3D Printing With PETG Filament

Getting back to normal. Since I have had a lot of things to deal with in the last year or so I've fallen behind in my posting queue. I have many 3D printing posts to make now that to me are old but will seem new to you.

Last year I finally got around to 3D printing with a filament other than PLA. My friend Jack in Florida sent me four 0.25kg spools of PETG filament. Within the last few weeks I've used the last of the spools. I will probably post the most recent prints first and work backwards.

Image Source: Personal Photo

PETG has some characteristics that are better than PLA. For functional parts PETG is great but I think for now I will stick with PLA.

It took me months to go through the spools because when PETG is melted by the 3D printer and extruded through the nozzle it emits an odor that I didn't expect to be so bad. It doesn't irritate my eyes or lungs like it does for some others but I can't stand the odor over more than an hour or so. Maybe that's the point at which it would but I wasn't interested in self-experimentation. After the first layer I like to still keep on eye on what's being printed but longer breaks between checking are needed when printing with PETG.

According to the internet search I did the odor that melted PETG produces is caprolactam - "a harmful volatile organic compound" but apparently is not toxic. If and when I ever 3D print with PETG again the 3D printer will need to have an enclosure or I might just need to have the part printed with PETG through a 3D printing service.

There was also a brand new learning curve for me when starting to print with PETG. The nozzle distance from the bed needed to be greater than what I was used to for using PLA filament. Instead of the nozzle gently "smushing" the Filament layer by layer the extruded PETG "falls" from the nozzle down onto the model being printed.

My experience with PETG wasn't terrible but I won't be doing it again for awhile. I had some ideas of where to go from there. I guess that means I also probably won't be making 3D print filament at home from 2L soda bottles any time soon.


My Thingiverse account: https://www.thingiverse.com/holovision/designs
My Thangs account: https://thangs.com/Holovision
3D printing community on Hive: https://peakd.com/c/hive-103035/created