Finding the right material for your application
The applications of 3D Printing have rapidly expanded thanks to innovations in material science. Today users can 3D Print in a vast array of materials, everything from education & hobby friendly materials like PLA to rigid & tough engineering-grade PolyCarbonates, soft and flexible TPU materials and even industrial aerospace-grade materials like PEEK.
Quality 3D Printing materials are critical when producing high quality prints. Symptoms of poor quality filament are inconsistent colouring and melting temperature between batches along with inconsistent filament diameter which leads to poor quality surfaces, nozzle blockages and compromised part strength.
At 3D Printing Solutions we supply only quality 3D printing materials that we have tested in house. We also stock the full range of Polymaker filaments. Polymaker are industry leaders in quality control and product innovation. All Polymaker filaments go through 8 steps of quality control to ensure customers receive only the most innovative and reliable 3D printing filaments
Finding the right material for your application is as important as finding a high quality 3D Printer. You can read through our material summary below to learn about the different types of materials.
The biggest range of quality 3D Printer plastic in Australia
General purpose 3D printing material
Derived from renewable resources such as corn starch and sugarcane, PLA is one of the most popular 3D Printing materials for prototypers, educators and hobbyists due to its low printing requirements and excellent dimensional stability at a low cost.
Types - PLA / PLA+ / PolyMax™ PLA
Print Requirements - Low Requirements / 190-220°C Extruder Temperature / Optional 0 – 60°C Heated Bed.
Print Quality - High print quality and compatibility with most 3D printers. Prints with excellent dimensional stability and minimal warping.
Mechanical / Thermal - Regular PLA exhibits high tensile strength and stiffness but is brittle with low heat resistance. PLA+ materials further improve tensile strength. Our toughest PLA is Polymakers PolyMax™ PLA which is nano-reinforced with vastly superior impact resistance and ductility.
Other - N/A
General Purpose 3D Printing Material
PETG is one of the most popular 3D Printing materials on the markets for prototypers, educators and hobbyists, offering improved mechanical and thermal properties than regular PLA and lower printing requirements than ABS at a low cost.
Types - PETG / PolyMax™ PETG
Print Requirements - Medium Requirements / 230-240°C Extruder Temperature / 70-80°C Heated Bed.
Print Quality - High print quality and compatibility with most 3D printers equipped with a heated bed. Prints with excellent dimensional stability and minimal warping with most sizes.
Mechanical / Thermal - Regular PETG exhibits ballanced mechanical properties with moderate heat resistance. Typically regular PETG materials are more flexible than ABS and tougher than PLA. For mechanical performance Polymakers PolyMax™ PETG offers vastly superior stiffness and ductility.
General Purpose 3D Printer Plastic
ABS is one of the earliest and most common everyday 3D Printing materials which has maintained its popularity for prototyping and production due to its low cost, balanced mechanical properties, thermal properties and excellent printing quality.
Types - ABS
Print Requirements - Medium - High Requirements / 240-265°C Extruder Temperature / 80-100°C Heated Bed / Enclosure Recommended / Optional 50-60°C Heated Chamber
Print Quality - High print quality and compatibility with most 3D printers equipped with a heated bed. A high environmental temperature is key to printing ABS with excellent dimensional stability, so an enclosure is recommended. Additionally a heated chamber may be required to print large parts without warping or cracking.
Mechanical / Thermal - ABS exhibits good tensile strength, medium-high heat resistance (90-95°C) and improved toughness when compared to PLA or PETG.
Other - We recommend good ventilation when printing ABS.
TPU is a flexible filament with excellent durability, inter-layer adhesion and resistance to oils. The Shore hardness scale is used to rate the flexibility of a TPU material, with TPU95 offering a balance between flexibility and ease of use.
Types - TPU (Various hardness ratings)
Print Requirements - Medium - High Requirements / 220-240°C Extruder Temperature / Filament feeding path with minimal drag
Print Quality - Great print quality. Compatibility varies based hardness of the TPU. More flexible TPU plastics like TPU80 or TPU60 may require extruder modifications.
Mechanical - TPU is durable, elastic with excellent flexibility. The flexible properties of TPU vary on the filaments hardness rating. For example 60A is more flexible than 80A or 90A.
Other - Due to their elasticity and softness, it is important to minimize drag on the feeding path when printing TPU. With a single extruder, TPU supports are very difficult to remove, limiting which geometries can be printed well. Soluble supports can be used to vastly expand the complexity and applications for TPU.
Engineering Grade Material
Nylon is an engineering grade 3D printing material exhibiting excellent mechanical and thermal properties. Nylon has low printing requirements however some brands of Nylon are harder to print and control than others due to unique behaviour like crystallization during printing.
Types - Nylon 6 / Nylon 12 / Nylon 6,6 / CoPA
Print Requirements - Low to Medium Requirements / 235-260°C Extruder Temperature / Optional 0 – 70°C Heated Bed.
Print Quality - Good to high printing quality, generally compatible with most 3D printers. Some brands and Nylon filaments print with warping and poor dimensional stability. Nylon filaments formulated specifically for 3D printing avoid these issues.
Mechanical - Varies on the type. Intrinsic properties of Nylon are improved flexibility, excellent toughness, chemical resistance, heat resistance and low friction.
Other - Nylon be annealed to further improve mechanical and thermal properties. Nylon is very hygroscopic, it is important print Nylon from a dry box and to store spools in a resealable bag with desiccant.
PC is the strongest 3D Printing material that can be printed on consumer desktop 3D Printers. Due to it's excellent mechanical properties, PC is one of the best materials for functional end use parts and products.
Ultem (also known as PEI) is an industrial aerospace-grade material used for demanding applications in aerospace, automotive, oil and gas, advanced research and medical industries.
PEEK is an industrial aerospace-grade material used for demanding applications in aerospace, automotive, oil and gas, advanced research and medical industries.
Specialty 'Polishable' Material
PolySmooth™ is a first of its kind 'polishable' material which can be polished with Isopropyl Alcohol to acheive an attractive glossy and smooth surface.
Specialized Investment Casting Material
PolyCast™ is a unique material designed specifically for investment casting (also known as lost-wax casting) of metal. You can use it with 3D printing to replace the wax patterns used in industrial investment casting processes.
Dont know where to start? Or which filament will suit your application?
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