The most common and most used 3D printing thermoplastic filament consumables are PLA, ABS and PETG, each of which has its own characteristics and melting point, so if you want to use them for printing, it is extra important to set the printing temperature.
PLA has good transparency, gloss, antibacterial, acid and alkali resistance, has good biodegradable properties, excellent material performance, large future application areas, is expected to have large-scale applications in the future in the field of daily necessities, textiles, health care and other fields, the replacement market space is vast. It is the most popular filament today. PLA prints best at around 210 °C and can work properly at any temperature from 180 to 230 °C.
Be sure to keep the cooling fan on when printing with PLA, which gives better results with the proper cooling feature. Overall, PLA is very suitable for 3D printers.
ABS is also the most widely used filament. ABS requires slightly higher temperatures to print successfully. Nozzle temperatures of 210 to 250 °C are optimal, and a heated bed of around 80 to 110 °C is required.
On top of that, ABS needs to be printed in a closed 3D printer so that it cools very slowly. That's because when ABS cools, it shrinks and if it cools too fast, the printed model will be distorted. Therefore, the cooling fan should be turned off when printing ABS.
PETG is a relatively new filament. It combines the properties of PLA and ABS in many ways. It requires very high temperatures, between 220 and 250 °C for the nozzle. However, unlike ABS, PETG does not require a heated bed.
PETG prints best on a bed with tape. Without it, the bed should be heated to 50 to 75 °C to ensure that the extruded filament sticks together. Since this material does not warp like ABS, a cooling fan can be enabled while printing. While PETG is not as easy to work with as PLA, it is far less demanding than ABS and it has proven to be one of the most popular filaments available today.
Nylon is another very strong filament, although more challenging to use. It prints at higher temperatures than several other filaments, and a bed temperature of 240 to 260 °C is recommended. 70 to 100 °C is sufficient. A layer of glue stick is also important, as nylon can have large bed adhesion problems.
A cooling fan should not be used when printing nylon, as it needs to retain heat to ensure proper adhesion. This material is also very absorbent, which means it will absorb moisture from the air. This greatly reduces print quality, so the filament needs to be dried before printing.
Nylon can be a challenge to use at first, but after learning how to print properly with this material, it becomes a very powerful tool.
Flexible filaments, one of which is TPU, are an interesting and useful material, but they can be difficult to use. TPU prints at temperatures similar to PLA and works best at temperatures around 210 to 230 °C, with beds between 30 and 60 °C.
Because this material is so flexible, it can be bent and stretched as it travels from the extruder gear to the actual nozzle. The filament must therefore follow a limited path, extrude slowly and without retraction. If there is still a problem, raise the temperature.