British manufacturer of 3D printing filaments, DR3D Filament Ltd, regularly  introduces new materials to its portfolio. CD3D was given an opportunity to test some of the new additions recently. Below you can find out our impressions of one of them, PETG.

PETG is polyethylene terephthalate modified with glycol. It is an amorphic thermoplastic polymer with good optical properties and high gloss. Much like all other filaments which are based on PET, this material will be useful for printing objects consisting of thin walls, meant to let through the light. Lamp shades, vases, windows for architectural models – you name it.

DR3D’s PETG is available in 4 colours – clear, red, green and blue, which will meet the basic needs of an average 3D printing nerd – printing lightsaber blades and spectacular vases. One kilogram of PETG (available only in 1.75 mm diameter) costs £28. For comparison, a kilogram of Taulman 3D t-glase (PETT) costs more than twice as much.

Courtesy of DR3D Filament we were able to test PETG in two colors: green and blue. Using it we printed a few vase-like items. We performed all the tests on 3DGence – a 3D printer with ceramic printing bed. We noticed that PETG sticks very well to it without the need for any extra treatment. The table was heated to 60°C. We used a 3DGence default profile for ABS with auto cooling enabled (50-100% range).

We used different layer heights – from 0.15 mm to 0.4 mm. The higher the layer, the more transparent the wall was, due to smaller number of light defracting surfaces. It has to be noted though, that with height of 0.4 mm, the layers do not stick together so well and the models are somewhat fragile. In our view, a layer of 0.3 mm is optimal in terms of  transparency to strenght ratio.

Layer height: 0.3 mm

0.4 mm layer (left) and 0.15 mm layer (right)

0.4 mm layer (left) and 0.15 mm layer (right)

We printed PETG at hotend temperature of 240°C. The filament is evenly wound on the spool, and did not cause any trouble during printing a lamp shade which took several hours.

In the upper part of the model, where there is a lot of retraction going on, some stringing could be observed. Same thing happened when we were printing two other models: 3DBenchy boat and a poodle rook. Reducing the temperature to 230°C did not bring any particular improvement in this matter.

It should be noted that we tried to print PETG filament on other 3D printers, namely: Zortrax and Up! Mini, but each attempt resulted in a clogged nozzle. 3DGence, on the other hand, seems to handle the really well.

PETG does not stink during printing and gives a very nice, shiny surface. It is quite soft, so the prints can be easily cleaned with cutting pliers if it is necessary

Solid models, such as the poodle, when printed with PETG , will get an appearance of a gemstone. Vases and such will get THE proper look. As usual, I would gladly see this material in a wider choice of colors, but, nevertheless, DR3D’s PETG is a quality filament and it is worth checking out.

Adela Walczak
Rapid Prototyping specialist, graduate of Product Design Engineering and Paper Making and Polygraphy, vice champion of Poland in curling.

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