You need the right tools to print designs with your 3D printer. Filament materials for 3D printers are easily heatable, ejected from the extruder, and receive print to form the design of your choice. Which filament, however, is ideal for your device? See this selection of our top picks.
What is 3D printing?
A digital file can create three-dimensional solid designs via additive manufacturing or 3D printing. Inside the additive process, each object forms by adding layers of material one after another until the product is complete. It is possible to think of all these levels as a finely sliced cross-section of the design. With 3D printing, you can create intricate shapes with less material than with conventional production techniques.
However, your device’s build area determines your design dimension restrictions. Now that 3D printers are available in various sizes and configurations, some may feature a build area that is taller or wider than others. Many smaller online templates are still usable, although you might need to adjust them first.
What is a digital light processing printer?
These digital light processing (DLP) devices are commonplace in 3D printing. It is like stereolithography (SLA) printers. The primary distinction is that DLP flashes a singular picture of each layer simultaneously using a digital light projector (or many flashes for larger pieces). Each image comprises square pixels, since this projector is a digitized screen, creating a film of tiny rectangular building pieces called voxels. LED displays or a UV light supply (lamp) that focuses on the build area using a digital micro-mirror device to cast light onto the resin (DMD). A DMD is a collection of microscopic mirrors that directs light projection and creates an illumination pattern on the building surface.
The spool packaging of filaments makes it simple to feed them into your 3D printer. However, they come in various types and sizes. When selecting the filament for your printer, keep the following factors in mind:
- Size: The 1.75mm is the tiniest filament diameter currently available and is perhaps the most popular. 2.85mm filament, often called 3mm filament, has applications for 3D printing. Check your printer guidelines to determine which size is compatible with your machine. Several printers, such as the Ultimaker 3, S3, and S5 3D printers and the BCN3D Sigma printers, both use 2.85mm filament.
- Type: Filament types vary and can present individual benefits and drawbacks. Because of its simplicity of usage, PLA is unquestionably the ideal 3D printer filament for novices, along with the emerging PETG filament. ABS and ASA are also commonplace, however often prominent amongst professional persons.
- Polylactic acid (PLA)- is simple to use, user-friendly for beginners, doesn’t require a warming bed, emits minimal to no odor, warps and shrinks very little, is biodegradable and environmentally safe, and comes in a range of colors and designs.
- PETG (polyethylene terephthalate with glycol)- is transparent, non-brittle, robust yet pliable, and temperature resistant, perfect for novices. Although PETG resin has received FDA approval for contact with food, you should always verify the Safety Data Sheet on every item, as compositions might vary.
- ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene)- is the best rigid filament currently available. It is robust and high temperature tolerant. However, because of its propensity to warp and shrink, ABS is not especially user- or beginner-friendly.
- ASA- The weather-resistant counterpart to ABS that is a little simpler to print with is ASA (acrylonitrile styrene acrylate). However, if the settings aren’t proper, they can break while printing because they are slightly brittle.
Four Pack PLA Filament
The Gizmo Dorks Filament for 3D Printers uses PLA (Polylactic Acid) filament containing a desiccant with vacuum sealing. It has a total weight of 200 grams, a six-inch spool, 1.5-inch spool width, and a spool hub diameter of 2.25 inches. It works with many 3D printers, such as the Creality Ender 3, Anycubic, Prusa, Flashforge, and Monoprice.
Each spool comprises 200g and includes four colors: Blue, Green, Orange, and Red. It generates smooth prints without air bubbles.
- Four-pack set.
- Filament with a vacuum seal.
- Wide printer compatibility.
- Filament print quality may be brittle.
Best Matte Color
Easy Breakaway PLA filament
The Polymaker Matte PLA Filament produces 3D printing using a black filament featuring a quality matte surface finish that helps conceal the layers within the print. The reel has a precise wind-up to minimize any tangling incidents. It dries and has a vacuum seal inside a resealable ziplock pack with a desiccant.
The 1.75 filament provides good adhesion, generating less brittle prints than standard PLA. Set the nozzle to 210˚C, the bed at 50˚C, and the velocity at 60 mm/s, and use the PolyTerra PLA 1.75mm diameter filament Black (PLA filament Black).
- Automatic breakaway removal.
- Minimal reel tangling.
- Durable material.
- May present possible bed adhesion issues.
Best Color Range
Low Shrinkage PLA Filament
The SUNLU premium PLA filaments satisfy your needs for printing applications of functional parts using higher durability because they provide optimum printing quality, high purity and minimal shrinking, and superior layer bonding. It features a 1.75mm diameter, +/- 0.02 mm dimensional precision, and a one-kilogram spool (2.2lbs).
The nozzle temperature for the PLA Filament is 215-220°C, Bed: 70°C. The filament is compatible with all standard 1.75mm FDM 3D printers.
- High print quality.
- Low shrinkage.
- Durable bond layering.
- Twenty-four-hour drying period.
Best For Beginner
Wide Temp and Speed Range PLA
The Hatchbox 3D Printer Filaments have an approximate weight of 2.20 pounds and feature a 1.75 mm spool diameter with dimensional precision of +/- 0.03 mm. The durability and fluidity of the PLA provide a broad temperature and velocity range that is ideal for beginners. The design reduces the risk of warping and has minimal odor.
The PLA uses vacuum-sealing with desiccant to inhibit moisture absorption, resulting in high-detail quality, and is compatible with multiple mainstream 3D printers. It does not require a heating bed.
- Wide speed and temperature range.
- Minimal warping and odor.
- Vast color selection.
- The spool does not feature a filament level indicator window.
Eco-friendly, 3D Printer Filament
The NOVAMAKER filament comprises sustainably sourced USA virgin PETG materials delivering high performance, clog-free reeling is bubble-free, and navigation and setup are straightforward. The black PETG filament should dry 24 hours before repackaging and storing inside a nylon bag with vacuum sealing.
The 3D printer filament is available in multiple colors for diverse prints. The instruction guide gives easy-to-understand details about temperature settings and installation.
- Sustainably sourced.
- Clog-free reeling.
- Easy installation.
- Feeding through the nozzle gear requires patience.