18 3D Printer Filament Types And Uses Comparison Guide

3D printer filament is among the most important 3D printing materials as you cannot produce any object without it. This page aims to help you understand the different 3D printing filament types, so you can choose the best 3D printer filament for you.

3d printer filaments 3d printers easy to print pla abs support material 3d print

Which is the best 3D printer filament PLA or ABS? What are the properties of the best 3D printer materials?

If you do, then you will find an answer here. A 3D printer plastic, also known as the filament for 3D printing, serves as the 3D printer ink.

3D printer filaments come in different types and your filament choice might depend on the object that you are trying to build. 3D printers can accommodate one or more types of filaments.

If you want to learn the different types of filaments and support material for 3D printers on the market, their purposes, and edges against each other you are on the right page!

Check out below to find the different 3D printing supplies and discover the best 3D filaments for your 3D printers.

3D Printing Filament
Price CheckSpecial Properties
Usage
Printing Temperature
Bed Temperature
Bed Adhesion
Availability
Glow in the Dark
ABS
Making durable parts that need to withstand higher temperatures, Easy to print with, strong plastic,
Legos, instruments, sports equipment, Objects that might be dropped, knife handles, car phone mounts, phone cases, toys, wedding rings
210°C – 250°C
80°C-110 °C
Kapton Tape / Hairspray

1.75mm/3mm
Yes
PLA
Odorless, Low-warp, Eco-Friendly, Less energy to process
Food containers, such as candy wrappers, and biodegradable medical implants, models, prototype parts
190°C - 230°C
60°C - 80°C.
Blue painter's tape/ Hairspray
1.75mm/3mm
Yes
PVA
Non harmful, non-toxic, and environment friendly, Easily be dissolved in water under normal temperature, Easily stripping.
paper adhesive, thickener, packaging film, in feminine hygiene, adult incontinence products, in children’s play putty or slime, freshwater sports fishing,
180°C – 230°C
45 °C
Blue Painters Tape
1.75mm/3mm
No
PET
FDA approved for food containers and tools used for food consumption, barely warps, no odors or fumes when printed
phone cases and mechanical parts that require flexibility and impact resistance, jewelry, props, and electronics
230-255 °C
55 °C-70 °C
Blue Painters Tape
1.75mm/3mm
No
PETG
Extremely durable and prints without odor. Has superior impact resistance that is superior to PET. Low shrinkage, no warping and not brittle.Protective components like phone cases and mechanical parts that require flexibility. Food containers like cups and plates.220°C – 245°C70°C - 75°CBlue Painters Tape1.75mm/3mmNo
PETT
Colorless, Water Clear, FDA approved, Recyclable, Strong and Flexible
Food containers like cups and utensils, Soda pop bottles,
210°C – 230°C
45 °C
Blue Painters Tape
1.75mm/3mm
No
HIPS
Biodegradable, Great 3D Support material, low-cost,
costumes, models, miniature figurines, prototyping
220-230 °C
50 °C-60 °C
Kapton Tape/Hairspray
1.75mm/3mm
No
Nylon
strong, lightweight, durable, flexible, wear-resistant, 100% thermoplastic
machine parts, mechanical components, structural parts, gears and bearings, dynamic load, containers, tools, consumer products and toys.
210°C – 250°C
60 °C-80 °C
PVA Based Glue
1.75mm/3mm
No
Wood
Versatility, Real wood scent, Durability, contain real wood fibers
wooden box, wooden figurine, tables, chairs, cups or the likes.
200°C - 260°C
90°C-110°C.
Blue Painters Tape
1.75mm/3mm
No
Sandstone
No plastic feeling, Printed objects can be coloured and easely grinded, Stics well on print bed, No heated bed necessary, Near zero warp
Architecture models, landscapes,
165°C – 210°C
20 °C-55 °C
Blue Painters Tape
1.75mm/3mm
No
Metal
highly durable, not soluble, little shrinkage during cooling
Jewelry, statues, home hardware and artifact replicas.
195-220 °C
50 °C
Blue Painters Tape
1.75mm/3mm
No
Magnetic Iron PLA
High Durability, Magnetic Look, Magnetic properties
Fridge magnets, sensors, actuators, magnetic stirrers, and educational, DIY projects.
185 °C
20 °C-55 °C
Blue Painters Tape
1.75mm/3mm
No
Conductive PLA
Very low warping, Not Soluble, Print low-voltage electronic circuits,
low-voltage circuitry applications, touch sensor projects,
225°C-260 °C
90 °C-110 °C
Kapton Tape/ Haispray
1.75mm/3mm
No
Carbon Fiber
Highly Durable, Soluble, Low Warpage, Good layer adhesion
Frames, supports, propellers, tools, mechanical parts, protective casings, shells, high durability applications
195°C-220 °C
50 °C
Blue Painters Tape
1.75mm/3mm
No
Flexible/TPE
Flexible 3D printing material, excellent abrasion resistance, smooth feeding properties, Durability
Toys, novelty items, wearable, phone cases, visual products.
210°C-225 °C
20-55 °C
Blue Painters Tape
1.75mm/3mm
No
Glow In The Dark
Minimal Warping, Glow in the Dark properties, durable, not soluble, low shrinkage during cooling
children’s toys, novelty items, wearables, phone cases, visual products.
185°C-205 °C
70 °C
Blue Painters Tape
1.75mm/3mm
Yes
Amphora
High strength and very high toughness, FDA food contact compliance, Odor Neutral processing, Styrene free formulation
Desktop items, Mechanical Parts,
220°C – 250°C
60 °C- 70 °C
Blue Painters Tape
1.75mm/3mm
No

