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Ultimaker 2 – High-End 3D Printer

Source: dynamism.com

Ultimaker 2
  • Price
  • Print Performance
  • Filament
  • Printer Design
  • Help & Support


The Ultimaker 2 is popular for its great resolution, ability to execute tough projects quickly and easy to operate design. The Ultimaker 2 3D printer is quite costly but it comes with an impressive specs and features. Check it below.

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What is Ultimaker 2?

This 3D printer comes with an appealing aesthetics, premium features, and high-quality results. One of its leading features is its superb print speed and impressive accuracy. It also comes with an industry-leading print-to-size ratio, small footprint, and large build volume. It uses premium materials for construction, has heated bed smooth prints and allows ABS printing. Overall, Ultimaker 2 3D printer is easy to manage and reliable. This device is designed to give you the best 3D printing experience.

Ultimaker 2 Specs & Features


Ultimaker 2 is one of the most popular 3D printers on the market. It is fast, efficient and reliable. To help you examine this device closely, here are the top features of Ultimaker 2.

Easy to set up – Ultimaker 2 3D printer is easy to assemble because most of its part is pre-assembled and the device is ready to print. When you received this 3D printer, all you have to do is insert the build plate, plug the machine and switch the device to “on.” The overall process to make this 3D printer set up and powered on will only take a couple of minutes.

Smart and Quality Design – Ultimaker 2 is not only designed to give your high-quality and accurate results, it comes with impressive aesthetics that you don’t have to keep it when not in used. Its motors are enclosed inside the machine’s main structural support and the moving parts are neatly hidden behind its opaque plexiglass walls.

Easy to Operate User Interface – Ultimaker 2 comes with a knob similar to a car stereo to provide you an easy selection. It has logical and easy to understand menu, so you won’t get lost when using the device.

Excellent Print Performance – Ultimaker 2 3D printer includes an incredible 20-micron resolution, which enables it to produce impressive results. It also comes with undeniably fast speed. In fact, it can print a 1x1x1 centimeter cube with 100 microns layer of thickness in just 7 minutes and 50 seconds, way faster than the more expensive Form 1+ SLA printer, which took 9 minutes to finish the same job. Check out the best 3d printer in the market.

Additional Details:
  • Power Supply: 24 V DC @ 9.2 AMPS
  • Weight : 11 Kg
  • Build volume: (X) 297 x (Y) x 210 (Z) 200 mm
  • Materials: PLA, ABS, and CPE
  • Printing Speed: Up to 300 mm/s
  • Resolution: Up to 20 microns
  • Temperature: Between 15 ºC to 32 ºC
  • Print technology: FDM
  • Open Source: Yes
  • Filament Diameter: 2.85mm
  • Nozzle Diameter: .4mm
  • Extruder: Single
  • Environment: Cura Software
  • File: STL, OBJ, DAE, AMF
  • Connectivity: standard SD card reader, type-B USB port
  • Compatible Operating System: Windows XP+, Mac OS X 10.6+,Linux Ubuntu 12.10+
  • Price: $ 1,999
  • Warranty: 12 months
  • High resolution
  • Excellent build quality
  • Easy to maintain and repair
  • More expensive compared to other brands
  • Noisier than Felix and Printrbot
  • No pre-heat function to speed up the process
  • Difficult to disassemble components for repair or maintenance

Customer Reviews


Customers who purchased Ultimaker 2 find this 3D printer to be a very good value for the money but expensive compared to most 3D printers in the market. Check out some of the reviews below.

"I find the Ultimaker 2 to be a very good machine, very reliable and the customer service is the very best I have ever experienced," one Amazon Customer wrote about his Ultimaker 2 experience.

"This is a good, but expensive 3D printer. Still get misprints regularly, just like with lower cost printers. Quality is good, once you figure out how to use the software and adjust the settings," another Amazon Customer, named VGFMan, wrote about Ultimaker 2.

Rating: 3.6/5


Ultimaker 2 is an efficient and reliable 3D printer. It has impressive speed, resolution, accuracy, and precision. However, it is too expensive compared to other 3D printers. In addition, it can sometimes be noisy than other 3D printer brands and does not include a pre-heat function that can somehow affect its speed. Another potential drawback includes the difficulty in disassembling the parts during repair or maintenance. However, most customers who purchased Ultimaker 2 3D printer are so satisfied and happy that they did. So, if you can afford this 3D printer, we recommend this for you.

Get Your Ultimaker 2 at Amazon

What are 3D Pens or 3D Printing Pens?

3D pen as the name suggests is a pen. It is a pen that produces three-dimensional outputs, hence the name 3D pen. You can also refer to it as a 3D printing pen.

IMG source:3dprintingankara.com

Why 3D printing pen? 3D printing is initially a tough process. First, you have to start with a virtual design of the object you want to print in CAD (Computer Aided Design) file and process it in a 3D modeling program or use a 3D scanner to come up with a 3D digital copy of the object. To prepare the digital copy for 3D printing, you will use 3D modeling software that will slice the final model into hundreds of thousands of horizontal layers. The sliced files will then be uploaded in a 3D printer and it will produce an object layer by layer to produce the three dimensional object. 3D pens can produce the same results, thus the name 3D printing pen.

3D pens do not use ink. It is manufactured on the mechanism of melted plastic threads. You can create three-dimensional objects with 3D printing pens without the use of computers or any software. Simply draw and it will produce a three dimensional object. You can draw in the air or any surface. 3D pens are very interesting and useful tools for education, arts and crafts.

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
Printing Temperature
Bed Temperature
Bed Adhesion
Glow in the Dark
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

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
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
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
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
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
Biodegradable, Great 3D Support material, low-cost,
costumes, models, miniature figurines, prototyping
220-230 °C
50 °C-60 °C
Kapton Tape/Hairspray
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
Versatility, Real wood scent, Durability, contain real wood fibers
wooden box, wooden figurine, tables, chairs, cups or the likes.
200°C - 260°C
Blue Painters Tape
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
highly durable, not soluble, little shrinkage during cooling
Jewelry, statues, home hardware and artifact replicas.
195-220 °C
50 °C
Blue Painters Tape
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
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
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
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
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
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

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


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.

  • Flexible
  • Prints easily
  • Impact-resistant
  • Tough and high quality
  • Lightweight and slightly flexible
  • Cheapest thermoplastic on the market
  • Favorite material in 3D printing community
  • 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


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.

  • 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
  • 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.

filament pla pla filament pla filament pla filament pla filament

Check Price at Amazon pla filaments pla filaments 3d printers

#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


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.

  • Non-toxic and biodegradable
  • Great support material
  • Soluble in water
  • Low flexibility and safe for food
  • 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


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.

  • 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
  • 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

Check Price at Amazon food safe 3d printers support material easy to print


#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


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.

  • 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
  • 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


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.

  • 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
  • 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


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.

  • High impact
  • Better than ABS
  • Less likely to warp
  • Great support material when you 3D print ABS
  • 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

Check Price at Amazon: 

#8. Nylon 3D Printing Filament


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


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.

  • 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
  • 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.


Check Price at Amazon 

#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


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.

