As the second-most popular filament right behind PLA right now, more and more enthusiasts are starting to experiment with PETG for the extra durability and temperature resistance it brings to the table.
Unfortunately, making the switch isn’t exactly easy due to the requirement of a whole new set of knowledge for the printing process to go smoothly, especially considering that PETG is more difficult to print than PLA.
Since achieving a good print quality requires knowing the material type inside out, we will be covering a vital attribute of PETG today, its melting point.
So, what is the melting point of PETG?
The melting point of PETG falls between 230 degrees Celsius and 250 degrees Celsius, with slight differences between different filament brands.
While not always possible, the best way to find out the melting point of the PETG filament you use is to refer to the packaging or the manufacturer’s website.
Next up, we will take a deeper look into why the melting point is a significant consideration, how it affects the printing process, and discover how the melting point of PETG compares to other filament types.
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What Is the Melting Point of PETG?
Even though the easiest way to find out the melting point of the filament you use is to get the information directly from the manufacturer, we are aware that this isn’t always possible.
In general, the melting point of PETG filaments is between the range of 230 degrees Celsius and 250 degrees Celsius.
While the attributes of PETG plastic itself allow us to come up with this range, the manufacturing process decides the exact melting point of the filament, making it possible for two separate brands to have a few degrees of difference in melting points.
Because of this, we highly recommend tuning your nozzle temperature to a value between 230 and 250 degrees Celsius and experiment in small increments to find the exact melting point value of the PETG filament you have.
How Does the Melting Point of PETG Affect Prints?
While the melting point of PETG doesn’t affect too many factors of the printing process, it affects one of the most vital parameters you will need to set.
Since the melting point of PETG is the temperature where the material turns into liquid from solid, it determines the optimal nozzle temperature you need to use to print with it.
As a result, setting your nozzle temperature to a lower value than the melting point will prevent the printer from melting the filament, meaning that the filament won’t come out of the nozzle.
On the other hand, setting the nozzle temperature to a much larger value than the melting point will cause problems like stringing and blobbing.
If you don’t know the exact melting point of the filament you use, the best way to find the optimal nozzle temperature is by running a few test prints at different nozzle temperatures and observing the results.
What Temperature Can PETG Withstand Before Softening?
The temperature that PETG can withstand is about its glass transition temperature rather than its melting point, as the glass transition temperature decides when the material starts softening, deforming, and losing its rigidity.
The glass transition temperature of PETG is between 80 and 85 degrees Celsius, which is the maximum temperature that the material can withstand before starting to soften and lose its structural integrity.
While glass transition temperature refers to the temperature PETG starts shifting from a solid to a rubbery state – the melting point is the temperature where it completely liquefies.
As a result, the correct thing to say would be that PETG has a heat resistance value up to 80 and 85 degrees Celsius (glass transition temperature) and not 230 to 250 degrees Celsius (melting point).
An important thing to consider is that the glass transition (80C-85C) temperature of PETG is much lower than its melting point (230C-250C).
While PETG can’t reach its melting point in standard conditions, the glass transition temperature is a much more possible temperature for PETG to reach.
Will PETG Melt in the Sun or the Car?
A common question about PETG is whether it would melt after being exposed to the sun for a long time, such as an object that you place in your car.
Since PETG will start deforming at its glass transition temperature of 80 to 85 degrees Celsius, it is technically possible for the material to melt after prolonged exposure to the sun, such as in a scenario where the object stays in a car that stays under direct sunlight for extended hours.
On the other hand, PETG is often considered to be a material that is heat-resistant enough for general usage, meaning that you can most likely avoid any heat damage by being slightly careful about where you leave the objects you have printed with PETG.
The bottom line is that while it’s technically possible for PETG to melt in the sun or the car, the likelihood of it happening is quite slim unless an unfortunate chain of events takes place where the object stays in direct sunlight for a very long time.
How Does the Melting Point of PETG Compare to Other Materials?
Finally, let’s take a quick look at how the melting point of PETG compares to other widely used materials in 3D printing.
- PETG Melting Point – 230 to 250 degrees Celsius
- PLA Melting Point – 190 to 220 degrees Celsius
- ABS Melting Point – 210 to 250 degrees Celsius
- TPU Melting Point – 220 to 240 degrees Celsius
- Nylon Melting Point – 230 to 270 degrees Celsius
- Polycarbonate Melting Point – 260 to 300 degrees Celsius
The melting point of PETG is neither too low nor too high, which makes it possible to print it with any extruder on the market, meaning that any printer with a heated bed should easily be able to handle PETG.
That being said, PETG having a higher melting point compared to PLA means that you will definitely need to increase the nozzle temperature of your printer, as PETG won’t melt at the same nozzle temperature you use for PLA.
Mike started his 3D printing journey with the Anet A8 when it first came out back in 2017, and has been obsessed with 3D printers ever since. Nowadays, he primarily uses his Ender 3 to print functional parts that make his life more convenient whenever possible.