What is a 3D Printer Filament

What are 3D printing filaments? A 3D filament is a 3D printer plastic that is used to make three-dimensional printing. In 3D printing, the most popular filaments are ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) and PLA (Polylactic Acid).

However, there are more filaments for 3D printers out there other than PLA or ABS. Some of them are heat resistant, food-safe, and chemical resistant. Perhaps, you already read or hear some of them. Meanwhile, others might be new to you.

Check out the next sections to learn the 3D printer filaments available on the market. Some of them make great support material for projects that need one.

What filaments do 3D printers use? 

There are many filaments available in the market. They have different qualities and properties. Some are tough, flexible, and heat-resistant. Meanwhile, others are weak, brittle or with adhesion issues. They are also available in various diameters and layers. Here are the types of 3D printing filaments that you can choose from.

#1. ABS 3D Printing Filament

3d printer canada abs 3d printing with plastic 3d printed printing materials pla filament

Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene a.k.a. ABS filament is the most popular or commonly used 3D printer filament. In fact, it is used in a wide variety of applications because it is tough and high impact-resistant.

This filament is also strong and slightly flexible, which makes it a good material for 3D printing. In addition, it can be easily extruded, which makes it very easy to print.

It is available in 3.0mm and 1.75mm diameter at 2 lbs, 5 lbs, and 10 lbs spools. There are also ABS engineering-grade filaments on the market if you want one.

Print Temperature Range: 210°C – 250°C

Applications

ABS is the best 3D printer filament for moving parts, automotive parts, electronic housing, and toys. ABS filament is also used in pipes, automotive components, electronic assemblies, protective headgear like bicycle helmets, music instruments, kitchen appliances, LEGO bricks and more.

Pros
  • Flexible
  • Prints easily
  • Impact-resistant
  • Tough and high quality
  • Lightweight and slightly flexible
  • Cheapest thermoplastic on the market
  • Favorite material in 3D printing community
Cons
  • Petroleum-based non-biodegradable plastic
  • Requires a high temperature to reach a melting point (210°C – 250°C)
  • Creates mild fumes, which may irritate users or the people in the surrounding

When using ABS in your 3D printers, you should install it in a well-ventilated area.

MatterHackers Pro Series ABS filament is among the high-quality brands you can find on the market. It’s quite pricey, but there are several variants of good quality ABS filament on the market, check it out below.

abs 3d printing with plastic pla filament pla filament 3d printers easy to print pla abs support material 3d print

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pla filament pla filament 3d printers easy to print pla abs support material 3d print

 

#2. PLA 3D Printing Filament 

filament pla pla filament pla filament

Polylactic acid or PLA filament is one of the most commonly used 3D printing materials that is often compared against ABS. PLA is a biodegradable thermoplastic that is derived from renewable resources like cornstarch, sugar cane, tapioca roots, and potato starch.

