3D printing is all the rage right now, and for a good reason! It’s a fascinating technology that has the potential to change the way we live. But what if you’re not sure which filament to start with and try?
If you’re looking for an alternative to ABS or PLA, then PMMA filament may be the perfect choice for you. It has several unique properties that make it an excellent choice for many different applications.
- What Is PMMA 3D Filament?
- UV Absorption
- Transparent Thermoplastic
- UV Absorption Properties
- What Is PMMA Printing?
- Can PMMA Be 3D Print? How to 3D Print With PMMA?
- Can Acrylic Plastic Be 3D Printed?
- Colorfabb Semi-matte PLATINE
- Make Your NFC Tag XYZ Printer Open Filament
- XYZ Printing Filament Compatibility Guide
- Final Thought
It has high strength and resistance to impact, perfect for creating solid and durable prints. So why not give it a try? You may be surprised at just how versatile this material can be!
What Is PMMA 3D Filament?
3D Filament? PMMA is a transparent thermoplastic. It’s also called Acrylite or Plexiglas, but you shouldn’t confuse it with the more common polyacrylics that are clear or opaque when uncured.
PMMA will remain transparent even after it’s fully cured. In other words, when heated and left to cool down/solidify, PMMA will retain its transparency.
However, at temperatures above 130°C (266°F), it will start turning yellowish. So we don’t recommend using it for high-temperature applications such as automotive applications and around ovens and stovetops.
Ultraviolet-Visible Absorption is the range of light waves invisible to the human eye. When you expose PMMA 3D printer filament to UV rays, they will absorb this wavelength!
To prevent that, try shielding your print or applying some translucent nail polish (UV-protective coatings) over your final product.
That’ll ensure your part retains its clarity after exposure. However, just like melamine resin, another commonly used 3D printer filament, PMMA will start yellowing when exposed to UV rays beyond 130°C (266°F)!
PMMA will remain transparent when in a solid state but is less clear after heating up. Once printed and exposed to an open flame or hot air blower, the filament will start turning yellowish.
Even though you can sand it down for polishing purposes, the typical post-processing you’ll require to make it transparent is time-consuming for most people. So why does this happen?
PMMA tends to hydrolyze when exposed to intense heat (130°C/266°F). Hydrolysis (and oxidation) are chemical reactions between water and another compound; in the case of PMMA, they are chemical reactions between water and polymethylmethacrylate molecules.
When this happens, it produces methyl methanol (CH3OH), a colorless alcohol compound with the same chemical formula as ethanol but with one additional oxygen atom.
When exposed to heat above its glass transition temperature of 105°C, PMMA’s methyl methanol (CH3OH) will start evaporating. You’ll end up with a yellowish residue, which is the cause of the opaque look.
If you want to make sure your PMMA 3D printer filament doesn’t turn yellowish after printing it, we recommend exposing your prints to less than 130°C/266°F.
Further, PMMA 3D printer filament is lightweight and exhibits excellent strength-to-weight ratios. These make it a perfect choice for lightweight applications requiring high strength.
Since PMMA 3D printer filament is clear, lightweight, and has great strength-to-weight proportions, it’s commonly used for under the hood parts in the automotive industry.
Additionally, PMMA is an affordable alternative to ABS, especially when considering how lightweight it is!
UV Absorption Properties
By simply exposing PMMA lightweight thermoplastic to UV rays, you’ll start seeing it turn yellowish. If you want to prevent your parts from turning yellowish, try using a UV-protective layer or treatment.
PMMA 3D printer filament offers great UV and impact resistance (with the right printing parameters, of course), and specific colors like blue and green will even fluoresce under a black light (check at Amazon)!
While it’s preferable to print with transparent colors (instead of opaque ones), colored and clear PMMA 3D printer filaments offer similar properties.
What Is PMMA Printing?
PMMA 3D printer filament is a transparent thermoplastic commonly used for commercial and industrial applications. This type of 3D printer filament is tougher, stronger, and more transparent than HDPE, PETG, ABS, Polycarbonate, PVC, and other 3D printer filaments.
PMMA lightweight thermoplastic is an affordable alternative to ABS and other 3D printing materials, especially if you want a transparent 3D printer filament.
Can PMMA Be 3D Print? How to 3D Print With PMMA?
Yes, PMMA is a widely used 3D printing material and can be printed by most commercially available desktop FFF 3D printers. PMMA is more expensive than ABS, but it’s significantly more robust, tougher, lighter, clear, and UV-resistant.
However, since PMMA filament goes through a different forming process than other types of 3D printing filaments, it’s imperative to use the recommended printing temperature and speed when 3D printing with PMMA.
The reason for this is because PMMA has a significantly higher melting point, so achieving a smooth surface without bubbles or gaps requires heating the printing bed to around 100°C (212F) and the extruder to about 260°C (500F).
We recommend a 3D printer with an all-metal hot end for printing with PMMA and a strong heated bed to reach the bed temperature required.
This is beyond the operating temperatures for most 3D printers.
Can Acrylic Plastic Be 3D Printed?
If you want to 3D print with PMMA filament, it’s essential to use the recommended printing temperature and set your printer bed temperature significantly higher, at around 100°C.
Colorfabb Semi-matte PLATINE
This 3D printer filament is significantly more durable than regular PLA filaments.
Demand for improved toughness and durability has led to several newer 3D printing materials, like PLA-PHA and ABS-PHA.
PLA-PHA is similar to regular PLA but offers significantly enhanced toughness and scratch resistance.
PLA-PHA is also considerably more potent than regular PLA, although slightly weaker than ABS-PHA.
Make Your NFC Tag XYZ Printer Open Filament
We have now made available to you our back-end expertise. If you are an inventor looking forward to the success of your project, why not try printing with NFC-tag filament?
Please look at these NFC 3D printing filaments available in the market.
XYZ Printing Filament Compatibility Guide
Many people wonder if XYZ printing filaments are compatible with other brands of 3D printers. The answer is, yes, they are compatible!
At least four of the most popular brands offer materials that are 100% compatible with XYZ Printing.
In this article, we have touched base with the details of plastic materials and their printing techniques. We hope you found it informative and will be back for more!
If you have any further queries, please feel free to contact us today, and we would love to help you out. Now is your time to pave your way to success with PMMA.
What Is TPU Filament? The Basics & Useful Guide.
What is TPU filament? It originates from a class of polyurethane plastics with important features such as high elasticity, transparency, and resistance to...
Does 3D Filament Expire? [Storage Solutions]
Does 3D filament expire? Yes! 3D printer filaments do expire. 3D printer filaments expire if not taken care of properly. Most filaments don't have expiry date.
Is PLA Biodegradable? Can You Compost PLA?
PLA remains a bioplastic derived from renewable material, and as such, it should be biodegradable. So, is PLA biodegradable? Let's find out!