PMMA is not only a transparent 3D printing filament but also exhibits some interesting features that make it a great choice for UV resistant models and casings. Read below to learn about PMMA.
What Is PMMA?
PMMA stands for polymethyl methacrylate. It’s a thermoplastic material featuring scratch and impact resistance, high tensile and flexural strength, and UV tolerance. PMMA is transparent and tough and can be used in many ways in 3D printing. More on applications later.
PMMA is also called acrylic or acrylic glass because it resembles the traditional glass, but thanks to its properties it can be successfully 3D printed. It’s half as dense as glass and its impact strength is much lower, but it’s lighter, cheaper, and maintains transparency, which can be beneficial in certain instances.
How to 3D Print with PMMA?
PMMA is one of the less popular 3D printing filaments and is not as easy to print as PLA or ABS. That being said, you can successfully create PMMA models using ZMorph VX All-In-One 3D Printer if you follow these tips.
By default, Voxelizer software doesn’t show PMMA preset in 3D printing settings. You can add it from the filament library, though. Click the icon with a filament and find the PMMA preset (see the picture below).
Other settings such as durability or infill depend on your own preferences. The more infill you use the less transparent your model will be.
PMMA needs adhesive glue to stick properly to the printing bed. Consider an adhesive agent if the first layer fails.
PMMA Printing & Bed Temperature
The printing temperature from PMMA ranges between 230 and 250ºC and the bed temperature of the 3D printer should be set to 60ºC. Low temperature may cause blobs that distort the material transparency.
Other Printer Settings
Because PMMA requires a stable 3D printing temperature it’s best to close the plastic covers of ZMorph VX. Printing with open covers may result in defects in your model.
Feel free to mingle with the printing speed settings. Slower 3D printing usually results in better layers and material alignments thus making the PMMA more transparent.
Because of the transparency, PMMA has several specific applications. It’s used for optical apparatuses, UV resistant models, chemical equipment, lamps, casings and many more.
Below you can see a 3D printed sample of PMMA model. It’s a lighting diffuser that can be attached to your photo camera lamp. It was 3D printed using ZMorph VX and PMMA filament.
Health & Safety
Melted 3D printing filaments such as PMMA emit fumes that may cause dizziness and are unhealthy to breathe in. Always remember to ventilate the room with the 3D printer properly and avoid working in the nearest scene. In fact, it’s best to avoid being in the same room while the machine is 3D printing to minimize the amount of fumes you may inhale.
ZMorph VX operates on high temperatures, the Single Extruder heats up to 250ºC, and you may burn yourself easily if you touch the machine. Wait until the unit cools down before taking out your prints.
More Materials for ZMorph VX
In case you missed it, we’ve recently published ZMorph Materials Library. A comprehensive, 100-pages document on almost 50 materials available for ZMorph VX Multitool 3D Printer. Learn about their most important features and applications, and discover the technical data.