This 3D print filament is more environment-friendly compared to other plastic materials. Due to this and its low-toxicity features, more and more prefer PLA over ABS. Furthermore, it is even one of the most popular 3D printing plastics in the 3D printing community.

In contrast to ABS, PLA filament doesn’t produce toxic stinks during printing, so it is safer to use within homes and classrooms. Due to its safe and non-toxic nature, this filament is the best 3D printer filament for kids who love 3D printing.

Print Temperature Range: 180°C – 230°C

Applications

This filament has the ability to degrade into inoffensive lactic acid in the body and due to this property, it is used in medical suturing and surgical implants. Surgically implanted screws, pins, rods or mesh naturally breaks down in the body within 6 months to 2 years.

Aside from the aforementioned, it is considered safe. Thus, it is also used in food packaging, candy wrappers, disposable tableware, disposable garments, hygiene product, and diapers to name a few.

Pros
  • Works well for beginners
  • Produces a sweet aroma that smells like waffles or candy when heated
  • The easiest material to work with
  • Less prone to warping compared to ABS
  • Available in translucent and glow-in-the-dark colors
Cons
  • Prone to clogging or jamming the printer nozzle
  • Attracts water molecules, becoming brittle at times, difficult to print
  • Water saturated PLA needs a higher extrusion temperature

Dremel Digilab and Hatchbox are among the most popular brands that offer quality and tough PLA filaments. If you want to get a PLA 3D filament for your next project, you can purchase it on Amazon.

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#3. PVA 3D Printing Filament 

pva-filament plastic 3d printing support material

Polyvinyl Alcohol better known as PVA filament is another great 3D filament. PVA is a special plastic that is water-soluble. This type of filament is based on polyvinyl alcohol, so it has pretty good properties like being non-toxic and biodegradable. It is the most popular support material in the market.

PVA is easy to print that’s why they make good support during a printing process for models with overhangs that is impossible to print without support material.

Print Temperature Range: 180°C – 230°C

Applications

PVA 3D printing filament is commonly used as a paper adhesive, thickener, packaging film, in feminine hygiene, adult incontinence products, in children’s play putty or slime. This material is also the best filament for freshwater sports fishing, where PVA bags filled with bait are thrown into the water. The bag rapidly dissolves and releases the bait to attract the fish.

Pros
  • Non-toxic and biodegradable
  • Great support material
  • Soluble in water
  • Low flexibility and safe for food
Cons
  • Not easy to print as it attracts water so much
  • Difficult to source
  • Costly compared to other materials

If you need a PVA filament for 3D printers, check it here.

pva-filament plastic 3d printing pva-filament plastic 3d printing support material

Check Price at Amazon pva-filament plastic 3d printing support material pla filaments pla filaments 3d printers

 

#4. PET 3D Printing Filament

food safe 3d printers support material easy to print
IMG Source: 3dprint.com

Polyethylene Terephthalate or PET is another popular 3D filament from plastic bottles. This is a stable and harmless plastic. It does not produce any funky odors and is totally recyclable.

PET filament in its original state is colorless and crystal clear. However, when exposed to heat or cold the material changes its transparency.

When you allow this to cool down slowly after printing, it will have a crystalline structure. PET has different versions, including PETG which is food-safe.

This modification is a clear thermoplastic with the possibility to thermoform and mold the item after being printed. You can also polish it with flame.

Print Temperature Range: 220°C – 250°C

Applications

PET filament is ideal for packaging purposes because of its vapor barrier and strength. This 3D filament is often used in phone cases and mechanical parts that require flexibility and impact resistance.

Pros
  • Easy to print
  • Flexible than the widely popular materials ABS and PLA
  • Cater with wide temperature range from 160c to 210C without any issues
  • Hard and shockproof
Cons
  • Absorbs water from the air (store this properly)

If you want to get a PET 3D printer filament, you can purchase it here.

food safe 3d printers support material easy to print

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#5. PETG 3D Printing Filament

petg filament
PETG filament is a variation of the highly popular PET filament with the addition of “glycol-modified,” thus the name PETG. It is a really tough material that is extremely durable and prints without odor.

