There are a variety of plastic-based materials that can serve various purposes, each available in a variety of colors.
The colors available are shown below
Polylactides (PLA) are synthetic polymers belonging to the polyester family. They are the most widely used polymers in the 3D printing world due to their ease of printing and versatility. Cheap and efficient.
Same material, with a special treatment to withstand higher temperatures (up to 95°C).
Polyethylene terephthalate is a polymer with increased resistance to water (PET bottles), modified with glycol, thus making it perfect for 3D printing. The best compromise!
High impact polystyrene (HIPS) has a very hard surface and stronger mechanical properties, but is more brittle. Suited for more extensive mechanical loads.
Polycarbonate and ABS have a superior durability and heat resistance.
The tough guy
PP (Food grade)
Polypropylene is best suited for objects having food contact. It is microwave-safe and dishwasher-safe.
Thermoplastic elastomers can be derformed without loosing their original shape. Joints, tires for remote-controlled car, flexible molds ,...
The sustainable alternative: a mixture between wood and PLA (40:60). Thanks to the thermal properties of PLA, they can be 3D printed accurately. Objects can be reworked with sawing, grinding,... It smells like wood, too!
In some cases, conductive, magnetic or metal-filled material may be useful. These alternatives exist!
Many other materials exist and are not listed on this page (colors, polymer, special properties,...). Do not hesitate to inquire if you have a specific wish. Do not hesitate either to ask if you're unsure which material to use.
Strength: capacity of the object to withstand force / pressure
Stiffness: the extent to which the object resists deformation
Durability: the resistance of the object over time
Max. temperature: the temperature above which the object starts to deform (≠ melt)
Density: mass of the material per unit volume
Price: approximate cost per kg in 2020
Printability: how well the material prints, how precise and how close to the original design