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Everything you Need to Know About PETG Filament

Hello Machine Bros!
PETG is a filament that has been gaining ground in this world of 3D printing and today we bring you everything you need to know about this filament.

An increasing number of 3D printer users are using this material to manufacture their parts, this is because this material is somewhere between the two most popular filaments (PLA and ABS).

In recent years, PETG seems to be dethroning ABS as the second most popular filament in the world of 3D printing, this because PETG is easier to print in 3D than ABS, and more resistant than PLA.

What is PETG Filament?

Glycol modified PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate) allows us to obtain the famous PETG (polyethylene terephthalate glycol-modified).

PETG is used instead of PET in 3D printing since, during heating for extrusion, PET crystallizes, becoming brittle, a problem that does not occur to PETG because it contains glycol.

PETG Filament Properties

MaterialValue
Maximum effort supported (Mpa)53
Deformation temperature °C (°F)73 (163)
Stiffness (Scale 1 to 5)2,5
Durability (Scale 1 to 5)4
Ease of printing (Scale from 1 to 5)4,5
Impact resistance (YES or NO)NO
UV resistance (YES or NO)NO
Water-resistance (YES or NO)YES
Resistance to a wide variety of chemicals (YES or NO)YES
Fatigue resistance (YES or NO)YES

What is PETG+ Filament?

PETG+ filament is an “enhanced version” of PETG. When a filament manufacturer advertises a PETG+, it is usually because they managed to add some enhancements to some of its properties.

PETG+ Filament
PETG+ Filament

Each brand offers its own PETG+, therefore, there is no unified concept to define what PETG+ is made of.

Manufacturers add the “enhancements” they consider relevant to offer their PETG+.

Next, we will show you some examples of PETG+ filaments.

Recycling

PETG is very easy to recycle, because PET and PETG are quite similar, and there are already many recycling plants that are responsible for carrying out this procedure on bottles and containers made with PET.

PETG Recycling
PETG Recycling

Popular PETG Brands

Among the most popular filament manufacturers we have:

Price

The price varies depending on the brand and quality of the filament.

Below, find different prices for the most popular PETG filaments from Amazon:


Storage

PETG absorbs moisture from the environment (it is a hygroscopic material), for this reason, good brands of 3D filaments ship their products in sealed packages and with silica gel bags and usually stored in a box.

 Tips for Storing the Filament

  1. After using the PETG filament, put it back in its packaging with the silica gel bag.

  2. Do not leave the PETG filament exposed to high temperatures or directly exposed to sunlight.

  3. When the filament absorbs moisture, you will hear bubbles bursting at the nozzle, this can affect your nozzle and the quality of your 3D printing.

  4. If it is too late, and your filament has absorbed moisture, you can try drying the filament in an oven at a temperature of 40 °C (104 °F), between 4 and 6 hours. Make sure the oven reaches the desired temperature first and then put the filament in the oven.

  5. If you exceed the temperature in the oven, the filament could melt.

  6. You can also try drying your filament using fruit dehydrators. Also make sure that the temperature is correct.

  7. The filament spools come with holes. When you remove the filament from your 3D printer, place the tip of the filament in one of these holes. In this way, the filament will not tangle when you use it again (it is very easy to tangle, and it takes a lot of work to untangle).

Soluble Filaments for Supports When Using PETG

There are some 3D printing filaments that are usually used as support material since they can be easily removed from the base piece.

For the use of these filaments, 3D printers with double extruders are usually used, so that one nozzle deposits the base filament (PETG), and the other nozzle extrudes the support material (For example, HIPS).

In discussions between makers and users, it is found that these soluble filaments sometimes do not seem to work very well with PETG, and it does not appear that a consensus has been reached on which soluble filament is better for PETG.

Because PETG is resistant to a variety of chemicals, users can use any of the soluble filaments shown below.

  • PVA (Polyvinyl Alcohol) filament: PVA dissolves in water.
  • HIPS (High Impact Polystyrene) Filament: HIPS dissolves in limonene.
  • BVOH filament (Butanediol vinyl alcohol copolymer): The BVOH dissolves in water.

EXTRA: In 3D printing forums you can see that many users are successful using PLA as a support material for PETG, without having to resort to using chemicals to dissolve the PLA.

Composite Filaments with PETG

Carbon Fiber PETG Filament

Carbon fiber filled PETG filament comes from mixing the base material (PETG) with carbon fibers, thus giving the base material more strength and rigidity.

PETG with carbon fiber
PETG with carbon fiber

Below, you will find different prices for PETG filaments with carbon fiber:

Glitter PETG Filament

This filament consists of mixing PETG with glitter (glitter), achieving a visual effect that gives 3D models a frosty and shiny appearance.

Glitter PETG
Glitter PETG

Below, find one option for glitter PETG filament:

Phosphorescent PETG filament

This filament consists of a mixture of PETG with phosphorescent pigments. Therefore, they glow even in the dark.

