FilamentGuide


PLA PETG ABS ASA TPU Wood Fill Metal Fill PC Nylon HIPS PVA PP Carbon Fiber
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Popular Filament Comparison Guide

3D printing filament is the thermoplastic feedstock for fused deposition modelling 3D printers. There are many types of filament available with different properties, requiring different temperatures to print.

You can perfectly print PLA, PETG, and TPU without an enclosure. On the other hand, filaments like ASA, ABS and Nylon are recommended to be printed with an enclosure, but you can still print small models with those filaments. Larger models printed with ASA or ABS will most likely warp without an enclosure.

PLA

Compatibility with printers: All FFF/FDM 3D printers.

PLA, also known as polylactic acid or polylactide, is a thermoplastic made from renewable resources such as corn starch, tapioca roots or sugar cane, unlike other industrial materials made primarily from petroleum.

Polylactic Acid, commonly known as PLA, is one of the most popular materials used in desktop 3D printing. It is the default filament of choice for most extrusion-based 3D printers because it can be printed at a low temperature and does not require a heated bed.

Its ease of use and minimal warping issues make PLA filaments the perfect starting point for 3D printing. PLA is also one of the most environmentally-friendly 3D printing materials and, unlike ABS, is biodegradable. Among other PLA advantages are also its low cost and a wide assortment of colours and blends.

PETG

Compatibility with printers: All FFF/FDM 3D printers with hot end temperature between 235°C and 250°C and bed temperature to 60°C -100°C

PETG 3D printer filament (Polyethylene Terephthalate) is one of the most commonly used polymers today. It is also used in the manufacture of food packaging, water bottles and many other common plastic items. PETG filament has proven its worth as a durable material that is easy to use.

PETG filament has good flexible strength more than ABS filament. It’s the perfect filament to combine strength and flexibility, which is why it’s used in so many mechanical parts or robotics.

PETG is the perfect filament to combine strength and ductility, which is why it’s used in so many mechanical parts and robotics. It has great chemical resistance with good water, acidic and alkali resistance. PETG is also makes a great material for artistic prints like bracelet, rings, collars etc.

ABS

Compatibility with printers: Fully enclosed printers that can handle extrusion temperatures between 230°C – 260°C and heated bed temperatures of 90°C -110°C.

ABS, or Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene, is a thermoplastic that is easily moulded when heated and hardens evenly when cooled. Because it can take many forms and maintains its quality, ABS filament is used in traditional manufacturing in a variety of industries, as well as by 3D printing hobbyists.

Although it is more difficult to print than PLA, ABS remains a very popular material for 3D printing professionals due to its resistance to impact and high temperature (between -20°C and 80°C). It is opaque, offers smooth and shiny surfaces and can be welded by chemical processes using acetone.

One of the most common print quality issues with ABS is warping. As the plastic cools from its extrusion temperature down to the room temperature, this change in temperature causes the plastic to shrink and contract. … The enclosure can also prevent wind drafts that could rapidly cool the part during printing.

ASA

Compatibility with printers: It is recommended for fully enclosed printers that can handle extrusion temperatures between 230°C – 260°C and heated bed temperatures of 90°C -110°C.

Acrylonitrile styrene acrylate (ASA) is a thermoplastic that you can 3D print and has many properties that make it good for engineering and outdoor purposes. ASA prints are also rigid and strong, and can even be more so than the same parts made from ABS.

ASA filament is the perfect all-purpose 3D printing thermoplastic, suitable for many different applications. It has a similar chemical makeup to ABS plastic but offers three improvements: better mechanical properties, superior aesthetics and its UV resistant.

Wood fill

Compatibility with printers: All printers equipped with steel nozzles. If your printer has a brass nozzle, upgrade it with a steel nozzle to make it combatable the wood fill and other abrasive filaments. Suggested nozzle size: 0.6mm and bigger as smaller nozzles

Wood filaments are still PLA-based, but the wood is instead integrated in the form of wooden fibres. Many different types of wood have emerged, as well. You can now choose between birch, coconut, bamboo, timber, cedar, and many others, this means wood 3D printed parts can be treated as real wood.

A wood filament is a composite material usually made from a mixture of 70% polymer and 30% wood. The polymer can be standard PLA, and the wood component is a mixture of sawdust from different kinds of wood.

Wood PLA is too abrasive for a brass nozzle and will wear it out until it becomes a straight pipe after about 12 hours of printing with it. We recommend that you use a steel nozzle when printing with wood filament. Recommendable nozzle size of 0.6, 0.8, 1mm and 1.2mm.

Metal fill

Compatibility with printers: All printers equipped with steel nozzles. If your printer has a brass nozzle, upgrade it with a steel nozzle to make it combatable with metal fill and other abrasive filaments. Suggested nozzle size: 0.6mm and bigger.

Metal 3D printing filament is basically normal filament with some amount of metal added. That means it can be used with a regular desktop FDM printer (but perhaps with a special nozzle). Metal filaments come in a variety of materials, ranging from copper and bronze to iron and stainless steel.

The presence of this metal powder makes the filament much heavier than standard plastics. This means that the parts printed with metal-filled PLA will weigh significantly more than ones from the standard PLA, despite using the same settings and consuming the same amount of material.

PC

Compatibility with printers: Fully enclosed printers that can handle extrusion temperatures between 290°C – 300°C and heated bed set at 90°C -120°C depending on the brand.

Polycarbonate (PC) is a powerful material used across many industries. It stands out for three main features: optical clarity, resistance to heat, and incredible toughness. This makes it perfect for use in electronic cases, automobile parts, robot bumpers, and similar parts that require durability.

PC is more durable and flexible than PLA but less so than nylon. It’s harder than ABS, PLA, or PMMA, while also being lighter and less dense than ABS. It’s ability to withstand torsional stress is superior to other thermoplastics, and it’s flexible enough to be machine bendable at room temperature.

According to multiple manufacturers and reviewers, polycarbonate (PC) is considered the strongest consumer filament out there. PC can yield extremely high-strength parts when printed correctly with an all-metal hot end and an enclosure.

Nylon

Compatibility with printers: Fully enclosed printers with 240°C -290 °C nozzle and up to 65 °C bed temperature.

Nylon filament or Polyamide in 3D printing is an exceptionally strong and durable thermoplastic filament that boasts high flexibility, great heat resistance, and even better toughness than ABS. It’s great for functional and mechanical parts that go through a lot of movement, like hinges and joints.

Nylon filament absorbs a lot of moisture when left out in the open. Please bake the Nylon filament in the oven at75°C for 3-6 hours just before printing to remove moisture.

TPU

Compatibility with printers: The temperature at which TPU filament will extrude is 220°C -250 °C Heated build platform is not required, but when used the temperature should not be higher than 60 °C. The extruder system will need to withstand materials that are both flexible and compressible up to a constant temperature of 250 degrees.

Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU material) is a flexible, abrasion resistant thermoplastic. 3D printed parts with TPU are durable and have the ability to withstand ambient temperatures of up to 80 ‎°C. TPU filament is abrasion resistant, can withstand impacts and is resistant to many chemicals.

With its high chemical resistance to oils and greases, TPU is ideal for automotive applications like seals, gaskets, plugs, tubes and protective applications.

The print speed for flexible TPU filament should be in the range of 30 to 50 mm/sec. Layer thickness should be set above 0.1mm. Extrusion temperature can range from 200 to 220˚C with the heated bed platform set around 80 to 100˚C.

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