When PLA just isn’t enough
As strong as ABS and easy to print like PLA, PETG filament finds that sweet spot between the two staples of 3D filament printing. Unlike ABS, PETG doesn’t emit a toxic odour and has little problems with warping or shrinking. Another bonus is its great layer adhesion ability, its resistance to alcohols and solvents along with it being more lightweight and flexible than ABS or PLA. Despite being a softer material than both ABS and PLA, it is incredibly strong with an impact resistance which far exceeds regular PLA prints.
RoHs compliant and tested for quality on our X3D range of 3D printers X3D Premium is the professional filament of choice. It also comes with a no fuss return or refund guarantee.
So what is PETG?
PETG (also called copolyester) is a modified version of PET which is a plastic resin. It is the most commonly used plastic in the world. Its found find fibers in clothes, containers for liquids, foods, thermoforming for manufacturing, and in combination with glass fiber for engineering resins.
The modification into PETG is achieved by adding a second glycol during polymerization. The molecular structure is irregular; the resin is clear and amorphous with a glass transition temperature of 88 C (190 F). If you’re into chemistry, it’s known as Polyethylene Terephthalateco-1, 4-cylclohexylenedimethylene terephthalate.
What are the benefits of PETG?
It’s more durable than regular PET which can also look hazy and become brittle. The added glycol prevents the material from crystallizing and becoming breakable. The new material is also highly impact-resistant.
These are the benefits of PETG filament for 3D printing:
- PETG filament has the reputation of combining the benefits of ABS (stronger, temperature resistant, more durable) and PLA (easy to print) in one material.
- The layer adhesion is usually excellent.
- You can expect less trouble with warping or shrinking of your prints.
- Also, you can have the material, prints and misprints recycled.
- It is considered to be food safe in nearly all countries.
There aren’t many. First of all, it’s more prone to scratches than PET. Also, it can be weakened by UV light. Some makers say it’s not the easiest material to print with, as you have to find its “sweet spot”.
- 220-250 C Extruder
- Bed temp – 60 – 80 C
- Smooth and Consistent Print
- Extra Strong
- High Impact Resistance Quality
- No Harmful Additives and RoHS compliant
- Consistent Quality from Reel to Reel
- 1kg Roll
Store filament away from the sun and in a sealed plastic bag with the silicon moisture bag inside.
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We are transitioning to cardboard spools so you may get plastic, cardboard of a mixture of both
My friend does the printing on his Prusa i3 Mk2. The black works nicely. Prints turned out great. We did a layer colour change with the Orange PolyLite PETG and there was no problems with layer adhesion.
Fantastic filament, from packaging through to consistent quality!
If you haven't printed at higher temperatures before, you'll want to pay close attention to both the z-offset and build plate leveling. Cheap surfaces warp under heat, especially high temps, so really dial in your z-offset, and tram the bed at your printing temperature to avoid the first layer printing into thin air.
I use a Garolite/G10 print surface on a slightly modded original Ender 3, completely smooth without any glues, sprays, tapes, scuffing, or other messing about. This filament adheres well with the right temperatures, and slides right off once the build plate cools down by about 15-20 degrees.
I set the bed temp 80 degrees from start to end of print.
250 degrees at the nozzle for the first layer, then at 240 for the rest of the print.
Fan running at 20% with a Creality Sprite extruder. You'll probably want slightly higher fan speed by a few percent if you have a less efficient blower, or perhaps a little less if your hot end fan leaks through to the build surface.
I'd recommend a broad brim or a raft for thinner/isolated parts of your prints, as this material can warp ever so slightly if you print in a drafty or colder room. I've had negligible stringing using very modest retraction settings.
This appears to be a tough material and held up well against a bit of enthusiastic load testing, so should be fairly hard wearing.
I'm looking forward to getting more of this filament for a number of up coming projects. :)
Wow - many thanks for all the tips and specs Sean. Really appreciated and deserves a fee X3D T-shirt. Will send a free promo code. Thanks again. Mark
Using an Ender 3 S1-Pro to print this material consistently was not easy, but it was rewarding. The amount of calibration I did to nail the first layer was immense. For me, the settings on the spool label were only really a starting point. First off I had major issues with warping which turned out to be related to bed adhesion. Any/all build surfaces I have; Glass, textured pei, smooth pei, smooth pei that was scuffed up with scotchbrite pad, smooth pei scuffed with 1000 grit sandpaper, and all with varying thicknesses of magigoo had the same issue. Eventually I found 80 degrees c build plate gave good enough adhesion, but the real trick was absolutely dialing in the Z-Offset to within 0.005mm accuracy on a textured PEI surface. Then there was issues with print quality (boogers on the print) which were related to fan speed. Again it wasn't easy to dial in, about half a dozen temp towers to test various extruder/fan settings. All up I've found;
DIAL IN YOUR Z-OFFSET is the most important thing
build plate 80c
nozzle 235c (a happy medium between bridging ability and layer adhesion)
Funnily enough a lot of people say that this sort of filament adhering to the bed too strongly can be an issue, along with stringing but my experience has been the exact opposite. Even with the settings dialed in, bed adhesion is still a bit of an issue.
This filament isn't easy to print, but the material properties make it worth the effort for functional parts.
Many thanks for this very comprehensive review Mike. Other customers find this sort of information and detail invaluable. I can even refer other customers to it. Excellent stuff.
Zero stringing on Prusa MK3 generic PETG settings. I love the strength and extra temperature headroom PETG filament provides.