All filaments vary their printing temperatures because filament with different material have different printing temperature and properties. A wide range of filaments – Standard filaments to the Exotic filaments– are easily available around us. So, we have different 3d printing temperatures for different filaments.
Here, I am going to talk about some of the popularly used filaments used by hobbyists as well as professionals. These filaments have their own advances as well as constraints. But by knowing the exact 3d printing temperature, you can print these filaments perfectly.
What Are Filaments
Filaments are thermoplastic raw materials used by 3d printers for 3d printing. We require 3d printing temperatures for different filaments. The thermoplastics are melted rather than burn when heated in the heating chamber in the printer’s extruder assembly. After cooling, it becomes solid and can be easily molded by the machine. The machine nozzle uses this hot filament to create a printed object layer by layer. You can print an object in different colors with different filament types.
The process of 3d printing filaments is called fused filament fabrication (FFF) or fused deposition modeling (FDM). Generally, filaments are available in various colors as well as thickness in a spool ranging from 0.5 kilograms to 2 kilograms. The filament has one continuous slender plastic thread – which can be a hundred meters long. This is usually spooled into a reel that you can use for storage and printer feeding.
Why Do We Use Different 3d Printing Temperatures For Different Filaments?
We have different 3d printing temperatures for different filaments because filament with different materials has different printing temperatures and properties. Some filaments require a specific heated bed temperature because it provides added adhesion, ensuring that the first layer sticks well. You can print basic plastic filaments in the normal FDM machines at the maximum temperature of 260 Celsius degree. But the advanced filament and printing efficiency requires higher capacity printers whose printing temperature can reach up to 300 Celsius degrees.
Another important factor is that each plastic has a different glass-transition temperature. So, every filament has a different 3d printing temperature because chemical makeup is important for thermoplastic. For one, it can directly influence the temperature at which the filament turns from a brittle filament into a rubbery substance.
PLA (Poly Lactic Acid) Filament
The PLA filament’s natural melting point is around 80°Celsius. Well, there is no exact printing temperature available for specific PLA filaments because of the variations of texture, brand, and colors. Your printing machine is also the deciding factor.
You can get these printing machines in different heat-bed diameters as well as temperature settings. For 3d printing on PLA plastic, you can start from 205° Celsius heat but keep adjusting the temperature by 5° Celsius up or down for no mess during the process.
As PLA has a relatively low glass transition temperature, it is not suitable for making high-temperature applications. It is also fragile than ABS. Generally, the temperature of the hotbed between 20°-70° Celsius is good for PLA but it may vary due to PLA materials, color, and brands.
You have to keep experimenting. For example, to handle the extremely hot temperature of the bed or the hot end, keep minimizing the temperature by 5°Celsius. It is better to keep a track of printing results for different heat temperatures for future reference. Hot PLA is user-friendly and has better printing effects than any other bioplastics like ABS or PETG.
ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) Filament
ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) is the second commonly used 3D printer material and is known to withstand higher temperatures because it is so much more difficult to print with. ABS requires slightly higher temperatures to print because the plastic is less brittle and more ductile. You can use acetone to provide a glossy finish during the post-processing.
A heated printing surface around 80 to 110 °C is necessary for the 3D printing with ABS filament, otherwise, it will contract when cooled leading to warped parts. However, after printing the first few layers, it’s best to turn down your print bed temperature a bit. The printing temperature range is between 210 and 250° Celsius. You have the advantage that you don’t have to worry about your prints melting under the influence of high temperatures.
HIPS (High Impact Polystyrene) Filament
HIPS (High Impact Polystyrene) is very similar to ABS filament because of similar printing temperatures. HIPS filament is popular for models with internal supports or supports for detailed models with many overhangs. Also, it will dissolve in approximately 8 to 24 hours when fully submerged in a Limonene solvent.
To 3d print HIPS filament, set the bed temperature to approximately 115°C. The printing temperature range is between 230° and 250° Celsius. Do not remove your print until fully cooled or it will warp. It is a great option as a support material when printing ABS with a dual extrusion printer.
