PLA Vs. PETG – Which One Is The Best

by Anthony Clark

Did you ever have the urge to buy 3D printing filaments? When it comes to the PLA vs. PETG, both the filaments are from the polyesters group. Additionally, they are flux in an actual temperature & when cooled down, they become solid again.

If you require a high-quality filament for your 3D printing application, then PETG would be perfect for you. On the other hand, if you want an environment-friendly filament, you would probably go for PLA.

In the end, you will learn which 3D printing filament suits you best, and yes, the surrounding environment. So, let’s start.

PLA Vs. PETG- What Is the Difference?

Both the PETG and the PLA are the most usable filaments for 3D printing worldwide. The emitterLactic Polyacid (PLA) is an excellent filament for 3D printings. PLA has a low handling temperature emitter and less heated compression ability.

PLA Vs. PETG- What Is the Difference?
PLA Vs. PETG- What Is the Difference?

During printing, PLA does not produce any smell. Additionally, you can buy this biodegradable filament at a meager cost, and it is a very environment-friendly filament that you usually want. PLA is the most usable filament worldwide of 3D printing FFF or FDM.

On the other hand, PETG is a more durable filament than PLA. It is generally more strong than PLA, depending on the tensile strength. Its physical properties are very high. PTEG is more flexible, durable, and impacts resistance than PLA.

So, it is an excellent choice to use PTEG for your 3D printing filament. The UV resistance power and heat resistance power of PETG are also better than PLA. So, you can use it outdoors for its strength.

Take a Short View of PLA Vs. PETG:

 Features PLA PETG
Physical properties Lower than PETG Higher than PLA
Temperature tolerance 55 °C, usually lower than PETG 75°-250 °C, more than PLA
Comfort of printing More comfortable than PETG Less Comfortable than PLA
Outdoor Use PLA is made for much durable while printing Outdoor use mostly goes on PETG
Transparency Wired to achieve with a PLA filament Simplest to achieve with PETG filament
Accurate color matching Easier with PLA Example- PLA from Innisfil Colour matching doesn’t make as more accessible as PLA
Environment Friendly and Recycling Environment friendly and recycling go to PLA first class PETG Can not break down as easy as PLA, but it is also totally recyclable

Details About PLA:

PLA, which means Lactic Polyacid is excellent for 3D printings. It is different from other thermoplastic types of filaments produced from renewable sources of sugarcane and corn starch.

It is biodegradable, which is a very excellent characteristic of it. PLA is the 2nd largest production material of any bioplastic.

PLA has a few handling temperatures (180°C-200°C) emitter and 0° C to 50 °C Base, less heated compression ability.

During printing, PLA does not produce any smell. You can buy this biodegradable filament at a low cost. It is a very environmentally-friendly filament that you usually want.

Details About PETG:

PETG is made from Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) enhanced with glycol (hence the letter G after PET). The glycol is added to the material composition during polymerization. The result is a clearer filament, less brittle, and easier to use than its base form of PET.

PETG is an excellent filament choice for printing objects that need to be sturdy, have a smooth surface, and require lower Shrinkage. The filament is also popular because it’s considered food-safe (but you should still read the Fine Print of any spool you buy to be sure.

Of course, it’s not all good news: it isn’t great in bridging because it’s super sticky (however, this also means it has excellent layer adhesion), it’s hygroscopic, and it also can be prone to stringing.

But, if you need a high-strength material and PLA and ABS just won’t cut it, standard PETG is a great option. Though standard PETG offers these qualities, there are other blends of this filament built on these properties.

Properties of PLA & PETG:

PLA has 49°-52° C heat temperature that means its materials can be solid at this temperature. It has a 315°-338° C melt temperature, and the tensile strength is 8840-9540 PSI which is more strength than PETG filaments. PLA is produced from organic raw materials and is biodegradable.

The main properties of PETG are polyethylene terephthalate glycol that makes this filament harder and chemical resistant. It has a high-temperature tolerance of 75°-250° C.  PETG filaments are more durable and softer than PLA due to their high properties.

PLA vs. PETG More To Explore

The Comfort of 3D Printing

If you are a beginner at printing, then PLA can be your best choice for printing comfort. Based on compatibility, PLA is always better than PETG. When you face many printing quality problems and do not have much experience in 3D printing in this condition, PLA is perfect for you. Otherwise, PETG is an excellent filament to have a conversation.

