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3D Printing with PETG - tips and tricks

Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) is the most widely used plastic in the world. In fact, if you look around you, you will find that the polymer is used in many different applications such as the creation of water bottles, right through to the fibers of your clothing. It is also widely used in thermoforming processes and can be combined with glass fiber to create resins that are used in the engineering world. Most foods and beverages are delivered and packaged using PET as well. In a nutshell, it is used in so many consumer products, that it is too many too sum up here.

When it comes to 3D printing, PETG is the version of this plastic that is used in 3D printing processes with the G standing for “glycol-modified”. This is added during polymerization to the material composition. 3D printing with PETG delivers a result that gives the materials a clear look, which is less brittle and simpler to use than the base form of PET. The molecular structure is also known to be irregular, while the resin is clear and amorphous with a glass transition temperature of 85 degrees Celsius.

Object that is manufactured by 3D printing with PETG

Features

Durability: high
Strength: high
Flexibility: low
Material costs: low

Resistance

Heat resistance: medium
Chemical resistance: high
Fatigue resistance high
Water resistance: high

Temperatures

Glass transition temperature: 85 degrees Celsius
Nozzle temperature: 210-250 degrees Celsius
Heated bed: 80-100 degrees Celsius
Closed chamber: Not necessary

Downpoints

The translucent material is prone to scratching.
Sunlight can influence the color, making it less bright.

Features of 3D printing with PETG

3D printing with PETG is very popular because the filament comes with a wide range of benefits. This makes PETG an attractive option compared to other 3D print materials that are available. Printing with PETG brings with it many features and benefits and in reality, there are not too many disadvantages. However, there are some small disadvantages that are worth identifying.

As the material is glossy, it does make it prone to scratching, while UV light can cause the material to become weaker. Finding the right settings for printing can take some element of trial and error. Despite this, once the right settings are identified (follow the tips in this article), printing becomes very simple. Below we listed the features of PETG.

Finger pointing at a 3D printed object in PETG material

A. Durability

PETG offers a high level of durability. This makes it the perfect choice for a wide range of uses such as a food containers and tools in the medical profession. Due to the way in which Glycol is added, it removes the brittle properties that come with PET. Therefore, it prevents the material from crystallizing and breaking. PETG's level of durability also comes with high impact resistant properties and this once again makes it the ideal option for many different uses.

B. Strength

PETG is known to be an exceptionally strong material and this makes it ideal for those objects that will be subjected to mechanical stress. It is hard, flexible and resistant, much of which can be put down to the way it adheres to each layer. The filament offers the same level of functionality as ABS, which is temperature resistance and strength, but it also has the same level of reliability as PLA. As a result 3D printing with PETG is relatively easy.

C. Odorless

There is no odor with PETG and this is one of the characteristics that makes it ideal for domestic use.

D. Low Shrinkage

3D printing with PETG has a low level of shrinkage. It ensures that the original measurements remain the same, making it perfect for large 3D prints.

E. Low Absorption

The filament has a low level of deterioration when it comes to absorption. PETG does not absorb water and that ensures it remains strong.

F. Chemical Resistant

The material is extremely resistant to chemical agents, making PETG perfect for use in the medical profession. This also means that it can be sterilized easily.

G. Good Adhesion

The strength can partly be put down to the level of layer adhesion while 3D printing with PETG, which is good.

H. Recyclable

The material can be recycled, including prints and misprints, making PETG a material that is better for the environment. This makes it possible to adhere to the many different regulations that are in place for recycling.

Tips for 3D printing with PETG

When it comes to printing with PETG filament, it is important to understand the strengths and weaknesses, but you also have to know how to get the most from this material. It is important to take possible issues into account when deciding to start 3D printing with PETG, so you know what you can expect.

Touchscreen of the T850 3D Printer with the temperatures for 3D printing with PETG

1. The right temperature

PETG has a higher melting point than PLA and so, it is recommended that the extruder temperature is set somewhere between 210 and 250 degrees Celsius. It is important to ensure that the build plate temperature is set between 80 and 100 degrees Celsius.

Stringing issues on a blue 3D printed object of PLA material

2. Use a fan

When printing with PETG, you must consider using a cooling fan. This is down to the fact that the fan will cool the filament at the hot end (nozzle) and that will help with retractions. The rapid cooling will leave your prints detailed, with no stringing or blobbing. We recommend printing with PETG without the fan on for the first layer or two (the higher temperature will aid super-strong layer adhesion), and full fan on after that.

Black first layer 3D printed with PETG which needs improvement

3. A good first layer

Getting the first layer right is essential for a successful end result. Without it you will likely need to reprint the object, so take these tips into consideration. Make sure the build platform is properly calibrated. Preferably automatically calibrated, minimizing the risk of a human mistake. The best surface for printing PETG plastic is a PEI build plate. The finish on the bottom is smooth, glass-like. Once the cooling process has ended, the 3D printed object can be removed from the printing surface with little effort, resulting in a bottom surface that is clean and smooth.