PETG filament offers durability and impact-resistant that is superior to PET as the latter tends to become hazy and brittle when overheated. The addition of glycol removes these limitations giving PETG filament the following properties: low shrinkage, no warping, and strong but not brittle.

Print Temperature Range: 220°C – 245°C

Application

PETG filament is best for printing products that are subject to sudden or sustained stress like protective components (cell phone cases) and mechanical parts. It is also food-safe so it’s good for cups, plates, and water or food containers.

Pros
  • Food safe
  • Tough, flexible, and recyclable
  • Not brittle nor prone to warp
  • Does not shrink, can be printed on glass without any glues
  • Do not absorb water or moisture from the air, does not degrade in water
  • Impact-resistant and superior to PET
Cons
  • Not easy to print
  • Poor bridging characteristics
  • Requires fine-tuning of bed and nozzle temperature
  • Can produce thin hairs on the surface due to stringing

petg filament

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#6. PETT 3D Printing Filament

pett filament 3d printing canada 3d printers material

PolyEthylene coTrimethylene Terephthalate (PETT)marketed as T-Glase filament is another popular 3D printer filament. This material is colorless and water clear.

It does not degrade to a color in multiple layers of applied thickness. Moreover, this type of 3D printing filament is not biodegradable, but it is recyclable.
Print Temperature Range: 210°C – 230°C

Applications

PETT is FDA approved polymers, making it safe for direct food contact. Most PETT applications include food containers like cups and utensils and soda pop bottles.

Pros
  • Strength, flexibility, and biocompatibility. Not brittle nor prone to warp.
  • Does not shrink, can be printed on glass without any glues
  • Do not absorb water or moisture from the air, does not degrade in water
  • FDA approved and impressive in bridging
  • Prices for PETT are also coming down with some as cheap as ABS
Cons
  • Not easy to use
  • Requires fine-tuning of bed and nozzle temperature

You can purchase your PETT filament here.

pett filament canada 3d printing canada 3d printer

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#7. HIPS 3D Printing Filament

IMG Source: 3dfizzr.wordpress.com
IMG Source: 3dfizzr.wordpress.com

High Impact Polystyrene (HIPS) material is biodegradable and has a bright white color. It has no adverse effects when it comes to close contact with humans or pets.

HIPS is very similar to ABS, only that it uses Limonene as a solvent. Furthermore, just like PVA filament, HIPS filament is also a great 3D support material. In fact, HIPS would make a great support material when you print ABS with a dual extrusion printer.

Print Temperature Range: 210°C – 250°C

Applications

HIPS filament’s specific application is not to fabricate the object itself. This 3D printer filament is popular as secondary material in dual extrusion 3D printers to provide structural support to a complex object. Besides, HIPS is well spread in the food industry for packaging. HIPS is also used to pack CD disks and to produce medicinal trays.

Pros
  • High impact
  • Better than ABS
  • Less likely to warp
  • Great support material when you 3D print ABS
Cons
  • Has curling and adhesion issues
  • Working would be tricky if you have no heated bed

If you need HIPS 3D printer filament, check it out here.

IMG Source: 3dfizzr.wordpress.com

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#8. Nylon 3D Printing Filament

nylon

Polyamide better known as Nylon filament is a popular synthetic polymer that is also used in many industrial applications. This 3D printer filament is a cost-effective plastic. It is strong, lightweight, flexible, chemical resistant and wear-resistant.

Nylon is the best 3D printer filament for mechanical and functional parts due to its strength and high melting temperature. Among the best nylon filament in the market is MatterHackers PRO Series Nylon which offers strength and durability that is top of the line.

Print Temperature Range: 210°C – 250°C

Applications

Due to the strength, durability and flexibility of Nylon, it is used in a variety of applications. The engineering grade of Nylon is ideal for machine parts, mechanical components, structural parts, gears and bearings, dynamic load, containers, tools, consumer products, and toys.

