A guide to using the raw materials PLA, PETG, ABS and more
in 3D printing

The guide is used for all raw materials in 3D printing.

There is such a wide range of raw materials for 3D printing that it is sometimes difficult to make the right decision for your project. The comprehensive article that will help you do this, while learning about the properties of each material for example – type, minimum thickness, texture, strength and more.

Before accessing the materials, it is important to note the main parameters of the project:

The diameter of the wire: in most printers the diameter is: 1.75 mm rarely 2.85 mm

What is the correct diameter? Should the product be resistant to external conditions? Should the material be rigid or elastic? Is it necessary to finish the model? (In some materials it is easier to finish the product)

The questions are very general but necessary for the initial stage.

Types of materials

PLA - Polylactic Acid

Easy to print material, easy to model (product finish), hard, not resistant to external conditions (only with sufficiently thick finishing materials), the material is most common for printing because of its ease of printing and price.

Corn-based thermoplastic polymer. The most common material in the industry, environmentally friendly and biodegradable.

This is the most preferred material, as it allows the user easier machining work.


It is a hard but brittle material. In outdoor conditions, the corners sometimes warp (depending on thickness and heat) if you perform a full and thick finish (finish in automotive materials) to the product, it is indeed resistant to outdoor conditions.

The second material in the world according to the level of consumption of bioplastic according to Wikipedia

Print temperature:

195-220 degrees to the top of the printer (Diza)

Work surface – 60 degrees.

Nozzle working temperature: 210 degrees, when the nozzle is not steel (less good thermal conductivity) if 10 degrees higher.

In a very large product (about 100 hours of printing) it is recommended to add glue and lower the heat of the bed fans.

Not every printer can print the material (a hermetically sealed printer is recommended) /

Durable up to 100 degrees, very comfortable to finish, rigid (less fragile than PLA) thermoplastic oil-based polymer.

One of the common filaments, preferred mainly by engineers, due to being lightweight, slightly flexible and durable. Excellent for manufacturing interlocking parts. Removal of supports will be done more easily compared to the use of other types of filament.

ABS Easy to sand or smooth with acetone.

The disadvantage that can not be filled with a product with a thickness thick over 20% filling.

The material has a contraction.

These effects are manifested in models that detach from the printing surface in the middle of a process, with poor connection of the model layers or warping. (Therefore, a closed compartment is needed to reduce the phenomenon) Fans.

There are several tools that help work with ABS:

A. Use a heated surface of the 3D printer (at a temperature of 100 degrees).
B. Apply glue according to the type of surface (some surfaces do not require glue).

Print temperature: 235-250 degrees to the top of the printer (Diza)
Work surface temperature: 95-105 degrees

(ABS has shrinkage properties. In printers without a closed compartment, care must be taken to adhere to the surface).

TPU -Thermoplastic polyurethane

Elastic material (does not stretch just bending), the easiest to print of the flexible, durable and unbreakable material.

Used mainly for skimmer shields (a final product that is resistant to blows from a concrete wall above 200 km / h), gaskets and telephone shields.

Print temperature:

220-230 degrees to the top of the printer (Diza)

Surface usually does not need heating (excellent adhesion to most surfaces)

Mechanically strong material, durable up to 80 degrees, a little harder to print than PLA (harder to disassemble supports), harder to finish a product.

This material is better known for its use in the beverage bottle industry, due to its toughness and breakability properties (more than PLA or ABS) and its specific gravity is light. This filament is odorless in the work process, due to its strength and stability in the printing process PET-G can be used to build unsupported models, which it is able to handle relatively easily.

Print temperature:

230-250 degrees to the top of the printer (Diza)

Work surface temperature – 70-85 degrees

In addition, the fan must be weakened to 50% (depending on the fan) in order to prevent clogging of the nozzle (depending on the printer).

To purchase PETG click here

While other materials are used to build the model itself, these are filaments used to build supports. Usually, a printer with an additional printhead will be used, in order to produce a combined model of supports from PVA or HIPS.

The main advantage of using these materials to build supports is the valve feature with soaking in certain liquids.

The HIPS usually comes in white.

It tends to bend, shrink and not adhere properly to an unheated surface. The dissolution process will be done with the help of a chemical called limonene (hydrocarbon limonene). Similar to its name, the material emits a very pungent lemon scent, is environmentally friendly and biodegradable, and is even biocompatible, so that it can be applied to bare skin, without fear of allergies.

HIPS is suitable for materials with a higher temperature in contrast to PVA which is usually suitable for PLA.

PVA is easy to use to create supports and requires work with a heated surface. Since it dissolves with water only, there is no need to lemon. Manufacturers recommend using lukewarm water to prevent damage to the rest of the model. The PVA is suitable for printers with FFF or FDM technology mainly.

Print temperature:

220-225 degrees to the top of the printer (Diza)

Work surface temperature: 55-60 degrees.

Despite the benefits of removing melting supports, it should be borne in mind that the process is complex, both in terms of designing the model for work on two printheads and in terms of the melting process.

Carbon Fiber

Innovative XT-based filament, made from 20% carbon fiber. Carbon fiber is important as one of the strongest materials in the world and is used for construction and lightweight parts for the aviation industry as well as race cars.

At the end of printing, The 3D model will get a matte finish.

Print temperature:

195-220 degrees to the top of the printer (Diza)

Work surface – 60 degrees.

Nozzle temperature: 210 degrees, when the nozzle is not steel (less good thermal conductivity) if 10 degrees higher.

In a very large product (about 100 hours printing)

It is recommended to add glue and lower the bed heat

Fans: 100%