Simplify3D software setting regarding speed for 3D printing with PETG

4. Print speed

The recommended speed for 3D printing with PETG is between 60 and 100 mm/s. When you print at a higher speed, it can have a negative affect on the quality of the 3D print. When you want a higher quality end result, you can decide to print a little slower, between 30 and 60mm/sec.

The printhead nozzle of a PEEK 3D printer

5. Keep the nozzle clean

When printing with PETG it sometimes can happen that blobs of the filament stick to the nozzle and then end up deposited on another part of the print where it’s not supposed to be. If this happens it will cool and harden and then the nozzle will bump into it. The result is usually a layer shift, which can be detrimental to the print. So make sure the nozzle stays clean. Just pause the process, clean the nozzle and restart where you left of.

Industries that use PETG

PETG is a good all-round material for 3D printing and that means that it stands out from many of the other filaments that are available. Its flexibility, strength and temperature and impact resistance makes it the first choice for many industries. For those objects that could be put under sustained or sudden stress, such as mechanical parts, 3D printer parts and protective components, PETG is the perfect option.

PETG can also be found in a wide range of translucent colours and all objects that are printed have a glossy finish. Therefore, it makes it the ideal choice for parts that need to be translucent or shatter proof. In fact, many are now choosing to leave the likes of PLA and ABS behind in favour of PETG

Food is packaged and after that placed in green barrels and crates

Food and Beverage

PETG is popular within the food and beverage industry. It enables food manufacturers to meet the relevant standards of hygiene because the material can be sterilized. It also helps to protect food and beverages because it is impact resistant and is strong and flexible.

A retail display with colorfull objects using FDM technology

Retail Industry

PETG is commonly used in retail and is used to manufacture point-of-purchase stands like exhibition kiosks and displays. Once again, this is down to its flexibility and wide range of colors.

Doctor watching a 3D printed object through a telescope

Medical Industry

The medical industry relies heavily on PETG and this is because of its wide range of properties. PETG's durability makes it perfect for tools, medical equipment and prosthesis. Of course, also because of the need to remain clean, its sterilization properties make it the perfect choice.

What do you want to create by 3D printing with PETG?

Create small and detailed parts

a FDM printing machine next to a desk

With a 3D printer on your desk you can easily create small parts and specialized tools yourself. It is far less complex than other machines, which means that you can produce more products in an efficient and simple way without the high costs. The 3D printers in our desk-series have a fast printing speed, a high accuracy and a low weight, making it easy to put on your desktop or move around.

Create strong and lightweight parts

PEEK 3D printer of Tractus3D

High-performance materials, like PEEK and ULTEM® (PEI) are stronger and more resistant than other thermoplastics, making them popular in a number of engineering applications. To 3D print such materials, you need a special printer that can handle very high temperatures. The T650-P is designed for 3D printing high performance thermoplastics, which are strong and durable for long-lasting parts.

Create large parts up to 2,1 meters

Tractus3D big delta Industrial 3D printer 3D printing a big object

The ability to use 3D printing to enhance business operations, reduce costs and improve efficiency is exactly why a 3D printer has become a popular solution. If you’re looking for a way to produce detailed and big objects our large volume 3D printers are an excellent choice. They have a much larger build size than most other industrial 3D printers and can print objects fast at a high resolution.

Tractus3D printers are all capable to print PETG and over 20 other materials

Most advanced  Competitively priced  You are always covered

Strenght, durability and flexibility

PETG is clearly a highly regarded 3D printing material that has some important benefits to a number of industries. It offers a wide range of features such as strength, durability and flexibility.

Efficient and effective

This is where Tractus3D believe that it can change the way in which businesses create and use products in the future. As it is a material that is widely available, there is no need to make a huge investment. Because we offer 3D printers in different size ranges, businesses can choose the 3D printer that fits their needs and ROI best. This way our clients can benefit optimal from having the ability to create objects efficiently and effectively.

High performance

PETG has a print temperature between 210-250 degrees and our 3D printers can easily handle the desired requirements for printing this material. Our T650P is especially unique when compared to other printers as the temperature can reach a maximum of 450 degrees Celsius. This is where other 3D printers would fail due to the issue of internal burning. For businesses who want to be able to handle all the available high performance materials (including PEEK), this would be a great choice.

Accuracy combined with printing speed

Next to the T650P, it is possible to achieve a high level of accuracy and speed with all our 3D printers. For example with the T850 a nozzle temperature of 300 degrees can be achieved along with a build plate temperature of 100 degrees.

High standard 3D printing

Therefore, it will enable you to continue to work to the highest standards as well as exceptional quality, because it enables you to really maximise the ability to print using PETG. There are a lot of other materials available alongside PETG that can be used in our 3D printers such as PLA, ABS and many more. You are free to choose a preferred filament brand and not obligated to buy from a particular supplier. Print with over 20 different print materials, just make sure the filament is 1.75 millimeter in diameter.

Businessman working on a computer on a desk with a industrial Tractus3D FDM printer on it

Do you have a question about 3D printing with PETG? We are there for you!

Don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about 3D printing with PETG. We are happy to help and to provide you with whatever assistance you need in researching the ideal solution for your business - in whatever way works best for you.

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