Hello folks. I just bought a Mini 2, and this is my first foray into 3D printing. I decided to make my first project a miniature key fob. The standard key fob my car came with is overbuilt, and massive, whereas the actual electronic board/battery inside are comparatively tiny. I’ve spent the last week honing in on a rough final design, and now I’m trying to figure out what the best material is to make this out of. Everything up 'til now has been PLA because it was easy to work with.
When I bought the printer, I also bought a roll of ABS plastic, which was what I had originally intended to use. Now I’m being told (by some folks) that a better option would be PETG. In my research, it sounds that PETG is basically “the best of both worlds” in that it is friendly to use like PLA, but also more durable, like ABS. However, I’ve heard it is more easily scratched than PLA.
I need something that can be durable for use as a key fob. Something that will bounce around in a pocket full of keys, or get tossed onto a counter, or dropped on pavement. It should not fall apart when exposed to moisture, either. It DOES need to have some flexibility, though, because I designed it with a thin (0.02mm thick) top that allows the buttons to be pressed through the flexibility of the plastic itself. I’ve included a photo to show what I mean (assuming the FB link remains valid.) You can just barely see the buttons in the middle, and the ribs dividing the “button” areas of the top of the fob. Then again, I’m pretty sure any material will allow that amount of flex at that thickness. I don’t want it so flexible that the fob itself can bend much - that would be bad for the board inside.
I want a material that will work in this application, and be durable enough that if I sell a few to some friends, I won’t get yelled at when it falls apart a week later. Your help is greatly appreciated!