Ultimate Guide on How to Start 3D Printing PETG Filament

This article is a detailed guide that shows you how to 3D print PETG filament like the pros. 

What is PETG Filament?

PETG, or Polyethylene Terephthalate Gelcol, is a well-known thermoplastic polyester. PETG is a different type of PET plastic than the other popular ones. PETG is a glycol-modified version of PET. This gives it greater strength, impact, and heat resistance. PETG is used in many products, including water bottles and food containers.

Because of its exceptional formability, chemical resistance, and high strength, it is widely used in various manufacturing industries.

PETG filament is quickly becoming the preferred filament for 3D printing nerds. PETG prints are strong, less likely to warp, and have smooth, glossy surfaces.

PETG filament is also not prone to causing toxic odors when printed, unlike other thermoplastic filaments. It is also ductile and waterproof and exhibits very little shrinkage. This makes it great for models with low tolerances and flat surfaces.

Usable PETG Bed Temperature & Print Temperature Ranges:

The printing temperatures of PETG filaments typically fall within the range of 235°C to 250°C. Temperatures higher or lower than this range can cause stringing, over extrusion, blocked nozzles and other problems. For PETG prints smaller than 10x10cm, a heated bed is not necessary. However, for larger flat prints, a heated bed at 70-100c is recommended.

The print temperatures of different filament brands can vary from the ones listed above. To achieve the best results, use the temperature settings provided by the filament manufacturer and adjust them as necessary.

Below are the most popular filaments available and the printing temperatures for them.

Overture PETG

  • Recommend Extrusion/Nozzle Temperature: 230degC-250degC
  • Heated Bed Temperature: 80degC-90deg

Hatchbox PETG Temperature

  • Recommended Extrusion/Nozzle temperature: 230degC to 260degC
  • Heated bed Temp: 80degC-100degC

TecBears PETG

  • Nozzle Temperature: 220degC to 250degC
  • Heated Bed Temperature: 70degC-80degC

You can also determine the optimal temperature of your filament using old-fashioned trial, error and calibration. Sample calibration printing like temperature tower is helpful in finding out the right settings for your filament.

You can print it using Cura as below:

What print speed should I use for PETG Filament?

Print speed is a major factor in the final quality of the PETG model. For the best results, most users and manufacturers recommend printing speeds between 30-60 mm/s.  

If you print too fast, it can result in low-quality prints that are often prone to defects. To get high-quality prints, it is better to print within the recommended speed.

Printing at a slower speed is better for first-layer adhesion and excellent print quality. Slow printing speeds below a certain point can also lead to print defects such as stringing or oozing.

Last but not least, the optimal print speed can differ between different brands of filaments and 3D printers. You should experiment with the settings of each brand to determine the right print speed value.

The type of model that is being printed should also be considered when calculating the printing speed. A slower printing speed is better for models with complex or curved geometries.

PETG Does It Need Cooling?

While PETG filament doesn’t necessarily require part cooling, it does help greatly with model quality. To reduce printing defects and stringing, your cooling rate should be very high. Where as, low cooling (30-50%) will improve strength because of better layer adhesion due to previous layers melting into one another.  

You should decide the cooling rate based on the application and final usage of the printed model. How beautiful or well the final model will turn out is determined by the cooling rate.

The cooling rate of 70-100% helps eliminate print defects such as stringing and renders the model’s details in a well detail.

When deciding on the cooling rate you will use, it is important to consider both aesthetic and functional values. While parts that cool faster will look and perform better, they won’t be as durable and strong as those that cool slower.

Note: To improve initial layers adhesion, printing the first few layers without any cooling is important.

What are the best PETG Retraction Settings?

PETG’s retraction settings are different from those of other filaments. PETG prints at an extremely high temperature, making it difficult to control and stop the flow of material.

PETG’s optimal retraction speed is around 35-40mm/s for both Direct Drive and Bowden extruders. For direct-drive extruders, the optimal distance for retraction is between 5-7mm and 2-4mm. A good retraction setting can prevent stringing, nozzle jams, and other problems.

You can use a retraction tower to determine the best settings. The video below shows you how to do it.

Best Cura PETG Settings For 3D Printing

Ultimaker Cura is a popular slicing program. It is loved by many users due to its great features and it comes at a great price.

