What Is PETG? –  A Simple Overview

What Is PETG? –  A Simple Overview

PETG is a highly versatile material that has become a critical player in the modern industrial landscape. From signage in retail stores to insulating electronic components, its uses are wide-ranging and growing. In the medical field, PETG is used for implants, dental aligners and even to package medications or other medical devices. 

What Is PETG

It is quickly becoming one of the most popular materials in the 3D printing world. This thermoplastic copolyester offers a combination of properties that make it great for many different applications. It is designed to provide good shock resistance and flexibility, making it perfect for components that need to “snap together”. Additionally, it is food-safe and FDA-approved to be used with edible items, due to its excellent resistance to deterioration with water or other liquids. 

PETG can provide highly detailed prints with solid layers and intricate details—as well as provide reliable prints with minimal warping or shrinkage factors. In this article, you’ll learn everything necessary to master this incredible material, so start by reading up on what makes PETG such a popular choice in modern 3D printing and find out how you can make the most out of it!

Enhanced PET Filament

PETG was a new and improved advancement from the original PET plastic.  Originally intended as synthetic fibre, it quickly moved into food packaging after being created in 1941 and has been the most popular plastic for bottles since the mid-70s. This potential inspired the creation of PETG, a newer material with greater strength and heat resistance that has a wide range of applications.  

PET has been a popular plastic for manufacturing items like water bottles and other rigid containers, but its inability to maintain structural integrity at higher temperatures has been a major disadvantage. It tends to form crystals when exposed to high temperatures, which results in an opaque finish as well as affects its strength. To fix these issues, PETG was developed which demonstrates better thermal and mechanical properties than other thermoplastics. 

PETG is a polymer that is often thought of as similar to PET (or Polyethylene Terephthalate), due to their comparable composition. In reality, the two are quite different, however– while both require glycol and terephthalic acid, the manufacturing process for each creates disparate results. While creating PET requires esterification between the two, the production process for PETG differs in that it replaces ethylene glycol with cyclohexane dimethanol. This larger monomeric leaves its tighter knit-counterpart in the dust by reducing crystallization; consequently forming durable sheets or other shapes.

This makes it suitable for use in applications such as 3D printing due to its improved heat-resistant capacity, allowing you to design objects with intricate shapes and confidently recycle your materials.

Characteristics of the Material

PETG is an incredibly versatile thermoplastic polyester, capable of withstanding a wide range of temperatures and chemicals. Its formability and flexibility make it ideal for applications that have to stand up to both heat and impact, making it the preferred material for many manufacturers and engineers. 

It has excellent durability, meaning it will last longer than other plastics in the same conditions. Plus, PETG is considered food-safe and non-toxic so you can confidently use it to house food items as well as other products. 

 Unfortunately, however, its soft surface also makes it more prone to wear than PET. Additionally, if not treated correctly, it can be harmful to the environment; while many suggest that PETG is generally recyclable, many recycling programs exclude it due to its complex composition. 

Fortunately, some manufacturers are working on producing recycled PETG from post-industrial waste which should help reduce its environmental impact in the years to come.

Printing Characteristics

Printing with PETG filament is an ideal choice for 3D printers. It is just as easy to print with as ABS, but its chemical properties allow it to be handled without the same stringent precautions of ABS – it is significantly less odorous and does not require printing in an enclosed chamber. Like ABS, high temperatures are required – the nozzle must reach 220 °C to 260 °C, while the bed must attain 60 °C to 80 °C. 

While being very adhesive when working properly with PEI surfaces, care must still be taken when removing prints or sections of the build surface. Glue or hairspray can serve as a suitable barrier for preparation for printing.

The PETG will produce a glossy and desirable semi-rigidity that you simply can’t beat with any other type of 3D printing material. This can become even more pronounced when you take the extra step of adding a bit of smoothing to your parts.

However, there are precautions one must take when utilizing PETG as it is highly hygroscopic and susceptible to damage in high-humidity areas. A great way to avoid this issue altogether and maintain optimal performance from the filament is to implement proper base-level storage techniques such as those suggested by 3D Printer Filament Storage: How To Store Filament for maximum longevity.

Different Types of Variants

PETG has been the most widely consumed type of polyethene terephthalate (PET) for many years, thanks to its exceptional durability and flexibility. However, other PET variants such as rPET and PETT are becoming increasingly popular. These alternatives offer improved properties for certain applications compared to PETG. 

  • rPET is a sustainable and economical option for companies looking to implement a greener product line. This versatile material, short for “recycled PET,” can be reused from many sources: printed source materials, discarded plastic bottles, or physical products that utilize PET. The end result is a flexible material that’s waterproof and food-safe while still being lightweight and durable. 
  • PETT, a high-performance thermoplastic is beginning to revolutionize 3D printing materials due to its rigidity, transparency and glossy finish. Also known as polyethylene cotrimethylene terephthalate, it has become a popular option for those looking to produce aesthetically pleasing and professional-looking prints. Those wanting to achieve the best possible results with PETT will be glad to know that Taulman is the major manufacturer of this material, offering it under the name “T-Glase”.

Available Options or Offerings

Using PETG has become a popular option amongst the 3D printing community, bringing people access to a range of different benefits. This has resulted in many major brands creating their own specific types of PETG, allowing users to find one that will best suit their printing needs.


MatterHackers has you covered no matter what type of 3D printing job you need to be done. With their Pro PETG, designed for professionals, customers can create complex prints with the utmost confidence. This filament is renowned for its superior strength and accuracy, but it comes with a higher price tag. If quality is still important to you but at a more budget-friendly cost, their Build Series PETG offers trustworthiness and dependability as well as an impressive price of only $20 per kg. MatterHackers’ two fantastic PETG options offer reliable results in any situation.


Recently, Ultimaker released its PETG filament, which is widely available through popular retailers like MatterHackers and Dynamism. While similar to the company’s CPE and CPE+ copolyester filaments, there are subtle differences between them. It is important to understand these distinctions between PETG and copolyesters because many retailers often classify copolyesters under the PETG category, while manufacturers are more likely to make a distinction between the materials. 


If you’re looking for a high-quality PETG filament that is affordable, ColorFabb has you covered. Their PETG Economy filament is available in several colours and has a range of spool sizes, so no matter your needs, you can find something to fit them. ColorFabb also sells HT and XT filaments which are marketed as PETG on some websites but make sure to check with the manufacturer before purchasing, as these are two distinct lines of filament from the PETG option. 

Ganesh Divte

I am Ganesh Divte. I work as a Quality Assurance Engineer at Dhruvtara WireTech PVT LTD. I have experience in SLS, DMSL, FDM, and SLA additive manufacturing processes. I am very enthusiastic about additive manufacturing and its potential to change the way we manufacture products. I believe that Additive Manufacturing has the potential to revolutionize the manufacturing industry and make it more efficient and sustainable.

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