3D Printer Filament Comparison Guide

STANDARD FILAMENTS

PLA Polylactic Acid

  • Printing temperature: 190 - 220 °C
  • Bed temperature: Not required (40 - 60 °C for bigger parts)
  • Bed adhesion: Blue painters tape, Glue stick, Magigoo or others
  • PLA (Polylactic Acid) is a material for the FFF (also known as FDM) 3D printing technology. PLA is a bioplastic, made from renewable natural resources such as corn starch and tapioca products. PLA is easily biodegradable by composing. It is the best material for printing large parts. That is possible thanks to it’s very low thermal expansion. For more information on PLA see Wikipedia
  • PLA advantages

    Printing of large parts is much easier with almost no warping
    No chemical odors are produced during printing

  • PLA disadvantages

    Parts start to loose mechanical strength at temperatures over 70 °C

  • Shop for PLA

ABS Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene

  • Printing temperature: 220 - 235 °C
  • Bed temperature: 80 - 100 °C
  • Bed adhesion: Blue painters tape with layer of glue stick, Magigoo or others
  • ABS (Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) is a very strong and versatile material with great thermal resistance. It is the best material for printing mechanical parts. For example ABS is the material used to make LEGO. For more information on ABS see Wikipedia
  • ABS advantages

    Parts can withstand temperatures of up to 80 °C without loosing strength
    Parts can be vapor smoothed for greater strength and better surface finish
    Easy to glue with acetone
  • ABS disadvantages

    Requires heated bed for prints without warping
  • Shop for ABS

CPE Co-Polyester

  • Printing temperature: 255 - 275 °C
  • Bed temperature: 70 - 80 °C 
  • Bed adhesion: Blue painters tape, Glue stick, Magigoo or others
  • CPE (Co-Polyester) is a very strong and versatile material with great thermal resistance and chemical resistance. It is the great material for printing mechanical parts. CPE is great for printing large object, because it has almost no warping. For more information on CPE see Wikipedia
  • CPE advantages

    Parts can withstand temperatures of up to 80 °C without loosing strength
    Easy to bond with superglue

  • CPE disadvantages

    Can't be vapor smoothed with acetone

  • Shop for CPE

SPECIALTY FILAMENTS

ASA Acrylic Styrene Acrylonitrile

  • Printing temperature: 235 - 255 °C
  • Bed temperature: 80 - 100 °C
  • Bed adhesion: Blue painters tape with layer of glue stick, Magigoo or others
  • ASA (Acrylic styrene acrylonitrile) is a UV resistant material with great thermal resistance. ASA Extrafill is an advanced material with excellent weather resistance, retention of physical features, good dimensional stability and higher rigidity than ABS. Low level of yellowing is very important for functional applications with long-term use. To learn more about ASA see Wikipedia.
  • ASA advantages

    Parts can withstand temperatures of up to 80 °C without loosing strength
    High UV resistance, low level of yellowing
    Parts can be vapor smoothed for greater strength and better surface finish
    Excellent weather resistance
  • ASA disadvantages

    Requires heated bed for prints without warping
  • Shop for ASA

Flexible TPU Thermoplastic polyurethane

  • Printing temperature: 200 - 220 °C
  • Bed temperature: 30 - 50 °C
  • Bed adhesion: Thin layer of glue stick, Magigoo or others
  • Flexible TPU (Thermoplastic polyurethane) based filament, is combining high elasticity while maintaining incredible structure and the strength to withstand the toughest work environments. Incredible layer to layer bonding, excellent resistance to wear and tear, and ease of use make this filament a great choice for everyday use. TPU aka Thermoplastic polyurethane is a class of polyurethane plastics with great properties, like resistance to oil, grease, UV resistance and abrasion. To learn more about TPU see Wikipedia
  • Flexible TPU advantages

    Resistance to oil, grease, UV resistance and abrasion
    No warping
    Faster printing speed and retraction
    Higher quality prints
  • Flexible TPU disadvantages

    Slower printing speed
  • Shop for Flexible TPU

Wood Composite Filament Timberfill

  • Printing temperature: 170 - 190 °C
  • Bed temperature: Not required (40 - 60 °C for bigger parts)
  • Bed adhesion: Thin layer of glue stick, Magigoo or others
  • Timberfill is wood-like 3D printer materials that give 3D printed objects the look and feel of real wood. They imbue parts with other wood-like attributes, such as the ability be stained, cut, painted, and sanded. Timberfill is made of a biodegradable wood material. The material exhibits similar mechanical features as PLA and models printed with this material have a genuine appearance of real wood.
  • Timberfill advantages

    Timberfill looks and feels similar to actual wood with printing properties of PLA
    Different extruder temperatures produce different colors; the hotter, the darker
    Low temperature 
  • Timberfill disadvantages

    Parts start to loose mechanical strength at temperatures over 70 °C
  • Shop for Timberfill

Nylon Polyamide

  • Printing temperature: 235 - 250 °C
  • Bed temperature: 80 - 100 °C 
  • Bed adhesion: PVA based glue stick, Magigoo or others
  • Nylon (Polyamide) series filament provides excellent durability, layer-to-layer bonding, less warping and nice finish. The Nylon FX256 is an incredibly strong material and its low friction coefficient and high melting temperature make it an excellent choice for 3D printing. These features and low printing temperature make the Nylon FX256 the most highly versatile filament on the market. ood.
  • Nylon advantages

    Provides flexibility and strength for highly functional parts
    Temperature resistant material
  • Nylon disadvantages

    Must be kept dry
  • Shop for Nylon

Nylon Carbon Fiber

  • Printing temperature: 240 - 260 °C
  • Bed temperature: 80 - 100 °C 
  • Bed adhesion: PVA based glue stick, Magigoo or others
  • Nylon Carbon Fiber is a reinforced nylon material with added micro carbon fibers, Nylon Carbon Fiber is an engineering grade filament, designed for desktop 3D printing. It's high impact and chemical resistance, as well as high tensile strength and perfect processing stability make this filament capable of printing engineering parts.  
  • Nylon Carbon Fiber advantages

    Excellent low or high temperature resistance (low thermal expansion) great for functional parts 
    No post-printing processing work and excellent properties
  • Nylon Carbon Fiber disadvantages

    Hardened or steel nozzles are highly recommended. Like other nylons, Nylon CF15 must be kept dry
  • Shop for Nylon Carbon Fiber

HIPS High Impact Polystyrene

  • Printing temperature: 245 - 250 °C
  • Bed temperature: 90 - 100 °C 
  • Bed adhesion: Kaptone tape or others
  • HIPS (High Impact Polystyrene) and is very similar to ABS, such as high rigidity and impact resistance. The primary difference is that HIPS uses D-Limonene as a solvent. This means that you can use HIPS as a support material which can then easily be dissolved by placing your print in D-Limonene.
  • HIPS advantages

    Best 3D printer support material for ABS because of similar printing temperatures
    Dissolves away in D-Limonene.
  • HIPS disadvantages

    Usually used only for specific applications or as a support material
  • Shop for HIPS

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