PCTG Filament Has Interesting Properties
Early 3D printers used ABS, but bad fumes and warping made most people go to PLA. However, PETG has a lot of the great properties of ABS along with some of the ease-of-use of PLA. According to a recent [VisionMiner] video, however, PCTG — Polyethylene Terephthalate-Glycol — could be the next filament of choice. The filament itself is from Essentium, but it appears that [VisionMiner] is a reseller of the filament (along with other engineering plastics). Thus the video below has a bit of marketing speak in it, but it also has good information and examples of using PCTG.
The plastic is relatively inexpensive, but still not as cheap as PLA or even PETG. A 750g roll is about $40 The benefits? According to the video, this plastic is stronger, tougher, and clearer than other common options.
The material will print on many normal FDM printers. It requires 250 °C to 270 °C on the nozzle and 70 °C to 80 °C on the bed. Just be sure your hotend can handle the higher temperature. If you have PTFE in there it is probably your limiting factor, although you also need temperature sensing that can go over 250 °C, as well.
Speaking of temperature, apparently the filament can have a glossy or matte finish depending on the print temperature. We wondered if the layer adhesion — which is supposed to be very strong — changes based on the print temperature.
If you are printing with PLA or even PETG with good results, you may not need PCTG. But if it would prevent you from having to print with other materials that are hard to set up for like nylon, it might be worth experimenting with a roll to see how it works out.
Carbon fiber filament is cool if your nozzle can stand it. We have to confess, we still haven’t made it through the thirty types of exotic filaments we listed awhile back.
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