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Can You Print PETG As Fast as PLA?

PETG and PLA are two common materials used in 3D printing, each with different benefits and drawbacks. PLA is easier to print with, more versatile, and environmentally friendlier. PETG has better temperature tolerance and gives higher quality prints. But what about ease of printing? Can you print PETG as fast as PLA? 

You can’t print PETG as fast as PLA with good results. PETG requires higher printing temperatures than PLA and requires more time to bond and cool. You can technically print it as fast as PLA, but it would reduce print quality. 

This article will discuss the differences in the printing speed of PLA and PETG and outline the best printing speed for each material. I’ll also compare the two materials based on strength, print accuracy, temperature tolerance, and other factors. So, let’s get into it!

Why Do You Have To Print PETG Slower Than PLA?

Generally, PLA will print faster than PETG because of differences in print settings. 

You have to print PETG slower than PLA because PETG cools more slowly and prints at a higher temperature. So, to get optimal layer adhesion, you’ll have to take your time. 

You can print the average PETG filament at a speed of 50 mm/s (1.97 in/s) with a maximum speed of 60 mm/s (2.36 in/s). 

However, this speed will vary according to the filament thickness and quality, amongst other factors. In contrast, you can print PLA at a maximum speed of 100 mm/s (3.94 in/s), almost twice as fast as PETG.

So, while you can print PETG relatively faster than other filaments, its maximum sprint speed is still much lower than that of PLA. If you’re looking to save time, then PLA may be a better option. Still, you’ll have to compromise on print quality and durability. If you’re looking for the best material for 3D printing, you should first take other factors into account besides speed.

Factors That Influence PETG and PLA Print Speeds

Various factors influence the difference in printing speed between PLA and PETG, including material density, printing temperature, and filament versatility. 

Printing Temperature

The significant difference in the printing settings of both materials is the optimal printing temperature. 

PLA gets oozy and printable at about 210°C (410°F), while PETG needs a temp of around 250°C (482°F) to become printable. Since PETG will be hotter coming out of the nozzle, it will take longer to cool down. 

Bonding Temperature 

You need to print PETG at an optimal temperature to get high-quality prints as it has a higher bonding temperature. If the temperature increases or drops beyond the optimal range, your layers might not stick together. 

However, printing with PLA is easier since it has a lower bonding temperature. So, it takes less time to cool PLA, and you won’t need to heat it on the print bed for it to stick to itself. Thus, each layer gets done faster, speeding up print time

Heat Retention 

Another feature that affects the printing speed of PETG is heat retention. PETG has a higher heat retention time than PLA, which is why it takes longer to cool. Depending on the printing temperature, PLA can be cooled down with fans, giving you a faster print. 

So, while you can print PETG faster than 60 mm/s (2.36 in/s), it’s not recommended because of the material composition. Always print each filament at the recommended settings to avoid low-quality prints, weak layers, and other issues. 

What Happens if You Print PETG Too Fast?

If you print PETG too fast, you’ll experience print quality issues. It may also result in over extrusion in the form of blobs, strings, and irregular prints. On the other hand, printing PETG too slowly may damage the printer. 

If you’re experiencing over extrusion, try setting the printing speed slower in the slicing software. You could also adjust the printing speed by changing the nozzle size, but this isn’t a permanent solution and has to do more with the filament diameter than the material itself. 

So, if you’re facing blobs, over extrusion, or dimensional inaccuracy when printing with PETG, set the speed slightly lower for the best results. 

What Is the Optimal Printing Speed for PETG?

The optimal printing speed for PETG lies between 40 mm/s (1.57 in/s) and 60 mm/s (2.36 in/s). However, this may vary according to the print temperature, material density, and other factors. 

If you’re experiencing quality issues, you can adjust the print speed slightly lower or higher. If you’re struggling with under extrusion, increase the print speed. On the other hand, decrease it in the case of over extrusion.

In addition, you may want to check this filament guide for the optimal fan speed and printing temperature according to different filament requirements. 

Does the Quality of PETG Filament Affect the Printing Speed?

The quality of PETG affects the printing speed since all filaments have various additives that may affect how they melt. That’s why it is crucial to adjust your print speed and temperature every time you get a new filament. 

Filament quality can affect many other aspects of your 3D prints, including the material quality and the printing requirements. Low-quality filaments also tend to clog or jam your printer more frequently. 

That is why it’s essential to have the right filament quality for a better print result. Here’s a list of some of the top PETG filament brands for quality prints available on Amazon.com: 

  • Amazon Basics PETG Filament: This printer filament is reliable and safe, and it is especially good at reducing printer jams. 
  • SainSmart Pro Clear PETG Filament: This is another reliable printing filament designed to improve your print quality and reduce tangling. 
  • 3D Solutech Filament: This Solutech filament is quite popular amongst 3D printing enthusiasts for its high-quality print results and ease of use.

Conclusion

3D printing with PETG is much slower than printing with PLA. However, since PETG is stronger with heat and chemical resistance, it’s preferred for better quality prints. 

The print temperature will affect the quality of your final product, so setting the printing temperature correctly is crucial. You’ll also have to set the print speed correctly since printing too fast may cause over extrusion and damage your 3D printer. 

Also, make sure that you’re using high-quality printing filament to avoid jamming, blobs, and other printing errors.