Endless New Comes with the Variations Of PLA

When it comes to variations of base 3D Printing Materials, nothing beats PLA. It seems that almost every week, someone somewhere has come up with another unique and different twist for PLA. It can glow, shine, look and feel like wood or metal, be super lightweight, or extremely rigid.  

In this post, we’ll cover many of these variations of PLA, their properties, uses, pros and cons, as well as recommended print settings to get you started in the right direction. But as with all 3D printing filaments, your experience will vary. There are no standards, or regulations, as to how much, or what type of materials are added to make a specific variant. One vendor’s Glow PLA may be entirely different than another’s. And manufactures can, and do, change their ‘secrete’ formulas to better differentiate their product from the competition.

So this guide hopes to ‘guide’ you, the 3D Printer enthusiast, through the endless maze of PLA variants with a solid foundation of information to help you get the best experience from your 3D Printer with whichever PLA based filament you choose.

Disclaimers
As previously stated, the variations of PLA are seemingly endless with new ones coming out virtually weekly, so we can’t cover them all here. So instead, I’ve cherry picked some of the more common and popular ones.

I also want to state that none of these should ever be considered ‘Food Safe’. PLA, pure PLA, is a bio-mater product made from corn and sugarcane stocks, but whatever else is added to it for these variations is unregulated, untested, and more often than not, undisclosed. So don’t eat it and don’t put your food in it. Enough said.

JGMaker Filament Available: https://www.jgmaker3d.com/collections/filament

Glow

Overview

Perhaps the most common PLA variant, and one that’s been around longest is Glow-in-the-Dark PLA. The glowing effect is achieved with additives like zinc sulfide, calcium sulfide, and/or strontium aluminate. These minerals absorb UV (Ultraviolet) light and re-emit it as visible light. These phosphorescent pigments are very abrasive and can make short work of ruining a brass nozzle in less than half a roll, therefore either prepare for frequent nozzle replacement or upgrade to a Hardened Steel nozzle. In addition, pigment particle size can vary widely from manufacturer so its recommended to use a nozzle size of 0.5mm or large to help prevent clogs. 

Uses Within 3D Printing

Glow PLA is most commonly used in decorations, like Halloween props, and for interesting model effects. The mineral additives interfere with strength and layer adhesion, often making it less durable than regular PLA. The actual Glow effect is also dependent on the density of the object printed and exposure to UV light, so for a brighter, longer lasting glow, infill up to 100% is recommended as well as ‘charging’ it in direct sunlight.  

Properties

Printability: Easy

Strength: Medium

Density: 1.25 g/cm3

Flexibility: Low

Brittleness: High

Durability: Medium

Abrasiveness: High

Deformations:  Minimal – can pull up from bed and curl on overhangs
Shrinkage: 0.2-0.25%

Stringing: Low

Glass Point: 55-60c

Weather Resistance: Poor. Susceptible to heat, and moisture.

Fumes: Minimal

Biodegradable: Yes, under optimum conditions

Hygroscopic: Moderate 

Print Settings

Nozzle Temperature: 190-220c

Bed Temperature: Off-50c

Cooling Fan: 50-100%

Enclosure: None

Build Surface: Blue Tape, PEI, Glass, Glue Stick, etc.

Print Speed: 30-90 mm/s recommended

Direct Drive Extruder: Yes

Bowden Extruder: Yes
Nozzle Type: Harden Steel Recommended

Nozzle Size: 0.5mm or larger to prevent clogs

Variations

Even within the Glow variation of PLA there are a few sub-variants such as Shiny-Glow and Flexible, with a direct driver extruder being recommend for the flexible type.

Storage

The Glow mineral additives for PLA does not affect its hygroscopic properties, so it has basically the same storage recommendations as standard PLA: store in a cool, dry location away from direct sunlight. 

Pros

Glow is great for adding a little flare to your PLA print making it great for decorations and distinctive models. It’s almost as easy to print as standard PLA and offers many color variations to experiment with.  

Cons

The mineral additives do nothing to help with PLA’s brittleness and poor weather resistance, and it also reduces its layer adhesion somewhat and can easily clog standard 0.4mm nozzles. It’s high abrasiveness also means standard brass nozzles will wear out quickly so Hardened Steel ones are recommended.

 

Silk

Overview

Owning to its ultra smooth appearance as well as semi-translucency, this PLA variation is called Silk PLA. There is not a lot of information about which additives are used to create this effect, but it does help improve on PLA’s layer adhesion as well as flexibility. It can however be prone to clogs, bed adhesion can be an issue, and it requires slightly higher printing temperatures than standard PLA. 

