the same chemical composition as PET but with the addition of glycol making it a whole new plastic. Is PETG food safe? Yes, just like PET, this material is considered a food-safe plastic. PETG is also more flexible than PET.
It is possible to thermoform as well as mold an item after it has been printed. Polishing the material is also possible through the use of flame. To have a material with better clarity, ensure that you get a layer height that is thicker.
PET Filament Temperature
In general, PET (polyethylene terephthalate) 3D filament is an easy material to use for 3D printing. Its temperature range for the PET extruder is quite wide at 160°C to 210°C, and you won’t have any problem with it.
However, you have to remember to store the material in a container that is sealed. Place it in an area that is dry so that it won’t be able to absorb water from the air around it because its quality will affect the 3D printing process and result.
When using these 3D printing materials, you may find that it takes some tweaking before you get the right setting. If you are a beginner in 3D printing, it is best that you try other filaments first before experimenting with the PET filament so you can get a feel of the different settings. But if you think you are ready to play with PET plastics, then go ahead and try it out.
Uses of PET Prints
PET plastic can be tested or used either in your home or in your office. It is waterproof and also safe for food.
You can use it to make boxes, bottles, vases, as well as other types of containers. It is recommended that you use a nozzle with a higher width diameter. Nonetheless, you can still print with PET printer filament with a nozzle that measures at 0.4 mm.
PET 3D Printing Filament Guide
Once you try out PET, you will see that there won’t be any problem when it comes to warping. Although this 3D filament is easy to use, it flows well so you may observe some oozing.
You may have some trouble printing materials that have a lot of retractions. But for objects such as vases and other containers, you will get better results. There is a slicer software where you can have the option to choose the vase mode so that the nozzle only moves in one direction.
The more you use a PET printer filament, the more you will notice that thicker layers will make objects look more shiny and transparent. To make the final product look smoother, try to print with a 0.4 mm nozzle at a higher speed.
Facts about Filament PET
Here are some facts about PET.
- PET is easy to use like PLA and does not warp.
- Naturally, PET is transparent and colorless. But if you do want different colors, there are filaments of various colors available for 3D printing like PLA and ABS plastic filament.
- This plastic material is waterproof and safe to be used for food. It is a common material used in making food containers, water bottles and other similar products.
- PET is the base used in making printing materials like PETG and PETT
- PET is highly recyclable, and it is recycling is usually done on an industrial scale.
- You have to take note though that PET may not be suitable for all types of printers because the high temperatures used in printing can cause damage to the extruders.
It will be quite challenging to find a true PET filament because many of those available in stores are actually copolymers that have an added molecule.
This included PETG which is a filament with industrial strength and also has many good features. However, there are brands that manufacture great PET materials. We will cover that below.
PET Compared to Other Filaments
The quality of materials printed with PET 3D filament has the same durability and strength as that of ABS filament, and it is as easy to use as that of PLA filament. A great thing about PET is that not only is it a strong material, it is also FDA-approved for tools and containers that are used for food.
PET filament 3D printing does not easily warp, unlike ABS. It has no fumes or odors during the process of printing. This material may not be biodegradable, but it is 100% recyclable.
Read about PLA vs ABS filament comparison.
It is a popular material for 3D printing because it is great at bridging and it produces clear prints. Filament PET is available at 1.7mm and 3mm.
PET vs PETG Filament
You may know about PETG filaments and you may be wondering what the difference is between PET and PETG. They may seem identical because they have the same base material but PETG has an added component which is glycol. Having this addition changes the chemical composition of PETG completely, making it a whole different kind of plastic.
When glycol is added, it removes some effects that can be observed when printing with PET. This includes the hazing effect that you may have seen when PET is heated.
It also prevents some of the crystallization effects that make PET more prone to being brittle. It adds some features to PET which makes PETG also a good material for 3D printing.
Recycled PET Filament
While PET is not biodegradable it is popular because it can be recycled completely making it a great material for water bottles and other containers. It is being recycled at an industrial scale. There are plenty of stores that offer recycled PET filaments for those who want to use a material that is specifically recycled.
If you want to do your share in conserving the environment, get a recycled filament.
Pet Filament Extruder
For those who want to recycle PET for themselves, it is possible to do that with the help of a PET filament extruder. There are plenty of extruders available on the market both for hobbyists and professionals.
You can extrude your own material into spools. You don’t have to throw out your misprints because you can recycle them back into reusable spools. This will also save you a lot of money in the long run.
Best PET Filament Brands
Here are three of the best PET filament brands that you should consider if you love using recycled filaments like PET. Let’s take a look at their features and characteristics.
1. Verbatim PET Filament
You can expect an excellent layer adhesion from this 3D filament, ensuring that you get a great surface finish. It is also designed to be compatible with many 3D printers.
You can also be sure of consistent and uniform feeding from the filaments as well as stable prints. When you receive your filaments, they are packed in a bag that is vacuum-sealed and has a desiccant, making sure that it will last long without any problem with moisture.
2. MadeSolid PET Filament
Another high-quality PET filament is from MadeSolid. With this 3D filament, you can expand your 3D printer’s versatility.
Compared to ABS or PLA filaments, PET filaments are much tougher and bends before it breaks. As for the extruder temperature, if you are used to using ABS, PET has almost the same range of temperature for printing.
You won’t be needing a cooling fan for this, unlike PLA filament. PET filaments won’t dissolve or degrade in water, and you won’t have any problems with it being brittle.
3. Innofil PET Filament
There are no parts that are misshapen, so you don’t have to worry about having issues with your prints because the 3D printer filament got stuck in your extruder. Innofil produces PET filaments of various colors. These colors remain vibrant and bright even when exposed to high temperatures.
Another great thing about this brand is that you can get a replacement if there are any defects from the product that you received. You can simply contact their customer service, and they will immediately replace your filaments free of charge.
Now that you know more about PET filaments as among the 3D printing materials you can work on, you will be more confident in using it. Again, this material is not biodegradable, but it is highly recyclable and safe. PET is the right plastic material to get for food containers.
It would be great if you can use recycled filament so you can contribute to the conservation of the environment while producing great prints. PET plastic 3D printing is as strong as ABS filaments but is quite easy to use just like that of PLA filaments.