Materials

When it comes to 3D printing and prototyping the material options are endless, if not down right confusing. Here at BigSky3D we are committed to helping you select materials that will best suit your project needs. Whether you are printing a proof of concept prototype, a finished piece for a marketing pitch or production parts, look no further, we the right solution for you. Since no two materials are created equal, let us help you determine the right materials for your job.

MaterialApplicationsStrength
(1-5)
Durability
(1-5)
Flexibility
(1-5)
Typical Cost
PLALow stress: prototypes, concept parts & school projects. read more321$
PETGMedium impact & medium stressed: mechanical parts and snap fit enclosures. read more443$$
PPLALow stress, high quality: prototypes, concept parts & school projects. read more332$$
ABSUV exposed or warm environments: interlocking prototypes & finished parts. read more331$$$
NylonHigh impact & high stressed: living hinges & strong functional parts. read more453$$$
PolycarbonateHigh temperature and impact resistant: RC and drone parts. read more4.532$$$$
CompositeCarbon fiber reinforced PLA: drone bodies, propellers, and RC car frames. read more551$$$$$
PRO FlexRubbery and impact resistant: belts, caps, phone cases, bumpers and more. read more244.5$$$$$
rapid prototype

PLA or Polylactic Acid

PLA is commonly used material for building prototypes, proof of concept parts and small household prints. A mixture of plant-based materials and polymers makes this material more eco-friendly than its counter parts. Because of the lower melting temperatures and lack of warping, PLA filaments retain their color vibrancy and are a popular choice for customers. The low melting temperature does not make it a good choice for parts that will be exposed to UV and warm temperatures. It can be used for functional parts, but can deform under pressure. The 3D printed object will have a glossy type finish with PLA. There are hundreds of color options to choose from. Here are some examples of the most common colors.

White
White
Purple
Purple
Black
Black
Orange
Orange
Silver
Silver
Green
Green
Gold
Gold
Blue
Blue
Red
Red
Yellow
Yellow
PETG Motor Bracket

PETG or Polyethylene Terephthalate Glycol

PETG is a great choice for mechanical parts and parts that need to snap together. It is a great alternative to PLA or ABS filaments. PETG filaments offer a good combination of properties such as toughness and stiffness. PETG is UV stable and weather resistant, but the color will fade if left in the sun. This material is also FDA approved for food containers and tools used for food consumption. The 3D printed object will have a glossy type finish with PETG.

White
White
Purple
Purple
Black
Black
Orange
Orange
Silver
Silver
Green
Green
Gold
Gold
Blue
Blue
Red
Red
Yellow
Yellow
Aluminum Reinforcment_clipped_rev_1

PPLA or Performance Polylactic Acid

PPLA is commonly used material for building high quality prototypes, proof of concept parts and small household prints. A mixture of plant-based materials and polymers makes this material more eco-friendly than its counter parts. Because of the additional upgraded polymers in PPLA it has an even lower warping issue than PLA. The low melting temperature does not make it a good choice for parts that will be exposed to UV and warm temperatures. The 3D printed object will have a matte type finish with PPLA.

 

White
White
Orange
Orange
Black
Black
Green
Green
Silver
Silver
Blue
Blue
Red
Red
Yellow
Yellow
Purple
Purple
Knurled Nut and Bolt

ABS or Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene

ABS is a tough and durable thermoplastic. In comparison to PLA filament, ABS plastic is less brittle and more ductile.It's ability to withstand higher temperatures, ABS is one of the most popular and commonly chosen material on the market. ABS can be used for full functional models, and is the closest material to real production models. The 3D printed object will have a glossy type finish. ABS is UV resistant. Finishing tip: You can process in acetone for a polished finish. There are hundreds of color options to choose from. Here are some examples of the most common colors.

White
White
Purple
Purple
Black
Black
Orange
Orange
Silver
Silver
Green
Green
Gold
Gold
Blue
Blue
Red
Red
Yellow
Yellow
Self Closing Hinge

Nylon (polyamide) is an incredibly strong, durable, and versatile. Flexible when thin, but with very high inter-layer adhesion, nylon lends itself well to objects such as living hinges and strong functional parts. White nylon prints are a bright natural white with a translucent surface, and can absorb color added post process with most common, acid-based clothing dyes or synthetic cloth specific dyes. A mixture of plant-based materials and polymers makes this material more Eco-friendly.

White
White
Black
Black
Polycarbonate Prop

Polycarbonate is strong and very resistant to impact. This material is used when making bullet-proof glass. Not only is polycarbonate an extremely tough and durable thermoplastic material it is also very resistant to temperature. This material is malleable when cool and can bend without cracking. This is a very popular choice for creating drone and RC parts. Both the white and black are translucent.

Transparent White
Transparent White
Transparent Black
Transparent Black

Carbon Fiber Reinforced PLA provides excellent structural strength and layer adhesion with very low warp-age. Because carbon fiber is contained in the filament, it has increased rigidity, therefore increased structural support is built right in. The carbon fibers in the filament are long enough to provide the extra rigidity that make this reinforced PLA necessary for any hobbyist that desires rugged prints. Carbon Fiber filament is perfect for printing items that should not bend, such as: frames, supports, propellers, and tools. Drone builders and RC Hobbyists love this filament

Carbon Black
Carbon Black

PRO Flex is a flexible 3D printing material that feels and acts much like flexible rubber. PRO Series Flex can be used to make parts that can bend or must flex to fit their environment: stoppers, belts, springs, phone cases and more. This extremely flexible 3D printer material will allow you to create 3D prints that will have the properties of a soft rubber, making it even more flexible and elastic than our Soft PLA filament.

White
White
Purple
Purple
Black
Black
Orange
Orange
Silver
Silver
Green
Green
Gold
Gold
Blue
Blue
Red
Red
Yellow
Yellow