Uses Within 3D Printing

This is a great variation for achieving that super smooth and shiny look with virtually no post-processing: no need for sanding and painting. Depending on the vendor and quality of the Silk PLA, and the 3D Printer, layer lines almost disappear. Silk is a bit more flexible, and therefor a little more durable than PLA, but still has the limitations of poor UV exposure and weather resistance.  

Properties

Printability: Easy

Strength: Medium

Density: 1.24 g/cm3

Flexibility: Low-Medium

Brittleness: High

Durability: Medium

Abrasiveness: Low

Deformations:  Minimal – can pull up from bed and curl on overhangs
Shrinkage: 0.2-0.25%

Stringing: Medium

Glass Point: 55-60c

Weather Resistance: Poor. Susceptible to UV, heat, and moisture.

Fumes: Minimal

Biodegradable: Yes, under optimum conditions

Hygroscopic: Moderate 

Print Settings

Nozzle Temperature: 190-235c

Bed Temperature: Off-80c

Cooling Fan: 50-100%

Enclosure: None

Build Surface: Blue Tape, PEI, Glass, Glue Stick, etc.

Print Speed: 30-100 mm/s

Direct Drive Extruder: Yes

Bowden Extruder: Yes
Nozzle Type: Brass/Any

Nozzle Size: 0.4mm or larger  

Variations

There are a great many variations of Silk PLA with each manufacturer bringing their own ‘secret’ ingredients to achieve this Silkiness. So print and bed temperatures, as well as print speeds, vary widely. These variations can also affect bed adhesion, so be sure to check the manufactures recommendations for printing with their Silk brand. 

Storage

Storage requirements for Silk are basically the same for standard PLA: store in a cool, dry location away from direct sunlight. 

Pros

Silk PLA gives you that super shinny look with minimal layer lines with little to no post processing. This makes it great for high visual-impacting decorations and models. It’s added moderate flexibility makes Silk PLA less brittle and more durable than standard PLA. With the right colors and shin, Silk PLA can almost look light polished metal, without the drawbacks of Metal infused PLA.

Cons

Silk PLA tends to be more stringy and have poor bed adhesion than standard PLA and thus requires a bit more fiddling and fine-tuning for that perfect print. The additives can cause clogging and depending on the flexiness of the brand, a direct-drive or dual-geared extruder may be required.

Wood

Overview

Yes, it’s got wood in it! Wood Fill PLA typically contains around 30% wood fibers, which may not seem like a lot, but its enough to make it smell and perform similar to real wood. The wood ‘dust’ used can vary wildly by manufacturer or type, from birch, coconut, bamboo, cedar, pine, etc., and is usually specified in its description. Printing with this PLA variant will also give off an often pleasant wood smell (or burnt wood, if printing too hot).

Uses Within 3D Printing

Wood fill PLA is great for creating prints with that ‘carved’ look and feel. They can also be sanded smooth like real wood for a pleasing finish. However, standard wood stains don’t take very well due to the high PLA content. Varying the temperature of the print by height can produce banding, or a Wood Grain look, depending on the type of wood fill used, thus giving an even more realistic wood look.

While some manufactures claim less brittleness and greater durability with Wood Fill PLA, it can often be the opposite with it producing poorer layer adhesion and greater brittleness. You mileage may vary. As this is still mostly PLA, it retains its same poor UV, Weather and hygroscopic nature of pure PLA.

Properties

Printability: Easy

Strength: Medium

Density: 1.20 g/cm3

Flexibility: Low

Brittleness: High

Durability: Medium

Abrasiveness: Medium

Deformations:  Minimal – can pull up from bed and curl on overhangs
Shrinkage: 0.2-0.25%

Stringing: Medium

Glass Point: 55-60c

Weather Resistance: Poor. Susceptible to UV, heat, and moisture.

Fumes: Minimal with a slight wood odor

Biodegradable: Yes, under optimum conditions

Hygroscopic: Moderate

Print Settings

Nozzle Temperature: 190-240c (depending on wood fill type)

Bed Temperature: Off-60c

Cooling Fan: 50-100%

Enclosure: None

Build Surface: Blue Tape, PEI, Glass, Glue Stick, etc.

