Being still in the evaluation phase for my future RepRap, I note that the the filament material is an important point to define further technical choices, especially in concerning extruders and bed.
What I understood the opportunity in plastics is:
The two most used are ABS and PLA. It seems that we can also use HDPE, LDPE, but it seems much more marginal. In Europe, we can supply at :
- Mendel in parts (Holland)
- In rerapsource (http://www.reprapsource.com) (Germany)
- In http://www.2printbeta.de/ (Germany)
ABS appears to be much cheaper than PLA. Unfortunately, concerning print quality, the advantage seems clearly to be on the PLA side. Indeed, the ABS retracts quite strongly when it cools, which causes deformation of the printed parts:
Using a heated bed on the machine would slightly reduce shrinking. PLA seems much less prone to this phenomenon.
The most commonly available filaments diameter is 3mm. More recently, 1.7mm diameter filament seems to become increasingly popular. The advantage of this format is that would requires less pressure extruding same plastic quantity, which results in improved print quality:
Using this experimental capability bonus to 1.75mm diameter extruded plastic filaments allow you to put less pressure on the filament to get the Same Amount of extrusion. Using smaller filament IS Something We’ve Been Wanting to do for a long time and with the MakerBot Stepstruder ™ MK6 You Can swap in turn to share your filament extruded 3mm 1.75mm Into a filament extrusion.
Some online shops are saling 1.7 mm the filament but however, but it seems more difficult to the supply than the 3mm diameter. However, it seems that the ABS diameter 1.75 is likely to cause problems:
Material is 1.7 mm spools Temporarily discontinued
Due to mixed results with the filament material with the numbers 1-2-01 and 1-2-02 in 1.75mm thickness We’ve Decided to discontinuous Until We find the material to beg That Has the Ability to measure the diameter After extrusion material .
To conclude, I think i will go with 1.7mm diameter PLA, hopping not to have too much hassle to supply.