PETG Filaments: Everything you need to know

3D filaments

PETG, one of the most strong and durable 3D printing filaments, stands for Polyethylene Terephthalate Glycol. PETG filaments carry the printing ease of PLA along with the strength of ABS. This type of filament is the best to print functional parts of a 3D model because of the toughness of the material and its top tyre impact resistance feature.

If you want to create high-quality 3D prints like a pro with PETG filaments you must know everything about this filament. In this article, we have covered all the basics of PETG filaments along with the common issues you might face while printing.

What is PETG filament?

As mentioned, PETG retains 2 excellent properties of PLA and ABS. This is why PETG filaments are so tough and durable. Printing with PETG filaments is fairly easy and the best part, you don’t even need a heated bed.

PETG filaments are befitting for both newbie and seasoned users. They love this filament because of its versatile nature and extensive application range. Not to mention, the vibrant colours of PETG filaments.

So, finding the right shade of filament isn’t something you should worry about. PETG filaments also come in different varieties such as transparent, glossy, and metal-filled. If you want to print top-notch 3D models and at the same time have fun with them, go for PETG filaments.

Due to its chemical resistant and thermo-formable properties, PETG filaments are largely used in the food industry for making drinking bottles, and containers for cooking oils. PETG filaments are widely used to produce FDA-Approved storage containers for food too.

Cosmetic industries also prefer PETG filaments over others for the packaging of their products. The filament is very light but strong which lowers the distribution cost. And lower cost means more revenue so it is a no brainier why these industries opt for PETG filaments.

 width=

How PETG filaments are made?

To eliminate the problems with glycol-based synthetic fibres and Phthalic acid polymers, scientists came up with a solution to fuse both substances and create something strong. This is how PET or polyethene terephthalate came into the picture in 1941. The scientists behind PET were James Dickson and John Whinfield.

They used the esterification process to make long-chain molecules of PET. This process involves heating terephthalic acid and glycols. With this process, they converted PET into fibres. These fibres had low solubility but higher melting points.

At this point, PET got really popular as people started to use it in industries such as food packaging, textile, rigid bottle manufacturing, and more. Even after all that PET still had a few issues. One of the most concerning issues with PET was its proneness to crystallization. Under high temperatures, the filament would get crystalized and opaque deforming the structure of the product.

To eradicate this problem, scientists then started to use cyclohexane dimethanol instead of ethylene glycol. This helped eliminate the crystallization problem and enhanced its heat resistance property. Because of these modifications, now we can use PETG filaments for 3D printing, thermoforming, and other different applications where the higher temperature is a crucial aspect.

PETG filaments vs PLA filaments: What are the differences?

PLA and PETG both are very popular with users. In fact, in a report published in 2018, 6% of users worldwide use PETG for printing their 3D models. People often ask what filament is better, PLA or PETG? For coming to that conclusion, you have to understand the difference between the filaments. And these differences include:

PETG PLA
Compared to PLA, PETG is stronger which lowers the chances of print deformation or warping. PETG is ideal for advanced users.  PLA is a filament most newbies opt for because of the printing ease. The filament is softer and easier for them to print with. 
PETG filaments are more suited for glossy, vibrant, durable, and strong prints. PLA filaments produce shiny high-quality 3D prints. 
PETG filaments use Polyethylene terephthalate as their raw material. The raw material for PLA is sugar cane and cornstarch. The production of this filament doesn’t release any harmful fume. 
It’s not biodegradable like PLA but you can easily recycle it.  PLA is an eco-friendly filament since it is biodegradable.
The durability count of PETG is quite high. And its tensile strength ranges from 4,100 – 8500 psi.  PLA filaments have poor impact resistance and their durability is also inferior compared to PETG. Its tensile strength is up to 7,250 psi which is lower than PETG.
PETG is more flexible and impact resistant compared to PLA. It’s not that PLA is not flexible. But compared to PETG it’s less flexible.
PETG has a melting point of 260°C making it a high heat resistance filament. Due to this property, you can keep your printed parts out in the sun. PLA is not the filament you should use to print 3D models with outdoor applications since its melting point range from 160°C to 180°C. So, sun exposure will deform your prints. 

PLA and PETG filaments are both great to print your 3D models. Both filaments have their pros and cons. So, instead of asking which is the best filament, we should ask which would be the best for your project. If you want your prints to be strong and durable, PETG would be the best. But if you don’t have much experience and want a filament easy to print with, PLA should be your go-to filament.

Thus, consider the above-mentioned facts and compare them with your needs before you choose. See what filament works best for you.

How to print with PETG filaments

When printing with PETG you have to keep in mind some crucial factors that ensure strong and high-quality 3D prints every time. These factors include:

Print temperature​

Generally, the best print temperature for PETG filaments ranges from 220 – 240° Celsius. When you match this temperature, the layer adhesion of different parts turns out to be great. It also keeps the print surface smooth.

