3D Printer Filament Guide 2016

PLA Filament

PLA 3D Printing Filament

PLA is an easy to use plastic which produces high quality prints and is one of the most commonly used 3d printing materials.  It is fully biodegradable, making it a favorite of schools and libraries, and comes in 1.75mm and 3mm.  Check your 3d printer to see which size to use.

It is available in a range of colors, including black, white, blue, red, yellow, orange green and others.

Extruder Temperature:

195- 215 C

Bed Temperature:

0 - 70 C

Optimal Bed Surface:

Painters Tape

For an in-depth look at PLA, read our Guide to 3D Printing with PLA Filament.

ABS Filament

ABS 3D Printing Filament

ABS is an excellent 3d printing plastic for parts needing a higher degree of strength and temperature resistance than PLA.  It's important to have a heated bed platform if you're going to print consistently with ABS because the plastic tends to warp as it cools down over time.  

It's available in 1.75mm and 3mm. ABS does emit an odor during the 3d printing process so a well ventilated space is recommended. 

It is available in a range of colors, including black, white, blue, red, yellow, orange green and others.

Extruder Temperature:

225 - 245 C

Bed Temperature:

80 - 110 C

Optimal Print Bed Surface:

Heated bed with Kapton tape and hairspray

For an in-depth look at ABS, read our Guide to 3D Printing with ABS Filament.

Nylon Filament

nylon 230 3d printer filament
Nylons provide industrial strength durability, flexibility, tolerances and other properties that make it a well suited material for prints that need a little more than basic plastics.  These tend to include industrial prototypes, parts for bikes, motorcycles, cases for GoPros and iPhones, and health care products.
Depending on the elasticity, strength, chemical resistance and heat resistance necessities you need for your parts, there are a number of Nylon filaments available for 3d printing.
They do require a bit more attention to get the perfect print, so pay close attention to build plate temperatures and print speeds.
Nylon 230 in 1.75mm and 3mm - A durable alternative to PLA or ABS
645 in 1.75mm and 3mm - Lightweight and high-strength
680 in 1.75mm and 3mm - FDA compliant for food and beverage contact

Eco-Friendly Filament

Enviro ABS 3D Printing Filament
Recycled plastics and biodegradable materials which can be made into 3d printing filaments have the potential to significantly reduce our waste, contributing to lower carbon emissions, and provide economic opportunities to impoverished peoples around the globe.
Recent advancements to create a biodegradable ABS and produce filament from recycled PET plastic bottles - of which there are hundreds of millions around the world - are promising in the development of materials for 3d printing that are eco-friendly and socially conscious.
Biodegradable ABS Made in the US: Enviro ABS in 1.75mm and 3mm.

Flexible Filament

PCPTE flexible 3d printer filament
Flexible nylons and plastics are part of our everyday lives in the form of mobile phone cases, health care products and industrial parts, and there a variety of 3d printing materials available to produce flexible, durable prints.
It's important to pay extra close attention to extrusion and bed temperatures with flexible materials as they do vary a bit from standard PLA and ABS.  Like other 3d printing filaments, they come in 1.75mm and 3mm.
PCTPE in 1.75mm and 3mm - a flexible, durable nylon developed specifically for 3d printing
T-Lyne in 1.75mm and 3mm - a highly flexible, durable material designed in partnership with Dupont for health care professionals, including those designing prosthetics and implants.

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