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3D Printer Filament Guide: PETG Filament

2024.04.29  216 clicks

Written by Abigail    April 29, 2024


What is PETG filament?


PETG filament is a 3D printing material known for its clarity, strength, and flexibility. It stands for Polyethylene Terephthalate Glycol-modified, which is a variation of the standard PET material (commonly used in water bottles). This modification process involves the addition of glycol, which alters the material's molecular structure, resulting in different mechanical properties such as increased flexibility and reduced brittleness.


Unlike standard PET, PETG does not become brittle or warp easily, making it a popular choice for a wide range of 3D printing applications. It combines the ease of use similar to PLA filament with the strength and durability closer to ABS filament. PETG is also highly resistant to moisture and many chemicals, including acidic and alkaline substances, making it suitable for both indoor and outdoor environments.


One of PETG's most notable characteristics is its translucency, which allows for the creation of objects with a glass-like appearance. Additionally, PETG is food-safe, although the food safety of a 3D-printed object also depends on other factors. These factors include the printer's cleanliness, the use of food-safe dyes or additives, and the temperature at which the object is printed. It's important to note that while PETG is food-safe, it's always best to exercise caution and ensure all printing conditions are optimal for food safety.


PETG filament is a versatile 3D printing material that offers an excellent balance between ease of printing and functional properties, making it a favorite among hobbyists and professionals alike.


newegg IEMAI Glitter PETG Filaments


Image Source: newegg


Mechanical Properties of PETG Filament


With its excellent mechanical properties, PETG filament is suitable for a variety of 3D printing applications.


Mechanical Properties of PETG Filament:


Strength and Durability: PETG has a higher tensile strength than PLA, which means it can withstand more pulling force before breaking. It’s less brittle and more durable, which is why it’s often used for functional parts that require toughness.


Flexibility: While not as flexible as TPU or other rubber-like materials, PETG does offer a degree of flexibility, which makes it resistant to impact and less likely to shatter upon being dropped.


Temperature Resistance: PETG has a higher thermal resistance than PLA. It can withstand temperatures up to about 70°C —80°C without deforming, making it suitable for objects that might experience higher temperatures during use.


Layer Adhesion: One reason PETG is easy to print with is its excellent layer adhesion. This property reduces the likelihood of warping and makes the prints more stable and structurally sound.


Chemical Resistance: PETG is resistant to many chemicals, including acids and alkalis, which makes it a good choice for containers and parts that may be exposed to harsh substances.


Low Shrinkage: PETG experiences very low levels of shrinkage when cooling, which contributes to its excellent dimensional stability and makes it easier to print large objects.


Hardness: PETG is harder than PLA, which means it’s more scratch-resistant and can handle more wear and tear.


PETG Filament Variants


PETG filament comes in various grades and blends, catering to different needs and applications. Here are some of the common variants:


Standard PETG: This is the most common form of PETG used in 3D printing. It offers a good balance between strength, durability, and ease of printing.


Translucent and Clear PETG: These variants are designed to maximize the natural translucency of PETG. They are ideal for creating objects that require a glass-like appearance.


Color PETG: PETG is available in a wide range of colors, including solid, transparent, and fluorescent options, which allows for more creative and aesthetically pleasing prints.


Composite PETG: Some PETG filaments are mixed with other materials like carbon fiber or glass fiber to enhance certain properties. For example, carbon fiber-reinforced PETG offers increased stiffness and strength, making it suitable for structural components.


FDA-Approved PETG: This variant of PETG is certified for food contact applications. It’s made with food-safe dyes and additives, ensuring that the filament can be used for kitchenware, containers, and other items that come into contact with food.


UV-Resistant PETG: Some PETG filaments are treated to be more resistant to UV light, preventing the material from degrading in sunlight, which makes it suitable for outdoor applications.


Recycled PETG: Some manufacturers offer PETG made from recycled materials in an effort to be more environmentally friendly. This filament has a lower environmental impact while still providing the benefits of standard PETG.


Printer Setting for PETG Filament


Achieving the best results with PETG filament requires fine-tuning your 3D printer settings.


Here’s a guide to help you configure your printer for PETG:


Extruder Temperature: PETG prints best at an extruder temperature range of 230°C to 250°C. Start at the lower end and increase if needed for better layer adhesion.


Bed Temperature: A heated bed is crucial for PETG. Set the bed temperature between 70°C and 90°C to ensure the first layers stick well without warping.


Print Speed: PETG should be printed at a moderate speed, typically between 40mm/s to 60mm/s. Slower speeds may be necessary for intricate details or sharp corners.


Cooling Fan: Use the cooling fan sparingly with PETG. Start with it off for the first few layers to promote adhesion, then set it to 50% - 60% after the foundation is established.


Retraction Settings: PETG is prone to stringing, so retraction settings are important. A retraction distance of 1mm to 3mm and a retraction speed of 40mm/s to 60mm/s are good starting points.


