Unraveling PET vs. PETG: Decoding 3D Printing’s Filament Face-Off

Carolina’s Tech Dive: PET & PETG Unveiled!


Oh, the wonders of technology and materials! Have you ever been mystified by the names PET & PETG and thought, Hmm, they sound almost the same, but how different can they be? Well, brace yourself for a detailed expedition into these captivating filaments!

To kick things off, let’s unravel the identity of these mysterious materials. Polyethylene terephthalate, fondly known as PET, and polyethylene terephthalate glycol, our friend PETG, belong to the family of thermostatic polyesters.

Why do industries adore them? These champs are a hit in the manufacturing realm owing to their effortless moldability, longevity, and remarkable resistance to chemicals. Their prowess to shape effortlessly even at milder temperatures is the very essence that makes them darlings of the 3D printing cosmos.

But Carolina, you might ask, if they share so many striking similarities, what sets them apart? Oh, I can’t wait to share the distinctions! Let’s embark on this enlightening juxtaposition of PET vs PETG, shall we?

Decoding PET & PETG
At the heart of PET lies two intriguing monomers. PETG is a tad more adventurous and integrates an extra buddy: glycol. This newcomer transforms PETG, endowing it with increased flexibility and diminishing its moisture-lust.

Why introduce glycol?, a curious mind might ponder. Well, PET, as fabulous as it is, isn’t without its quirks. It occasionally throws a haze party during heating! For instance, LulzBot Taulman T-Glase PET is a marvelous filament choice, gleaming in various shades. Yet, a cautionary note for the rookies out there – it’s a bit advanced for you! Now, thanks to glycol in PETG, that hazy temper tantrum is history.

But there’s more! Ever felt a PET printout and thought, Hmm, feels a tad too hard? PET can sometimes be too rigid and might succumb to fractures. Enter PETG, the filament with a golden heart that’s less susceptible to breakage and boasts enhanced impact fortitude.

Humidity Alert! PET loves to sip on moisture from the air, making it highly hygroscopic. On the other hand, PETG, the wise one, doesn’t get too thirsty. If drenched PET decides to take a warm bath, it can degrade. Fear not! Devices like the SUNLU Dry Box exist to help you prevent this filament faux pas. It’s a must-have for dedicated 3D printing fans who demand excellence.

How Hot Does It Get?
While PET has a slight penchant for warmer print temperatures, PETG stays relatively cool. For instance, Taulman T-Glase PET loves a toasty 240°C, while many OVERTURE PETG users have triumphed with 250°C.

The Realm of PETG
Beyond 3D printing, PETG thrives in various sectors. Think striking packaging, lifesaving medical braces, and even indispensable face shields, which gained traction in 2020. PETG’s chemical stoicism and non-hygroscopic nature make it an MVP.

Yet, while it reigns supreme in many aspects, PETG has its kryptonite. It can be shy under scratches, is a tad UV-sensitive, and doesn’t cozy up to autoclave environments.

Flexibility Face-Off
Diving deeper, while PETG is more adaptable, PET boasts of its hardness. The merger of glycol into PETG renders it supple and endows it with enhanced shock resistance.

In the vast universe of 3D printing, both PET and PETG shine brilliantly. The choice between them hinges on the desired texture and resilience one seeks in the final masterpiece.