Materials

Last updated on January 20, 2022

Content

Our current material plastic abbreviations for the product library:

  • PLA – Polylactic acid;
  • PETG – Polyethylene terephthalate glycol;
  • ASA – Acrylonitrile Styrene Acrylate.

 

If you are looking for more information about product maintenance and care, you can read our care instructions here!

Material performance

PLA

PLA is a material primarily meant for 3D printing, unlike other plastics such as ABS or polycarbonate that are predominantly used in other ways.

PLA biopolymer is made off the monomer which is typically made from fermented plant starch such as corn, cassava, sugarcane, or sugar beet pulp. This material is sustainable and entirely organic.

Because of the way PLA material is made, it also brings its shortcomings in strength properties. Unlike Nylon, carbon-filled, or PC materials, PLA is more weaker and fragile. It is also really dependent on each manufacturer on what kind of elements are being added in the manufacturing process.

PLA is stiff plastic, meaning it has a low flexural strength compared to other plastics, it’s also more brittle. Instead of bending, it usually snaps and breaks.

Overall, PLA has a great printing performance and quality output. It is tolerant in many varieties of fulfillment and easy to handle.

 

A chart can be seen below that shows PLA material performance evaluation on a 6-grade score.

 

PETG

Polyethylene terephthalate glycol, known as PETG or PET-G, is a thermoplastic polyester that delivers significant chemical resistance, durability, and formability for manufacturing compared to PLA.

The surface quality is similar to PLA. It is less brittle and carries higher flexural strength. In bending, it does not snap but deforms instead.

The material is less recyclable due to higher glass transition and inability to decompose in traditional facilities, but overall the material follows the same great performance as PLA.

 

A chart can be seen below that shows PETG material performance evaluation on a 6-grade score.

 

ASA

Acrylonitrile styrene acrylate (ASA), also called acrylic styrene-acrylonitrile, is an amorphous thermoplastic developed as an alternative to acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), but with improved weather resistance, and is widely used in the automotive industry.

It is an alternative to PETG in the application and has similar properties as PLA and PETG combined.

 

A chart can be seen below that shows ASA material performance evaluation on a 6-grade score.

 

Material suppliers

We currently outsource most of our materials from Fiberlogy and PolyMaker plastic manufacturers. Both companies reuse and recycle plastic to fabricate new spools without a significant loss for traditional plastic properties.

Their delivery in reliability, availability, and quality over the past years have shown us to be trustworthy spool manufacturers and are integrated into our fulfillment chain. A non-determinant factor is also their strategic location nearby us, which is a great perk to have.

If you are a plastic spool manufacturer or representative and would like us to integrate you into our fulfillment chain, you must meet our criteria for materials:

  • Recyclability or some level of involvement in environmental plastic waste reduction. Our business philosophy ( link to strategy ) is interconnected with the supply of plastics;
  • Reusable, recyclable plastic spools or refills;
  • Proven to supply consistently majority of color, shade option of a single plastic material e.g. PLA.

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