3D printing using the Anet A8 is specified as Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF). It’s the process of laying down a continuous stream of molten thermoplastic which is then cooled to fix it in place. As the popularity of FFF grows, especially with the help of the RepRap community, the variety of materials available also increases.
Rigid.Ink has an absolutely brilliant breakdown of the materials available and is well worth a read. They have documented all you need to know about each material and rated them on strength, durability, flexibility and ease of printing so you can make your own decisions. With Rigid.Ink being somewhat of a market leader in high quality filaments they seem to be in one of the best positions to provide this information.
As part of the up-skilling process and pushing this printer to its limit, I wanted to test as many different materials as possible. With the Anet A8 sporting a heated bed capable of reaching 100.C and an extruder claiming to max out at 260.C, the choice of materials is surprisingly vast. In the specification list for this printer it states the ability to print in
- Polylactic Acid (PLA),
- Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS),
- Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU),
- Polyvinyl Alcohol (PVA),
- Polypropylene (PP)