For the past few years, we have all seen the amazing things that had happened in 3D printing technology. It is just a sight to behold on how things changed during those years. On top of remarkable design possibilities that can be acquired via 3D printing, the level of engineering that’s used for printing fabric-like materials are just astonishing.
Despite the fact that we are using metal, sugar, Styrofoam or ceramic to create almost anything in 3D, it all began in plastic. Believe it or not, until this day plastic is an integral raw material for performing 3D printing. Later on, we will be discussing the major types of plastic used in textile industry.
Number 1. PLA – also known as Polylactic Acid which is a bioplastic that’s currently dominating the 3D printing world. Basically, it has been sourced from renewable organic resources including sugarcane or cornstarch. In the textile industry, the PLA-based filaments showed effective adhesion to PLA plastics. Because this could be reinforced in all sorts of materials, it is frequently used in production of smart fabric that helps in improving the functionality of textile products.
Number 2. ABS – this is known otherwise as Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene which is basically a terpolymer that’s made by acrylonitrile as well as polymerizing styrene with polybutadiene. Then again, this is a type of bioplastic that is used most of the time for 3D printing. This material is extremely strong, durable, heat resistant, cost effective and flexible and the ability to form filaments.
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. Because of this, anyone who is intending to use such material must have a place that is well ventilated for the fumes to eradicated.
Number 3. PVA – this stands for Polyvinyl Alcohol which is actually a water soluble synthetic polymer. PVA is actually a new breed of 3D printing materials that’s used in supporting the hold 3D objects in place. This isn’t utilized for finished products rather, to create support for certain portions of the product. Right after the products are finished, it can now be submerged into water and the PVA support structures will begin to dissolve leaving the insoluble prints. In the world of 3D printing, this act as a glue, packaging film or thickener.
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.