  • 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
  • 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

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


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

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


Check Price at Amazon


#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


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

  • Highly durable
  • Not soluble
  • Very little shrinkage during cooling
  • 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

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

#12. Magnetic Iron 3D Printing Filament

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


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.

  • Strong and durable
  • Not soluble
  • Very little shrinkage during cooling
  • 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.


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

#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


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

  • Allows low-voltage electronic circuits
  • Not soluble and does not require a heated bed
  • For better results you can also use a heated bed
  • 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

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

#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


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

  • Prints really well
  • Very durable and soluble
  • Does not require a heated bed
  • Very little shrinkage and warping during cooling
  • 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


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.

  • 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
  • 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

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


#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


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.

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


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

  • 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
  • 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

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

#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


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.

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

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

ASA strongest 3d printer filament fdm 3d printers easy to print impact resistant pla abs heat resistance chemical resistant

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.

pla filament australia 3d printer material fdm 3d printers easy to print impact resistant pla abs heat resistance chemical resistant
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.


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.

Types of 3D Printing Materials From Plastics, Papers To Food

Are you wondering what types of materials you can use for 3D printing? Do you want to know the different types of 3D printing materials?

If you do, then you are just on the right page because I’ll be sharing with you the different materials that you can use for your project. You would probably be surprised because some of these are not as popular as plastics when you look for materials for 3D printing.

3D printing is a growing industry and the materials available for 3D printing has also changed over the years. If you are a fan of 3D printing, there is a wide variety of materials that you can choose from to create a 3D object and we will be covering that here.

Here are some of the 3D printing materials that you should check out:


pla filament storage

Plastics are one of the most common 3D printing materials that designers use and you probably know this already. But do you know that there are still many types of plastics for 3D printing?

Here are the two most popular plastic filament for 3D printing.


ABS is among the most common plastic materials for 3D printing. This is widely used in entry-level FDM 3D printers in filament form.

ABS is a very strong plastic and comes in a variety of colors. This material can easily be brought in a filament form from non-proprietary sources making it very popular.


PLA is biodegradable, which makes it a great choice for environmental advocates who want to engage in 3D printing. PLA can be utilized in resin format for Digital Light Processing (DLP) and Stereolithography.

This plastic can also be used in filament form for the FDM process. Just like ABS, PLA is available in different colors. However, it is not as durable.

📌Benefits: ABA and PLA are ideal for low-cost prototyping, developing mechanical parts, cases, holders, adapters, toys, and scale models. However, they are not recommended for objects that require intricate designs.
IMG Source:designnews.com

Other Types of Plastics

Once you use plastic other than ABS and PLA for 3D printing, you are already using a specialized plastic with specific properties rather than for general 3D printing. Here are some of them.



Nylon or polyamide is commonly used in powder form with sintering process or in filament form with FDM process. This material is strong, flexible and durable. Nylon is naturally white in color, but it can be colored for pre or post-printing.

Nylon in powder form can be combined with powdered aluminum to produce Alumide, another common 3D printing material for sintering. Nylon is reliable for 3D printing.

However, it is more costly than PLA or ABS because it is used for specific material properties (resistance to specific chemicals) or due to the FDA approved materials.

📌 Nylon is ideal for functional products, complex models with intricate design, moving and assembled parts, cases, holders, and adapters. However, nylon is not good for cavities with design.


HIPS Filament

High Impact Polystyrene or HIPS are plastic filaments used for dissolvable support structures in FDM printers. HIPS have similar characteristics with ABS, only that it is completely soluble in liquid hydrocarbon called limonene.

If you are using an FDM printer with more than one print head you can extrude ABS in one head and HIPS in another head as a support material. HIPS will dissolve away, leaving ABS behind for a cleaner output.

LayBrick and LayWood


📌LayBrick and LayWood may vary in appearance depending on the temperature at which they are printed. For instance, LayBrick can be as smooth as ceramic or rough as sandstone just by increasing the heat of extrusion.

You can achieve a smooth result in this material by printing at a low temperature from 165O C to 190O. Meanwhile, increasing the temperature from the said temperature to around 210OC will render a rougher result.

On the other hand, for LayWood, the difference in appearance is not on the texture but in the color. When you increase the temperature, it will result in darker wood grain. If you have a printer that supports variable temperature in a single print, you can get different colors in a single print using LayWood.


T-Glase is the brand name for filament composed of Polyethylene terephthalate. This material is the most glass-like compared to other 3D printer filaments.

📌T-Glase prints at around 221OC on a heated bed. This material is very stable, light-transmissive and curing-resistant.
IMG source:businessinsider.com



Aside from plastics, metal is popular in 3D printing. Check out the metal powder used in the craft below.

steelStainless Steel – Stainless Steel in powder form are used in sintering/melting/EBM processes. This material is naturally silver, but it can be plated with other materials to achieve a gold or bronze effect.

gold and silverGold / Silver – These materials are considered in 3D printing in 2011. They are very useful in the jewelry sector. These materials are very strong and just like the stainless steel, gold and silver are processed in powder form.

titaniumTitanium – this material is one of the strongest metal materials you can find in the market for 3D printing industrial applications. Just like the others, Titanium is supplied in powder form.

Other Metals – Aside from the aforementioned metals, maraging steel, Inconel – In718, Inconel – In625, cobalt chrome, and copper are also used in 3D printing.

📌Benefits: Industrial metals are ideal for functional prototypes and end-use parts, mechanical parts, and moving and assembled parts. It is also great for complex designs with intricate details. Just like nylon, these materials are not recommended for cavities with design.



📌Ceramic is a new material in 3D printing that is more durable than metal and plastic. Ceramic can withstand extreme heat and pressure without warping or breaking. Ceramics don’t rust like metals or wear away like plastic.
📌However, ceramics are difficult to process. In fact, it requires a tremendous amount of temperature to melt.

Ceramics are great material for tablewares like cups, bowls, egg cups and coasters. It is also perfect for candle holders, tiles, vases, arts, and more items.



Papers are popular for 2D printing, but mind you, they are also great materials for 3D printing. In fact, you can use Standard A4 copier paper as your 3D printing material.

📌Using paper as your 3D printing material offers a number of advantages, it results in a full-color model, very cheap compared to other material, easy to acquire and recyclable.

Mcor Arke can 3D print a variety of sturdy objects that look almost like everyday life even if they are only made of paper. If you are looking for a 3D printer that uses paper, check that one out.

Bio Materials

3d material-sneakers

IMG Source:all3dp.com

Biomaterials are synthetic or natural material that can be used for constructing artificial organs, prostheses, bones or tissue. This material can now be used in 3D printing for a number of medical applications.

In fact, several studies are examining living tissues with the goal of developing applications to print human organs for transplant and external tissues for body parts where replacement is needed. Another 3D printing area using biomaterials concentrates on developing food like meat.



The arts of 3D printing have no limitations. In fact, there are 3D printers design to use food as printing materials.

📌The most common and desirable materials for 3D printing is chocolate. However, aside from this, other printers work with sugar, candy, pancake batter and some with pasta and meat. Some can also 3D print using paste-type ingredients like tomato sauce, chocolate sauce, salad sauce.

