When you or your business is involved with 3D printing Australia industry and you already have a machine at hand to use, then the next course of action you need to take would be deciding on what type of filament to use. This comes in several dozen varieties.
Wading through the many different types of 3D printer filament, you are putting forth an array of chemical-sounding names such as polyvinyl alcohol, polylactic acid, or carbon fiber. To make things even more confusing, they would sometimes go by dizzying acronyms such as PLA, CPE, HIPS, PET, ABS, PETT, PVA, PCTPE, and many more.
The 3D Printer Filament Basics
In the world of 3D printing Australian industry, filament refers to the plastics being used to create your 3D prints. Technically speaking, they are referred to as thermoplastics. When this type of plastic is heated, instead of burning they melt instead. They can be molded and shaped first before they completely become solid when cooled.
3D printer filament plastics are fed into the printing machines heating chamber. This is where it will be heated up and make it reach its melting point, then it will be extruded via a metal nozzle. The movement of the extruder assembly will trace a path with reference to the 3D object program file that will help create the object you are wanting to print.
Even if the vast majority of 3D printers come with just a single extruder, some models come as dual-extruders. This signifies that such 3D printing machines can 3D print your objects in several different colors, or with several different types of filaments.
The process of printing with the use of plastic filament as the base material is referred to as a fused filament fabrication or FFF. It is also known as fused deposition modeling or FDM. No reason to get yourself confused with these two terms because you can interchange them since they refer to just one and the same thing.
You can purchase 3D printer filament, which are sold in spools. Their weight would range from 0.5 to 2 kilograms, and will usually come with a thickness level of 1.75 millimeters and 3 millimeters. The latter is much thinner than it is, about 2.85 millimeters. Most of the filament you will encounter in the majority of 3D printing firms have the 1.75-mm type. Ultimaker is one of the few manufacturers of 3D printing Australian machines that makes use of a thicker size filament. They always list the weight in metric units.
Beyond Plastic Filament
Nowadays, we have a proliferation of FFF printers. This is the underlying reason why most of the time we tend to overlook the fact that some models we have on the market today are built using other types of technologies which are not making use of filament plastics.
The foremost among this type is the stereolithography or also known as SLA. This is considered by industry experts as a pioneer in printing technology and allows for the creation of high-resolution and finely detailed prints. SLA printer price tags for commercial applications can run well into 5 figures, sometimes it can even become six figures.
Knowing something about the plastic filaments being used by 3D printing machines gives you a good insight when trying to choose your own.
Therefore, paramount to your success in 3D printing an object, it is not just about having the right kind of 3D printer but of equal importance also is that you what type of plastic filament will be most appropriate to have for your 3D printing projects.