Cura will need to know the right material settings for PETG in order to slice and print your PETG model. Cura comes with a default profile for printing PETG.

Here are the steps to activate it

Step 1: Open Cura and click the Material drop-down menu at the top of the toolbar.

Step 2: Click the button to the right of the “Material” icon.

Step 3: Hover your cursor over “Generic” to open the menu and select “PETG” from it.

Step 4: You have the option to choose the print quality and layer height you prefer. There are two options:

  • Standard Quality (0.12mm).
  • Dynamic Quality (0.16mm).
  • Super Quality (0.2mm).
  • Low Quality (0.28mm).

Step 5: Check out the default print settings from the main interface. You can modify or customize any value.

Some people find that using the default profile is a time saver. These custom settings can be used if you are ready to print right away. These settings are tested and approved by 3D printer enthusiasts to print PETG.

Let’s take a look.

Best Cura PETG Settings

  • Nozzle Temperature: 235-250degC
  • Temperature at Bed: 70-100degC
  • Print Speed: 40-60mm/s
  • Initial Layer Speed: 20mm/s
  • Retraction Distance: 6mm (Bowden Setups), 2-3mm for Direct Drive Setups
  • Retraction Speed: 40-45mm/s
  • Combing: “Not In Skin” or “Within Infill”
  • Cooling Fan Speed: 0-50% strength, 50-100% quality
  • Initial Layer Temperature: 0%
  • Adhesion to build platform:  Raft and Brim

PETG FAQS:

Is PETG Filament Safe to 3D-Print Indoor?

PETG filament can be safely printed indoors and is therefore non-toxic. It doesn’t emit any odor when it prints. To avoid any buildup of nanoparticles, make sure that your 3D printing space is well ventilated. These particles can cause irritation to the eyes and throat.

Is PETG heat resistant? What Temperatures can PETG withstand?

PETG is able to withstand heat better than most filaments. PETG can withstand temperatures up to its glass temperature of 80-850C. This filament beats PLA by a wide margin, but ABS is more resistant to heat than PETG.

It is also more resistant to UV than either of them, making this the ideal choice for outdoor use.

Is it possible to 3D print PETG on a glass bed?

Yes, PETG can be printed on a glass surface. PETG sticks well to glass surfaces. Sometimes, it can stick too well, making it difficult to remove. Sometimes, it can even be impossible to remove.

Is it possible to 3D print PETG without a heated bed or enclosure?

 PETG can be printed without a heated bed, while best results can come only when we use a heated bed. Your PETG prints will not curl or warp around the edges if you have a heated bed. The heated bed also provides better adhesion for the first layer, which is the foundation of all 3D printing.  

How to fix PETG not sticking to the bed – Improve bed adhesion?

Poor adhesion to the first layer of PETG can be caused by a variety of issues. Poor adhesion is caused due to improper bed leveling, low quality filament or poor print settings.

Let’s look at some solutions to fix these issues.

  • You must ensure that your print bed is free of debris and other print materials.
  • Quality filament is worth the investment. Keep it dry so it doesn’t absorb moisture. PETG filament can be damaged by moisture.
  • You must level the print bed correctly, leaving a Z-offset of 0.2 to 0.3mm between nozzle and the bed. To get the right distance, you can use three pieces of paper or a thick piece of card.
  • You can use glue sticks or hairspray to help adhere the first layer to the bed. You can use them in combination to achieve better results.
  • Turn off fan cooling and slow down the speed while printing the first layer slowly on a heated bed.
  • To ensure that the temperature of the print bed and the nozzle are within the manufacturer’s specifications, check the temperatures. The hot end is usually between 2100C and 2600C, while the bed is typically 700C to 910C.

How to fix PETG stuck to glass bed?

You can use heat or cold to loosen PETG filament from a glass bed. It is not recommended to print PETG directly on a glass bed. Instead, you should coat it with glue, hairspray, or blue painter’s tape.  

These coatings make it easier to remove print marks. The problem can be fixed by a properly leveled bed without the nozzle pushing onto the bed. PETG should be extruded from a higher height as used for PLA for this reason.

You will likely see your PETG print sticking to the bed if your first layer of the nozzle goes deep onto the bed.

