What glue is best for 3D printed plastic?

Welcome to our blog post all about the ultimate glue for connecting 3D printed plastic parts. As the mesmerizing world of 3D printing continues to evolve and captivate, it’s absolutely essential to have the right adhesive in your arsenal. After all, the strength, durability, and longevity of your 3D printed creations depend on it. Whether you’re a passionate hobbyist, a seasoned professional designer, or an ingenious engineer, finding that perfect glue can truly make or break your project.

In this comprehensive guide, we’re diving headfirst into a dazzling array of glues specifically formulated for bonding 3D printed plastic. From the magical powers of cyanoacrylate adhesives to the mighty strength of epoxy resins and beyond, we’ll explore each type in vivid detail. But that’s not all. We’ll also unravel the mysteries behind important factors like material compatibility, flexibility, curing time, and application techniques – everything you need to consider when selecting the ideal glue.

So buckle up and join us on this thrilling adventure through the realm of adhesives. Together, we’ll uncover the secrets to achieving Herculean connections for your mind-blowing 3D printed creations. No matter if you’re a novice or a seasoned pro, this blog post is jam-packed with all the juicy information you need to confidently choose the best glue for your needs. Get ready to dive in and discover how to bond 3D printed plastic parts like an absolute rockstar.

Types of Glue for 3D Printed Plastic

In this guide, we’ll explore the different types of glue that work best for bonding 3D printed plastic. Whether you need a quick fix or long-lasting durability, we’ve got you covered.

So, let’s dive in and discover the perfect glue for your next masterpiece.

Super Glue: The Swift and Mighty Solution

When time is of the essence, super glue swoops in as your dependable ally. Its rapid drying time and formidable bonding strength make it the go-to choice for most 3D printed plastics. But beware, as this superhero may leave behind a white residue on the surface. Before diving into your project, ensure compatibility between the super glue and your chosen plastic.

Epoxy Adhesive: The Guardian of Endurance

If durability is your quest, look no further than epoxy adhesive. This two-component glue forms an unyielding bond that stands the test of time. Patience is key though, as it requires a longer curing time compared to super glue. But fear not, for its steadfastness will reward you with a bond that goes beyond mere strength.

Weld-On Adhesive: The Alchemy of Bonding

For a bond that can brave extreme conditions, weld-on adhesive is your trusted companion. Crafted specifically for plastics, this magical glue chemically fuses surfaces together, resulting in an unbreakable connection that defies heat and chemicals. But beware, mastering its application requires practice and finesse.

Acrylic-Based Adhesives: Transparency meets Resilience

When working with acrylic-based 3D printed plastics, acrylic cement or glue emerges as your secret weapon. These adhesives dissolve the plastic surfaces and seamlessly fuse them back together as they dry. The result? A transparent, moisture-resistant, and robust bond that gives your project an ethereal glow.

UV-Curing Adhesive: Let There Be Swift Curing.

When time is fleeting, UV-curing adhesive comes to your rescue. This glue rapidly cures when exposed to ultraviolet light, delivering a bond that can withstand the test of time. Just remember, you’ll need specialized equipment like a UV light source for the curing process.

Armed with the knowledge of different types of glue for bonding 3D printed plastic, you are now ready to embark on your next creative journey. Consider factors such as plastic type, bond strength, and environmental conditions when selecting the perfect glue for your project. With the right glue in hand, your 3D printed masterpieces will wow everyone who lays eyes on them.

Super Glue: Pros and Cons

Super Glue, also known as cyanoacrylate adhesive, is a popular choice for bonding 3D printed plastic parts. It offers many advantages, but it’s important to consider the potential drawbacks before using it. Let’s explore the pros and cons of Super Glue in detail.


  • Strong Bond: Super Glue creates a strong and durable bond between 3D printed plastic parts. It can withstand the test of time and keep your creations intact.
  • Quick-Drying: One of the major advantages of Super Glue is its quick-drying properties. Unlike other adhesives that require hours to set, Super Glue sets in seconds or minutes, allowing you to move forward with your project at lightning speed.
  • Versatility: Super Glue is compatible with a wide range of plastics commonly used in 3D printing, such as PLA, ABS, and PETG. This makes it a go-to adhesive for many enthusiasts who work with different materials.
  • Easy Application: Applying Super Glue is a breeze. With precision applicators and easy-to-control amounts, you can ensure a neat and efficient application every time.


  • Brittle Bond: One drawback of Super Glue is that it can result in a brittle bond. While it creates a strong initial bond, it may not hold up well under heavy stress or impacts over time.
  • Limited Gap-Filling Ability: Super Glue is not ideal for filling large gaps between 3D printed parts. It works best when the surfaces fit precisely together with minimal spacing.
  • Potential Surface Damage: Some plastics used in 3D printing may be sensitive to certain chemicals present in Super Glue. If not used carefully, it could lead to discoloration or damage to the printed parts’ surface.
  • Health Hazards: It’s crucial to remember that Super Glue contains chemicals that can be harmful if not handled properly. Make sure to follow safety precautions such as wearing gloves and working in a well-ventilated area.

