Plastic is a material made of synthetic or semi-synthetic compounds and has the property of malleability. Most plastics on the market are entirely synthetic. Plastics are used in many products and applications due to their low cost, ease of manufacture, versatility, and water resistance. 3D printing plastic is also prevalent in additive manufacturing.
What plastics can be used for additive manufacturing?
Whether in filaments or powders, the plastic must be melted to form layers of printable objects. As a resin, it must be hardened to form an object. Each plastic requires different 3D printing parameters during the assembly process and gives different properties to the part.
Commonly used plastics in 3D printing
ABS is the most commonly used 3d printing plastic
- ABS can also be used in powder form for powder coating processes such as SLS and liquid form for SLA and PolyJet technologies.
- ABS is not biodegradable and shrinks when exposed to air.
- PLA is made from biodegradable material.
- PLA tends to shrink a bit after 3D printing, but it’s one of the most accessible materials to print.
- PLA is a complex material to handle due to its high cooling and solidification rates.
- However, the material is consistent, easy to use, and available in various colors, making it suitable for FDM 3D printing.
- ASA has similar properties to ABS but is more resistant to UV rays.
- When printing on ASA, be very careful when printing in tight spaces due to styrene release. You must
- Polyethene terephthalate or PET is commonly used in single-use PET bottles.
- PET is the ideal yarn for all parts that come into contact with food.
- The material is quite complex and has excellent chemical resistance.