What is the melting temperature of a 3D printed part?

  • Here is the context

    I've got an old car for which I have a small plastic piece who is broken. As it's an old car and a very specific piece, I can't find it anymore. So I was thinking about 3D printing it.

    My problem is this piece is on the carburetor, so close to the engine. This means, it can heat a lot, close to 90-100 °C.

    My question

    Do the pieces created with the common 3D printing techniques melt at 100 °C? If yes, what kind of other 3D printing technique can I use?

    Here is the piece I want to recreate (sorry for the bad quality), the scale is in cm.
    The piece

    That depends on the used material for the print. You might be more interested in the glass temperature though, these range from 50 to 160 °C from PLA to PEKK, note that the higher glass temperature plastics are hard to print on home 3D printers (requires bed and enclosure heating over 150 °C).

    Nylon and ABS will work fine, the temperature is not so high as you think. Also, consider using a printing service which can print for you even metals... if you want.

  • Mark

    Mark Correct answer

    2 years ago

    The number you're looking for is the glass transition temperature (the lowest temperature at which the material can flow or warp), not the melting point. This depends on what material you're using; approximate temperatures for common printable materials are:

    • PLA: 60˚C

    • PETG, high-temperature PLA: 95 ˚C

    • ABS: 105˚C

    • Nylon: typically 70˚C or above ("Nylon" is a large family of similar polymers)

    • Polycarbonate: 145˚C

    Any plastic under your hood is probably either nylon (for its durability, impact resistance, and chemical resistance) or ABS (for its strength and heat resistance). These are both difficult materials to print: ABS emits toxic fumes while printing, and tends to warp if you're not using a heated enclosure, while nylon readily absorbs water from the air, causing the filament to bubble as it's printed. Further, many printers can't handle the high temperatures needed to work with these materials.

    If you're going to print this yourself, I recommend using PETG and inspecting the part after a few days of use to see if it's warping. PETG is reasonably easy to print and comes close to your target heat resistance.

    If you're going to get someone else to print it, I recommend using ABS. It's probably what the original part was made of, and anyone willing to print ABS for you will have the heated enclosure and ventilation system to deal with printing it.

    I'd avoid polycarbonate unless you know the original part was made of it. Although PC is strong and heat resistant, it's also somewhat brittle and vulnerable to scratching.

    High-temperature PLA is also brittle, and requires a heat-treating step that will change the dimensions of the part. It will likely take several tries to get something that comes out the right size, and even then, you risk having the part break when your car hits a bump.

    Thanks, it's exectly what I was looking for. The original part is brittle (that's why it's broken), so it was maybe made of polycarbonate. Is it hard to print? Otherwise I'll do it in PETG. It's the cooling water who is close to 100 °C, so it should be less for the part

    PC is very hard to print with and very abrasive.

    @Phantom, polycarbonate requires high temperatures to print, beyond the capabilities of most consumer-level printers.

    @Phantom Those car parts are often made of ABS (because not even the surface of the engine gets to 100°C, since there is water cooling it) or nylon, maybe nylon with glass fibers just like computer fans

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Content dated before 7/24/2021 11:53 AM