We are probably mindful of how 3D printing technology has been widely used from fashion to technology for the past years. During those years, isn’t it just wonderful on how marvelous things become. In addition to the numerous design that can be attained via 3D printing, the engineering and intricacy used for printing fabric-like materials are unbelievable.
Even though we are utilizing metal, sugar, Styrofoam or ceramic in order to create virtually anything in 3D, it has all began in plastic. Believe it or not, until this day plastic is an integral raw material for performing 3D printing. As we proceed in the next paragraphs, we are going to talk about the most used plastics in textile industry.
Number 1. PLA – referred to as Polylactic Acid, this is one of the plastic types that now dominate the 3D printing technology. Basically, it has been sourced from renewable organic resources including sugarcane or cornstarch. In textile industry, PLA-based filaments have shown remarkable adhesion to PLA plastics. Since this can be reinforced with all kinds of materials, it’s often used in the production of smart fabric which helps in improving the functionality of textile products.
Number 2. ABS – this is actually a terpolymer that is made out of acrylonitrile and polymerizing styrene with polybutadiene, which is then called also as Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene. This is again another kind of bioplastic that is widely used for 3D printing purposes. It has the capacity to form filaments and aside from that, it’s strong, durable, heat resistant, cost effective and flexible.
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. As a result, for the fumes not to stay in the area, anyone who plans to use the material must have a properly ventilated location.
Number 3. PVA – this basically stands for Polyvinyl Alcohol which is a water soluble synthetic polymer. In reality, it is a new type of 3D printing material that is being used to support hold of 3D objects in place. Don’t mistake it for being used in finished product but it is made to create support certain parts 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.