Print Speed: 30-100 mm/s

Direct Drive Extruder: Yes

Bowden Extruder: Yes
Nozzle Type: Stainless Steel, Titanium, etc. (Brass will wear out quickly)

Nozzle Size: 0.5mm or larger

Variations

There are dozens of variations of Wood Fill PLA due to the wide variety of wood used. These can create almost endless features and finishes for your prints based on temperature variations used, sanding, staining (to some extent), and finishing. Care should be taken to adhere to the recommended nozzle temperatures, as exceeding it can actually burn the wood, clog the nozzle and possibly cause a fire.

Storage

Storage requirements for Wood Fill PLA are basically the same for standard PLA: store in a cool, dry location away from direct sunlight.

Pros

A real wood look and feel can greatly enhance the visual and tactile appeal of 3D Prints, from Chess Pieces, to Sculptures, etc. It’s basically as easy to work with as standard PLA and can give off a pleasing odor (still, always 3D Print in a well ventilated area).

Cons

Wood Fill PLA can be stringier and have lower layer adhesion that standard PLA. Nozzle size of 0.6 or larger is recommended as the particles and easily clog smaller openings. And even though most woods used are fairly soft, it does wear out brass nozzles quicker than standard PLA, so a harder nozzle is recommended or frequent brass nozzle replacements.

Metal

Overview

Right up front: these filaments do actually contain metal, which will chew through a brass nozzle in no time. So Hardened Steel nozzles are highly recommend. Typically, these filament contain Copper, Bronze, Brass, Stainless Steel or Iron, and although some are labeled ‘Gold’ and ‘Silver’ they don’t actually contain those metals, just the look. In addition, a 1Kg spool of Metal Fill PLA will contain much less actual filament (by length) than standard PLA due to the increased weight of the metal, and often comes on a smaller spool to account for that. Depending on the metal used, these can also be mildly magnetic.

Uses Within 3D Printing

Metal Fill, like Wood Fill, is a great way of producing aesthetically pleasing 3D prints beyond what can be achieved with standard PLA. Since these filaments contain actual metal, they can be polished to an extent and have the weight and feel of real metal. Some types, such as Iron Fill, can be intentionally rusted to give your print that aged and weathered look. However, while Metal Fill PLA is stiffer than regular PLA, it is also more brittle and has poorer layer adhesion. So its not really applicable to structural prints, or prints in high-stress usages.

Properties

Printability: Easy

Strength: Low

Density: 2+ g/cm3

Flexibility: Low

Brittleness: High

Durability: Low

Abrasiveness: High

Deformations:  Minimal
Shrinkage: 0.2-0.25%

Stringing: Medium

Glass Point: 55-60c

Weather Resistance: Poor. Susceptible to UV, heat, and moisture.

Fumes: Minimal

Biodegradable: No

Hygroscopic: Moderate

Print Settings

Nozzle Temperature: 190-240c (depending on wood fill type)

Bed Temperature: Off-60c

Cooling Fan: 50-100%

Enclosure: None

Build Surface: Blue Tape, PEI, Glass, Glue Stick, etc.

Print Speed: 30-80 mm/s

Direct Drive Extruder: Yes

Bowden Extruder: Yes
Nozzle Type: Hardened Steel

Nozzle Size: 0.5mm or larger

Variations

The variations of Metal Fill PLA are based on the metal used. Non-Ferrous metals like copper, will not be magnetic and be less prone to rusting. While ferrous metals, like Steel, Iron, etc. can be somewhat magnetic and be prone to rusting or weathered discoloration – a property you might want in some of your prints. There are also ‘Metal’ fill PLA filaments that doesn’t actually contain any metal, but have the ‘look’ of metal. Check the product’s descriptions and specifications to be sure of what you are buying.

Storage

Storage requirements for Metal Fill PLA are basically the same for standard PLA: store in a cool, dry location away from direct sunlight. If the metal type is prone to rust, like Steel or Iron, include some packs of descant to help keep it dry.

Pros

With the look and feel of metal, and the ability to polish many of these brands, it really make your 3D Prints stand out. They don’t require higher temperatures to use and are heavier than standard PLA, giving it more of a ‘casted’ look and feel.

Cons

Any Metal Fill PLA through a Brass Nozzle with chew it up quickly. Hardened Steel, Tungsten, or Ruby Nozzles (if you have the money) are highly recommended. The parts produced are very brittle with low layer adhesion and they do not print overhangs or bridging well. Metal Fill PLA is more expensive than standard PLA, and since filament is sold by weight, the length of filament in the spool will be much shorter than standard PLA for the same weight.