Phosphorescent PETG
Phosphorescent PETG

FUN FACT: The difference between fluorescence and phosphorescence lies in their ability to store light energy and subsequently emit it. Fluorescent objects glow while they are subjected to external excitation by some radiation, after that excitation ceases, the brightness ceases in a very short time. Phosphorescent objects continue to emit light for a much longer period after excitation ceases.

Translucent PETG Filament

It is a PETG filament that resembles glass and allows light to pass through. This type of filament is common to see in PETG, since it has intrinsic characteristics that allow the good passage of light through it.

Translucent PETG
Translucent PETG

Find below some translucent PETG filament prices:


Post-Processing in PETG

Painting 3D prints in PETG

Different post-processing can be applied to PETG such as sanding, polishing, painting, among others.

In the Beginner’s Guide: How to Paint Your 3D Model article, we explain the different materials needed, as well as how to polish and paint your 3D prints.

Annealing in PETG

Annealing is a post-processing which increases the mechanical and thermal resistance of your 3D prints.

To know how to apply annealing to a 3D print, we recommend that you visit our article.

Annealing 3D prints
Annealing 3D prints

Is PETG Food Safe?

PETG Food Grade
PETG Food Grade

Although PETG as a material is considered safe for use with food, you must first know several things, since the correct answer to this question would be that it “depends on certain factors”.

  1. PETG is approved for use in the food industry. But the filaments may come with additives that are not safe for use with food. So, you should buy a PETG filament that its manufacturer indicates is food grade.

  2. FDM 3D printing is porous, therefore it allows the accumulation of bacteria. If you want to make your PETG print food safe, you must seal the printed model with some food grade resin or sealant.

  3. One of the advantages of PETG over PLA, although both are classified as safe for contact with food. Is that PETG is resistant to various chemicals, therefore, we can more easily disinfect PETG without running the risk of deteriorating the printed part.

  4. Some brass nozzles contain lead. It is not known for sure how much lead it contains, and if this could in any way contaminate your 3D prints, and consequently, your food. You can try to make sure you get a mouthpiece that is food grade. Another option would be to use stainless steel nozzles.

  5. One last tip would be to try to design pieces that do not remain in contact with food for so long. For example: cookie cutters. On the contrary, if you want to create cups, plates, containers to store food, among others, you should take more precautions since the food will be in contact for a longer time with your prints.

Is PETG Toxic?

PETG toxicity
PETG toxicity

Although PETG does not emit toxic vapors at the same level as ABS when printed by FDM, it is also recommended to always work in a ventilated environment.

PETG is considered practically as safe as PLA in terms of the fumes it emits when extruded in FDM printing.

Hardware Required for 3D Printing with PETG

NOTE: Generally, the different filament manufacturers tell you what parameters they recommend when using their filaments. The best thing to do is follow their directions.

It is advisable to print with a hot bed (YES or NO)YES
It is advisable to use with closed printers (YES or NO)YES (But it is not essential)
It is recommended to use with a layer fan (YES or NO)YES
It is necessary to use with stainless steel nozzles (YES or NO)NOT
It is necessary to use an all-metal hotend (YES or NO)NOT
Extruder Temperature °C (°F)225-250 (437 – 482)
Bed temperature °C (°F)75-90 (167 – 194)

Example of Printers that can Print with PETG


Advantages and Disadvantages

Advantages

  • Offers some flexibility.
  • Resistant to mechanical stress.
  • It is a durable material.
  • Produces a good surface finish.
  • Adheres well to the print bed.
  • Produces very little warping.
  • Generally the prints are odorless.
  • Resistant to water and various chemicals.
  • Recyclable.

 Disadvantages

  • It is not easy to make bridges with this material.
  • Requires the use of a heated bed.
  • It is necessary to adjust the temperature of the nozzle.

When to Use PETG?

PETG is very versatile. If you are looking for a more resistant material than PLA, a more durable material, resistant to fatigue and chemicals, that withstands humidity, that withstands more temperature than PLA (although not as much as ABS). PETG is a good option.

This filament has been gaining more and more popularity among makers, it is not so difficult to 3D print with it, although you will need a hot bed.

Infographics

To facilitate the correct selection of 3D printing filaments, we made an infographic that will greatly facilitate this process, to access it, you just must click on the image that we present below.

Guide to select a 3D printing filament
Guide to select a 3D printing filament

Conclusions

PETG is a great filament, it has good adhesion between layers, is resistant to various chemicals, offers better thermal resistance than PLA, is flexible, durable, has very little warping and is easy to print (although not at the same level as PLA).

For all these reasons, this filament seems to be dethroning ABS from the second most popular filament for FDM printing, with PLA still taking first place.

If you need to learn about other filaments visit our mega Guide to Select 3D Printing Filaments.

In addition, if you are starting out in 3D printing, or are already familiar with it, these two articles can be very useful:

  • Advanced Guide of Simplify3D for all those who are looking to overcome the barriers and limitations that Slicers can offer, and get amazing models 3D printed.

Any questions you have, do not hesitate to leave it in our comments section, as well as any contribution or suggestion you wish to make, we are here to grow together in this wonderful world of 3D printing.

Greetings.

See you soon Machine Bros!

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