The primary filament used by Trackside 3D is PLA or Polylactic Acid. It is a commonly used eco-friendly thermoplastic material. It does not require the use of a heated print bed, is easy to work with and produces reliable good results when using a good quality PLA material. PLA is less prone to warping and is odorless. We highly recommend PLA for use with our 3D models.
Trackside 3D recommends PLA filament from Hatchbox which we use on a daily basis. This is a high quality 1.75mm PLA material. We have used over 3kg of PLA a month during our first three months of operation and that is rapidly increasing as we add new products and printers.
We primarily use gray 1.75mm PLA in 1KG spools from Hatchbox for all of our development work. We use gray PLA because it produces good results and is easily painted with a wide range of colours. The gray PLA works well even with light coloured paint such as white or yellow. There is no bleed through.
We recommend finishing printed models with either paint or wrap with spray adhesive and texture paper. PLA is an eco-friendly material and you may experience break-down if exposed directly to UV light. Painting or wrapping the material will protect it even if your layout is in the sun. We do not recommend using PLA for outdoor and garden railway applications.
We spot test our designs with Hatchbox ABS, M3D PLA 3D-Ink, M3D ABS-R and Hatchbox PETG. We are currently experimenting with Hatchbox Wood and TPU materials, as well as materials from Atomic Filament.
Hatchbox 3D materials can be purchased from Amazon and are usually Prime eligible.