Pros
  • Nylon is water and chemical resistant
  • High strength, durability, and flexibility
  • Less brittle than PLA or ABS
  • 100% thermoplastic
  • Can re-melt and use again without loosing bonding properties
Cons
  • Very high melting temperature of at least 240c
  • Hot-ends contain materials like PEEK and PTFE
  • When heated will break down and emit toxic fumes

Another weak spot about Nylon is its sensitivity to moisture. It can absorb moisture easily. In fact, it can absorb over 10% of its weight in just 24 hours, which is quite bad. So, you have to be very discreet when storing this. You must keep it dry for good prints by storing it in a sealed container with moisture remover or silica gel packets. In addition, Nylon has issues with adhesion.

If you need a Nylon 3D printer filament, worry no more because you can purchase it here.

nylon

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#9. Wood 3D Printing Filament

pla wood
IMG Source: all3dp.com

If you are tired of producing plastics and want to see something new in your next 3D printing project, you can unleash your creativity with wood-like outputs by using FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling) filament also known as Wood Filament.

Wood Filament contains a mixture of recycled wood with a binding polymer. Thus, helping you produce a 3D object that looks and smells like wood.

Due to its wooden nature, it’s difficult to tell that the object is 3D printed. So, if you want to achieve that wooden appearance, get a wood 3D printer filament. Using wood filament is similar to using a thermoplastic filament like ABS and PLA.

When using this type of 3D printer filament, the temperature should be between175C and 250C. Otherwise, you won’t achieve wooden-like appearance in your 3D printed output.

Print Temperature Range: 195°C – 220°C

Applications

Wood filaments are often used in decors or materials that you want to achieve with a wooden nature. Moreover, you can use it to print a wooden box, wooden figurine, tables, chairs, cups or the likes.

Pros
  • Contain real wood fibers
  • Produce different shades of brown wooden-like surfaces
  • The higher the temperature the darker brown shade
  • Changing printing temperature stimulates tree’s growth ring effect
  • You decorate and post-process, like cut, grind and paint
Cons
  • Softer and weaker compared to PLA
  • Reduced flexibility and tensile length
  • It can break easily

If you still wish to use a Wooden filament for your next 3D printing project, you can get it here.

pla wood

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#10. Sandstone 3D Printing Filament

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IMG Source: makergeeks.com

Sandstone 3D printer filament is another great material that will give you a unique output. It combines fine chalk powder with PLA to provide you the color and texture similar to a stone. Also, it sticks well on the print bed and doesn’t need a heated bed.

With Sandstone 3D printer filament, you can produce different surface characteristics either smooth or rough by changing the extrusion temperature while 3D printing. If you are looking for printing filaments with a unique sandstone finish, this is the material you need.

Print Temperature Range: 165°C – 210°C

Applications

This 3D printer filament is ideal for architectural, museum or landscape display and structural parts.

Pros
  • Sticks well to the print bed
  • Unique sandstone finish and appearance
  • Does not require a heated bed
  • Does not shrink or warp during cooling
Cons
  • Not durable and less flexible
  • Brittle and prone to snapping and breaking
  • Material is not food safe

yhst-136641646054229_2269_22322567

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#11. Metal 3D Printing Filament

IMG Source: smartprinting.co
IMG Source: smartprinting.co

Another interesting 3D printer filament that you should try is Metal PLA. This material is a category of PLA combined with actual metallic powder. By using a metal filament, you will produce 3D printed materials that look and feel like they were made of bronze, brass, or copper. So if you a metal-like finish for your 3D models this is the best material for you.

Print Temperature Range: 195°C – 220°C

Applications

Since metal PLA produce metal-like outputs, metal 3D printer material works great for jewelry, statues, home hardware and artifact replicas.

Pros
  • Highly durable
  • Not soluble
  • Very little shrinkage during cooling
Cons
  • Requires fine-tuning of nozzle temperature
  • Need to regulate flow rate and post-processing

If you want a Metal filament for your next 3D printing project, you can try ColorFabb bronzeFill metal filament or MatterHackers metallic bronze PRO series. Here’s another good-quality metal filament that we highly recommend.

