BEST 3d printer filament

Utimate Beginner Guide of Best 3d printer filament for Your Project

Table of Contents

Overview

In recent years, there has been a surge in the popularity of 3D printing. This is due, in part, to the introduction of affordable 3D printers that are accessible to consumers. The filament is “food” of 3D printer, nothing will impact your 3D printing results like the kind of filament you use. 

In order to make the best decision when purchasing filament, it is important to understand the different types available and what each type is made of. This will help you choose the right type of filament for your needs.

How To Choose The Best 3D Printer Filament For Your Application?

When choosing the best 3D printer filament for your application, there are a few things to keep in mind. Let’s take a closer look at some of the factors you should consider:

1. The Type Of 3D Printer You Are Using

Different 3D printers use different types of filament. You should choose a filament that is compatible with your 3D printer. It is also important to make sure that the filament you choose is compatible with the 3D printer’s extruder.

2. The Material You Need

There are a variety of 3D printing filaments available on the market, each with its own unique set of properties. As a result, it is important to choose a filament that has the right set of properties for your application. On the other hand, if you are looking for a 3D printing filament that is general-purpose, PLA or ABS filaments are a good choice.

3. The Cost

3D printer filaments vary in price, depending on the type of material and the brand. For example, carbon fiber filaments are typically more expensive than PLA or ABS filaments. Thus, it is important to consider the cost of the filament when choosing the best 3D printing filament for your application.

4. The Quality

Not all 3D printer filaments are created equal. You will want to choose a filament that is made from high-quality materials and that has a good reputation. For example, filaments made by 3D printer manufacturers are usually of a higher quality than those made by third-party suppliers.

5. The Color

3D printer filaments are available in a wide range of colors. As a result, you can choose a filament that matches the aesthetic of your project. In some cases, you may even be able to find a filament that glows in the dark!

No matter what your 3D printing needs are, there is a filament that is perfect for the job. By taking the time to compare different 3D printer filaments, you can be sure to find the perfect match for your application.

3D Printer Filament Types!

It’s important to note that not all 3D printer filaments are created equal. Different materials have different properties that make them more or less suitable for certain applications.

Let’s take a look at some of the most common 3D printer filament types to help you choose the right one for your needs.

PLA

PLA filament is a type of biodegradable plastic made from renewable resources, such as corn starch or sugar cane. It is one of the most popular materials used in 3D printing, due to its low melting point and ease of use. PLA filament is also non-toxic and odorless, making it safe for both home and industrial use.

Unlike other types of plastic, PLA will not release harmful chemicals when heated. However, PLA is not as strong as ABS plastic, and it is not suitable for use in applications where high temperatures are required.

SUNLU PLA Filament 1.75mm
$18.99 ($0.54 / Ounce)
Buy On Amazon
11/27/2022 11:47 am GMT

Pros

  1. Biodegradable
  2. Low melting point
  3. Ease of use
  4. Non-toxic and odorless
  5. Safe for home and industrial use

Cons

  1. Not as strong as ABS plastic
  2. High sensitivity to moisture

Printing parameters

  • Extrusion temperature — 190-230°C
  • Bed temperature — 20-60°C
  • Air cooling — advisable
  • Interlaminar adhesion — good
  • Bed adhesion — good

ABS 

ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) filament is a thermoplastic that is commonly used in 3D printers. It is known for its strength and durability, making it a good choice for items that will be subject to stress or wear and tear.

However, ABS is also prone to warping, so it is important to use a heated bed when printing with this material. In addition, ABS filaments are available in a variety of colors, allowing you to create prints that are truly unique.

Some 3D printers do not support ABS filament, and it can also be more expensive than PLA filament. The main advantage of ABS over PLA is its strength and durability. You also have to be careful when storing ABS filament, as it is sensitive to moisture.

