The impact of filament on your 3D print qualityFollow article
The impact of filament on your 3D print quality
3D Printing has been around for decades but only started gaining ground with consumers when they started picking up on 3D printing projects. A prime example is the RepRap project which was started by Adrian Bowyer and further popularized by people like Richard Horne (Richrap) and Josef Prusa (The inventor of the RepRap Prusa 3D printer).
The most popular consumer 3D printing technique is called FDM (or FFF) which stands for "Fused Deposit Modeling". FDM 3D printing works by inserting a strain of material (filament) into a motorized extruder. The extruder then pushes the strain of filament into a hot nozzle. Meanwhile the so-called "Hot-end" (extruder + nozzle) is being moved over 3 axis to lay down a steady stream of molten material.
By following a certain pattern over and over, while moving down the z-axis with one step at a time, it's possible for the 3D printer to create 3D models.
FDM 3D print technology is mostly limited by the precision with which your 3D printer can lay down the material that you are using. What many people overlook though is the importance of using a high quality material that fits with the object that you are printing and the intended use.
Qualities to look for when picking your filament:
- Consistent diameter
- Bubble free filament
- Well dried material
These qualities are essential to guarantee a smooth printing process and all RS filaments are made to guarantee these qualities so that you won't have to worry about the material and can focus on print settings and letting your creativity flow. Very importantly, RS filament is not machine specific and can be used with any open FDM 3D printer.
An overview of the available high quality RS filaments:
PLA is one of the easiest materials to print with and features increased flow and impact over other PLA filaments. Not only does it smell nice when melted, it is also biodegradable and emits no hazardous fumes. PLA tends to shrink very little during cool off which is great for larger scale objects that would warp when printed with other materials.
ABS is a perfect material for prints that require significant strength with a high impact capacity. ABS has a very high impact and is extra strong. Though ABS is a strong material it does tend to shrink quite a bit when printed in a cooler room temperature. It is recommend to print on a heated bed and preferred in a pre-heated chamber. When ABS is printed correctly the results are very light and durable.
PVA is a water soluble material that can be used as support material with dual extrusion printers. PVA allows you to print objects that normally could not be created and offers unlimited print freedom. Just drop your printed object in hot water and soon you will be able to scrub away the PVA and be left with a perfectly printed object.
HIPS is an interesting material if you are looking for a matte finish on your prints. HIPS also bonds very well with glue and is often used in miniature construction. With HIPS you also have the option to dissolve the material when you submerge it in a D’Limonene solution.
FLEXIBLE materials by RS are perhaps the most exciting materials for many 3D printer users. FLEXIBLES offer you the option to print objects that require significant stretching and need to hold up to extended impact abuse. People have used flexible materials in the past to print anything from RC car wheels to keychains. The RS flexible filaments range consists of the rubber like Flex45 and semi flexible Clear65.
WOOD material is an easy to print (like PLA) material that offers the impression of real wood objects which behave the same as regular wood when sanding, cutting or gluing. RS offers 3 different kinds of WOOD filament so that you always have the perfect option for your project.
NYLON is a versatile, light weight and strong material and is one of the materials that is used most with many different 3D printing processes. NYLON requires a 3D printer that is able to reach higher temperatures then the average consumer machine.