IMG Source: smartprinting.co

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#12. Magnetic Iron 3D Printing Filament

ProtoPasta_Magnetic_Iron_Printed_Objects_0
IMG Source: lulzbot.com

Magnetic filament is made by infusing finely ground iron powder into a base material. Any material can be theoretically used as a base such as PLA. When PLA is used, the material is usually called Magnetic PLA.

Magnetic Iron PLA is another great 3D printer filament that you will surely enjoy. It is helpful if you want to 3D print magnet-like objects. This filament strongly attracts magnets like neodymium iron boron (NdFeB) or samarium cobalt (SmCo) magnets. It has iron contents and is packed in a vacuum-sealed bag with a desiccant pack.

Print Temperature Range: 195°C – 220°C

Applications

This type of 3D printer filament is great for decors such as fridge magnets and the likes. Furthermore, it is also used to make sensors, actuators, magnetic stirrers, and educational and DIY projects.

Pros
  • Strong and durable
  • Not soluble
  • Very little shrinkage during cooling
Cons
  • Requires fine-tuning of nozzle temperature, flow rate, and post-processing
  • Not that flexible and depends on the structural design
  • Need a heated bed
  • Not food safe
  • Material is expensive

If you need a magnetic filament, you can get it here.

ProtoPasta_Magnetic_Iron_Printed_Objects_0

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#13. Conductive PLA 3D Printing Filament

3d printer canada
IMG Source: 3dprinting.com

Conductive PLA filament opens up new opportunities for your next 3D printing project. This material includes a conductive carbon particulate to allow you to 3D print low-voltage electronic circuits for simple items like LEDs and sensors.

You can couple this 3D printer filament with a standard PLA filament on a dual-extrusion machine to fabricate a basic circuit board straight from the print bed.

Print Temperature Range: 215°C – 230°C

Applications

This 3D printer filament is ideal for LEDs, sensors, circuits and low-voltage Arduino projects.

Pros
  • Allows low-voltage electronic circuits
  • Not soluble and does not require a heated bed
  • For better results you can also use a heated bed
Cons
  • Not durable and not so flexible
  • Bending the material repeatedly might break it
  • Shrinks during cooling
  • Not safe with food
  • Conductive PLA 3D filament printer is expensive

If you need a Conductive PLA 3D filament printer, you can check it here.

IMG Source: 3dprinting.com

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#14. Carbon Fiber 3D Printer Filament

carbon fiber carbon fiber
IMG Source: 3dprinting-blog.com

Carbon Fiber PLA contains small chopped carbon fiber strands. It offers impressive rigidity, structure, and layer adhesion. In addition, processing this filament is comparable to a standard PLA.

However, carbon fiber has stiffer PLA with better dimensional stability for warp-free printing, excellent layer adhesion, and easy to print support removal.
Print Temperature Range: 195°C – 220°C

Application

Carbon fiber 3D printer filament is ideal for mechanical parts, protective casings, shells and high durability applications.

Pros
  • Prints really well
  • Very durable and soluble
  • Does not require a heated bed
  • Very little shrinkage and warping during cooling
Cons
  • Material made of abrasive materials
  • When finely ground, increases the wear and tear on the printer nozzle
  • Printer nozzle should be made or coated with a harder material

If you need a Carbon Fiber PLA filament, get one here.

carbon fiber carbon fiber

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#15. Flexible/TPE 3D Printer Filament

IMG Source: filaments.ca
IMG Source: filaments.ca

Every type of 3D printer filament has its own strengths and when it comes to flexibility, nothing would beat a flexible filament. There are different types of flexible filaments such as follows:

TPE filament. This 3D printer filament is made of thermoplastic elastomers (TPE) making it super stretchable, that’s why it’s called TPE filament.

The TPE filament has high elastic characteristics that it feels like a rubber. It bounces back and forth into shape. Moreover, this material is good for FDM printers and can be used for ABS and PLA filaments. It can also withstand tough environments that ABS and PLA can’t.

TPU filament. This is made of thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), a class of polyurethane plastics with several significant properties such as elasticity, transparency, and resistance to grease, oil and abrasion. TPU filament is extremely flexible by nature.

A TPU filament is made up of thermoplastic elastomers. However, it’s better to separate them from acids, solvents and fuels which can affect their properties.

