Which 3D Printing Material Should You Chose?

Find the perfect 3D printing material for your project with our expert guide on PLA, ABS, PETG, and PC. Whether you need flexibility, durability, or precision, we help you make the right choice.

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With so many different 3D printing materials on the 3D printing services market today, it can be hard to know which one is right for your project. Each of them has its own strengths and weaknesses, and choosing the right material will come down to what you need your final product to do.


When it comes to 3D printing materials, PLA is a popular choice for many printers in 3d printing services. This makes sense considering its benefits:

  • It’s great for prototypes and smaller-scale models. If you’re creating a short run of a product or if you want to test out the feasibility of the idea itself, PLA is an affordable material that can help you do this.
  • It’s great for products that require high levels of detail. The smooth surface finish combined with its low shrinkage rate makes it ideal as a prototyping material and/or final product with fine details.
  • It’s great for products that don’t need to be very rigid. When printed, PLA filament produces a relatively flexible plastic compared to other materials like ABS or Polycarbonate (PC).
  • It’s great for products that aren’t exposed to high temperatures. If your item will be in contact with heat, there are better options available than PLA filament—especially because heated PLA can release toxic fumes into your working environment.


ABS, which is an acronym for Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene, is a strong and durable thermoplastic. It’s one of the most commonly used 3D printing materials in 3d printing services because it’s suitable for functional prototypes and models. ABS is also relatively inexpensive, making it an accessible option for anyone who wants to try 3D printing. One of the major benefits of ABS is its resistance to high temperatures. If you intend on using your model or prototype outside in the elements, ABS may be right for you.


In general in 3d printing services, PETG is a thermoplastic polyester that can be printed in the same way as PLA. It’s a transparent, flexible and durable plastic that can be printed at temperatures as low as 230°C on heated beds with no additional surface preparation. As a result, it’s an excellent filament for 3D printing models or prototypes that require strong parts with high flexibility and durability.

Over time, PETG has become a popular choice for 3D printing mechanical parts such as gears or other moving assemblies because of its strength and flexibility. With its moderate print temperatures, it’s easier to handle than materials like ABS while also offering higher heat tolerance and easy post-processing.


Polycarbonate, or PC, is a thermoplastic polymer widely used as an engineering plastic. Printing with PC is not yet widely offered as it can only be printed with fused deposition modeling (FDM) technology, which is more limited than other types of 3D printing and has relatively low resolution.

However, PC offers significant advantages to 3D printing service professionals in certain applications:

  • *External applications:* Polycarbonate is one of the most UV-resistant materials on the market and can therefore be used in outdoor applications without fading over time.
  • *High temperature applications:* The high glass transition temperature (Tg) of polycarbonate makes it optimal for use in high temperature applications where many competing plastics would deform.
  • *High impact strength:* Polycarbonate has an extremely high impact strength, making it ideal for applications where protection from knocks or drops is necessary.
  • *High dimensional stability:* Since polycarbonate shrinks very little during cooling compared to many other polymers–a property called low shrinkage–it’s an excellent choice for printing items that require precise dimensions.

How do you choose the right material from 3D printing service?

There are many 3D printing materials to choose from 3d printing service. How do you pick the right one for your project? Here are some things to consider:

  • What are the applications for the material? For example, will you be using it in a medical device or is it only going to be used for prototyping?
  • What mechanical properties does the material require? This can include things like strength and stiffness, as well as flexibility and impact resistance.
  • How much does cost matter, if at all? Some materials may be more expensive than others, so keep this in mind when making your decision.
  • Are you planning on using this material for prototyping or production? Prototyping materials typically do not need the same level of performance as those used in production applications. The same goes with color and surface finishes—you probably don’t need a flawless finish when designing a prototype!
  • What printing method in 3d printing service will you use (e.g., FDM vs. SLA vs. SLS)? Different methods require different materials.

There are many 3D printing materials to choose from 3D printing service, and the right one for your project depends on several factors.

There are a multitude of 3D printing materials to choose from 3d printing services, and the right one for your project depends on several factors. It’s important to understand how different materials respond to environmental conditions such as temperature and humidity.

If you’re looking at prototyping a part that will eventually be injection molded in ABS plastic, it makes sense to use ABS filament as well. However, ABS is very prone to warping if it’s not printed in an enclosed chamber. It may be more practical then to choose PLA or PETG.

Another factor is the part’s size and shape. For instance, if you choose a very large part that takes many hours to print, it might make sense to print the part using a strong material like nylon or polycarbonate even though the end-use application is just a functional prototype. In this case, you might be willing to sacrifice aesthetics for strength in order to avoid having the printer run for many hours with no supervision, since there’s always the possibility that something could go wrong or cause problems with any long print job (such as power outages).

Bring Your Designs to Life

If you’re still unsure about which material is best for your project after reviewing these questions, contact us for help! info@3drevolution.co.uk

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