Here's more information on the materials we offer and when to use them.
PLA (Polyactic acid)
PLA is the best material for everyday applications. It has great print quality and is very rigid. It's perfect for display items or objects that won't be under mechanical stress or high heat.
PLA is rigid, meaning it doesn't flex much. Rigidity means parts are very hard and strong, but if put under a high mechanical load, may crack from the stresses. That being said, it is perfect for light loads, display objects, and applications under 120°F (50°C).
When placed over that temperature, you hit the glass transition temperature (Tg) of PLA. While the glass transition temperature is not the melting point, it is the point where the polymer begins to soften and lose the inherent rigidity it offers.
If your application won't put constant mechanical stress on the object and stay under the Tg, PLA is perfect for you. We can print PLA objects up to 12x12x12" large.
PLA is also available in a wide variety of colors and finishes thanks to it being the de-facto standard in the printing world. These finishes include, but are not limited to, opaque, transparent, matte, shiny (silk), metallic, glow in the dark, glitter, and more.
PETG (Polyethylene Terephthalate Glycol)
PETG is the great middle ground between PLA and ABS. It has great print quality with slight flex under mechanical loads and a higher heat tolerance.
PETG is another rigid polymer, but unlike PLA is able to flex slightly under mechanical loads. This means you get a softer, stronger plastic that is able to deal with stress better. It's great for medium loads and mechanical applications under 180°F (82°C).
When placed over that temperature, you hit the glass transition temperature (Tg) of PETG. While the glass transition temperature is not the melting point, it is the point where the polymer begins to soften and lose the inherent rigidity it offers. We can print PETG objects up to 8x8x12" large.
If your application will put constant mechanical stress on the object but stays under the Tg, PETG is a great choice. Especially if slight flexibility is required to avoid stress cracking and fracturing.
PETG is available in a wide variety of colors including opaque, transparent, and glitter.
ABS (Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene)
ABS is the industry standard for injection molded plastic, and most of the characteristics come through in 3D printed ABS objects too. With even higher heat tolerance than PETG and more flex while still being rigid, ABS is the best choice for mechanical engineering applications.
ABS is flexible yet rigid. Most traditionally manufactured plastic objects you come in contact with daily are made from ABS for it's high strength and mechanical resilience. ABS is perfect for loads that place the object under stress thanks to its flexibility. ABS is not as rigid as PLA but is less lightly to stress crack and fracture. It's great for medium to heavy loads and mechanical applications under 212°F (100°C).
When placed over that temperature, you hit the glass transition temperature (Tg) of ABS. While the glass transition temperature is not the melting point, it is the point where the polymer begins to soften and lose the inherent rigidity it offers. We can print ABS objects up to 6x6x6" large.
If your application will put constant or repeated mechanical stress on the object but stays under the Tg, ABS is a great choice.
ABS is available in a wide variety of opaque colors.
Resin (Synthetic resin monomer + UV curing agents)
Resin is perfect for small display objects that won't experience any mechanical stress or high heat. Resin objects are extremely stiff and rigid, giving them little to flexibly and making them brittle under stress loads.
Resin is different from all of our other materials due to the printing process used to produce the items. These are made by curing resin in thin layers via UV light, producing extremely smooth and small parts with extreme detail. These parts are not recommended for use in mechanical loads and should not exposed to constant heat.
We can print resin objects up to 4x2.5x6" large. Small objects work best with resin! Please note that some objects may be hollowed out and feature small draining holes on the bottom to clear uncured resin out of the object.
If your application requires extreme detail, puts no mechanical stress on the object, and will not be exposed to heat, resin is the perfect choice for you.
Resin is available in a variety of colors and both opaque and transparent finishes.