3D Printing FAQ’s

Contents

Common 3D Printer Filament Types

With so many 3d printing filament types it is easy to get confused about which one is right for you and your printer. Here are the two most common types for desktop 3D printers.

3D Printer PLA (Polylactic Acid)

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The most common type of 3D printing filament for the desktop 3D Printer. PLA has the virtue of being odourless and low-warp. It is regarded as eco-friendly as it is made from a renewable resource (corn starch) and it requires less energy to produce than traditional plastics.

Available in a wide range of colours it also comes in both 1.75mm and 3.0mm sizes. But is not as strong a build as its main alternative, ABS (great for models but not working parts). PLA can be used on all common desktop FDM or FFF technology 3D printers and requires no heat bed. If you are looking for superior print quality at an affordable price then look no further than X3D Premium PLA Filament.

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3D Printer ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene)

ABS 3D Printing has rapidly been gaining ground as the filament of choice for 3D printers. Particularly the UP range of printers use ABS. It is a multi-purpose strong material (think Lego) and is ideal for fully usable parts. Products made with ABS are very durable, withstand a wide range of temperatures, and tend to be more flexible. Only compatible with ABS – 3D Printers. Check out the X3D ABS premium range for a professional looking finish.

Are 3D Printer Filaments Safe?

Like any chemical or plastic it is important that filaments are used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Secondly only buy from a manufacturer whose filaments are RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances) certified. All X3D Premium filaments are RoHS certified.

Also consider what the purpose of the printed item is. For example if the item will have contact with food stuffs then PLA would be the better choice as it is made from corn starch.

How to Select Your 3D Printing Filament

Filament Diameter

T1.75mm and 3.0mm are the two common diameters of 3D printing filament. The majority of 3D printers are designed to work with only one diameter filament. Check your printer specifications to determine find out which diameter is compatible with your printer.

Precision & Diameter Accuracy

The tighter your filament diameter tolerance is, the more consistent your printed results will be. All of the filaments we sell are manufactured with a tolerance of at least ± 0.05 mm to ensure accurate, more stable prints with consistent feeding.

Spool vs. Coil and Design

In comparison to coils, spools are more easier to work. This is because they can be mounted conveniently as well as being able to distribute filament to your printer in a consistent, even manner.

ABS vs PLA

ABS PLA
Material Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene – copolymer blend of styrene, acryl and butadiene Polylactic Acid – degradable bioplastic, derived from plants
Key features Harder, more impact resistant Easier to print – less prone to warping
Heat settings 225 – 250º C 190 – 240º C
Printed bed recommended? Not required Yes
Post processing Can be cut, filed or glued. Acetone smoothing acceptable. Can be cut, filed or glued. Do not use with acetone.
Transparent options available? No Yes
Recyclability Recycling #7 Degradable bio-plastic

Tips for Printing ABS and PLA

Before purchasing any 3D printing filaments you should consider what limitations your printer has. For example:

  • Is your printer equipped with a heated bed?
  • Is the bed platform capable of achieving 100ºC?

When used with a heated print bed (80-120º C) ABS filament creates much better results . The filament will adhere to the print bed better when the bed is heated to temperatures within this range. If your printer does not have a heated print bed, PLA filament is the best option.

The Right Filament for Your Printer

Company Model Material Diameter
Makerbot Replicator 2 PLA/Primalloy 1.75mm
FELIX printer Felix 3.0 ABS 1.75mm
Marcha Technology Witbox bq PLA 1.75mm
3DChilli JALOKIA PLA/ABS 1.75mm
3D FreeSculpt EX1 PLA 1.75mm
be3D DeeGreen PLA/ABS 1.75mm
WASP DeltaWASP PLA/ABS 1.75mm
WASP PowerWASP PLA/ABS 1.75mm
Sharebot Kiwi PLA/ABS 1.75mm
Sharebot NG PLA/ABS 1.75mm
Evo-tech Evolizer PLA/ABS 1.75mm
Robox Robox PLA/ABS 1.75mm
Ultimaker Ultimaker PLA 3.00mm
Ultimaker Ultimaker 2 PLA 3.00mm
Builder Builder PLA 1.75mm
Zortrax Zortrax M200 ABS 1.75mm
Flashforge Flashforge Dreamer PLA/ABS 1.75mm
Flashforge Flashforge Creator Pro PLA/ABS 1.75mm
UP! UP Box PLA/ABS 1.75mm
UP! Up Mini ABS 1.75mm
UP! UP Plus 2 PLA/ABS 1.75mm

What is an STL file?

STL (Standard Tessellation Language) is a format used by Stereolithography software to generate information needed to produce 3D models. After designing a model in a CAD program the design is saved in a STL file format. It is this format that is used by 3D Printers.

The following is a list of free CAD software that can create STL files:

  • Autodesk 123D Design
  • Tinkercad
  • Blender
  • FreeCAD
  • Sculptris
  • 3D Tin
  • Sketchup

Many free STL files can be found on the internet.

Don’t have something to print yet or looking for some inspiration? Take a gander at Thingiverse – here you will find an uber collection of designs for 3D printing.

How Much is Freight?

Freight is charged at $4 for samples, Filaments at $15 for standard or $20 for Express delivery and free freight on printers.

Free freight on all orders over $150

Delivery Info

After ordering online, you will receive an email confirmation from eWAY containing your order details. You will also receive a confirmation email from X3D detailing your purchase. This will confirm receipt of your order within a few minutes of ordering.

We will send filaments and consumable goods within 1 working day of receiving your order; however if goods are unavailable (ON BACK ORDER) delivery will take a little longer. You will be notified at the time of ordering when this is expected to occur.

If you wish to query a delivery please contact us at x3d@x3d.com.au and please include your order number.

Refund & Returns

If for any reason you are not completely satisfied with your purchase of filament we will give you a 30 day money-back guarantee from the time you receive the goods. Please email us at x3d@x3d.com.au within that time if you are not satisfied with your purchase so that we can resolve any problems. This refund policy does not apply to 3D printers which have been worn or used, damaged after delivery, or if any attempt has been made to alter the product or if they have been dropped or broken. X3D reserve the right to repair any faulty 3D printers.

All products must be returned in their original condition. All postage and insurance costs are to be paid by the buyer. We recommend that you return the product via Registered post and that you pre pay all postage. You assume any risk of lost, theft or damaged goods during transit & therefore advise you take out shipment registration of insurance with your postal carrier. X3D will not be responsible for parcels lost or damaged in transit if you choose not to insure.

What Forms of Payment Do You Accept?

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X3D accepts all major credit card payments online. Approved account customers can order online with a 30 days credit account. All government and approved educational organisations can obtain a 30 day credit account.

How Long Does Delivery Take?

Stocked filament are shipped on an overnight courier service but can take between 2-3 business days from order (outside metro areas). Most items are shipped within 24 hours of payment confirmation. Speciality filaments and 3D printers may take between 7-10 business days from order.

How Much Does 3D Printer Filament Cost?

The price of filament can vary widely. But so can its performance. There is no shortage of cheap filaments on ebay and Amazon but these filaments can often lead to problems. Both with the quality of the print and with clogging, jamming and sticking to the plate problems.

Filaments such as ColorFabb, Polymaker and X3D are premium filaments. Yes you pay a bit more but you also get allot more. Not just in quality but in range and support and advice. x3D also provides the option of ordering a sample making it the cost effective way to try a wide range of filaments.

Filament Samples

Working in association with GlobalFSD we offer you this amazing opportunity to try out some of the worlds newest and greatest filaments on the 3D Desktop printing market.

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