There are already many food 3D printers. These 3D printers are useful for bakeries as they are designed to print food that’s why they use food as materials.

Any food with ingredients that can be puréed can be 3D printed. Some of the foods that you can 3D print are gingerbread, hamburgers, chocolates, pancakes, pizzas and more.

Here’s an overview of how 3D printing works.

3d printed pizza


3D printing is very flexible and it continues to improve. As this craft grows, more and more materials will be compatible with 3D printers. In due time, any material you could think of might probably be applicable in 3D printing, so keep yourself updated!

What’s your favorite 3D printing material? Do you find it in the list?

For those who want to learn more about 3D printers, please check our homepage.

55 Useful, Cool Things To 3D Print: Best 3D Printing Ideas & Projects

What to 3D print? Are you looking for cool 3D printing ideas you can make at home? Are you aware of the wonders that this little machine can do for you?

3D printing is a powerful technology. It allows you to bring to life anything you have in mind. With 3D printing technology, you can now see, hold and feel whatever is in your imagination.

For those looking for 3D printing ideas, this page is for you! Continue reading to know the best things to 3D print. The list below will give you brilliant ideas on what you should 3D print.

Cool things to 3D print

Beginners often wonder what things to 3D print. I’m here to help, so I’m giving you a list of the smart and cool things to 3D print that will surely be helpful to you!

For those new to 3D printing and are eager to 3D print their first project you can start with the small stuff and work your way up. However, let me remind you – the ability of your 3D printer could limit the things you can 3D print.

Anyway, since this page is about 3D printing ideas, let’s focus on the cool things to 3D print that will be beneficial to you and your household. So, let’s get started!

#1 Measuring Spoons

Let’s start your list of 3D printing ideas in the kitchen! If you love baking or cooking you would never run out of measuring spoons because you can 3D print it. If you know someone who loves to experiment in the kitchen for a new recipe, you can customize these measuring spoons and givgift to them as a present.

Measuring Spoons 3d printing service marketplace cool things to 3D print all rights reserved search query useful things self watering 3d prints shopping link useful 3d advertisement close#2 Bookmarks/Paper Clips

Looking for 3D printing ideas for possible giveaways? No problem, you can 3D print party favors for an upcoming event. For instance, you can easily produce customizable bookmarks or paper clips. The 3D printer project I just shared works both as a bookmark or paper clip. Thus, this is definitely one of the cool things to 3D print.

Bookmarks Paper Clips 3d printing service marketplace cool things to 3D print all rights reserved search query useful things self watering 3d prints shopping link useful 3d advertisement close#3 Desk Paper Tray and Organizer

This is one of my favorite 3D printing ideas because I love office supplies. Are you dealing with lots of paperwork in the office? Or do you have lots of notes from school and need an organizer for it? This DIY project, a 3D printed desk paper tray will be a good addition to your working space. It has three different trays. One for general purpose, another for pens, clips, and coins the third one for visit cards.

Desk Paper Tray and Organizer 3d printing service marketplace cool things to 3D print 3d prints shopping link useful 3d advertisement close#4 Water Diverter

Other useful things to 3D print is a water diverter. This water diverter fits a tap aerator with a diameter of 23.5mm. It has an annular manifold that prevents the aerator from choking and keeps it working smoothly for a steady aerated stream.

Water Diverter 3d printing service marketplace cool things to 3D print iron man 3d prints shopping link useful 3d advertisement close#5 Rigid Heddle Loom 

Rigid Heddle Loom  3d printing service marketplace cool things to 3D print 3d prints shopping link useful 3d advertisement closeIf you love weaving fabrics, you can 3D print a rigid heddle loom. One user already did it using a 3D printer and some raw plastic materials. The user used a screw to keep the whole thing.

The creator used an openSCAD, a 3D modeller program to design it. For those who love weaving, 3D printing a rigid heddle loom will be useful for sure.

#6 Guitars

If you love music, in particular, guitar, I’m pleased to inform you that you can also 3D print it. Whether it’s acoustic guitars or electric guitar, it is possible with 3D printing. In fact, creating guitars with 3D printing is cheaper, easier and more convenient.

Musical instruments are among the cool things to 3D print. For musicians looking for 3D printing ideas, I encourage you to try 3D printing your favorite instrument. After all, is there something cooler than a 3D printed musical instrument like guitar?

Guitars 3d printing service marketplace cool things to 3D print 3d prints shopping link useful 3d advertisement close

“Typically, musical instruments produce prototypes using wood or metal, which is understandable but can be costly, time consuming, and leave room for error. 3D printing prototyping allows for greater control and the ability to quickly make miniscule or significant changes that are perfectly accurate. This process can eliminate countless hours of trial and error while reducing production costs and generating a quality model,” said 3D Printing Solutions Australia’s CEO Michael Tyson

#7 Hand-made camera lens

Hand-made camera lens 3d printing service marketplace cool things to 3D print 3d prints shopping link useful 3d advertisement closeCameras are among the most popular devices today. In fact, most, if not all, own one. If you love photography, 3D printing your own camera lens is possible.

One did it using acrylic to replace the glass on the lens and other tools to combine the small parts together. The great thing, it works!

You can also 3D print a camera slider. Feel free to try it if you need one!

Check Out Best Beginner 3D Printers
Check Out Cheap 3D Printers under 500$
Check Out Top 10 3D Printing Pens
Check Out Best 3D Printers of 2021

#8 Dress

Some other cool things to 3D print are uniquely designed outfits that you can easily customize. If you are a fashion designer and a 3D print enthusiast looking for 3D printing ideas, you can merge your two passions!

Yes, 3D printing is also used in fashion and design! In fact, several dresses and costumes were developed using the technology. There’s a 3D printed swimsuit, a 3D printed helmet, 3D printed dress, name it, almost every wearable can be 3D printed.Dress 3d printing service marketplace cool things to 3D print 3d prints shopping link useful 3d advertisement close

3D printing costumes are quicker and cheaper. Also, it can accommodate complex architecture with intricate designs. Plus, customizing it according to the wearer’s size is convenient.

#9 Shoes

Finding the best shoes could sometimes be a struggle because most items are mass-produced, meaning it does not cater to your specific needs. Also, your left foot may not be of the same size as your right foot. So, finding the best shoes that fit both of your feet perfectly is very unlikely.Shoes 3d printing service marketplace cool things to 3D print 3d prints shopping link useful 3d advertisement close

However, it’s a different thing when it comes to 3D printing because the computer will create an accurate 3D model of your feet combined with the details of your height, weight and activities to personalize the shoes for you.

A pair of 3D printed shoes are customized to fit perfectly for you. So, if you are into shoes and you are looking for 3D printing ideas, then consider 3D printing your next sneakers.

#10 Medical Models

3D printingMedical Models 3d printing service marketplace cool things to 3D print iron man smartphone stand 3d print list 3D printings pencil holder 3d prints shopping link useful 3d advertisement close is a great option to teach human anatomy and inject realism into surgery practice without using cadavers. 3D printing models are accurate and surgeons can use it to plan surgery and practice before getting a real patient under the knife.