Pros

  1. Low Cost
  2. Good impact and wear resistance
  3. Less oozing and stringing gives models smoother finish
  4. Good heat resistanc

Cons

  1. Heavy warping
  2. Needs heated bed or heated chamber
  3. Produces a pungent odor while printing
  4. Parts tend to shrink leading to dimensional inaccuracy

Printing parameters

  • Extrusion temperature — 210-245°C
  • Bed temperature — 90-120°C
  • Air cooling — inadvisable
  • Interlaminar adhesion — medium
  • Bed adhesion — medium

PETG

PETG filament combines the best properties of ABS and PLA filaments. It is strong and durable like ABS, but it is easier to print with and less likely to warp or crack. PETG is also more resistant to humidity and temperature changes than PLA, making it a good choice for outdoor applications.

In addition, PETG filament is available in a wide range of colors, including transluscent and fluorescent shades. As a result, it is one of the most versatile 3D printing materials on the market. In terms of price, PETG filament is typically more expensive than PLA and ABS filaments.

OVERTURE PETG Filament 1.75mm
$16.14 ($0.46 / Ounce)
Buy On Amazon
11/27/2022 01:10 pm GMT

Pros

  1. Glossy and smooth surface finish
  2. Adheres well to the bed with negligible warping
  3. Mostly odorless while printing

Cons

  1. Poor bridging characteristics
  2. Can produce thin hairs on the surface from stringing

Printing parameters

  • Extrusion temperature — 215-245°C
  • Bed temperature — 20-80°C
  • Air cooling — 20%
  • Interlaminar adhesion — very high
  • Bed adhesion — medium

TPE, TPU, TPC (Flexible)

Filaments are a major filament type used in 3D printing. They are strong, durable, and have a wide range of applications. TPE is a thermoplastic elastomer, which means it is both flexible and strong. TPU is thermoplastic polyurethane, which is even more flexible than TPE.

TPC is thermoplastic copolyester, which is the strongest of the three filaments. All three filaments are available in a wide range of colors and can be used for both prototyping and production. Recent advancements have made 3D printing with flexible filaments easier than ever before.

In terms of price, TPE, TPU, and TPC filaments are typically more expensive than PLA and ABS filaments. However, they are still relatively affordable and widely available from online and brick-and-mortar retailers. 3D printers that support flexible filaments are also becoming more common, so compatibility is not a major concern.

Pros

  1. Flexible and soft
  2. Excellent vibration dampening
  3. Long shelf life
  4. Good impact resistance

Cons

  1. Difficult to print
  2. Poor bridging characteristics
  3. Possibility of blobs and stringing
  4. May not work well on Bowden extruders

Printing parameters

  • Extrusion temperature — 220-240°C
  • Bed temperature — 90-110°C
  • Air cooling — unadvisable
  • Interlayer adhesion — good
  • Bed adhesion — medium

PVA

Polyvinyl alcohol filament, or PVA, is a 3D printing material that is frequently used as a support structure for more complex prints. PVA is water-soluble, meaning that it can be easily removed from finished prints.

However, PVA is also notoriously difficult to print with, as it has a tendency to clog 3D printers. As a result, PVA is often used in conjunction with another type of filament, such as PLA.

PVA filament is available in both 1.75 mm and 2.85 mm diameters, and it can be printed at temperatures between 190 and 210 degrees Celsius. When stored properly, PVA filament has a shelf life of 6 to 12 months.

On the plus side, PVA is a biodegradable 3D printing material, so it is environmentally friendly. PVA is also relatively affordable, as it is typically less expensive than PLA and ABS filaments.

In terms of applications, PVA is most often used as a support material. However, it can also be used for prototypes and low-strength products.

Fused Materials PVA Filament 1.75mm
$39.99 ($1.13 / Ounce)
Buy On Amazon
11/27/2022 06:04 pm GMT

Pros

  1. Great water dissolvable support material
  2. No special solvents required
  3. No additional hardware required

Cons

  1. Moisture sensitive
  2. Airtight storage containers required
  3. Greater chances of clogging if the nozzle is left hot when not extruding
  4. Expensive

Printing parameters

  • Extrusion temperature — 185-200 °C
  • Bed temperature — 45-60 °C
  • Part Cooling Fan Required
  • Coat adhesion — high
  • Bed adhesion — low

Wood

It is made from a natural material, wood filament is also biodegradable. It is important to use a lower temperature than usual to avoid charring the wood.

