General rules for choosing materials:
- Particles are ideally between 1 to 5mm in length. If some particles are outside that range, the feedstock may still be printable, but if there are too many, it may cause extrusion issues.
- While flake and irregularly-shaped particles are often printable, materials with more uniform and more spherical particles are typically easier to print.
- Material must not be malleable at room temperature.
- Plastic is recommended (either pellets or recycled ground up flake). Plastic filled with other materials (carbon fiber, wood, copper, fiberglass, basalt) may also be printable.
- Materials with particles that stick together (such as TPUs) may not flow as well.
- Flow issues caused by irregularly-shaped particles or particles that stick together may be mitigated by using an active feeding system. See our published paper for the initial design.
At re:3D, we test a variety of materials for printing with GBX, to varying degrees of success. So far, we've tested:
- Pellets, regrind, or flake
- Virgin or recycled materials
- Filled materials: bamboo, carbon fiber, glass fiber, copper powder
- Various plastics, both recycled and virgin: PET, PETG, PLA, PC, ABS, LDPE, PP, HDPE, PVC, TPU
For information on our material testing service, refer to the material testing page on our website.
For details on the materials we're testing, see our Pellet Extruder forum topic.
If you'd like more detailed information on a specific material we've tested, feel free to email us at email@example.com.