PLA+

Overview

What exactly is PLA+? That’s an excellent question. PLA+ is meant to be a stronger, more durable, more heat resistant PLA to bring it more in line with PETG or ABS. However, there is no standard for what goes into a ‘PLA+’ filament and some brands just market theirs with a ‘+’ without any of the enhancements. So, its best to shop wisely and stick with well-known, established brand names when buying into the ‘PLA+’ branding. As far as what actually goes into PLA+ to make it a ‘+’, that’s a tightly held secret by most filament manufactures. Often times this involves sourcing a higher grade PLA or the use of PHA (PolyHydroxyAlkanoate).

Uses Within 3D Printing

PLA+ is meant to offer the ease of printing with PLA with the durability and heat resistance of PETG or ABS. Again, because there is no standard on additives used to achieve this, your results will probably vary. While still being basically PLA, it does not require an enclosure or higher temperatures associated with ABS or PETG. Nor does PLA+ have the out-gassing issues associated with ABS.

Properties

Printability: Easy

Strength: Medium

Density: 1.24 g/cm3

Flexibility: Medium

Brittleness: Medium

Durability: Medium

Abrasiveness: High

Deformations:  Minimal
Shrinkage: 0.2-0.25%

Stringing: Medium

Glass Point: 60-65c

Weather Resistance: Poor. Susceptible to UV, heat, and moisture.

Fumes: Minimal

Biodegradable: Yes – under optimum conditions

Hygroscopic: Moderate

Print Settings

Nozzle Temperature: 200-230

Bed Temperature: Off-60c

Cooling Fan: 50-100%

Enclosure: None

Build Surface: Blue Tape, PEI, Glass, Glue Stick, etc.

Print Speed: 30-100 mm/s

Direct Drive Extruder: Yes

Bowden Extruder: Yes
Nozzle Type: Brass

Nozzle Size: 0.4mm 

Variations

The variations of PLA+ are as numerous as the number of manufactures. PLA+ has no standard for additives to give it that ‘+’ moniker. And in some cases its just a marketing label for a ‘better quality’ PLA by some manufacturers. Read up, do you homework and check the reviews to ensure the PLA+ you buy has the properties you want.

Storage

Storage requirements for PLA+ are basically the same for standard PLA: store in a cool, dry location away from direct sunlight.

Pros

PLA+ can have a smoother surface texture, better overhang performance, higher strength and durability with less brittleness than standard PLA. Your mileage will vary.

Cons

PLA+ usually requires a higher nozzle temperature to print, but it still within range of common low-end consumer 3D Printers. Aside from the normal ‘Cons’ of basic PLA, the only additions Cons are never knowing exactly what’s in PLA+ and how it will ultimately perform.

LW (Lightweight)

Overview

Lightweight (LW) PLA is relatively new to the market, as of this writing. This filament achieves its lightweightedness by foaming up during the printing process, often up to 3x its original size. Think of it as spray foam insulation out of your printer. It achieves this through some super-secret ingredients that, upon heating the nozzle beyond normal PLA temperatures, it starts to bubble and foam out of the nozzle. Now, normally, this is Not what you want to happen with standard PLA. But with LW-PLA, this is desirable. It results in just a strong a print with up to 1/3rd the weight and an interesting looking matte finish.

Uses Within 3D Printing

LW-PLA was designed for the RC maker space, allowing makers to design and print light-weight drones and planes and still perform as well as standard PLA. It should be noted that LW-PLA is still fairly brittle, does not weather well, and is not UV resistant or heat resistant. So you don’t want to sit your drone out in the sun or rain for long periods of time.

Properties

Printability: Easy

Strength: Medium

Density: 1.24 g/cm3 (~0.45 g/cm3 after printing)

Flexibility: Low

Brittleness: High

Durability: Medium

Abrasiveness: Low

Deformations:  Minimal
Shrinkage: 0.2-0.25%

Stringing: Medium

Glass Point: 55-60c

Weather Resistance: Poor. Susceptible to UV, heat, and moisture.

Fumes: Minimal

Biodegradable: Yes – under optimum conditions

Hygroscopic: Moderate

Print Settings

Nozzle Temperature: ~230c

Bed Temperature: Off-60c

Cooling Fan: 50-100%

Enclosure: None

Build Surface: Blue Tape, PEI, Glass, Glue Stick, etc.

Print Speed: 30-100 mm/s

Direct Drive Extruder: Yes

Bowden Extruder: Yes
Nozzle Type: Brass

Nozzle Size: 0.4mm 

Variations

There are color as well as additive variations for LW-PLA depending on the manufacturer. This can affect stringing as well strength to some degree.