According to durability, some users said that PETG is mostly the same as ABS and the PLA has a printing comfort. However, there is not much difference between them in the condition of the comfort of printing. It would help if you never forgot that the retraction setting is dialed while printing on PETG.

Security of PLA Vs. PETG

PLA is usually safer than PETG because it is made from organic materials that can be converting into a lactic acid form that can not damage a human being.  PLA also provides a good and pleasant odor when printing gives better Nylon or ABS materials.

PETG is safer than other types of filaments like ABS, Nylon. However, it is not as secure as the PLA. It also reported some lousy odor, but it always depends on your brand of quality and how much temperature you use.

After giving a solution, both of those filaments you can use securely without any threat or harm.

Environment Friendly of PLA & PETG

Depending on the environment, friendly PLA always wins because it has no foul odor and is also made of organic material. So, it can not produce any environmentally harmful material, and you can use it safely.

On the other hand, PETG has ABS-like materials. For that reason, it makes some odors of odor. But, it is better than many other filaments besides PLA. So, it gives an overlook that you can use both of them as environment favorable.

The Durability of PLA vs. PETG:

Based on durability, PETG is always better than PLA. It is generally more robust than PLA, depending on the tensile strength. Its physical properties are very high. PTEG is more flexible, durable, and impacts resistance than PLA.

So, it is an excellent choice to use PTEG for your 3D printing filament. PLA has less durability than PETG, but it is the highest consumed 3D printings filament for its safety and comfort. So, you can use both of them without any hesitation.

Curving During Cooling

During cooling, the PLA and the PETG usually provide a slight Shrinkage less than any other filament curving rate. The compression rate of PLA is generally invisible, while PETF shows a less visible compression rate.

However, this rate is not like the much shrinkage rate ABS. Compared with other filaments, nylon can be curving almost 1.6% and ABS curving rate (0.7- 0.8) percent.

The compression rate of PLA and PETG filaments is always(0.2- 0.25) percent. In the condition of providing dimensionally proper objects.

Food Safety of PLA Vs. PETG

The PLA and the PETG prints are enormously used for food product safety, and they are thought to store food.

PLA is food protected because it is made up of organic materials. It is created by the essence of corn and sugarcane that means it is an organic material filament and totally out of danger of food.

You should use food-protected epoxy to increase food performance out of danger due to 3D printing materials typically made for one type of use materials and usually doesn’t use twice as the gaps stay in the tiers’ 3D printing materials and quality.

PETG has excellent power to UV light resistance, heat resistance, and many other materials resistance power that protects food products. It is proved and experimented with that PETG can be a safe food product well for outdoor works. PLA is more protected in comparison with PETG.

You always have no interest in using a color additive’s filament while giving food safety a high priority, as usual in PETG plastic. Pure PLA is not a standard filament that people usually buy.

Is PTEG Best for You?

PETG is used to make water bottles, meal packaging, and endless different, not unusual, plastic items. As a 3-d printing filament, PETG plastic has established its well worth as a long-lasting fabric that is simple to use. Figuratively speaking, it combines the maximum beneficial traits of ABS filament (the tension and mechanical residences for functional parts) with the convenience of printing that PLA filament affords. An “excellent of each world” scenario.

PETG filament is proof against excessive temperatures and water, offers solid dimensions, no shrinkage, and correct electric properties. PETG combines ABS sturdiness and PLA printability, and it comes as no wonder that it is often selected through experts looking for a dependable filament for their projects.

PETG is meals secure. Each producer must get separate FDA approval, and a few manufacturers are permitted through the FDA as a meal secure filament. However, there are nevertheless different protection concerns while using a 3-D printer to make merchandise have prolonged touch with meals.

Best Uses of PLA vs. PETG

There are many types of uses, both the PLA and the PETG. Now we have discussed which types of filaments are perfect for your projects.

Uses of PLA

There are vast types of uses of Polylactic Acid. The PLA is suitable for that type of project, which must be post-processed and detailed like prototypes and models. It is best for a new 3D printer. PLA is a comfort to use at an inexpensive cost.

It has color-changing filaments that help to get various designs and colors. PLA is great for food-protected products like drinking bottles, containers because of its sustainability.

PLA is also used to produce tubes, surgical threads, and surgical pins produced from biodegradable materials. It is mainly used in food packaging, but it should be concerned about low heat resistance.

Due to its biological compatibility, PLA is used for absorbable skin applications in the medical field. PLA is perfect for the use of shrink wrap products as it is compressed under heat.

