For the past few years, we have all seen the amazing things that had happened in 3D printing technology. It is simply a marvel to see how things have changed in those years. On top of remarkable design possibilities that can be acquired via 3D printing, the level of engineering that’s used for printing fabric-like materials are just astonishing.
Despite the fact that we are using metal, sugar, Styrofoam or ceramic to create almost anything in 3D, it all began in plastic. Whether you believe it or not, up to this day, plastics play a significant role in 3D printing. In the next paragraphs, we will discuss the major types of plastic that’s used in the textile industry.
Number 1. PLA – called also as Polylactic Acid, this is a bioplastic that is now dominating the 3D printing world. This is actually made using renewable organic resources such as sugarcane or cornstarch. In PLA plastics, PLA-based filaments showed great adhesion in the textile industry. Because this could be reinforced in all sorts of materials, it is frequently used in production of smart fabric that helps in improving the functionality of textile products.
Number 2. ABS – this is known otherwise as Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene which is basically a terpolymer that’s made by acrylonitrile as well as polymerizing styrene with polybutadiene. Then again, this is a type of bioplastic that is used most of the time for 3D printing. This material is extremely strong, durable, heat resistant, cost effective and flexible and the ability to form filaments.
One possible drawback of ABS on the other hand is the fact that it may create a bit of unpleasant smell whenever it is heated and the vapor it releases has nasty chemicals. Because of this, anyone who is intending to use such material must have a place that is well ventilated for the fumes to eradicated.
Number 3. PVA – it’s a water soluble synthetic polymer that stands for Polyvinyl Alcohol. The fact is, PVA is a new kind of 3D printing materials used to support hold of various 3D objects in its place. This isn’t utilized for finished products rather, to create support for certain portions of the product. The moment when the product is finished, it could be put into water and the PVA support structures will dissolve which leaves the rest of insoluble prints. This functions as glue, packaging film or thickener in the world of 3D printing.
Even though there are multiple range of materials used for 3D printing that can evolve with time, these are the 3 main types of plastics used for 3D printing application.