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PETG vs PLA: the main difference and how to choose

Spencer Hill 3d model
Spencer Hill 15:55 11-02
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If you are a 3D print enthusiast, you may know the two main types of 3D printing materials: PETG and PLA. Both of them have their own unique set of properties.

How to choose? and which one is best for your needs? Let's take a closer look at the differences between PETG and PLA to help you decide.

PETG vs PLA

First of all, we need to figure out what is PLA and PETG filaments.

What is PLA filament?

PLA filament is a type of 3D printing material made from corn starch or sugar cane. It is biodegradable, meaning that it can be broken down by bacteria and other organisms.

PLA is a popular choice for 3D printing because almost any FDM 3D printer can print with PLA. And, it is easy to use and produces high-quality prints. It can be printed at lower temperatures than other materials, making it less likely to warp or deform.

PLA is available in a variety of colors, including clear, white, and black. It can also be mixed with other materials to create custom colors. PLA filament is an excellent choice for anyone looking for an environmentally friendly 3D printing material.

PLA filament

What is PETG filament?

PETG filament is a 3D printing material that combines the best qualities of ABS and PLA. It is strong and durable like ABS, but it is also easy to print with and doesn't require a heated bed.

PETG is a great choice for both beginners and experienced users. It is also one of the most versatile materials, which means that it can be used for a wide range of applications. PETG filament is available in a variety of colors, so you can find the perfect shade for your project. You can also get it in glow-in-the-dark, translucent, and even metal-filled varieties. Whether you are looking for a material that is strong, easy to use, or just plain fun, PETG filament is the way to go.

PETG filament

PETG vs PLA: the main difference

So, what's the main difference between PETG and PLA? We will show you in below dimensions.

1. Ease of printing with PETG vs PLA

PLA is a softer material that is easier to print with, making it ideal for beginners. PETG, on the other hand, is a bit more challenging to print with but produces stronger prints that are less likely to warp or deform.

As a result, PETG is often the preferred choice for more advanced users. So, which one is right for you? It depends on your level of experience and what you plan on using your 3D prints for.

If you need strong, durable prints, PETG is the way to go. If you're just starting, PLA may be a better option.

2. Properties

Both have their own unique properties that make them well-suited for different applications.

  • PLA filament, is a biodegradable plastic that is derived from renewable resources like corn starch or sugar cane. It has a low melting point, which makes it easy to work with, and it can be printed at high speeds without warping. PLA is also one of the safest 3D printing materials to use, as it does not emit dangerous fumes when heated. However, PLA is not as strong or durable as PETG, and it is not suitable for use in environments where it will be exposed to high temperatures or sunlight.
  • PETG filament, is a strong and durable plastic that is often used in food and beverage packaging. It has good chemical resistance and can be sterilized without affecting its properties. PETG is also easy to print with and has a high melting point, making it less likely to warp during the printing process. However, PETG can be more difficult to work with than PLA and produces dangerous fumes when heated. It is also not biodegradable like PLA.

3. Post-Processing

Both materials have their own advantages and disadvantages, but one key difference between the two is post-processing.

PLA is generally considered to be easier to work with in this regard, as there is a wider range of post-processing options available. This can be important for achieving the desired appearance or functionality of a finished product.

In contrast, PETG can be more difficult to post-process due to the adhesion properties of the material. This can make it challenging to remove support structures, for example.

As a result, it is important to consider the complexities of post-processing when choosing between PLA and PETG for a 3D printing project.

4. Applications

PLA is mostly used for prototyping and low-strength applications, while PETG is often used for food-safe applications or for products that need to be strong and durable. PETG is also more resistant to heat and chemicals than PLA. As a result, it is often the preferred choice for industrial applications. So, when choosing between PETG and PLA, it is important to consider the intended application.

If you need a strong and durable product, PETG is likely the better choice. If you are just prototyping or creating a low-strength product, PLA may be sufficient.

5. Price

PETG is generally more expensive than PLA, but it is also stronger and more durable. PLA, on the other hand, is less expensive but also less durable. So, if you're looking for a filament that will last longer and be more resistant to wear and tear, PETG is a good choice.

However, if you're on a budget, PLA may be a better option.

6. Manufacturers

If you're looking for a quality PLA filaments to use for your 3D printing projects, you can't go wrong with any of the options on this list.

  • Hatchbox PLA filament is a great all-around choice, with a consistent diameter and smooth extrusion.
  • Eryone PLA filament is perfect for those who want beautiful colors for their prints, while Prusament PLA is ideal if you need a strong and durable material.
  • Overture PLA produces prints with excellent detail.
  • Amolen PLA is perfect if you want an affordable option.
  • Sunlu PLA is perfect if you're looking for an eco-friendly option.

Whichever filament you choose, you're sure to be happy with the results.

Some of the best PETG manufacturers include Eryone, MatterHackers, Polymaker, and Sunlu.

Tips: Creality also offer filaments for FDM and Resin.

These companies use high-quality materials and strict quality control procedures to produce filament that is safe for 3D printing. When you purchase from one of these manufacturers, you can be confident that you are getting a product that will produce great results.

Conclusion

PLA and PETG filaments are both great choices for 3D printing. Each has its own unique set of benefits and drawbacks. PLA is a biodegradable, easy-to-use material that prints well at lower temperatures but is not as strong or heat resistant as PETG. PETG is a strong, durable filament that can be printed at higher temperatures but requires more care to avoid warping and curling.

Ultimately, the best filament to use for your next project will depend on your specific needs and preferences. What type of filament have you used for your 3D printing projects?

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