Polyethylene terephthalate is the most common thermoplastic polyester and can be found everywhere from clothes fibres to food containers. PET is the fourth most produced polymer in the world.
PET has a Resin Identification Code of 1 and is very widely recycled. Depending on how it has been processed, PET can be transparent or opaque.
PET is a hard, shockproof material and is very lightweight. PET is waterproof and the resin has been designated food safe although this may differ between filaments depending on any additives in the manufacturing process. Always check the Safety Data Sheet. You should use a food safe hot end/extruder (usually made from stainless steel). This is because other extruder materials can contain contaminants that may enter your product, for example brass nozzles may contain lead.
PET is not the easiest filament to print with. It has an extremely wide printing temperature range of anywhere between 160°C and 240°C or more, although it is usually at the higher end of this spectrum. PET is very prone to oozing and stringing. PETG is a popular copolymer of PET and tends to be easier to print with .
PET is low warp, unlike ABS. PET can be cooled slowly to give a crystalline structure or cooled rapidly to give a more amorphous structure. Printing PET with a slightly larger layer height gives better clarity.
PET may not be the easiest 3D printing filament but it has excellent mechanical properties for such a lightweight filament as well as being easily recycled. If you are confident adjusting print settings to optimise your 3D printing and are looking for tough, light, shockproof filament then PET is a great option. You can use our Go-To Settings tool to help optimise your PET print settings. Here at Filaments.directory you can select the right PC filament using our constantly updated list of suppliers and our comprehensive search tool!