So, if you need any medical models be it, heart, lungs, eyes, or ears consider 3D printing it. In fact, the scientists at Tel Aviv University have 3D printed a small heart using human tissue that includes vessels, collagen and biological molecules. Everything is possible with 3D printing including 3D printing human organs or body parts.

#11 Cases

One of the most common but useful 3D printing ideas is phone cases. If you love changing your phone case from time to time, you can easily 3D print one. Gyrobot shared a file where she customized the case of her daughter’s iPhone 4 by adding her classmates’ names on it.

This is a smart way to add a personal touch to your phone case. So, the next time you want a new one, I suggest that you create a 3D printed phone case and personalize it. A 3D printed phone case also makes a great present.

Cases 3d printing service marketplace cool things to 3D print 3d prints shopping link useful 3d advertisement close#12 Card Holders

Card Holders 3d printing service marketplace cool things to 3D print 3d prints shopping link useful 3d advertisement closeIf you want a holder for your business cards, you can 3D print one because almost everything can be 3D printed, so before you buy a new item, search for STL files first if you have a 3D printer, so you can use its magic to get what you need.

For cardholders, you can find a variety of styles and designs online. If you are good at designing, you can create one according to your preference. Some 3D prints other useful things like pencil holder or a smartphone stand. You can also create a holder for your 3D pens.

#13 Organizers

Organizers 3d printing service marketplace cool things to 3D print 3d prints shopping link useful 3d advertisement close3D printing is also helpful in keeping you organized. If you just place any item on your desk, finding what you need would be a struggle. So, you need a place for your scissors, pens, glue, cards, paper, sticky notes, tapes, and any office supply.

In short, you need a desktop organizer. There are many 3D printing ideas when it comes to creating a 3D printed organizer. You can look for a 3D model that suits your needs online.

Actually, this is one of the most enjoyable things to 3D print for me because there are many designs online. As I mentioned, I love office supplies. I came across small 3D printed organizers for cards and notepads, others can only hold pens and there are large ones that can store all of your items from pens, papers, scissors and more!

#14 Tableware

If you wish to have a 3D printed tableware that is doable. 3D printing is capable of producing unique, elegant and durable cups, glasses, plates, dinnerware and more.

Tableware 3d printing service marketplace cool things to 3D print 3d prints shopping link useful 3d advertisement close#15 Toys

Kids can also enjoy 3D printing because it can produce 3D printed children toys. In fact, Mattel unveiled a $300 3D printer, called “Thing Maker” that allows children to 3D print their own toys. The device works in conjunction with a 3D printing app that is developed in collaboration with Autodesk. With the app, children can design the items they want to play.

Toys 3d printing service marketplace cool things to 3D print 3d prints shopping link useful 3d advertisement close

The app is called ThingMakerDesign. It comes with a variety of built-in character templates and easy tutorials to help beginners get started with 3D printing. It also encourages children to explore their creativity by allowing them to design from scratch. The toys can be customized with different colors and textures. They also bend or twist.

The design can be saved to the device or be uploaded to Google Drive or Dropbox. Then the app will let you export the STL print files wirelessly to your at-home printer. Kids can also create and assemble the printed parts to form dolls, robots, dinosaurs and more.

Toys are great printing projects for kids. 3D printing is also a good solution if you want to produce and replace a missing or dysfunctional part like a robot arm.

#16 Scissors

If you got your scissors broke and you need one immediately to finish a project but can’t buy one because it’s already late and the stores are close, no problem. Just print one conveniently at home. 3D printing a pair of 3D printed scissors that work is so cool. I tried it and it was pure joy!

Scissors 3d printing service marketplace cool things to 3D print 3d prints shopping link useful 3d advertisement close#17 Pliers

3D printed tools are very popular. These 3D printed pliers are easy to print and moderately strong. You can design your tool and choose from needle nose with jaw teeth, needle nose with no teeth, blunt nose with jaw teeth or blunt nose with smooth jaws.

Pliers 3d printing service marketplace cool things to 3D print 3d prints shopping link useful 3d advertisement close#18 Screwdriver

If your collection of hand tools lacks this one, you do not need to buy it. Just look for a 3D printing model and 3D print it. Here’s a 3D printed flathead screwdriver file for you.

Screwdriver 3d printing service marketplace cool things to 3D print 3d prints shopping link useful 3d advertisement close#19 Wrench

Again, 3D printed tools are easy to create. If you need a wrench no matter what size it is, you can easily print one. Barspin has successfully designed several variations, so start 3D printing to complete your collection of 3D printed wrench.

Wrench 3d printing service marketplace cool things to 3D print 3d prints shopping link useful 3d advertisement close

#20 Swiss knife

If you love survival tools, then this section is for you. Swiss knife, a versatile tool, can be a life-saver and you can 3D print it. Check out Stephan Albert’s file here to get your own 3D printed portable swiss pocket knife. You have to pay for the file, but the price is minimal compared to buying an actual Swiss knife.

Swiss knife 3d printing service marketplace cool things to 3D print#21 3D Printed Records

One of the coolest 3D printer projects you can create is this. You can convert your audio files into 3D printed records and listen to it on any record player.

3D Printed Records 3d printing service marketplace cool things to 3D print#22 Stamps

Stamps 3d printing service marketplace cool things to 3D printIf you’re a huge fan of stamps, you can easily customize its design if you have a 3D printer. Just draw your model in a vector graphics software, edit it in Blender to add a backing plate and make it three-dimensional.

After that export it in STL file. Print the stamp and print a stamp handle. Then, you have your 3D printed stamp and you can now start stamping!

#23 Violin

One of my favorite 3D printing ideas is 3D printed violin. This musical instrument is very expensive, but you can own one if you have a 3D printer. F-F-Fiddle is the first to create a full-size electric violin at home. Investing in one is just worth the money as this really sounds good.

Another user created his own version, ElViolin, by improving it. Check it out below and you will love fall in love with it.

Violin 3d printing service marketplace cool things to 3D print iron man smartphone stand 3d print list 3D printings pencil holder#24 Cutlery

3D printed projects also include silverware. So, if you need spoons, forks or knives and you want to show your creativity, then 3D print your own cutlery. Here’s a great example from Jame Kyttaten’s “Ice Breakers”. 3D printed silverware is beautiful and customizable!

Cutlery 3d printing service marketplace cool things to 3D print#25 Water container

You can 3D print your own water bottle or jug for personal or home use. So, if you need one and you have a 3D printer start printing today. By doing so, you’ll get to design your bottle and satisfy yourself with your art. Also, 3D printed water containers are great gift ideas and very easy to personalize!.

Water container 3d printing service marketplace cool things to 3D print#26 Survival Whistle

The power of 3D printers can save a life. So, you should include a survival whistle in your list of 3D printer projects as it is very helpful in times of emergencies. A 3D printed whistle is durable and it produces a loud sound. I created one and I must say, it really served its purpose. If you don’t have whistles at home, 3D print many and give each family member one. Whistles are among the life-saving tools that you should keep handy all the time.