Bed temperature​

The temperature of the print bed shouldn’t exceed 80° and 100° Celsius. Maintaining this temperature is important as it lowers the probability of print warping. This also helps to ensure that the first layer of PETG firmly sticks to the bed. Thus, it minimizes layer spitting and keeps the print area nice and warm. The corners of large print parts don’t come off as often if the print bed is heated correctly.

Bed adhesion​

The best print bed for PETG filaments include PEI, Kapton tape, blue tape, and glass beds. PETG attaches to PEI sheets easily. Removing them is also easy when the print is all cooled down. If you are printing on a large print area, use PEI sheets.

Glass beds are also great in terms of sticking and removing the print. These beds are strong enough to take the hits of the nozzle and less sensitive to human errors. Blue tapes are also great. With this, you don’t need to buy a new print bed. Just cover your print bed with the tape and it will do the job.

Print speed​

The ideal print speed for PETG filaments should be above 50 mm/s. Keep it around 60-80 mm/s for better PETG prints. Anything higher than this can cause stringing or the corners of the print may come off. Printing below 50 mm/s can cause PETG filaments to ooze out. It can also result in blobs.

Advanced tips and troubleshooting for PETG filaments

You may face some common problems while printing with PETG filaments. But don’t worry, just follow our Troubleshooting tips to retain the quality of your prints.

Stringing

Stringing happens when the temperature of the extruded gets too high. Excessive heat liquifies PETG more than necessary so the filament ends up creating strings. Too low retraction settings and nozzle size are other causes of PETG stringing.

To avoid this issue, readjust the restriction settings and reduce the nozzle temperature. Use the right kind of nozzle. Decreasing the printing speed can also help in this respect.

Warping

This issue arises when the ambient humidity is low or the nozzle temperature is too high. Overhangs left unsupported can also cause warping. The best you can do to lower is problem is to make the necessary adjustments.

Bed adhesion

This problem can emerge if the filament is wet, the print surface isn’t right, the temperature is too low or the print speed needs adjusting. You can troubleshoot this problem by checking if the nozzle and print bed temperature ranges from 220°C to 260°C and 80° and 100° Celsius respectively. Drying PETG filaments and readjusting the speed also helps.

Nozzle clogging

Give the hot end enough time to cool down and you wouldn’t have to face a nozzle-clogging problem. Lack of ventilation and low ambient humidity also causes this issue. Thus, arrange for better ventilation and readjust the ambient humidity and printing heat.

Moisture absorption

PETG filaments too absorb moisture either from air or water. Excess moisture lowers the quality of the filament along with the functionality of the printer. You can dry PETG in the oven to remove moisture or use a filament dryer.

Refill PETG filament

AzureFilm is proud to have an array of Refill PETG filaments. These refills are extremely strong, durable, food-safe, and odourless. You have 6 colour options: You have 6 colour options: White, Tiger Orange, Black, Blue, Lipstick Red, and Grey.

The refills were produced by fusing strength and flexibility which is why their shrinkage is minimal. You can print large 3D models or produce mechanical parts in robotics with our Refill PETG filament.

To keep the environment clean and lower wastage, try our REELfinity spool. The 1 kg PETG filaments refills were designed to be used with the spool. So, what are you waiting for? Buy our PETG filament refill today along with our REELfinity spool.

 width=

Frequently Asked Questions about PETG filaments

What are the tips for using PETG filaments?

Nozzle temperature, printing speed, and wrong retraction settings tend to create a lot of problems when printing with PETG. So, be careful about these factors and make proper adjustments when needed.

What are PETG filaments best used for?

PETG filaments are extensively used in producing food containers, bottles, and packaging cosmetic and medical devices.

What are the common problems with PETG?

Stringing, warping, blobbing, and poor bed adhesion are some of the most common issues with this filament

Why is PETG so hard to print with?

PETG filaments are relatively harder to print with as you need a certain level of expertise. Also, the post-processing stage can be a little difficult for many people. But as you get familiar with the filament, it gets easier to work with.

PETG filaments are great to print with. But you need to know PETG filament best practices actually to enjoy the printing process. Hopefully, this guide will help you understand everything there is to know about PETG for a better printing experience.

Share

Keep reading

ASA vs ABS: Finding the right material

In the field of thermoplastics, ABS and ASA filaments have made quite the name when it comes to 3D printing. Both filaments are recognised for their flexibility, heat resistance, durability, and strength though they might not be the right choice for all printing projects. You must understand how ASA vs ABS differ from one another [...]

Introducing Prime filaments: Unlock the real power

In the ever-evolving world of 3D printing, constant development and breaking known boundaries are key. We, at AzureFilm, are also committed to always looking for innovations and, of course, constant improvements. That’s why we are happy to present you with our new collection of Prime filaments. Prime collection: Your print powerhouse Our Prime filaments represent [...]

PLA vs PETG: What are the differences

Material selection plays a huge role alongside printing proficiency when it comes to 3D prints. The right filament guarantees the best possible print quality, structural integrity, and compatibility with your intended application. People often fail to realise the nuanced disparities between PETG and PLA filament and end up choosing the wrong one causing printing issues. [...]