How To Print PETG

If you have a 3D printer, then you might be wondering how to print PETG. It is really important to have the right information when you are trying to work your 3D printer, including how to print PETG.

PETG filaments are known for being easy to print, having a smooth surface finish, and being completely resistant to water. They are also chemically resistant, fatigue resistant, rigid, and water resistant. 

How To Print PETG

In this article, we are going to tell you everything that you need to know about printing PETG. This information will help to make you confident that you know what you are doing, and you can find out exactly how to do this yourself. 

What Is PETG?

If you didn’t already know, PETG is a glycol modified version of polyethylene terephthalate, also known as PET. This is commonly used to manufacture water bottles, and it is a semi-rigid material that has excellent impact resistance.

This material also has a slightly softer surface that makes it prone to some wear.

PETG is also a material that will benefit from excellent thermal characteristics, which will allow the plastic to cool down efficiently with very little warpage.

There are lots of variations of this material that are available on the market, and some of these include PETG, PETE, and PETT. We are going to provide you with lots of helpful information about PETG that will help you to use it right. 

The Pros Of PETG

  • It has a glossy and smooth surface finish
  • It will adhere to the bed and it shouldn’t warp
  • It doesn’t have a smell to it when it is printing

The Cons Of PETG

  • It has poor bridging characteristics
  • It can produce thin hairs on the surface from stringing

PETG Hardware Requirements

Before you go ahead and start printing with PETG, you will need to make sure that your printer meets the hardware requirements that are needed first. We will leave the hardware requirements below for you to read about. 

Bed – Temperature between 75 and 90 degrees fahrenheit, heated bed is recommended, an enclosure is not needed.

Build Surface – Glue stick and painter’s tape

Extruder – Temperature between 230 and 250 degrees fahrenheit and no special hot end is required.

Cooling – A part cooling fan will be required.

How To Print PETG

How To Print PETG

There are some things that you will need to keep in mind when you are 3D printing with PETG. There are also some common issues that are associated with this process that you will be able to avoid with the right knowledge, like oozing, stringing, and poor bed adhesion.

There are some 3D printers that will come with a glass bed or a blue painter’s tape that is installed on the bed. Even though these surfaces can work fine for PETG, it is recommended that you use a heated build platform if you want to get the best results.

The heated bed will be able to significantly improve the first layer of adhesive.

This will make it much easier for future prints. There are also lots of heated beds that will come with a glass surface, and this is great for allowing you to print directly onto the bed, removing the need for you to apply any additional layers of tape or glue.

One of the most common issues that people experience with using PETG is stringing. These strings are thin hairs that are similar to that of a spider web, and they will run between the different surfaces of your 3D print.

If you want to be able to prevent this from happening, then you will need to precisely calibrate your retraction settings.

You will need to make sure that you adjust your retraction distance and speed if you want to get the best results. You can also make use of features within Simplify3D to further reduce the effect of stringing.

One of these features is called coasting, which will work to reduce the pressure in the nozzle before the end of a segment. This means that when it moves on to the next segment, there will be much less pressure in the nozzle. 

You will be much less likely to see stringing and oozing during this part of the process. Something else that you can make use of can be found on the advanced tab of the simplify3D process settings.

If you were to enable the ‘avoid crossing outline for travel movements’ option, then the software will automatically adjust the travel movements of your print, allowing the print to remain on top of the interior of your model as much as it can. 

This would mean that the string would stay inside of your part, where nobody is able to see it, instead of being on the outside of the model where it is visible. 

If you are 3D printing with PETG at higher temperatures, then you might notice small blobs that are up on the surface of your model. These are print defects that will usually occur at the start and end of each segment.

This will be where the extruder will need to suddenly start or stop extruding plastic.

There are actually lots of things that you can do to stop these printer defects from happening. One of these things would be to enable extra restart distance or coasting options, which can both be found in the extruder lab. 

Some 3D printing softwares will even allow you to perform a dynamic retraction, which is where the filament will be retracted while the extruder is actually still moving. This would completely prevent any blobs that are usually formed due to a stationary retraction. 

Tips For Printing PETG

Something that you should know about printing PETG is that the glossy surface of this material can be really useful when you are using rafts.

The part will separate easily from the raft and maintain a clean surface finish. As well as this, you should try disabling your part cooling fan for the first few layers of the printing in order to prevent warping. This can work really well for larger prints.

Mark Andrews
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