Survival Whistle 3d printing service marketplace cool things to 3D print

#27 Salt and Pepper Shakers

If you’re fond of cute and artistic items for your kitchen, don’t settle on what you just see in the grocery. You can 3D print matching salt and pepper shakers just like this. These 3D printed salt and pepper shakers will be a great addition to your dining table while you enjoy your meal.

Salt and Pepper Shakers 3d printing service marketplace cool things to 3D print

#28 Spare Key

One of the most difficult things to deal with is forgetting your keys. It’s both frustrating and irritating. So, create a spare key using your 3D printer and always take it with you. Make sure to place it into something you always bring with you. 3D printed keys look like plastic toys, but mind you, they work!

Spare Key 3d printing service marketplace cool things to 3D print#29 Turbine water saver

Want to create a useful household 3D printer project? Then this should definitely make it into your list. A turbine water saver will help you save on your water bills as the little turbine delivers a neat sprinkler effect while dispersing water in a wide arc so you can wash your hands or dishes more quickly.

Turbine water saver 3d printing service marketplace cool things to 3D print#30 Cameras

This item is a necessity today perhaps due to the rising popularity of social media. If you want a unique camera, your 3D printer can help you create one. There are already a lot of functional 3D printed cameras. But, the process is a bit demanding as you need to smoothen the item and assemble it. The most challenging part would be printing the lens, but it will be worth it once you finish this 3D printer project.

Cameras 3d printing service marketplace cool things to 3D print#31 Screwdriver holder

As mentioned above, a screwdriver is among the tools that you can 3D print. If you have enough screwdrivers, you can also print a holder for pegboard. You can download the file here. The 3D printed handle will be very helpful for you and pretty sure, you will love it.

Screwdriver holder 3d printing service marketplace cool things to 3D print#32 Parametric Hinges

Hinges are useful whenever you are creating something that involves door or covering. You can include hinges in your 3D printer projects and start customizing it. Here’s an example of a 3D printed hinge check it out.

Parametric Hinges 3d printing service marketplace cool things to 3D print#33 Bottle Opener

Bottle openers are very handy and helpful during gatherings and parties. So, make sure that you always have one wherever you are. If you’re still looking for one, you can 3D print it because it is one of the easiest things to 3D print. You can download the 3D printed bottle opener file here.

Bottle Opener 3d printing service marketplace cool things to 3D print#34 Sliding style bag clip

There are times when you just can’t finish the content of your favorite chips or have to seal your bag of cereal or frozen vegetables, but you don’t have the appropriate material to do so. So, 3D print a sliding bag clip because this will surely be one of the kitchen gadgets that you will use more often. If you are interested, check out the 3D printed bag file here.

Sliding style bag clip 3d printing service marketplace cool things to 3D print#35 Wall Outlet Shelf

Have you experienced charging your phone on the wall and placing it on the floor because the socket was too far from a table or chair? If your colleagues won’t see your mobile phone they might accidentally step on it and broke it.

So, get yourself this wall outlet shelf to keep your gadget safe. You can download the 3D printed file here.

Wall Outlet Shelf 3d printing service marketplace cool things to 3D print#36 Stackable Batter Storage

Keep your batteries in place using this storage. This 3D printed stackable battery holder can easily be wall-mounted using two screws or it can sit beautifully on your table. It only has three parts, so you can easily assemble the printed parts. Each part is friction fit to ensure a tight and permanent lock.

Stackable Batter Storage 3d printing service marketplace cool things to 3D print#37 Secret Shelf

I’m pretty sure this will become one of your favorite 3D printing ideas after reading this section. Do you feel the need to have your own secret storage at home where you can hide your extra money or very important documents? If you do, you will find this 3D printed secret shelf very useful. No one will suspect that there is something hidden in this beautiful design, so you can safely keep your cards and money in there.

Secret Shelf 3d printing service marketplace cool things to 3D print#38 Amplifier

If you need an amplifier for your phone, you don’t need to buy one because you can create it if you have a 3D printer. Cults have a free file for a 3D printed amplifier that you can download and print. The project only takes 6 to 10 hours to finish.

Amplifier 3d printing service marketplace cool things to 3D print#39 Wheelchair Ramp

For those who are using a wheelchair or if you know one who does, this 3D printer project will be helpful for you and them. This is designed to help a wheelchair user overcome a step in front of a building, shop, cafe or bar. You can check out the file here and do the necessary changes that you think can improve the design and make it more efficient.

Wheelchair Ramp 3d printing service marketplace cool things to 3D print#40 Coaster

If you love to add new colorful items in your kitchen, better include these 3D printed multi-color citrus coasters on your 3D printer projects. These coasters will surely add a pop of color to your table and your children will surely love these, too.

Coaster 3d printing service marketplace cool things to 3D print#41 Egg Separator

Having trouble separating the egg yolk from the egg white? Well, this shouldn’t bother you anymore because you can easily create an egg separator using your 3D printer. Download the file egg separator 3D printed file here.

Egg Separator 3d printing service marketplace cool things to 3D print#42 Prosthetics

One of the most useful outputs that you can produce from a 3D printer is prosthetics. 3D printed prosthetics are beneficial for individuals with disabilities. Here’s an example if you want to 3D print a

Prosthetics 3d printing service marketplace cool things to 3D print#43 Cable Holder

Keep your cables in place to keep things on your table in order. After all, you don’t want to see lots of wires on your working station. If you are among those who badly need to organize the cables on your table then 3D print your own cable holder. This 3D printer project, a 3D printed cable holder, will surely be beneficial to you.Cable Holder 3d printing service marketplace cool things to 3D print

#44 SD Card Case

If you have a bunch of memory cards, you’ve got to keep them in good storage to ensure that you won’t lose any of it. One 3D printer enthusiast shares this SD card case with 25 slots making it spacious enough to keep your SD cards safe and organize.

SD Card Case 3d printing service marketplace cool things to 3D print#45 Slim Wallet

Not everyone is fond of bringing their wallets whenever they step out because it’s too heavy or bulky. If you’re experiencing the same, this 3D printed slim wallet is the answer. Download the file and create one for yourself.

Slim Wallet 3d printing service marketplace cool things to 3D print things to 3D printer projects#46 Toilet Paper Holder

If you have a stock of toilet paper in your bathroom and you’re tired of filing them up in their usual position, then get creative! Here’s an artistic toilet paper holder that will not only serve its purpose but add beauty in your restroom, too.

 Toilet Paper Holder 3d printing service marketplace cool things to 3D print things to 3D printer projects things to 3D print

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#47 Cellular Lamp

If you are looking for a unique addition to your home, this Cellular Lamp will surely impress you. This is designed as a big cellular and works as a lampshade for an LED light or as a sculpture.

Cellular Lamp 3d printing service marketplace cool things to 3D print things to 3D printer projects things to 3D print#48 Food

While it may sound unappealing to 3D print a food, you will definitely change your perspective if you see how a 3D printer operates to create pizza, ice cream or candies. In fact, 3D printed foods have a more strategic advantage because they do not contribute to global warming and global dilemmas of low natural resources.