Epoxy Adhesive: Advantages and Disadvantages

When it comes to bonding 3D printed plastic parts, epoxy adhesive has emerged as a favored option. Its formidable bonding strength, versatility, and resistance to temperature and chemicals make it highly desirable. However, it is important to weigh its advantages against its disadvantages. In this article, we will delve deeper into the pros and cons of using epoxy adhesive for bonding 3D printed plastic parts.

Advantages of Epoxy Adhesive:

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  • Unyielding Bonding Strength: Epoxy creates an unbreakable bond that can endure high loads and stress, guaranteeing the longevity and stability of the bonded parts. This makes it an ideal choice for applications that demand exceptional strength and durability.
  • Remarkable Versatility: Epoxy adhesive is capable of bonding various types of plastics, including ABS, PLA, PETG, and more. Furthermore, it exhibits compatibility with other materials like metal or wood, providing users with a wide array of options for joining different components together.
  • Resilience Against Temperature and Chemicals: Epoxy can withstand scorching temperatures without compromising its adhesive properties. Consequently, it is suitable for applications that require exposure to heat or extreme environmental conditions. Additionally, epoxy possesses remarkable resistance to a multitude of chemicals, ensuring the durability of the bonded parts even in the harshest environments.

Disadvantages of Epoxy Adhesive:

  • Extended Curing Time: Compared to other adhesives, epoxy requires a longer time to fully cure. This can prove inconvenient for users seeking quick bonding solutions. It is absolutely crucial to follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding curing time in order to guarantee proper bonding.
  • Potential Messiness: Epoxy consists of two components – resin and hardener – which must be mixed together prior to application. This mixing process can be messy and necessitates careful handling to prevent spills or uneven mixing ratios. Furthermore, if not applied meticulously, epoxy can leave behind visible residue or glue lines, adversely affecting the aesthetic appearance of the bonded parts.

Acrylic-Based Adhesives: Benefits and Drawbacks

When we think of 3D printing, glue might not be the first thing that comes to mind. However, in the world of 3D printed plastic parts, adhesives play a vital role in bringing these intricate pieces together. Among the myriad options available, acrylic-based adhesives stand out for their unique benefits and drawbacks. In this article, we will delve into the realm of acrylic-based adhesives and uncover why they are a popular choice for bonding 3D printed plastic parts.


Crystal Clear Bond:

Imagine flawlessly joining two intricately designed 3D printed plastic parts, with no visible signs of adhesive. Acrylic-based adhesives excel in providing a clear and transparent bond, making them ideal for applications where aesthetics matter. This feature is particularly useful for parts produced using SLA or DLP 3D printing technologies, which often have a smooth finish.

Quick and Efficient Assembly:

Time is money, especially in industries where efficiency reigns supreme. Acrylic-based adhesives cure rapidly, forming a robust bond within minutes. This allows for speedy assembly of 3D printed parts, making them invaluable in manufacturing and prototyping environments.

Durability and Resistance:

Acrylic-based adhesives boast excellent resistance to moisture and chemicals. They can withstand exposure to water, oils, solvents, and other common substances without losing their adhesive properties. This durability ensures the long-term stability of bonded 3D printed parts.

Flexibility and Impact Resistance:

Plastic parts are susceptible to mechanical stress and vibrations. Acrylic-based adhesives offer good flexibility and impact resistance, allowing the bonded joints to tolerate moderate movement and deformation without cracking or breaking.


Temperature Limitations:

While acrylic-based adhesives are versatile in many ways, they do have temperature limitations. At higher temperatures, these adhesives may soften or lose their bonding strength. Therefore, they may not be suitable for applications involving exposure to heat or extreme conditions.

Surface Sensitivity:

Acrylic-based adhesives perform best on smooth surfaces. They may struggle to adhere effectively to rough or porous surfaces. Ensuring that the surfaces to be bonded are clean, dry, and free from any contaminants or irregularities is crucial for achieving optimal adhesion.

Shelf Life Considerations:

Compared to other adhesive types, acrylic-based adhesives have a relatively shorter shelf life. With time, they can degrade and lose their effectiveness, especially if not stored properly. It is important to check the expiration date and follow storage instructions provided by the manufacturer.

Specialty Glues for 3D Printed Plastic

Now, it’s time to bond those intricate plastic parts together. That’s where specialty glues for 3D printed plastic come into play. In this blog post, we will delve into the different types of glues and adhesive tapes available for bonding 3D printed plastic. We will also emphasize the importance of following the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure successful bonding.

The Glue Lineup:

Two heavy hitters take center stage when it comes to bonding 3D printed plastic: cyanoacrylate (super glue) and epoxy. Cyanoacrylate is like the Usain Bolt of glues—it dries quickly and creates a strong bond in no time. It’s perfect for most plastics, including 3D printed materials. On the other hand, epoxy is a two-part adhesive that offers superior durability and can handle higher temperatures. It’s ideal for larger or heavier 3D printed objects.

