There is a “new kid on the block” in the world of 3D printing materials and that’s PCT-G. Change the E in PET-G with a C and we have a material that, although not quite a bioplastic, still outperforms its “cousin”.
To begin with, a derivate of the PET thermoplastic family, PET-G is probably the most used printing material after PLA, certainly one of the easiest to print, plus it’s a general-purpose material good enough in most applications.
But what is PCT-G? Poly Cyclohexylenedimethylene Terephthalate glycol-modified, otherwise known as PCT-G plastic is a clear co-polyester. The PCT-G polymer is particularly suited for applications requiring very low extractables, high clarity and very high gamma stability. The material is also characterised by high impact properties. It exhibits many of the properties of polycarbonate with the advantage of containing no BPA, BPS or any other bisphenols.
As mentioned, PCT-G belongs to the same family of polyesters as the increasingly popular PET-G. However, we can conclude that, compared to its more popular counterpart, PCT-G offers increased impact strength, temperature resistance and clarity, making it an excellent alternative to PET-G.
PCT-G plastics offer:
- Excellent impact strength
- Good chemical resistance
- High gamma radiation resistance
- High transparency
Here are some of the most typical PCT-G plastics applications:
- Manifold blocks for life science and analytical equipment
- Single use mechanical components for biopharma processing
- Dental appliances such as clear aligners
- Various single-use medical device components like respirators
- Diagnostic and chemical analysis equipment, which are required to be biocompatible with exposure to human tissue less than 24 hours and where chemical resistance and clarity are necessary
In its filament form, PCT-G does not require a heated chamber, which makes it ideal for use with home printers. It ensures high dimensional stability, while low shrinkage prevents the model from cracking. This makes it an easy-to-print material, even for people without a lot of experience in 3D printing.
The material will print on many normal FDM printers. It requires 250 °C to 270 °C on the nozzle and 70 °C to 80 °C on the bed. Just be sure your hotend can handle the higher temperature. If you have PTFE in there it is probably your limiting factor, although you also need temperature sensing that can go over 250 °C, as well.
PCT-G Filament Properties:
- High impact strength (up to 20 times greater than PET-G)
- High chemical resistance
- High optical transparency
- Easy to print – dimensional stability and low shrinkage
- Suitable for contact with food – BPA free
Some PCT-G applications in 3D printing:
- INDUSTRY: spare parts, short series, utility models
- AUTOMOTIVE: elements in the engine compartment, housing of vehicle components, air intakes, fluid funnels
- SPORT: accessories, pads, airsoft elements
In the FormWerk e-shop, you can already pre-order PCT-G filament from one of our preferred suppliers, Spectrum. Of course, this is only the first generation PCT-G available, we expect new, improved, even higher performance materials soon (for instance carbon-fiber reinforced PCT-G), as well as the transparent version.
Find it in our e-shop: www.eshop.formwerk.ro/cumpara/filament-spectrum-pctg-2437
Spectrum Premium PCTG filament combines the most desirable features of Tough PLA and PET-G. PCTG material has a heat deflection temperature of 76°C, as well as an excellent print surface and higher elasticity. Additional advantages include the high chemical resistance of the printed models.
Elements made using Spectrum Premium PCTG transparent colors have higher clarity than their counterparts made using PET-G. This means that it is possible to achieve an effect close to transparency with few external contours.
Given its overall performance, we can safely recommend PCT-G as high value for money.
Find out more about PCT-G:
FormWerk Founder & CEO