Food 3d printing service marketplace cool things to 3D print things to 3D printer projects things to 3D printChloe Rutzerveldd, a Dutch industrial design student comes up with something healthy to consume from a 3D printer in her Edible Growth project. The project applies the benefits of additive manufacturing in food production. It is an example of a high-tech but fully natural, healthy and sustainable food, which is achieved by combining natural growth, technology and design.

Meanwhile, Foodini is working on a food 3D printer that could be the next microwave in the future. At the time, the technology is limited to foods that can be made into a paste like chocolate, frosting, dough or hummus. But Natural Machines co-founder Lynette Kucsma is positive that the food printing kitchen appliance will be as ubiquitous as the microwave oven.

#49 A Working Gun

A Working Gun 3d printing service marketplace cool things to 3D print things to 3D printer projects things to 3D print
IMG Source:dezeen.com

Guns are expensive, but if you feel that you need one for self-defense, 3D printing a gun is possible. With regards to the legalities of 3D printing a gun, the Gun Control Act of 1968 mandated that anyone who engaged in the business of dealing firearms must be licensed by the federal government. In addition, firearm dealers must perform a background check for their prospective buyers and maintain records for all sales. 

The act does not prohibit any individual from making a gun for personal use. A non-licensed person may make a firearm, provided that it is not for sale and that he is not prohibited from possessing one (felon convicts). On the other hand, Federal law imposes no restrictions on non-licensed possessors. Thus, if you 3D print a gun, you do not need to register it or go through a background check.

#50 Buildings

Buildings 3d printing service marketplace cool things to 3D print things to 3D printer projects things to 3D printYes, 3D printers can also make buildings. A Chinese company constructed two buildings with the use of a 3D printer. They used recycled industrial waste for their material.

The company’s printers were 6.6 meters tall and the ink was a mixture of cement and glass fiber. The said printers can manufacture buildings up to 12 stories tall.

One was a 1100-square-meter villa and the other a six-story residential block. It might not sound appealing to live in, but the Chinese company said that the buildings were safe to occupy.

#51 Car

Car things to 3D printer projects things to 3D printAre you wondering if you can 3D print your own car? If you do, the answer is a resounding “yes”!

The first 3D printed car, Urbee was created in 2011. Local Motors is also making its own. In fact, they are developing a 3D-printed car that exceeds the FMVSS standards by 2017. They have worked with other companies to create a simple and smart car. Their 3D printed cars are also sustainable with vehicle emissions of only half the equation.

#52 Gensole

If you are uncomfortable with your footwear, you can 3D print an insole and put it inside your shoes. Gensole is a form-fitting insole that matches the scan of your foot and it’s adjustable to have the best fit inside your shoes.

Gensole things to 3D printer projects things to 3D print#53 Chip Bowl

If you love to party with your friends or hang out at home while sharing a bottle of beer, this 3D printed chip bowl is a must-have. With this, you don’t need to hold a plate in one hand and the bottle of beer on your other hand because that’s not fun. Check out this cool 3D printer project and start 3D printing it for your next event. Pretty sure, your guests will love it.

Chip Bowl things to 3D printer projects things to 3D print shopping link advertisement close things to 3d print#54 Electric Coffee Maker

What other cool things to 3D print? If you are a coffee lover, I’m pleased to tell you that you can actually 3D print a coffee maker.

The process is not easy, but if you are willing to create a more complicated 3D printer project, then you should try this Electric Coffee Maker. A 3D printed coffee maker works like a regular coffee maker and is perfect if you love to start your day with a cup of coffee.

Electric Coffee Maker things to 3D printer projects things to 3D print shopping link advertisement close things to 3d print#55 High-Power Electric Unicycle

If you love adventures and you’re ready to get your hands on in assembling your own 3D printed high-power electric unicycle, you can do so. Matias Eertola already did it and you can access his files and modify it if necessary. Try to 3D print it and you will surely love it!

High-Power Electric Unicycle things to 3D printer projects things to 3D print shopping link advertisement close things to 3d printTake Away

With 3D printing, you can do almost anything. You can 3D print your basic needs – food, clothing, and shelter to your wants, toys, fashionable shoes and more. Others get creative with their 3D printing idea by designing useful stuff like self watering flower pot and more. If you own a 3D printer, there are tons of cool things to 3D print. In fact, you will never run out of ideas because you can bring to life anything you have in mind.

I hope the 3D printing ideas above answer your question about “what to print with a 3D printer?” If you want to enjoy the best in life, try 3D printing and you will surely love it. Start working on the 3D printer projects above because they are cool things to 3D print.

If you want to know more about 3D printing, feel free to check our homepage.

10 Insane Benefits of 3D Printing

3D printing offers tons of benefits in the fields of medicine, engineering and business. This page will help you understand and appreciate the different 3D printing applications.

What to make with a 3d printer? What can you print with a 3d printer? Have you asked yourself these questions?

If you are really wondering what this technology can deliver, then this page is for you. We will give you an idea what to print with a 3D printer.

IMG source:hhglobal.com

3D printing capabilities and 3D printer uses are unlimited. It is used in the packaging industry, automotive industry, aircraft and health care. To better understand the power of 3D printing, here’s a list of the benefits of 3D printing.

#1 More Affordable

The traditional ways of prototyping injection mold tools and production runs are expensive. The best 3D printer offers more affordable options to create parts and tools through additive manufacturing at rates much cheaper than traditional machining.

Take for example, in the medical field, 3D printing surgical tools like clamps, forceps, hemostats and scalpel handles are much cheaper than buying the stainless steel counterpart.

In addition, 3D printing prosthetics are low-cost compared to the traditional ones. Prosthetic for certain parts of the body like hands are subject to so much wear and tear that producing it may reach up to $ 10,000, which is quite expensive.

For young children, who can outgrow their prosthetic limbs in just a few months, the traditional method is costly and not practical.

📌With 3D printing, customization is easy, so getting a new one will only cost a few hundred dollars. Thus, it is more affordable.

#2 Mitigate Risk

If you are building a project, you can 3D print a test prototype first before investing in an expensive molding tool. In this way, you can redesign it or alter the existing mold if necessary.

📌Printing a production-ready prototype builds confidence before making large investments. 3D printing makes this possible at a shorter time and at a cheaper price.

#3 Quick Production

Traditional prototype manufacturing requires tooling and machining. You have to pay individuals for their labor and have to purchase expensive equipment.

The whole process may take weeks. The worse part, your first prototype is never your last, you have to redesign it and experience the same struggle again.

It is difficult to build a good business with traditional prototyping because so much time is wasted. Everyone from CEO to the client gets frustrated every time he waits for the designs to be prototyped.

However, 3D printing will only take hours. If you build it at the end of the day, you can expect it the next morning.

When the designer is done with the design, you can convert it to a file readable by the printer and print it. The process needs no intervention.

No one will be waiting and products can be marketed faster. Also redesigning your prototypes can be done quickly. The whole process will not even take a week.

📌There will be quicker turnarounds and more productivity. What took months before will only be a matter of days with 3D printing.

#4 Easy to Customize

Industries use mass-production to manufacture their products. This means that all products use the same mold and will come out with similar shape and design from the assembly line, which makes it difficult for one to be unique.