Layer Height: A layer height of 0.1mm to 0.3mm works well with PETG, providing a balance between surface finish and print time.


Nozzle Distance: The first layer is key to a successful print. Ensure the nozzle is close enough to the bed to squish the filament slightly but not so close that it drags or blocks extrusion.


Nozzle Diameter: Standard 0.4mm nozzles work well with PETG, but larger diameters can be used for faster prints or smaller diameters for finer details.


Remember, these settings are starting points. You may need to adjust them based on your specific printer model, filament brand, and the complexity of the print. Always monitor the first few layers and be prepared to make small tweaks for optimal results.


RECREUS-FDM 3D Printing Navy Blue PETG


Image Source: RECREUS


PETG vs PLA Filaments


PETG and PLA are two of the most popular filament choices for 3D printing. Each has its own set of characteristics that make it suitable for different applications.


Here’s a comparison to help you understand their differences:


Material Composition


● PETG is Polyethylene Terephthalate Glycol-modified, which is a copolymer that is modified with glycol for enhanced properties.

● PLA stands for Polylactic Acid, which is a biodegradable thermoplastic derived from renewable resources like corn starch or sugarcane.


Strength and Durability


● PETG is known for its toughness and is less brittle than PLA. It can handle more stress and strain without breaking.

● PLA is rigid and has good tensile strength but is more prone to breaking under impact or stress.


Flexibility


● PETG offers a degree of flexibility, which adds to its impact resistance.

● PLA is more rigid, which can be an advantage for structural parts that require stiffness but a disadvantage when flexibility is needed.


Temperature Resistance


● PETG can withstand higher temperatures before deforming, making it suitable for applications that involve heat exposure.

● PLA has a lower melting point, which makes it unsuitable for high-temperature environments.


Ease of Printing


● PETG requires a bit more fine-tuning with printer settings but generally prints without major issues.

● PLA is often recommended for beginners due to its ease of printing and minimal warping.


Environmental Impact


● PETG is recyclable, but it is not biodegradable.

● PLA is biodegradable and considered more environmentally friendly due to its plant-based origin.


Applications


● PETG is used for parts that need to be durable, flexible, and resistant to higher temperatures.

● PLA is preferred for models, prototypes, and items that do not require high durability or temperature resistance.


Finish and Aesthetics


● PETG offers a glossy finish and is available in translucent forms that can mimic the appearance of glass.

● PLA comes in a wide variety of colors and finishes, including matte and silk options.


In conclusion, PETG is better suited for functional parts that need to endure stress. PLA is ideal for decorative items and models where ease of printing and biodegradability are important factors.


PLA vs PETG Filaments


Image Source: MatterHackers


PETG Filament Pros and Cons


PETG Filament Advantages


1. Durability: PETG is known for its toughness and ability to withstand wear and tear, making it ideal for creating durable parts.


2. Flexibility: It offers a degree of flexibility, which contributes to its impact resistance and reduces the risk of shattering.


3. Temperature Resistance: With a higher melting point than PLA, PETG can be used for objects that may be exposed to hotter environments.


4. Chemical Resistance: It is resistant to many chemicals, making it suitable for various industrial applications.


5. Low Shrinkage: PETG has minimal shrinkage during cooling, which helps in maintaining the dimensional accuracy of prints.


6. Layer Adhesion: Excellent layer adhesion means stronger prints and less likelihood of delamination.


7. Translucency: The natural translucency of PETG allows for the creation of prints with a glass-like appearance.


8. Food Safety: Certain grades of PETG are food-safe, making them suitable for kitchenware and other food-related items.


PETG Filament Disadvantages


1. Stringing: PETG can be prone to stringing, which may require fine-tuning of retraction settings to achieve clean prints.


2. Print Bed Adhesion: It requires a heated bed and careful calibration to prevent warping and to ensure proper adhesion.


3. Hygroscopic Nature: PETG absorbs moisture from the air, which can affect print quality and may require storage in a dry environment.


4. Printing Temperature: The filament requires a higher printing temperature, which might be challenging for printers without a capable hot-end.


5. Finish Quality: While PETG can produce prints with a glossy finish, it may show imperfections more readily than other materials.


6. UV Sensitivity: Standard PETG can degrade under UV light, although UV-resistant variants are available.


In summary, PETG filament offers a great combination of strength, durability, and ease of use, making it a versatile material for a wide range of 3D printing applications. Its cons are manageable with proper handling and printer settings, allowing users to take full advantage of this robust material.


PETG Filament Applications


PETG filament's unique properties make it suitable for a wide range of applications in 3D printing.


Here are some of the most common uses:


1. Medical Devices: PETG's strength and FDA-approved variants make it ideal for creating medical devices and prosthetics that are durable, sterilizable, and safe for human contact.


2. Protective Components: Its impact resistance makes it perfect for manufacturing protective gear such as face shields, safety goggles, and helmet components.


3. Automotive Parts: The filament's temperature and chemical resistance allow for the production of parts that can withstand the demanding conditions of automotive use.