Storage

Storage requirements for LW-PLA are basically the same for standard PLA: store in a cool, dry location away from direct sunlight.

Pros

LW-PLA reduces the weight of the final print (duh), and also also up to 3x more prints due to its expansion during printing. It’s easy to trim and sands better than standard PLA, and also takes paint well.

Cons

Color lights somewhat when it foams, so the final print will not be as dark as the roll. LW-PLA tends to ooze more than standard PLA, and can be managed but not completely eliminated.

High Temperature

Overview

PLA, while being one of the easiest 3D printing filaments to work with has one major drawback: Low Glass Point – the temperature at which it softens so as to no longer be considered a solid, around 55-60c.

High Temperature PLA raises this limit up to around 110c, making it much more suitable for hotter applications. While as with many of the other variations of PLA in this article, the actual ingredients of High Temperature PLA are not known, their manufactures state this is achieved through the use of crystalline minerals that are annealed after the part it printed to raise its Glass Point.

Uses Within 3D Printing

High Temperature PLA is just as easy to print with as standard PLA, but requires an extra annealing step to raise its Glass Point. However, this makes PLA much more useful in high-temperature applications where normal PLA would just melt: workshops, car cabs, etc.

Properties

Printability: Easy

Strength: Medium

Density: 1.23 g/cm3

Flexibility: Low

Brittleness: High

Durability: Medium

Abrasiveness: Low

Deformations:  Minimal
Shrinkage: 0.2-0.25%

Stringing: Medium

Glass Point: ~80-110c (after annealing)

Weather Resistance: Poor. Susceptible to UV, heat, and moisture.

Fumes: Minimal

Biodegradable: Yes – under optimum conditions

Hygroscopic: Moderate

Print Settings

Nozzle Temperature: 205-235cc

Bed Temperature: Off-60c

Cooling Fan: 50-100%

Enclosure: None

Build Surface: Blue Tape, PEI, Glass, Glue Stick, etc.

Print Speed: 30-90 mm/s

Direct Drive Extruder: Yes

Bowden Extruder: Yes
Nozzle Type: Stainless Steel, Titanium, etc (harded than Brass)

Nozzle Size: 0.5mm or larger

Variations

Because there is no standard for the additives used to make High-Temperature PLA, there are just as many variations as they are manufacturers. The Glass Point and annealing process can vary as well as the nozzle temperature and printer requirements. Be sure to read up on the recommendations from the manufacture before purchasing.

Storage

Storage requirements for High-Temperature PLA are basically the same for standard PLA: store in a cool, dry location away from direct sunlight.

Pros

This filament is still just as easy to work with as standard PLA while staying a ‘solid’ at temperatures up to 110c after annealing. It also does not require an enclosure, higher print temperatures, or often a heated bed.

Cons

Post-Processing annealing needs to be done in order to raise its Glass Point. This is often done in an oven or a hot bath of water (depending on manufacturer recommendations). Deformations can occur during the annealing process, so keeping the supports in place is recommended.

Carbon Fiber

Overview

PLA is just one of the filament types that can be found infused with Carbon Fibers. Other types include PETG, Nylon and ABS. Approximately 15% of Carbon Fiber PLA actually consists of the tiny carbon fibers. This helps retain the easy of printing associated with PLA while adding the strength and rigidity of carbon fibers. However, this addition also make Carbon Fiber PLA more brittle than standard PLA as the fibers are very small and do not extend across layers or walls.

Uses Within 3D Printing

Carbon Fiber PLA printed objects are common among RC and Drone hobbyists due to its increased strength and rigidity. The carbon itself also gives the object a nice semi-gloss sheen.

Properties

Printability: Easy

Strength: High

Density: 1.3 g/cm3

Flexibility: Low

Brittleness: High

Durability: High

Abrasiveness: High

Deformations:  Minimal
Shrinkage: 0.15-0.2%

Stringing: Medium

Glass Point: 55-60c

Weather Resistance: Poor. Susceptible to UV, heat, and moisture.

Fumes: Minimal

Biodegradable: Yes – under optimum conditions

Hygroscopic: Moderate

Print Settings

Nozzle Temperature: 195-220c

Bed Temperature: Off-50c

Cooling Fan: 50-100%

Enclosure: None

Build Surface: Blue Tape, PEI, Glass, Glue Stick, etc.

