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What plastics are suitable for 3D printing?

November 25, 2023

What plastics are suitable for 3D printing?

3D printing technology can use many types of plastic materials, each with its own unique properties and applications. Here are some plastic materials commonly used for 3D printing:

Polylactic Acid (PLA): PLA is a biodegradable plastic usually based on corn starch. It is environment-friendly, easy to use and suitable for beginners. PLA is suitable for making concept models and decorations.

Polypropylene (PP): PP is a plastic that is chemically resistant, lightweight and flexible. It is suitable for making parts that require flexibility and chemical resistance.

Polyethylene (PE): PE is a common plastic suitable for some simple 3D printing applications. Low-density polyethylene (LDPE) is generally softer, while high-density polyethylene (HDPE) is harder.

Polyethylene Terephthalate Glycol (PETG): PETG is a strong, transparent plastic that has the ease of printing of PLA. It is suitable for applications requiring transparency and abrasion resistance.

Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS): ABS is a tough, strong plastic suitable for making parts with high strength requirements. However, printing on ABS requires higher printing temperatures and ventilation.

Nylon: Nylon is a strong, abrasion-resistant plastic suitable for applications requiring abrasion resistance and strength. However, 3D printing of nylon often requires specialized printers and environmental controls.

Polystyrene (PS): PS is suitable for making lightweight parts, usually used for concept models and prototypes.

TPU (Thermoplastic Polyurethane): TPU is an elastic, soft plastic suitable for making parts that require flexibility and elasticity, such as rubber seals and insoles.

Each material has its own unique properties, and choosing the appropriate material depends on your printing needs, the purpose of the part, and the desired performance.

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