Print Temperature Range: 225°C – 235°C

Applications

Due to TPU and TPE filaments’ extreme flexibility, you can find a large application in the automotive and household appliance sector. TPE and TPU are also ideal for objects like toys, novelty items, wearable, phone cases, and visual products.

Pros
  • Tough, flexible, high elasticity and excellent abrasion resistance
  • Consistent diameter, smooth feeding properties
  • Easily stick to build platform, bonds between layers for high-quality objects
  • Durable, low shrinkage during cooling
  • Does not require a heated bed
Cons
  • 3D printing with this material is very difficult
  • Requires fine-tuning of nozzle temperature and flow rate
  • Tendency to squeeze out of extruder in all directions except the nozzle

IMG Source: filaments.ca

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#16. Glow In The Dark 3D Printing Filament

3d printed
IMG Source: 3ders.org

As the name suggests, this 3D printer filament glows in the dark. It is designed to glow brightly for an extended amount of time. However, you need to charge the object or exposed it to a light source to allow it to emit light.

The glow in the dark filament is a good choice for projects with a Halloween theme. Since this is a type of PLA and PLA is biodegradable and environmentally friendly, this is safe for everyone, including children.

Print Temperature Range: 215°C

Applications

This material is great for children’s toys, novelty items, wearables, phone cases, or visual products. Glow in the dark 3D printer filament is also among the favorite materials for budding artists who want to bring a new dimension of arts in 3D printing.

Furthermore, you can use this filament to print glow-in-the-dark light switches, so you can easily find the switch in the dark. It is also a great material to design light-shades that will continue to glow after you turned off the lights to allow your children an easy transition to sleep at night.

Pros
  • Durable, not soluble and has low shrinkage during cooling
  • Does not require heated bed as well
  • Similar to the standard PLA, printing is easy
Cons
  • Not food safe

If you want to use a Glow in the dark PLA 3D printer filament for your next project, you can purchase it here.

3d printed
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#17. Amphora 3D Printing Filament

IMG Source: fabbaloo.com
IMG Source: fabbaloo.com

This material is a fancy 3D printer filament developed by the Eastman Chemical Company. It is an entirely new polymer than is specially designed for 3D printing unlike other categories of thermoplastic that are just repurposed for 3D printing.

Although the difference is minimal it is important. This material will help you produce a glossy, opaque, and bright object

Print Temperature Range: 220°C – 250°C

Applications

Amphora is stiff, lightweight, and impact-resistant, making it ideal for mechanical parts.

Pros
  • Produces little to no odors during printing
  • Very strong, has a higher melting point than PLA
  • Has better layer adhesion for improved surface finish
  • Performs better when bridging gaps
  • Has cleaner overhangs and has little to no warps
  • Material is also US FDA-approved for food contact
Cons
  • Printing difficulty with amphora is not as easy
  • Requires fine-tuning of bed and nozzle temperature

If you need Amphora, you can get it here:

IMG Source: fabbaloo.com

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#18. ASA Filament 

ASA filament

ASA (Acrylonitrile Styrene Acrylate) is a thermoplastic that combines mechanical robustness, resistance to UV rays, resistance to water with a great surface finish. It is not as popular as ABS and PLA, but it is an excellent material. Unlike ABS, a white ASA takes a lot longer to start yellowing in the sun or to start deteriorating and losing its strength.

Print Temperature Range: 250°C

Applications

ASA is water-resistant, UV-resistant and robust but produces a great surface finish making it a great material when you are producing final pieces in 3D for machinery, prototypes, the automotive industry, and outdoor applications.

Pros
  • Robust
  • Water-resistant
  • Strong UV resistance
  • High wear and impact resistance
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Requires exceptional ventilation due to potentially dangerous fumes

If you need an ASA filament, you can purchase one on Amazon.

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Check Price at Amazon fdm 3d printers easy to print impact resistant pla abs heat resistance chemical resistant

How To Choose The Right 3D Printer Filament

With all the different types of 3D printer filament on the market, choosing the best one will surely be challenging. So, check out the tips below to determine the best material for your next project especially if you need to buy 3D printer plastic.