Wood filament can be quite abrasive, so it is important to use a wear-resistant nozzle. And finally, wood filament tends to be more expensive than other types of filament, so it is important to shop around for the best deals. With these tips in mind, you can start experimenting with wood filament and create some truly unique prints.

AMOLEN Wood Filament
$40.99 ($1.45 / Ounce)
Buy On Amazon
11/27/2022 10:15 pm GMT

Pros

  1. Wood-textured finish is aesthetically appealing
  2. Does not need any expensive wear resistant nozzles
  3. Aromatic and pleasant smelling

Cons

  1. Prone to stringing
  2. Smaller nozzles can end up with partial clogs over time
  3. May require a larger size nozzle

Printing parameters

  • Extrusion temperature — 190-230°C
  • Bed temperature — 20-60°C
  • Air cooling — advisable
  • Interlaminar adhesion — medium
  • Bed adhesion — good

Nylon

Nylon is a strong and durable 3D printing material, so it is ideal for creating functional parts.

Additionally, nylon filament is flexible and can be used to create 3D printed hinges or other moving parts. You can also use nylon filament to create 3D printed molds or prototypes.

Pros

  1. Tough and partially flexible
  2. High impact resistance
  3. No unpleasant odor while printing
  4. Good abrasion resistance

Cons

  1. Prone to Warping
  2. Air-tight storage required to prevent water absorption
  3. Improperly dried filaments can cause printing defects
  4. Not suitable for moist and humid environments

Printing parameters

  • Extrusion temperature — 235-260°C
  • Bed temperature — 100-120°C
  • Air cooling — unadvisable
  • Coat adhesion — high
  • Bed adhesion — low

PC (Polycarbonate)

Polycarbonate (PC) is a thermoplastic that offers a unique combination of properties. It is lightweight yet strong, making it an ideal choice for 3D printing applications. PC filament is also resistant to heat and chemicals, making it perfect for environments where those factors are present.

In addition, PC filament is clear, making it a great option for creating parts that need to be see-through. All of these properties make PC filament a popular choice for both industrial and consumer applications. However, one downside of PC filament is that it is more expensive than other filament options on the market.

Pros

  1. Impact resistant
  2. High heat resistance
  3. Naturally transparent
  4. Bendable without breaking

Cons

  1. Requires very high print temperatures
  2. Prone to warping
  3. High tendency to ooze while printing
  4. Absorbs moisture from the air which can cause print defects

Printing parameters

  • Extrusion temperature — 270-310°C
  • Bed temperature — 90-110°C
  • Air cooling — unadvisable
  • Interlaminar adhesion — high
  • Bed adhesion — low

Metal-Filled

Metal-filled filament is made by mixing metal powder with a plastic base. The most common types of metal-filled filaments are made with steels, bronze, and brass. These materials can be used to print functional parts, prototypes, and end-use products.

Metal-filled filaments have good printability and can be used with both FFF and FDM 3D printers. One of the benefits of using these filaments is that they allow for the printing of parts with a high degree of detail. In addition, metal-filled filaments can be post-processed to create different surface finishes.

Pros

  1. Metallic finish is aesthetically appealing
  2. Does not need high-temperature extruder
  3. Heavier than standard filaments

Cons

  1. Requires a wear-resistant nozzle
  2. Printed parts are very brittle
  3. Very poor bridging and overhangs
  4. Can cause partial clogs over time

Printing parameters

  • Depend on the base material, metal and the degree of filling. Vary significantly depending on the manufacturer.

Glow-in-the-Dark BS

Glow-in-the-dark filaments are a type of plastic that is glow-in-the-dark. They are made of a phosphorus-based material that emits light when it is exposed to ultraviolet (UV) light. The filaments are then extruded into a filament form, which can be used in 3D printers.

