PETG Cheatsheet Choosing the Best Slicer Settings

PETG is becoming more and more popular for home 3D printing. It’s relatively easy to print with, doesn’t release toxic chemicals to the same level as materials like ABS, and is far more durable than PLA. But what are the best settings to choose when you’re 3D printing with PETG? let’s find out.

What is PETG plastic?

PETG, or polyethylene terephthalate glycol, is a common thermoplastic with unique properties. It is an adaptation of PET, the material used to make soda bottles, with glycols added to the mix to improve PETG’s strength and durability.

This material has gained a lot of popularity in the 3D printing space in recent years, as it is easy to print while offering many of the benefits of more challenging materials. For example, PETG is less brittle than ABS and offers similar strength while being easier to print.

PETG is fast becoming one of the most popular 3D printing materials in the world, but it comes with some challenges. It’s always helpful to learn about 3D printing filament types to make sure you use the right one for each of your prints.

PETG 3D Printing Challenges

Like any 3D printing material, PETG filament can be difficult to cure. There are several challenges to face when you first start using this type of plastic for your 3D prints.

Stringing/Over-Extrusion: PETG is stretchier and more flexible than PLA and ABS. This means that it has a tendency to blow out of the nozzle when it is not being extruded, while also creating strings between the parts of your print when the extruder moves around. This is solved by using the Retraction and Z-Offset settings.

Over-adhesion: Poor layer adhesion can be very challenging with materials such as PLA and ABS, but PETG often has the opposite problem: the layers adhere very strongly. This can make it extremely difficult to remove supports and other additions, and it can also cause the model to stick to the build surface. A good way to help with this is to let your model cool down after it’s printed.

Nozzle and bed temperature

PETG benefits from a heated nozzle and a heated build plate to achieve the best results. Keep your heated bed between 70°C and 80°C when printing with PETG, and avoid going above 100°C if you plan to experiment with your build plate temperature.

PETG has a higher melting point than PLA. Sticking between 210°C and 250°C is a good place to start with your PETG, although some manufacturers offer filament that prints at 260°C+. Always read the filament manufacturer’s recommendations when you first start with a new material.

Layer height

One of the major differences between materials like PETG and PLA is the height of the 3D printing layer. A 0.2mm layer height with an initial layer height of 0.12mm will produce fine prints with PETG, however if you go too low you will struggle. PETG works well even with relatively thick layers, and you can push down to about 0.3mm with a 0.4mm nozzle.

Movement/Print Speed

PETG is more sensitive to print speed than other 3D printer filament materials. Going too fast will result in under-extrusion and poor layer adhesion while going too slow will lead to over-extrusion and blebs.

A good approach is to sit between 30mm/s and 60mm/s for most of your layers and use something as slow as 25mm/s for the early layers. You may have to experiment with your print speed to get the best results.

Return speed and distance

Thanks to its stretchiness, PETG requires faster and longer return settings than PLA in order to print well. A retraction speed between 40 mm/s and 80 mm/s is a good place to start. Additionally, a retraction distance of 4mm to 6mm works well for a Bowden set-up, while 1mm to 3mm works best for a direct drive 3D printer.

Support Type and Material

PETG is a great material, but it doesn’t do so well with supports. Thanks to the sticky nature of PETG, the great layer adhesion it provides can become a curse when you want to use a backing. Printing at a lower temperature will make it easier to remove the support, but it may also pay to use a water soluble material such as PVA.

Most slicers offer control over overhang angle and support type. An overhang angle of 0 degrees will support all overhang, while 90 degrees will support nothing. This makes 50 to 55 degrees a good place to start.

PETG 3D Print Additions

PETG doesn’t have major warping problems like ABS, and it generally adheres to the build plate regardless of the surface material you’re using. This means that additions are generally not needed when working with PETG.

Edges and rafts stick very well when using PETG, and this makes them extremely difficult to remove.

Leave a Comment