However, with 3D printing, you can personalize anything by tweaking a part of the prototype, so it can cater your needs. For instance, customizing 3D prints are used in medical and dental industries.

📌3D printing offers the user the freedom to personalize anything without additional cost. In this way, people can set themselves apart when it comes to fashion or jewelry.

#5 Tool-less

📌In the traditional industrial manufacturing, production of the tools takes time, labor and cost. However, for low to medium volume applications in industrial 3D printing, this can be eliminated. Thereby, saving cost, time and labor.

This is one of the benefits that most manufacturers are taking advantage.

#6 Producing New Shapes And Structure Is Easy

The traditional manufacturing method relies on mold and cutting technologies to produce the shape they desired. Before, adding holes that change direction, unrealistic overhangs or square interior cavities are difficult to achieve.

📌However, with 3D printing, these changes are easy to do. The 3D printer’s nozzle can build infinite shapes and complex 3D character figures. This feature gives 3D printing a higher structural integrity.
In fact, 3D printing has been used to produce implants that resemble bones, skulls, aerodynamic parts and unique-shaped furniture and jewelry.

With 3D printing, the possibilities are endless. The only limitation is one’s imagination.

#7 Diverse Material

Mixing raw materials is not ideal for mass-production methods because it can be costly. In addition, the physical and chemical properties are difficult to combine in the traditional methods.

📌However, 3D printing continues to progress in this area. In fact, from using plastics, 3D printing is now compatible with a variety of material including metals, glass, ceramics, gold, silver, paper, biomaterials and even food.

With various materials at hand, you can achieve anything you have in mind.

#8 Better Quality

If you bake a cake and follow the recipe accurately, you will end up with a delicious cake. However, if you are new to baking, your cake may taste amazing, but it may have unwanted air bubbles, a different texture, and thickness.

📌If you could assemble the cake layer by layer, similar to how additive manufacturing in 3D printing works; you will have full control of its appearance.

Getting rid of the mass manufacturing faults will produce better quality products. While this may not sound profitable to manufacturers, it’s a major advantage to the end consumer.

IMG Source:adjacentgovernment.co.uk

#9 Environmentally Friendly

📌One of the things that the industries should consider is sustainability. 3D printing is energy-efficient and produces lesser waste.
For instance, aircraft makers junked 90 percent of their materials because it’s no longer useful. With additive manufacturing used in 3D printing, it will use lesser energy and waste will be reduced to a minimum.

The 3D printed object is 60 percent lighter but solid and sturdy. The lesser the waste, the lower the impact on the environment.

#10 Accessibility

More and more people are getting access to 3D printing. In fact, there are 3D printing pens that can produce the same results as that of the 3D printer, only which, the user will have to maneuver the nozzle with his own hands.

With this progress, many will be able to create the product they need, when they need it and wherever they are. This scenario can surely shake up the current consumerism ideology.

📌If you support 3D printing, you would have easier access to it as more companies would probably produce it.


This page should answer your question “what can I print with a 3d printer?” 3D printing is so powerful that it can create almost anything. From food, clothing, houses to organ tissues and cells.

Moreover, 3D printing technology is better, cheaper, faster, more flexible, more sustainable and more environment-friendly. You can expect this technology to be more popular in the coming years.

If you wish to learn more about 3D printing, check our homepage.

The History of 3D Printing

3D printing has a rich history. It started from an imperfect machine and ended up into something that can bring to life anything you have in mind.

Have you wondered how 3D printing has started? If you do, then this page is for you. Continue reading as we take you to a trip down memory lane from how 3D printing starts, progresses and develops into what it is today.

3D printing is one of the growing industries today because it can produce almost anything from toys, accessories, sneakers, guns, wheelchairs and even organs like hearts. Yes, almost everything is possible with 3D printing.

Can you imagine the world where everything is possible? We are closer to that world with 3D printing.

What is 3D Printing?

3D printing, also called additive manufacturing is a process of making three-dimensional solid objects using a digital file. Prior to coming up with the 3D object, it has to go through additive processes.

In the additive process, the object is created using several layers of material. Each of this layer is essential in the formation of the 3D object.

The layers are the thinly sliced horizontal cross-section of the object. So, basically, it’s just piling up layer by layer.


History of 3D Printing

Charles Hull, co-founder of 3D Systems, initiated the development of 3D printing. He invented stereolithography, a process that produced a tangible 3D object from digital data. This technology is used to create a 3D model from a picture where users can test a design before investing in a larger version.

3D Printing Milestones

1992 – 3D Systems produced the first SLA (stereolithographic apparatus) machine. The process involved a UV laser solidifying photopolymer, a liquid with viscosity and color similar to honey.

It made three-dimensional objects, layer by layer. The first machine was imperfect, but it was promising because it can manufacture highly complex parts.

1999 – 3D printing contributed new advances in medicine through engineered organs. The scientists at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine engineered the first lab-grown organ using a 3D printer.

They used a synthetic scaffold coated with the patient’s own cells. The process had little to no risk of rejection because it is made with the patient’s cell. This paved the way to developing new strategies for engineering organs.

2002 – The scientists created a mini-functional kidney that was capable of filtering blood and producing diluted urine in an animal. This development had led to bigger goals of producing organs and tissues using 3D printing technology.

2005 – Dr. Adrian Bowyer founded RepRap, an open-source initiative to create a 3D printer that can print most of its own components. The goal of the project was to distribute cheap RepRap units so individuals can create products on their own.

2006 – The first SLS (selective laser sintering) machine was produced. SLS machine uses a laser to fuse materials and build 3D products.This development paved the way for mass customization and on-demand manufacturing of industrial parts and prostheses.

In the same year, a machine capable of printing multiple materials, including elastomers and polymers was created. The said machine also permits a single part to be made with different densities or material properties.

2008 – The first self-replicating printer came to life that allowed users to make more printers for family members or friends. In the same year, the first person with a 3D-printed prosthetic leg walked. All parts of the leg, knee, foot and socket were printed in the same complex structure without any assembly needed.

2009DIY 3D Printer kits hit the market. On the same year, Dr. Gabor Forgacs used a 3D bioprinter to print the first blood vessel.

2010 – Engineers at the University of Southampton design and fly the world’s first 3D printed aircraft. The aircraft was only built in seven days with a budget of £5,000.

2011 – Urbee, the world’s first 3D-printed car was made. It is sleek, environmental-friendly and is designed to be fuel-efficient and inexpensive.

In the same year, 3D printing services offer 14K gold and sterling silver as materials, a less expensive option for jewelry designers.

2012 – Professional from the Netherlands used a 3D printer to create a customized three-dimensional prosthetic lower jaw that was implanted into an 83-year old woman suffering from a chronic bone infection.


Different Technologies in 3D Printing

Stereolithography (SLA)

Stereolithography (SLA) – This 3D printing method is the first method in the history of 3D printing. It is the oldest but is still being used today.

Most printing techniques use a CAD file to process the object, which is then converted to a format that a printing machine can understand. In this technology, a software processes the CAD model and generates the STL file that contains the information for each layer.