4. Food Containers: Food-safe PETG can be used to print items like water bottles, food storage containers, and other kitchenware.


5. Functional Prototypes: Engineers and designers often use PETG to create functional prototypes that can endure rigorous testing.


6. Outdoor Applications: UV-resistant PETG is used for outdoor fixtures and signage that require durability against the elements.


7. Robotics: PETG's combination of strength and flexibility makes it a good choice for parts in robotics, where movement and durability are essential.


8. Art and Design: The material's glossy finish and translucency are leveraged by artists and designers to create aesthetically pleasing artworks and decorative items.


9. Custom Components: For hobbyists and DIY enthusiasts, PETG is a go-to material for customizing or repairing household items, gadgets, and toys.


10. Educational Models: PETG is used to print scientific models, geographical terrain, and historical artifacts in educational settings for interactive learning.


PETG filament's versatility means it can be found in almost any industry, from aerospace to fashion, and continues to be a favorite for both personal and professional 3D printing projects.


MatterHackers 3D-printed PETG Parts


Image Source: MatterHackers


Best PETG Filaments of 2024


1. MH Build Series PETG Filament


MH Build Series PETG Filament is a top-selling product from MatterHackers designed for 3D printing enthusiasts looking for an affordable yet strong filament option. This 1.75mm PETG filament is perfect for creating durable and quality parts, and it’s priced competitively to fit every user’s budget. With bulk pricing available, the more you buy, the more you save per spool. It’s compatible with a wide range of 3D printers.


MH Build Series PETG Filaments-MatterHackers


Image Source: MatterHackers


2. MH PRO Series PETG Filament


MH PRO Series PETG Filament is a premium 3D printing material that stands out for its exceptional toughness and minimal shrinkage. This 1.75mm filament is ideal for projects requiring parts that are both impact-resistant and flexible. Engineered to enhance PETG’s natural properties, such as durability, heat, and chemical resistance, the MH PRO Series PETG ensures your prints are not only high-quality but also consistent in performance.


MH PRO Series PETG Filament


Image Source: MatterHackers


3. Bambu Lab PETG Basic


Bambu Lab’s PETG Basic Filament is a versatile and durable material designed for a wide range of applications. This filament is known for its impact and water resistance, high flexibility, and strong layer adhesion. It is an ideal choice for printing tools, toys, water containers, and outdoor items that require long-term durability and resilience. With its exceptional light transmittance, Bambu PETG Basic can achieve translucent effects, adding a unique aesthetic to your creations.


Bambu Lab PETG Basic


Image Source: Bambu Lab


4. ERYONE PETG Filament


Eryone PETG Filament is a versatile 3D printing material that combines the ease of PLA printing with the strength and flexibility of ABS. This 1.75mm PETG filament is engineered to have minimal stringing and exceptional layer adhesion, making it an excellent choice for both hobbyists and professionals. With a higher toughness than PLA and an impact strength of more than 30 times that of standard PLA, Eryone PETG is perfect for creating durable, high-quality prints.


ERYONE PETG Filament


Image Source: ERYONE


5. FlashForge PETG Filament


FlashForge’s PETG Filament is a versatile and reliable material that promises high-quality prints every time. This 1.75mm PETG filament is designed to work seamlessly with a variety of FlashForge models, ensuring smooth feeding and extrusion. With a printing temperature range of 230-250°C and a speed of 60-90mm/s, it’s optimized for both speed and precision.


FlashForge PETG Filament


Image Source: FlashForge


6. 3DJAKE PETG Filament


3DJAKE’s PETG Yellow Transparent Filament is specially modified to offer excellent mechanical and visual properties, making it suitable for a wide array of applications. The transparent yellow color adds a unique, eye-catching quality to your prints, while the filament’s water-repellent nature and strong layer adhesion ensure durable and reliable results. With recommended processing temperatures of 230 - 250°C, it’s easy to print and perfect for those seeking to combine aesthetic appeal with functional strength


3DJAKE PETG Filament


Image Source: 3DJAKE


7. HATCHBOX Silver PETG Filament


HATCHBOX Silver PETG Filament boasts easy adhesion to a variety of surfaces, making it a breeze to work with, whether you’re a seasoned pro or just starting. The recommended print temperature range is 230°C - 260°C. The filament’s environmental safety and odorless nature make it a conscientious choice for all your printing needs. Get ready to transform your 3D printing experience with HATCHBOX PETG Filament, where durability meets eco-friendly innovation.


HATCHBOX Silver PETG Filament


Image Source: HATCHBOX 3D


8. Prusament PETG Filament


Prusament PETG Neon Green Transparent Filament, a high-quality filament from Prusa Research, is known for its low thermal expansion and toughness. It is ideal for printing large objects that require precision and durability. The neon green transparency adds a striking visual effect to your prints, while the filament’s flexibility ensures parts can withstand pressure without breaking. It’s a great choice for both functional and aesthetic applications.


Prusament PETG Filament


Image Source: Prusament


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