PVA (Poly Vinyl Alcohol) Filament
The PVA filament 3d printing temperature range is between 190°C° and 220° Celsius and prints at low speed. PVA filament is a stiff and water-soluble 3d printing support material, capable of successfully supporting the production of the most complex designs with relative ease. It requires a bed temperature between 40°C and 50°C.
If the temperature on the heated bed is too high, it leaves the filament flexible and will allow it to spread. And you will need a printer that has two extruders to utilize PVA as a support material. To get the best results, make sure to completely dry the PVA filament.
PETG (Polyethylene Terephthalate Glycol) Filament
PETG is one of the most widely used polymers for food packaging to water bottles. PETG filament has minimal shrinkage, making it ideal for parts that need to be impact-resistant. It is glycol-modified, which makes the filament clearer and softer than PET and combines the most useful properties of ABS and PLA.
It is more durable than PLA and easier to print than ABS and requires very high printing temperatures between 220 and 250 °C. The printing bed should be heated to 50°C to 75 °C to ensure the extruded filament sticks. PETG filaments are durable, temperature-resistant, and relatively flexible materials, ideal for mechanical parts and functional prototypes.
TPU (Thermoplastic Polyurethane) Filament
The TPU is a variant of TPE (Thermoplastic Elastomer) and a very flexible filament. The printing temperature range is between 195° and 230° Celsius while the bed temperature should be between 30°C and 60 °C. The filaments are very soft and elastic, so you need to print them slowly.
Instead of using Bowden-type extruders, prefer direct-drive extruders for such filaments as they will support the filament between the exit of the drive gear to the entrance to the melt chamber. This filament is popular for making automotive instrument panels, caster wheels, and power tools. Other stuff includes sporting goods and medical devices. TPU filament can also make drive belts and footwear.
PP (Poly Propylene) Filament
The PP (Poly Propylene) filament is flexible and resists impact better than PLA. The PP filament requires a bed temperature of 120°C and an extrusion temperature of 240°C to 3d print properly. Polypropylene plastic bends and squeezes, making it ideal for packaging, food-safe containers, medical devices, and living hinges.
PC (Polycarbonate) Filament
PC (Polycarbonate) Filament is very strong, durable, transparent, and high temperature resistant. These filament objects can bend easily without cracking or shattering, making them ideal for bullet-proof glass, drone parts, mechanical, and electrical components. PC filament requires very high printing temperatures up to 250°C – 320°C with a print bed temperature to approximately 120°C – 130°C.
Bowden-extruder is good for this filament printing because your 3D printer should be equipped with a heated build chamber, otherwise, if the temperature will be too low, the printed layers will get separated. To prevent warping, use a permanent printing plate or an adhesive spray.
Glow-In-The-Dark 3D Printer Filament
Fluorescent or Glow-In-The-Dark filament is becoming very popular for making eye-catching decorative items. It is a combination of PLA and phosphorescent particles and is also available in PLA, ABS, and TPU based filament. To print this filament, the printing temperature range is between 205° and 220° Celsius while the bed temperature should be between 40°C and 55 °C.
These filaments are biodegradable as well. Some of the popular printed objects are children’s toys, cell phone cases, lanterns, window decorations, wearables as well as visual projects. It is a great choice for creative 3D printing.
ASA (Acrylonitrile Styrene Acrylate) Filament
ASA (Acrylonitrile Styrene Acrylate) filament is an advanced version of ABS filaments. Due to high resistance to UV rays and weather exposure, ASA is popularly used for outdoor applications. ASA can handle high-temperature processing and mechanical stress for a long period of time. For printing with this filament, you will require both extruder and printing bed at very high temperatures in a well-ventilated place because it emits smelly fumes.
ASA filament requires very high printing temperatures up to 230°C – 250°C with a print bed temperature to approximately 95°C – 110°C. Always print the first few layers at a higher temperature and then lower the temperature by 5 degrees for the rest of the print to avoid poor-quality printing. During the post-processing, use acetone solvent for smoothening ASA printed parts.
With the improving 3d printing technology, the combined forms of filament are very popular. So, while you are planning to 3d print your models, it is necessary to know all about the filaments’ chemical properties, pros, cons, and heating temperatures. It is important to get these temperatures right because any miscalculation of the correct temperature might cost you a failed print.