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Which filament is best for outdoor use?

Discussion in 'Printing Filament' started by LarryM, Jan 28, 2017.

  1. LarryM

    LarryM New Member

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    I made some license plate holders using black PLA but the summer sun has caused the item to distort, ie "melt". Would ABS be a better choice? Are there any post-production tricks to apply to reduce the effects of outdoor use? Thanks.
     
  2. mark tomlinson

    mark tomlinson ༼ つ ◕_ ◕ ༽つ
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    Look for a filament with a higher tG (glass transition temperature)

    ABS is higher than PLA (100c for ABS), BluPrint is higher than ABS (115 for BluPrint), Polycarbonate (150c), etc.

    ABS is hard to print in an open bay printer, BluPrint not so tough.

    PolyCarbonate can be a bear on any printer :)

    Personally (just my choice) if those were my options I would use BluPrint and paint it or epoxy coat it (XTC3D or the like)
     
  3. m4r1n5

    m4r1n5 Member

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    PETG might be another solution. It's supposably to hold moisture and is much stronger then abs

    Sent from my LG-H830 using Tapatalk
     
  4. Fred Williams II

    Fred Williams II New Member

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    Formfutura ApplloX is great material to be outside and it is easy to print, like PLA.
     
  5. mark tomlinson

    mark tomlinson ༼ つ ◕_ ◕ ༽つ
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    It has a lower tG than any of the others I suggested at 97c

    That is what is important if the stuff is going to get hot.
     
  6. mark tomlinson

    mark tomlinson ༼ つ ◕_ ◕ ༽つ
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    It has a tg of 85 C, also lower than any others I suggested.

    Bear in mind his use-case. If it will get hot it needs to have a higher glass transition temp.
     
  7. mark tomlinson

    mark tomlinson ༼ つ ◕_ ◕ ༽つ
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    3D printing has a smattering of electrical, electronic, computer science and ... materials engineering :)

    If strength alone were his issue there are a lot of better choices than ABS. Many nylon blends are stronger by far...

    Heat is a tricky one, but even then ABS is not the "clear" winner.

    In this case glass transition temperature is the most important property. If he wants to have the part get hot and not deform that is the one that matters. You are not worried as much about it melting as it deforming or warping and once you get it hotter than the tG it will start to do exactly that. how much depends on the size, position and stresses on the printed part.

    Of all of the filaments mentioned ABS is better only in terms of price and then due to the lower tG I would shy away from using it as well.
     
    #7 mark tomlinson, Jan 28, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2017
  8. LarryM

    LarryM New Member

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    Thanks for the replies. Since BluPrint is clear (great for another project I have in mind) and I need black objects, what type of paint can be used? Will a can of Krylon spraypaint work?

    As per Mark's comment above, I have my computer science degree already, next material engineering? Old dog, new trick comes to mind :)
     
  9. mark tomlinson

    mark tomlinson ༼ つ ◕_ ◕ ༽つ
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    Acrylic works great on all printable filament types. If you use a decent printer anything really ... :)

    I really like BluPrint for how it prints in addition to the properties. It has a low tendency to warp and a decently hot bed will stop that.
     
  10. Nathanfish

    Nathanfish Active Member

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    I've had a hollow, 3 perimeter wide PETG cube sitting on my black trash can lid for about 9 months now just to see what the heat and the sun would do to it. Stood up to one KS summer already and still looks like i just printed it so i've been pretty impressed.
     
  11. mark tomlinson

    mark tomlinson ༼ つ ◕_ ◕ ༽つ
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    That is just the point -- you may not need as high temperature a filament as you think, but.. in the South if it will be sitting in a car on a sunny day it can get pretty darn hot :(
     
  12. Kevin Allan

    Kevin Allan New Member

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    It really depends on your area and what humidity it is for me ill use abs filament or pla filament since its not that hot here
    where i live
     
  13. daniel871

    daniel871 Well-Known Member

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    PETG is probably the best "all-around" outdoor filament if you aren't going to do something nuts like have it under the windshield of your car or something during the heat of the summer. Sitting out in the open won't affect it, but putting into what is essentially a solar oven will gradually ruin it.
     
  14. BrooklynBay

    BrooklynBay Active Member

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    Nobody suggested TPU. It could be stiff when you use 100% infill with the correct thickness, and shore hardness of 98A.
     

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