The whole process includes a consequent printing layer by layer. There could be up to ten layers per each millimeter. Once all layers are printed, the object needs to be rinsed with a solvent and placed in an ultraviolet oven to finish the process.

Digital Light Processing (DLP)

DLP is similar to stereolithography. Larry Hornbeck of Texas Instruments created this technology in 1987. This is popular in the production of projectors and is applicable for cell phones and 3D printing as well.

DLP technology uses digital micromirrors laid out on a semiconductor chip. Although DLP and SLA both work with photopolymers, they use different sources of light. DLP uses more conventional sources like arc lamps.

Moreover, DLP uses a liquid crystal display panel that is being applied to the whole surface of the building material. The material for printing is a liquid plastic resin placed in the transparent resin container. The resin quickly hardens when exposed to a large amount of light.

The printing speed is fast. Compared to SL, DLP produces more robust 3D objects with excellent resolution. It also uses lesser material that results in lower cost and reduced waste.

Fused deposition modeling (FDM)

FDM is the most popular technology in 3D printing. It allows you to print concept models and final end-use products with engineering-grade thermoplastic.

FDM is the only 3D printing technology that builds parts with production-grade thermoplastics that produces excellent mechanical, thermal and chemical qualities making it very useful and appealing to manufacturers and engineers.

FDM Technology builds a 3D object layer by layer from the bottom to the top by heating and extruding thermoplastic filament. The whole process is similar to stereolithography but slower.

This technology uses a special software to cut the CAD model into layers and calculate the way the printer extruder will build each layer. The printer will heat the thermoplastic up to its melting point and extrudes throughout the nozzle onto the base to build platform along the calculated path.

A computer will translate the dimension of the object into X, Y and Z coordinates and control the nozzle and the base, so that it follows the calculated path during printing.

This technology is used in automobile companies like Hyundai and BMW and food companies including Nestle and Dial. FDM technology is simple to use, and it can build complex geometries and cavities. Moreover, it is environment-friendly.


Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)

This technology uses a laser as a power source to form 3D objects. Carl Deckard, a student of Texas University and his professor Joe Beaman discovered this technology in 1980. SLS has some resemblance with SLA but they differ in the material used.

SLS uses powdered material instead of liquid resin. In addition, SLS does not use any support structures because the object being printed is already surrounded by unsintered powder.

Similar to other technologies, SLS starts with the creation of the CAD file, which is then converted into a .stl format using special software.

This technology allows nylon, ceramics, glass and metals like aluminum, steel or silver. Due to its wide variety of materials, SLS is popular for customizing 3D objects.

Selective laser melting (SLM)

This technique also uses CAD data and builds a 3D object through a high-power laser beamthat fuses and melts metallic powders. Several sources consider SLM as a subcategory of SLS but the two technologies have major differences.

The SLM processes fully melt the metal into solid 3D parts, unlike selective laser sintering. SLM also uses a CAD file, and special software to slice the CAD file into 2D layers.

When the file is loaded, the printing machine’s software will assign parameters and values for construction of the path.

The fine metal powder is evenly distributed onto the plate and a high laser energy will be directed into it to fuse each slice of 2D layer image. The energy is so strong that the metal powder melts and forms a solid object.

The process repeats for the next layer until the product is complete. SLM uses the following metals: stainless steel, titanium, cobalt chrome, and aluminum.

SLM is widely used in objects with complex geometries and structures with thin walls and hidden voids or channels.

This technology is used in aerospace manufacturing and orthopedics but it is not widely distributed among households.

Electronic Beam Melting (EBM)

This technology is another type of additive manufacturing for metal parts. It is similar to SLM as it also uses a powder bed fusion technique.

However, instead of using a high-power laser beam as its power source, it uses an electron beam. This is the main difference between the two, the rest of the process is the same.

EBM is slow and expensive compared to SLM. Also, the materials are limited. Most materials used are commercially pure titanium, Inconel 718 and Inconel 625. This technology focuses on medical implants and aerospace area.

Laminated Object Manufacturing (LOM)

Helisys Inc., a California-based company, develops this rapid prototyping system. During LOM process layers of adhesive-coated paper, plastic or metal laminates are fused together through heat and pressure.

Then, they are cut into shapes with computer-controlled laser or knife. The post-processing of 3D printed parts includes machining and drilling.

This technology also starts with a CAD file that is later converted into an STL or 3DS format. LOM printers use continuous sheet coated with adhesive and laid down cross substrate with a heated roller.

The heated roller is passed over the material sheets on substrate melts the adhesive and the laser or knife will then trace it to its desired dimension.

When the layer is finished, it will move down and a new sheet will be processed. The process is repeated until the 3D object is fully printed.

LOM is not that popular but it is one of the most affordable and fastest 3D printing technology. Moreover, printing is low cost because it does not use expensive materials.

Binder Jetting (BJ) Technology

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology invented BJ 3D printing. This is called by many other names such as:

  • Powder bed printing
  • Inkjet 3D printing
  • Drop-on-powder
  • Binder Jetting (BJ) – the most popular name.

BJ uses two types of materials a powder-based material and a bonding agent. The “bonding” agent acts as a strong adhesive that holds the powder layers together.

The printer nozzles extrude the binder in a liquid form similar to a regular 2D inkjet printer. After completing each layer, the build plate lowers slightly to allow for the next one. The process is repeated until the process is finished.

This 3D printing technology doesn’t give you high-resolution or overly rugged 3D objects. But it allows you to print parts in full color.

BJ is being used in aerospace, automotive and medical industries.

Material Jetting (MJ) Polyjet and Wax Casting Technology 

Material Jetting is also called wax casting. Unlike the other 3D printing technologies no one invented MJ.

This is considered more of a technique than an actual printing process. Jewelers have used this for centuries to produce high-quality customizable jewelry.

MJ starts with a 3D model (CAD file). Once this is uploaded to the printer, the system does all the rest.

The printer adds molted (heated) wax to the aluminum build platform in controlled layers. It will be sweep evenly across the build area.

As soon as it lands on the build plate, it begins to cool down and solidify (UV light helps to cure the layers). As the 3D parts build-up, a gel-like material helps support it.

Once it’s done, you can easily remove the object by hand or by using powerful water jets. Once the part is complete, it can be used right away. No need for further post-curing.

This produce objects with good resolution. Polyjet MJ 3D printers are used mainly in the dental and jewelry industries.

Types of 3D Printers

The different kinds of 3D printers are determined by the technology used so their names are similar to what we already mentioned above. So when you look for types of 3D printers, you will probably get the same list as above.

  • Stereolithography (SLA)
  • Digital Light Processing (DLP)
  • Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM)
  • Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)
  • Selective Laser Melting (SLM)
  • Electronic Beam Melting (EBM)
  • Laminated Object Manufacturing (LOM)
  • Binder Jetting (BJ)
  • Material Jetting (MJ)

Take Away!

3D printing is a very creative and useful technology. It has the potential to create almost anything you have in mind, making it a very good progress in the fields of engineering and medicine.

The types of 3d printers have evolved based on the technology used. What’s your favorite? Feel free to share it with us and help others decide what 3D printing machine should they get.

If you wish to learn more about 3D printing, feel free to check our homepage.

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