The 3D printing industry is only getting stronger with time, and with this huge boom in the industry comes a flood of new products, including a huge variety of materials that are being adapted for use in these little manufacturing machines. But just because it’s new and/or different doesn’t mean it’s a good choice. That’s why today we’re going to take a quick look at T-Glase filament, learn what it is, and what purposes it’s best suited for.
T-Glase Filament Composition
Let’s start with composition. T-Glase is a polyethylene terephthalate polymer, a thermoplastic polymer resin of the polyester family. While not technically transparent, it is colorless, reflective, water-clear, and optically correct (meaning it has a similar transparency to glass, with the exception of the edges, which still reflect light.
Printed T-Glase Qualities
If you have ever seen an object printed with T-Glase, you’ll notice that it doesn’t really seem water-clear. On the contrary, it’s rather opaque and reflective. This is due to the consecutive layering that leaves several edges, each causing reflections and diminishing the overall clearness of the finish.
Printing with T-Glase
If you’d like to try printing with T-Glase, experiment with temperatures between 207 and 235° C (405-455° F).
Plan on working with a heated build platform? Try setting your heater to a temperature of 80° C (176° F).
Unlike other filaments, there are no fumes released when printing with T-Glase filament.
To optimize the clearness of your prints try increasing you layer thickness. Yes, the layers will be more visible, but (in this case) will create a more visually appealing piece, because fewer layers will cause less refection.
You can also try changing the setting in your slicing software to allow more filament to flow through the nozzle and create thicker strands. Try changing your nozzle setting to reflect two sizes larger than your actual nozzle .
For smaller nozzles this may create too much pressure for the extruder so experiment to see how much you can increase extrusions size for your particular printer.
When printing with these adjustments, you will need to give your extruder more time to properly heat all of the filament, so reduce your printing speed 70-75%.
Products Commonly Made with T-Glase
Since T-Glase is great at containing water and specifically made of an FDA approved polymer approved for contact with food, it is used in the production of many water and soft drink bottles as well as food containers and disposable flatware.
T-Glase & The Environment
T-Glase is not biodegradable, so don’t expect it to break down in a compost bin or landfill, but that doesn’t mean it’s completely environmentally unfriendly. It is still completely reclaimable, which means that scrap T-Glase can be returned into usable filament.
Precautions for Printing with T-Glase
As always, exercise caution when 3D printing, especially if you’re printing without an enclosure, where the printer’s heated elements are completely exposed. With high temperatures, burns are always a risk, so be careful. And above all, print happy.