This website has a really detailed explanation about types of filament that I can possibly use for the project. Click READ MORE for full content (summary of the website and analyzes).
The article focuses on the most consumable filaments which could be used for the XIS printer.
ABS – Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene
Used in many applications in the industry, such as the manufacturing of pipes, protective headgear (ABS has good shock absorbing properties), kitchen appliances, music instruments, and Lego bricks.
It’s very durable, slightly flexible and quite resistant to heat. It is the cheapest plastic of 3 filament types and used commonly. It can easily be sanded (smooth printed objects) and glued when parts are broken.
However, it can be deteriorate by prolonged exposure to sunlight.
After checking the filament used in printers in XIS, it’s actually using ABS. I noticed that it took about 1-2 minutes to heat up to around 200 degrees. It seems to be pretty useful for my project. I looked it up on Taobao. It is around 60 RMB and has about 7 basic colors to choose from. I like how it has shock resisting properties, although the deterioration may be a problem.
PLA – Polylactic Acid
Biodegradable thermoplastic derived from renewable resources. It’s the most environmentally friendly solution in 3D printing. It’s considered as pretty safe (nontoxic) that it is used in food packaging, bags and even diapers.
It can be sanded down. However, it cannot stand too much heat. It’s the easiest material to work with and available in most colors, as well as the ‘glow in the dark’ ones!
Many choices for color!
This also seems good for my project. I like how it is environmental friendly and provides many choices for color. I looked up the ‘glowing in dark’ ones on Taobao. They are 80RMB which is a bit more expensive than the ordinary ABS kind. I think it will also work on the XIS 3D printers. Both filaments seem appropriate for my project in different ways. I’ll need to further compare and decide.
PVA (Polyvinyl Alcohol)
It’s not useful for this project because it is water soluble. It’s often used in printers with multiple extruders, to provide a support structure to an object with overhang issues. Our printer don’t work that way, so I’ll not consider this.
Do MLA later…