PLA is also used for plastic cup production applications. On the other hand, the PLA has low glass transition heat that creates PLA unsuitable for making many hot liquid holder pots.

Polylactic Acid melts also allow in many other types of exciting applications of 3D printing, such as lost PLA casting. It is also used in materials production (for example- medical rods, plates, etc.), which is expected to biodegrade in six to twelve months.

Uses of PETG

PETG is perfect to use in high heat resistance applications such as outdoor use items. Due to its high transparency properties, PETG is good for packing food products, while the materials have to showcase.

Due to it being BPA free PETG is additionally food protected. So, it is used in food storing pots and drinking containers. It is popular in the pharmaceutical industry, medical instruments packaging, and prosthetics because PETG has repeated good sterilization.

Also Read: Types of Printer

PETG is enormously used for oil containers,  cooking products containers as it is a comfort to thermoform. It is widely used in medical and retail packaging, electronic instruments, and advertising displays.

It is also used to manufacture machine guards as PETG plastic is protecting users quickly.  PETG guards are usually used for food processing systems as they are more comforting to use than ABS.

In today’s 3D printers, PETG acquires the popularity in users that it has a good layer adhesion and can be Print easily. Having a lower compression rate allows for vast Print than ABS or PLA.

Advantages of PLA

  • Environment-friendly and Recyclable filament
  • Popular for beginner 3D printing users
  • Low handling temperature during printing
  • Good odor produce while printing
  • Comfort to use and printing
  • No harmful fumes are produced
  • Ability to printing on a cold surface
  • Bright and softer performance

Disadvantages of PLA

  • Less durability
  • Less physical properties strength
  • It can be deformed due to heat

Advantages of PETG

  • High natural transparency for users
  • Chemical resistance ability after building
  • Ability to Heat resistance
  • Easily colored, Easily formable
  • High physical properties and tensile strength
  • Outdoor applications high priority
  • Strong & cost-effective
  • UV resistance ability in the sun
  • Food safe & Recyclable

Disadvantages of PETG

  • Weird smell
  • Uneasy to post-processing

FAQs(Frequently Asked Questions):

Is PETG More Durable and Flexible Than PLA?

Yes, PETG is more durable and flexible than PLA. PETG has high durability due to its high physical properties, and it is more flexible and softer than PLA or other types of filaments like Nylon or ABS.

Is PLA Better Than PETG?

PLA is better than PETG because it is easy to print for the new printer, and it is environmentally friendly. It is also recyclable 3D printing filaments that can be recycled as a new filament. PLA has a sweet smell during printing, while PETG has a weird odor. But both of these are good for 3D printing.

Does PETG Produce Odor During Printing?

PETG does not produce a smell during printing. But, it depends upon which brand of PETG filament you use for your printing.  Sometimes it makes some odor, but it is not as wired, unlike nylon or ABS types of filaments.

Are PLA Filament Materials Biodegradable?

The raw materials of PLA are biodegradable, which is made by renewable sources like industrial plant compost. But, it is not much easier to compost PLA recycling. Nowadays, PLA additionally produces some substances which are harmful to our health. But, this rate is less than Nylon or ABS types of filaments.

Will PETG Filament Melt in the Sun?

PETG 3D printing filament usually has 260 °C of melting point. In an outdoor application such as direct sunlight, PETG can perform better due to its UV radiation resistance ability. Compared with other filaments, it is better than PLA and ABS. So, you can use it in the sun or outdoor application.

Final Thoughts

The PLA and the PETG both have some similarities and dissimilarities. It depends upon your own choice. When you are wired to use other types of ABS or nylon filaments, PLA vs. PETG can be your best option.

If you don’t have experience in 3D printing, then PLA is better for you due to its easy use. But, while you have gathered experience in 3D printing, PETG is perfect for its durability and flexibility.

So, as a beginner, it would be good for you to try both of these filaments and acquire knowledge of which filament performance is best for your project.


About Anthony Clark

Anthony Clark always had a passion for digital drawing and printing ever since he was young. He would wander around his parents' house in Phoenix, Arizona drawing various things with his older digital tablet. Be it just a memory collection or a portrayal of anything: objects, parents, school, events, etc. He received his BA in Graphic Design at San Jose State University - the heart of Silicon Valley. Now Mr. Clark is excited to present his experience coupled with some colorful dips to help shape the future of printing.

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