PCTG vs PETG: What’s the Difference?

| The Essentium Team


“PCTG contains all the qualities we enjoy in PETG while also providing several distinct advantages.” 

PETG is quickly becoming one of the most popular filaments for today’s makers who need something a step above standard PLA. Many makers seem to have overlooked the lesser-known PCTG despite its almost universally superior characteristics. PCTG offers increased toughness, impact strength and clarity, making it an excellent substitute for PETG.

PETG, which stands for polyethylene terephthalate-glycol, is a durable and easy-to-use filament that is often used to print things like medical braces, bottles, signage and other durable plastic products. The glycol modifier added to polyethylene terephthalate helps enhance the durability and printability of the filament.

Because it can be FDA certified and is chemical resistant, PETG can be used to print everything from medical devices to water bottles without raising any cause for concern over safety. Its rigidness makes it a good material for any 3D print that might be used when parts need to hold their shape under pressure. Common applications are in electronics or robotics. The molecular structure of PETG also allows it to be recycled easily, which makes it renewable as well.

PCTG: Stronger, Tougher, and Clearer

The terephthalate polyester family also includes a lesser known but also glycol-modified copolyester, PCTG. PCTG is similar to PETG in application and molecular structure. However, PCTG has higher chemical resistance, a larger range of printing temperatures, and increased durability. These qualities make PCTG easier to work with while also providing the same safety and recyclability as PETG.

From an aesthetic stand point, PCTG offers a matte or glossy finish depending on the print temperature. What makes Essentium PCTG unique is its superior Izod Impact Resistance. This means it can withstand much higher impacts than similar filaments while still maintaining similar tensile strength and heat resistance.


While PETG remains popular among makers, consider trying similar prints using PCTG. PCTG is an excellent material for makers looking for a tough, easy-to-print and affordable filament.

TDS: Essentium PCTG

Purchase Essentium PCTG

Essentium, Inc. provides industrial 3D printing solutions that are disrupting traditional manufacturing processes by bringing product strength and production speed together, at scale, with an open ecosystem and material set. Essentium manufactures and delivers innovative industrial 3D printers and materials enabling the world’s top manufacturers to bridge the gap between 3D printing and machining and embrace the future of additive manufacturing.


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