You can either reheat the print bed or use a flat tool such as a spatula to remove print from the bed. To avoid damaging the glass bed, don’t use too much force with your spatula.

How to fix PETG stringing?

Stringing can be fixed in PETG prints by increasing retraction speed and distance, increasing travel speeds, and decreasing your nozzle temperature. PETG is susceptible to stringing so it’s a good idea to use a retraction tower to test your settings. Depending on the printer, travel speeds should be between 200 and 250mm/s.

Stringing is the biggest problem when printing with PETG. It can be avoided by changing a few settings.

First Setting: Retraction settings are the first setting you can modify. Increase the retraction distance slowly in increments of 1mm until stringing stops. 

Second, increase the printer’s speed by increasing it at intervals of 10-20mm/s until you reach the sweet spot. This will reduce the time it takes for the printer to move between points, limiting the time needed for the nozzle to ooze.

If none of these options work, you can try to lower the temperature of your nozzle. A lower temperature will result in less molten filament being available for the nozzle to ooze.

How do you smooth PETG 3D prints?

There are many ways to smoothen your PETG print. These are just a few of the many ways you can smoothen your PETG print.

Sanding: With sandpaper, you can remove layer lines and other imperfections in your 3D printed model. To avoid creating new layer lines on your model, it’s best to sand in a circular motion. For best results, use coarse sandpaper to start and then finer sandpaper to finish.

Polishing: 3D Prints can be smoothened by using a polishing compound such as wax or a metallic polish. Polish helps to fill in gaps and microscopic layers. If done correctly, the polish gives the 3D printed a mirror-like appearance.

Heat Treatment: This involves using a heat gun in order to smoothen the print’s surface. To fill in the lines, the heat gun melts a thin layer from the print’s outer layer. Continue this process until the print becomes smooth.

PETG is flexible?

PETG is less flexible than filaments like TPU but it still has impressive tensile strengths that make it almost unbreakable in layer direction. PETG is more durable, flexible, and impact-resistant than ABS and PLA.

Which PETG Filament is Best?

There are many PETG filaments available for purchase. Of these, there are a few that users love because they offer high quality and also with a reasonable price.

These filaments can be:

These are the most popular filaments available and the printing temperatures for them.

Overture PETG

Overture PETG is the most well-respected brands of PETG. It has over 8,000 customer reviews and a rating 4.5/5.0. Reviews mention that It is a great filament, especially considering the price.

This filament is available in a variety of colors and can be used for any 3D printing project. It also comes with a build surface of 200 x 200mm.

It has the following characteristics:

  • Bubble & clog-free
  • Easy to use and less tangles
  • Low price
  • Good Compatibility
  • Safe & odorless
  • Less shrinkage
  • High impact strength
  • It has a little sparkle and spark.
  • 100% satisfaction guarantee

Buy Overture PETG spool today from Amazon

Hatchbox    

Hatchbox PETG, a respected brand of PETG, is available in more than 30 colors. The dimensional accuracy of Hatchbox PETG is +/- 0.03mm, which reduces the possibility of print failures and clogging.

PETG is an excellent alternative to ABS and PLA because it has incredible toughness and stiffness while being lightweight. The Hatchbox PETG is resistant to moisture absorption, with good adhesion, and is safe for the environment.

This filament is reliable and of high quality. This filament is vacuum sealed with desiccant to ensure the best quality for 3D printing.

Amazon has a spool Hatchbox PETG. Buy from there.

TecBears PETG

The TecBears is a PETG filament utilized by many people. It has a high purity and low shrinkage, ensuring that the 3D models are as accurate as possible. 

One will get good bonding of the layers using the TecBears filament. Each spool of filament, as well as the desiccants used to keep it dry. It is dried for 24 hours before being packaged in a vacuum-sealed box. 

To provide a seamless 3D printing experience, they do a careful hand inspection ensuring it is wound up correctly. It boasts even better dimensional precision than Hatch box PETG. It is only at +/- 0.02mm, making it a high-quality and consistent filament for 3D printing.

Final Thoughts

Don’t be scared to play with different settings until the perfect ones are configured.  Creators using PETG filaments for 3D printing should have a good time. 

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