The Specialized Approach:

Some glues are specifically formulated for certain types of plastics. For instance, PLA plastics require specialized glues that ensure a strong bond without damaging the material. These tailored solutions are essential to preserving the integrity of your 3D printed masterpiece.

Tape it up:

If gluing isn’t your thing or you’re working with smaller parts, adhesive tapes can come to the rescue. These tapes have a strong adhesive backing that sticks well to most types of plastics. They offer a quick and convenient bonding solution, especially for intricate designs.

The Importance of Following Instructions:

Now, let’s address an often overlooked aspect—following the manufacturer’s instructions. Each glue or tape has its own set of guidelines to ensure optimal results. From wearing protective gloves to working in well-ventilated areas, these instructions keep you safe. Moreover, they help you avoid potential mishaps, such as using the wrong glue for your specific plastic type or applying too much adhesive, which can lead to a weak bond or even damage your 3D printed creation.

Preparing the Surface for Bonding

Preparing the surface for bonding is a crucial step when it comes to gluing 3D printed plastic. The success of the bond largely depends on how well the surface is prepared. There are several steps that need to be followed in order to ensure a strong and durable bond.

The first step in preparing the surface is to clean it thoroughly. Any dust, dirt, or grease on the surface can interfere with the bonding process and weaken the bond. To clean the surface, use isopropyl alcohol or a mild detergent solution. Wipe down the surface and allow it to dry completely before moving on to the next step.

Once the surface is clean, it is important to roughen it. This can be done using sandpaper or a sanding block. The goal here is to create tiny abrasions on the surface, which will increase the surface area and provide more contact points for the glue to adhere to. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for specific recommendations on how much roughening is needed for your specific type of plastic.

After roughening, apply a primer or adhesion promoter to enhance the bonding properties of the glue. These products are specially designed to improve adhesion to plastic surfaces. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application and allow the primer to dry completely before proceeding.

Now comes the fun part – choosing the right glue for bonding 3D printed plastic. There are several types of glues that can be used, depending on your specific requirements.

  • Cyanoacrylate glue (super glue): This type of glue cures quickly and forms a strong bond. Make sure to choose a cyanoacrylate glue that is specifically formulated for plastic to ensure a strong enough bond.
  • Epoxy glue: Epoxy adhesives consist of two components – a resin and a hardener – that need to be mixed together before application. Epoxy glues provide a strong and durable bond, but they usually take longer to cure compared to cyanoacrylate glues.
  • Polyurethane adhesive: Polyurethane adhesives offer flexibility and resistance to impact, making them suitable for applications that require some degree of flexibility in the bond. Keep in mind that polyurethane adhesives typically have a longer curing time compared to cyanoacrylate glues.

When choosing a glue, it is important to consider the type of plastic you’re working with. Different plastics have different chemical properties and may require specific types of adhesive. Always refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines for compatibility and follow their instructions for proper usage.

Testing the Glue Before Application

When it comes to bonding plastic parts in a 3D printing project, testing the glue before application is essential for achieving strong and reliable bonds. This article explores the importance of conducting glue tests and provides valuable insights into selecting the right adhesive for your 3D printed plastic.

Consider the Type of Plastic Material:

Different types of plastics are used in 3D printing, each with its own unique properties. To ensure a successful bond, choose a glue specifically formulated for the type of plastic you are working with. Conduct tests on small test pieces or scraps of the same plastic material to evaluate how well the glue adheres and gauges its strength.

Proper Application Techniques:

Before applying the glue, thoroughly clean and dry the surface. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to apply a small amount of adhesive and allow it to cure or dry for the recommended time period. This ensures optimal bonding performance.

Evaluating Bonding Strength:

Once the glue has fully cured, assess its bonding strength by gently trying to separate the test pieces. Look out for signs of adhesion failure or weak spots in the bond. This step is crucial in determining whether the adhesive is suitable for your specific application.

Consider Other Factors:

Apart from bonding strength, consider factors like flexibility and temperature resistance. Test the glued samples under different conditions to assess their performance. If your project involves bonding plastic to other materials like metal or glass, test the compatibility of the adhesive with these materials for a strong bond.

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When it comes to bonding 3D printed plastic, choosing the right glue is crucial.

The best glue for this purpose depends on the type of plastic you’re working with and the specific application. One popular option is cyanoacrylate adhesive, commonly known as super glue.

Its fast-drying nature and strong bond make it ideal for joining small parts together. Another reliable choice is epoxy resin, which offers excellent strength and durability.

It’s perfect for larger projects that require a more robust adhesive. For flexible plastics like TPU or TPE, a specialized adhesive like polyurethane-based glue works best due to its flexibility and resistance to moisture.

Remember to always read the instructions carefully before using any glue and consider testing it on a small area first to ensure compatibility with your specific plastic material.