Tthey are ideal for applications where visibility is important, such as in emergency situations. Third, glow-in-the-dark filaments can be used to create objects with unique colors and patterns that cannot be achieved with traditional filaments.

Glow in The Dark Filament
$41.99 ($1.19 / Ounce)
Buy On Amazon
11/27/2022 10:21 am GMT

Pros

  1. Offers the ability to 3D print objects that glow in the dark
  2. Creates objects with unique colors and patterns

Cons

  1. Depend on the base material.

Printing parameters

  • Depend on the base material. Vary significantly depending on the manufacturer.

HIPS

Filament made of HIPS (high-impact polystyrene) is a great material for 3D printing. It is strong and stiff, making it ideal for printing parts that need to support weight or be dimensionally stable.

HIPS is also easy to print with and does not require a heated build platform. In addition, HIPS filament can be dissolve in limonene, making it easy to remove support structures. On the flip side, HIPS is not as strong as ABS and has a lower melting point, making it more susceptible to warping.

Gizmo Dorks 1.75mm Hips Filament
$20.95 ($0.59 / Ounce )
Buy On Amazon
11/27/2022 12:02 pm GMT

Pros

  1. Impact and water resistant
  2. Lightweight
  3. Dissolvable by d-Limonene

Cons

  1. Heated bed required
  2. High printing temperature
  3. Ventilation required

Printing parameters

  • Extrusion temperature — 210-245°C
  • Bed temperature — 90-120°C
  • Air cooling — inadvisable
  • Interlaminar adhesion — medium
  • Bed adhesion — medium

ASA

ASA filament is well suited for outdoor use. Unlike ABS or PLA, ASA does not degrade when exposed to UV light, making it an ideal material for applications where the printed object will be exposed to the elements.

ASA also has superior impact resistance, making it a good choice for applications where the object may be subject to stress or shock. In addition, ASA offers excellent dimensional stability, meaning that objects printed with ASA are less likely to warp or deform over time. Still, ASA is not without its drawbacks.

The material can be difficult to print with and has a strong odor when heated, making it unsuitable for some applications.

ProS

  1. Strong UV resistance
  2. High impact and wear resistance
  3. High glass transition temperature

Cons

  1. Expensive
  2. Requires higher extruder temperatures
  3. Requires ventilation due to potentially dangerous fumes

Printing parameters

  • Extrusion temperature — 220-270°C
  • Bed temperature — 90-110°C
  • Air cooling — unadvisable
  • Interlayer adhesion — medium
  • Bed adhesion — medium

Carbon Fiber Filled

Carbon fiber is an incredibly strong material that is also lightweight and heat resistant. These properties make it ideal for use in a variety of industries, from aerospace to automotive.

Carbon fiber filaments are a type of 3D printing filament that is made with carbon fiber reinforcement. These filaments offer all the benefits of carbon fiber, but are easier to print with and have higher dimensional accuracy.

As a result, they are ideal for applications where strength and precision are required. Carbon fiber filaments are more expensive than traditional filaments, but their superior properties make them worth the cost.

With all the benefits that carbon fiber filaments offer, it’s no surprise that they are becoming increasingly popular for 3D printing applications. If you are in need of a strong and precise 3D printed part, carbon fiber filaments are worth considering.

Pros

  1. Made with carbon fiber reinforcement for strength and durability
  2. Lightweight and heat resistant
  3. Easier to print with than traditional carbon fiber

Cons

  1. Abrasive and requires hardened steel nozzle
  2. Increased oozing while printing
  3. Increased brittleness of filament

Printing parameters

  • Sturdiness – High
  • Flexibility – High
  • Strength – Medium
  • Printing temperature – 195°-210°C
  • Temperature of print bed – 45°-60°C

Conclusion

This is by no means a full list of 3D printing materials, There are many other exotic types of plastic with their own specific applications.  I hope this guide will help you select the best material for your next project or improve the quality of your prints.

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