Poly(methyl methacrylate), more commonly known by trade names such as Plexiglas or Perspex, is a synthetic polymer made of methyl methacrylate monomers. PMMA was first developed in 1928 and was first sold commercially in 1933. PMMA is commonly used as a shatter resistant alternative to glass.
PMMA is somewhat comparable to polycarbonate (PC). Although it has slightly lower impact, heat and chemical resistance than PC, it maintains high tensile strength, flexural strength, polishability and UV tolerance. PMMA is very rigid and will resist bending. Additionally, it is low cost, easy to handle and process and does not contain the potentially harmful ingredients, like _bisphenol-A, found in PC. PMMA is particularly brittle when exposed to impact stress and can be scratched relatively easily.
PMMA has a a very broad range of glass transition temperatures between 85°C to 165°C. The glass transition temperature will depend on how the PMMA has been manufactured, if it is a copolymer and what additives have been used. Always check the Technical Data Sheet of the filament you are using.
PMMA is usually printed within the range of 238°C to 250°C however as with the glass transition temperature, this will vary from filament to filament so always check the Technical Data Sheet. PMMA can flow inconsistently at the lower end of this spectrum, if you are experiencing problems with inconsistent flow try incrementally increasing the print temperature. A heated bed, usually around 100°C, will be required to prevent warping. PMMA will shrink as it cools so a print enclosure may be required for larger prints to keep the temperature constant. Printing PMMA at lower speeds (around 30mm/second) will increase the clarity of the final product as it reduces inconsistencies between layers.
PMMA is a great option for projects that needs strength and rigidity but don't need the high impact resistance of polycarbonate. PMMA's excellent clarity can result in a very attractive final product if correctly printed. Here at Filaments.directory you can select the right PMMA filament using our constantly updated list of suppliers and our comprehensive search tool!