The advancement of technology is leading to innovative and modern innovations and designing in almost all industries. 3D Printing, also called AM or Additive Manufacturing, is a technique through which you use a computer program to form successive layers of material and make a real-looking physical specimen.
The process of 3D printing involves indirect and direct 3D printing. The design of your object is directly formed in the direct method, while the indirect method involves the use of printing at some point in the complete 3D printing process.
It is difficult to keep up with the trends and advancement of 3D printing, but PLA and PETG filament are two of the popular and most in-demand filaments used in 3D printing. In the following article, we will compare both of these filaments and check out their various uses, applications, and differences.
Main Difference Between PETG & PLA
Whenever one enters the world of 3D printing, PLA used to be and still is the most recommended filament to start. However, recently PETG has also been on the rise, and many people are making the jump onto it.
Polylactic Acid or PLA is popular because of an incredible color range and high availability. It does not release harmful fumes and is easy and affordable to print. New and rookie users are comfortable using this because of versatility and ease of printing using PLA. Almost all 3D printers work well with PLA because it does not need a closed space and is biodegradable to a certain extent.
PLA filament is usually available at a lower price than PETG, and you will find a large color collection to choose from. During winters or in cool conditions, PLA will face minor shrinkage. It is possible to store food in PLA containers as it is safe, but if you want resistance to heat, PETG is the better alternative. However, PLA is really user-friendly and simple to use for beginners and amateurs.
Polyethylene Terephthalate, commonly called PET, resembles a plastic polymer used in producing sailcloths and bottles. When Glycol is added to PET, it is called PETG and has a lot of features required for 3D printing. It has incredible electrical properties, stable dimensions, water, and high-temperature resistance, negligible shrinkage, and other strong features.
All these things make PETG perfect for use by trained professionals and experts of 3D printing. With PETG, you are bound to get a proper combination of PLA printability and ABS durability. Most big projects prefer PETG, and during Coronavirus Lockdown, it gained rapid popularity. PETG filament is easy to clean and sanitize and is very useful in creating face shields and other medical equipment.
Technical Data Related To PLA Filament
- Temperature for Vicat Softening: 131º F or 55 º C
- Temperature for Heat Deflection: 131º F or 55 º C
- Strength of Impact: 16 kJ/m2
- Index of Melt Flow: 6 grams per 10 minutes
- Flexural Modulus: 3500 MPA
- Density: 1.24 g/cm
Technical Data Related To PETG Filament
- Temperature for Vicat Softening: 185º F or 85 º C
- Temperature for Heat Deflection: 158º F or 70 º C
- Strength of Impact: 11 kJ/m2
- Index of Melt Flow: 11 grams per 10 minutes
- Flexural Modulus: 1880 MPA
- Density: 31.27 g/cm3
Temperature Requirement For PLA 3D Printing
PLA is a different substance to PETG, and they both naturally have different physical and chemical properties. As a result, the conditions and temperature for 3D printing have to be different based on whether you are using PLA or PETG filament.
The printing temperature needs to be somewhere between 200 to 230 º C along with the bed temperature kept constant at around 60 º C. You can print using PLA in the open, and there is a necessity for a closed printing space.
Temperature Requirement For PETG 3D Printing
Even though PLA printing is perfect for those who are new to 3D printing because of the ease, most professionals and trained experts working on big projects prefer to use PETG for 3D printing. It has great resistance to high-temperature and water and is much more durable than PLA. However, the temperature requirements while using PETG are very different to PLA printing.
The printing temperature needs to be somewhere between 230 to 250 º C along with the bed temperature kept somewhere between 60 to 80 º C. However, PETG 3D printing needs to be done in a closed printing space and not an open one, unlike PLA printing.
Price Difference Between PLA & PETG Filament
As there is a difference in properties and quality between PLA & PETG filaments, there is a difference in their pricing too. PLA is readily available anywhere and is hugely popular in the market, which makes it a bit cheaper. PETG has incredible physical properties and is much more durable. Trained and experienced people use PETG for big projects, and it a bit more expensive than PLA.
Under normal circumstances, you can easily get any color of PLA for around 30 to 35 USD. PETG is available in fewer colors, and you can buy it in the range of 35 to 45 USD. If you are new to 3D printing, go for PLA, but we recommend all experts and trained professionals to use PETG filament for work.
Applications Of PLA & PETG Filaments
PLA is mostly used for low-level articles, quick fixes, early prototypes, showpiece models, etc. For things that have to be kept in moist places, PLA is not recommended because it starts shrinking when exposed to moisture. Small objects like pencil holders, decorative items, etc., use PLA 3D printing.
PETG is strong and durable, which makes it perfect to use for industrial applications. Electronic housings, mechanical parts, transparent articles, etc., are made with it. PETG is resistant to water, and you can make bottles and food containers with it.
3D printing is a technology that is rapidly rising, and companies all over the world are putting it to use to create a plethora of things. PETG and PLA are the most commonly used filaments for 3D printing. We read about the various features, uses, and differences between the two. If you are into 3D printing, make the right choice and go for the filament that fulfills your needs.