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 What is 3D Printing?
3D printing has taken the world by storm in the last couple of years with its promise of revolutionising the way we think and the ability to create tangible objects without any traditional sculpting or engineering skills.

For designers, architects and 3d modellers alike, it offers capability to produce objects without the constraints of traditional manufacturing, at the fraction of the cost.



How do filament 3d printers work?
Filament 3D printers slowly draw the printed design into existence layer by layer. one slice at a time (think how one layers icing on a cake.)

The printer extrudes filament out of a heated nozzle, producing an even thinner cord of filament. The nozzle moves over the print bed surface and draws the outline of your creation. It then fills this outline and moves onto the next layer.

Due to the materials heat, it bonds to any filament already laid down, forming a solid slice of material. This technique produces a surface with slight grooves within each layer. These can be removed via sanding, polishing or using an acetone solution on the object.

Filament 3D Printers can struggle with overhanging shapes since it is building on top of a layer below. This is why supports are used, that can be snapped or dissolved off afterwards.

Common 3D Printer Filament Types

PLA (Polylactic Acid)
The most common type of 3D printing filament. PLA has the virtue of being odourless and low-warping. It eco-friendly, biodegradable and is a corn starch based plastic.

Available in a wide range of colours it also comes in both 1.75mm and 3.0mm sizes. But is not as strong a build as its main alternative, ABS. PLA can be used on all filament based 3D printers and requires no heat bed. If you are looking for superior print quality at an affordable price then look no further than X3D Premium PLA Filament.

If your printer does not have a heated print bed, PLA filament is the best option.

ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene)
ABS has rapidly been gaining ground as the filament of choice for 3D printers It is a multi-purpose strong material (think Lego) and is ideal for fully usable parts. Products made with ABS are very durable, withstand a wide range of temperatures, and tend to be more flexible/less brittle. Check out the X3D ABS premium range for a professional looking finish.

It is advised to use ABS with a heated print bed (80-120ยบ C) as the filament will struggle to adhere to the print bed without it. 

Are 3D Printer Filaments Safe?
Like any chemical or plastic it is important that filaments are used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Secondly only buy from a manufacturer whose filaments are RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances) certified. All X3D Premium filaments are RoHS certified.

PLA does not emit dangerous fumes like ABS and is the filament of choice to use around school children. 

Filament Diameter
1.75mm and 3.0mm are the two common diameters of 3D printing filament. The majority of 3D printers are designed to work with only one diameter filament. Check your printer specifications to determine find out which diameter is compatible with your printer.

Precision & Diameter Accuracy
The tighter your filament diameter tolerance is, the more consistent your printed results will be. All of the filaments we sell are manufactured with a tolerance of at least ± 0.05 mm to ensure accurate, more stable prints with consistent feeding.

Spool vs. Coil and Design

In comparison to coils, spools are more easier to work. This is because they can be mounted conveniently as well as being able to distribute filament to your printer in a consistent, even manner.
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George the chameleon is a mascot of the X3D brand. Having a vast knowledge of 3D printing you can see him lurking on Blogger writing handy articles and tips and tricks on how to get the most out of your 3D printing endeavours. George loves changing colours with X3D Printing Filaments. [George the Chameleon] (https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/46989344/X3D/George.jpg)

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