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The plastic material used by 3D FDM/FFF printers comes in the form of a plastic filament. This filament is usually sold in spools and generally provided by the machine manufacturers, even though there are more and more generic filament manufacturers.
The most common materials found in this format are:
Here are some of the technical materials that can be found:
The machine’s motor will feed the filament into the extruder nozzle, whose role is to melt the material before depositing fine droplets of it onto the printing tray. These filaments can be dyed in different colours.
Some machines have many extruders so that different filaments can be used and multi-coloured parts can be printed.
This filament can be found in finished parts made by fused deposition, where staircases will be visible depending on the layer thickness used. The filament’s original diameter varies from 1.75 and 3mm. Once extruded by the printing nozzle, the layer thickness can vary from approximately 50 to 400 microns, depending on the precision of the printer.
You can browse our professional 3D printer guide to identify the kind of filament used by each printer .