Print Speed: 30-100 mm/s

Direct Drive Extruder: Yes

Bowden Extruder: Not Recommended
Nozzle Type: Hardened Steel

Nozzle Size: 0.5mm or larger

Variations

The most common variations with Carbon Fiber PLA can be found in varying amounts of the added fiber as well as its quality and length of the fibers. Most vendors recommend a nozzle size of 0.5mm or larger due to the length of the fibers clogging smaller openings.

Storage

Storage requirements for Carbon Fiber PLA are basically the same for standard PLA: store in a cool, dry location away from direct sunlight.

Pros

If you’re looking for a highly rigid, strong, lightweight PLA material and not concerned about brittleness, Carbon Fiber PLA is just as easy to print as standard PLA with this additional benefits. 

Cons

Carbon Fiber is very abrasive and the fibers can easily clog standard 0.4mm nozzles. So it is recommended that Hardened Steel Nozzles of 0.5mm or larger be used. It is also more brittle than PLA and more expensive.

Conductive

Overview

Conductive PLA is a real niche product. It doesn’t have much of an application outside of prototyping electrical circuits for hobbyists in the retail home market. Still, its worth mentioning because of its novelty.

Conductive PLA is made with a high percentage of conductive material such as graphene and other metals to enhance its conductivity. This allows you to print ‘wires’ with your 3D Printer to create circuits and connect components together, either as a prototype or a final part. It should be noted however, that the conductivity of this PLA type is not nearly as high as a copper wire at even a fraction of the thickness. This is because there is still a large amount of PLA in the filament, which acts like an insulator.

Uses Within 3D Printing

As already mentioned, its primary purpose is for circuit prototyping and testing for the hobbyist as its durability and conductivity is limited. It is also limited to the voltage and current that can be carried, even if printing thicker or taller, as layers and walls do not conduct as well as a continuous extrusion. Price for this filament is varies incredibly, from ~$30USD to over $2,000USD per kg.

Properties

Printability: Medium

Strength: Low

Density: 1.15 g/cm3

Flexibility: Low

Brittleness: High

Durability: Low

Abrasiveness: High

Deformations:  Minimal
Shrinkage: 0.15-0.2%

Stringing: Medium

Glass Point: 55-60c

Weather Resistance: Poor. Susceptible to UV, heat, and moisture.

Fumes: Minimal

Biodegradable: No

Hygroscopic: Moderate

Print Settings

Nozzle Temperature: 130-235c (varies wildly depending on manufacturer)

Bed Temperature: Off-50c

Cooling Fan: 50-100%

Enclosure: None

Build Surface: Blue Tape, PEI, Glass, Glue Stick, etc.

Print Speed: 30-100 mm/s

Direct Drive Extruder: Yes

Bowden Extruder: Not Recommended
Nozzle Type: Hardened Steel

Nozzle Size: 0.5mm or larger

Variations

The filament varies widely with conductivity, additives, print temperatures and price. There is no standard for resistance or the additives used. So read up on the product’s specifications and look for reviews and forums to get an idea of each vendors offerings before buying into it.

Storage

Storage requirements for Conductive PLA are basically the same for standard PLA: store in a cool, dry location away from direct sunlight. It is not significantly more hygroscopic than standard PLA.

Pros

Great for creating quick and simple circuits with your 3D printer to test out your designs and concepts and even for making a one-off circuit that would be expensive or time consuming to do any other way.

Cons

The carbon and metal additives are extremely abrasive and will wear out a standard Brass nozzle very quickly. The particles are also large enough to clog standard size 0.4mm opening. So Hardened Steel, even Tungsten, nozzle at 0.5mm or larger are highly recommended.  

It should also be noted that Conductive Filament is only useful for low power, low voltage electronics and circuits. Exceeding the manufactures ratings can cause the filament to melt and burn, giving off toxic, possibly carcinogenic, fumes.

Conclusion

As we stated in the beginning, these were just the most common of the seemingly endless varieties of FLA filament. Manufactures are coming up with different combinations all the time. But because these are all PLA based, many of the printing properties are the same, as we saw: no enclosure needed, heated bed is optional in most cases, fumes are minimal and printing is mostly very easy.

 

The properties and print setting should be used as a ‘starting guide’ for your printer and your filament. Every printer is different and every filament roll can be different – even from the same manufacturer. So it is highly recommended that you conduct some small test prints with each roll for temperature, cooling, speed and retraction to ensure that you get the best possible print every time. 

And finally, here is an easy to view chart of all the properties and print settings for the filament types covered in this post.

Enjoy.

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