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IMG Source: 3dprint.com

What are you building – If you want to build a glow-in-the-dark object, you can go for glow-in-the-dark PLA 3D printer filament. Similarly, if you want sandstone, metallic or magnetic object, then you should get the appropriate filament for each project.

If you are undecided between ABS and PLA, then you should examine your priority. Do you want a safer product or a cheaper material?

Which do you prefer, the strength and flexibility of ABS or the wide range of colors, translucencies and glossy feel of PLA? Decide for yourself.

Diameter – 3D printer filament comes with different diameters. There are 3mm and 1.75mm.

Between the two, 1.75mm is better. It is more common in the market and rotates out of the inventory faster, so you can expect to get a new material when you buy it.

Moisture – This is a common issue concerning 3D printer filaments due to poor packaging or long exposure before the material is packed.

Plastic absorbs moisture from the atmosphere relative to the humidity and duration of exposure. You will notice this when it splatters and splits at the hot end.

Impurities – This is a major issue when selecting a 3D printer filament. Chemical impurities will turn your 3D printing experience into a nightmare because it will lead to poor melted plastic viscosity with debris plugging up the extruder nozzle.

Which filament is best for 3D printing?

The best filament depends on the 3D object you are printing. You should decide the objects you want to print, their quality, and the properties you want them to possess. For example, when printing objects like food containers, PLA, PET and PETG filaments are the best choice because they are food safe.

Also, while you can use any filament you wish for your 3D objects, there are filaments that are more appropriate to use for a particular object. For example, if you want a strong and stiff thermoplastic material, PLA is a better choice. That’s why it’s a popular hobbyist material.

However, if you are working on prototyping applications ABS is tough, lightweight and with better heat resistance which makes it a wiser choice. And if you want a filament that is tough and flexible with great chemical resistance, then go for nylon.

So, the best filament for 3D printing depends on the object one prints —PVA, TPU, Carbon fiber, Metal, Nylon, PLA and PETG can possibly be the best choice.

Can 3D printers use any filament?

The answer to this depends on your 3D printer. Advanced 3D printers are designed to accommodate as many filaments as possible. However, most are only compatible with ABS and PLA. Some are even designed to exclusively use the two, which means that the other filaments might not work on them. In short, while there are many filaments available in the market, your choices depend on the compatibility of the filament with your machine.

For example, XYZprinting Da Vinci 3D printers which are available in different models are programmed to accommodate different filaments. da Vinci 3D Pen EDU only allows PLA, da Vinci mini w+, da Vinci Jr. 1.0 Pro and da Vinci Color mini can accommodate PLA, PETG, Tough PLA, carbon fiber, and metallic PLA. Meanwhile, da Vinci 1.0 Pro can work with PLA, ABS, Tough PLA, PETG, HIPS and wood.

Is 3D printer filament universal?

No. 3D filaments come in many types and have different properties. In fact, they may require different temperatures.

Some need a heated bed and support materials while others don’t. Some are tough while others are brittle. Some have adhesion issues while others warp. Overall, they are not universal because they do not share the same heat resistance, adhesion, flexibility, and other key properties.

Where to buy 3D printer filament

If you want to buy ABS, PLA, and PETG or any of the 3D filaments, you can purchase them online. There are ABS filament, PLA filament, and more 3D printer filament types on Amazon.

It’s safe to buy online because you can read the reviews and assess the quality of the product even before you get hold of it. Not to mention, it’s more convenient, too.

Conclusion

There are a lot of filaments available in the market and you can find them in different colors and prices. The best 3D printer filament depends on the object one prints because filaments have different properties making one more appropriate over the others in a particular application.

Aside from PLA ABS, TPE filaments, there are metal, nylon, sandstone, magnet, carbon fiber and even glow in the dark filaments. The variety of filament available makes it easier for you to accomplish the properties of the model that you want to achieve. So, consider the projects or models you are creating and how they will be used. These factors will help you decide which is the best 3D printer filament for you.

If you wish to learn more about 3D printing, types of 3D printers, or 3D pens, you can check our homepage. You can also check our 3D printing project ideas page to know what you can print with all of these filaments.