I was wondering what the best 3d printing material is for antweights. I have a Ender 3 V3 and am building my first bot.
Any thoughts, opinions appreciated
There is no real best outright as different designs and parts will require different properties.
PLA-ST is the most useful of the pedestrian, easy printing materials. It’s still prone to brittle failure like most PLA but it holds on a lot longer until that point. That’s probably the one with the least setup and the most forgiving to print.
TPU is an absolute game changer and one of the most versatile and tough printed materials that you can do on basic printers. It just requires a little time and care setting it up. You will probably need a direct drive extuder and a method of drying your filament for best results.
Between those two you have stiffness and flexibility so that is most likely going to give you a baseline.
Personally I love nylon and think it’s a brilliant material but that is going to need a new end for the temperatures needed, an enclosure, filament dryer and moat likely a change up of print bed (eg g10)
I also think avoiding PETG is wise as I’ve always found it incredibly fragile and brittle for robot stuff. I have had decent success with ABS but it’s smelly, carcinogenic and needs an enclosure in order to avoid warping.
Harry has summarised it all pretty much perfectly.
Given its your first bot I’d say go for PLA-ST, it needs little to no tweaking if your printer is already doing PLA and is tough enough to take on most antweights.
Is this the one?
If it is I’ll go for that.
One last question. Are heatset inserts worth it?
They improve durability but is it worth the weight?
They’re a good resource to have in the arsenal to be fair. I use them quite a lot and they have held armour on pretty well. My absolute favorite is still captive nuts, square or hex can be really handy to just have slip into a recess and be easily swapped out.
What I don’t like so much is screwing directly in to printed parts, especially perpendicular to layer lines. Just asking for splits to happen.
I’ll give them a shot as I have some lying around after a nerf project. Thanks for the help.
Gonna disagree with harry on this one. Self tapping m2 or m2.3 screws are amazing on antweights. Use them for all my ants lids and baseplates etc these days.
But yeah something easy to print and decent all round esun pla-st is my go to.
Something you don’t mind being wibbly but needs to be super impact resistant - tpu
You can print TPU stock on an ender - will just need to set your speeds slow AF if it’s Bowden set up
Nylon is amazing - but it’s not feasible on a stock ender. At the very least you’ll need to get a bi-linear heat break and probably reflash you firmware to allow higher temps. Do not attempt higher temps without a heat break or all metal hot end - ptfe tube can degrade and release very toxic fumes.
I’m on the newest ender (V3) which has a direct drive and can take tpu as long as it’s 95a hardness. I’ll probably do a bit of both.
Thanks for all the help
I’m going to disagree with Harry because he is absolutely right about the PLA-ST, but unfortunately it fails as it’s only available in dull, boring colours.
The best filament for antweights is silky neon pink PLA. It’s mechanically terrible, worse than standard PLA, it will shatter into a load of pieces at the mere sight of a spinner, but it looks great. And it will provide a lot of entertainment, although not for very long.
PLA-ST takes paint very well though
I love form futura PP, but it is not so easy to print.
Quite soft and very low density and nice layer adhesion.
Likes to warp due to shrinkage when it cools down and bed adhesion is terrible. Had to do some experimentin but now I achieve good results.