3D PRINTER FILAMENT COMPARISON GUIDE

3D PRINTER FILAMENT COMPARISON GUIDE

PLA Polylactic Acid(EXTRUDER TEMP: 205±15 °C; BED TEMP: 40±15 °C)

PLA (Polylactic Acid) is one of the two most commonly used desktop 3D printing filaments (with the other being ABS filament). It is the "default" recommended material for many desktop 3D printers, and with good reason - PLA is useful in a broad range of printing applications, has the virtue of being both odorless and low-warp, and does not require a heated bed. PLA filament is also one of the more eco-friendly 3D printer materials available; it is made from annually renewable resources (corn-starch) and requires less energy to process compared to traditional (petroleum-based) plastics. Outside of 3D printing, PLA plastic is often used in food containers, such as candy wrappers, and biodegradable medical implants, such as sutures. PLA filament for 3D Printing is available in a wide range of colors in both 1.75mm and 3mm.

PLA 3D Printing Filament Properties:  
PLA filament is a stiff but brittle 3D printing material.
Best used for cosmetic prints, prototypes, desk toys, low-stress applications.
Best 3D printer material for beginners due to ease of printing and minimal warp.

 

ABS Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (EXTRUDER TEMP: 230±10 °C; BED TEMP: 90±10 °C)

ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) is another commonly used 3D printer material. Best used for making durable parts that need to withstand higher temperatures. In comparison to PLA filament, ABS plastic is less "brittle" and more "ductile." It can also be post-processed with acetone to provide a glossy finish. When 3D printing with ABS filament, a heated printing surface is recommended, as ABS plastic will contract when cooled leading to warped parts. ABS filament is available in both 1.75mm and 3mm diameter sizes.

ABS 3D Printing Filament Properties:
ABS filament is strong, ductile material with wear resistance and heat tolerance.
Common 3D prints with ABS are Interlocking parts like gears, parts exposed to UV and heat like a car cup holder, or prototyping.
Printing tip: When considering ABS 3D printing filament Wide selection of methods for excellent post-processing.


PRO Series PLA Polylactic Acid (EXTRUDER TEMP: 205±15 °C; BED TEMP: 35±15 °C)


PRO Series PLA is a formulation of PLA filament intended for producing professional, high quality, 3D printed parts. It features a visually distinct finish and a more vibrant, opaque color than standard PLA filament. PRO Series PLA is made in the USA and is produced to more precise specifications and has a tolerance of ± 0.05mm. It is available in 1.75mm and 3mm.

PRO Series PLA 3D Printing Filament Properties:
PRO Series PLA filament is a hard but brittle material with a wide selection of rich colors.
Best used for cosmetic prints, prototypes, desk toys, or low-stress applications.
Best beginner material due to low to no shrinkage and warp.


PRO Series ABS Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (EXTRUDER TEMP: 235±10 °C; BED TEMP: 70±10 °C)


PRO Series ABS filament is a formulation of ABS plastic intended to help your 3D prints stand out with a beautiful, glossy, opaque finish. It is made in the USA and best used when producing high quality, precision 3D prints. As with regular ABS filament, printed parts will withstand higher temperatures than PLA plastic. PRO ABS also requires a heated bed for proper printing. PRO Series ABS is produced to more precise specifications and has a tolerance of ± 0.05mm. PRO Series ABS filament is available in both 1.75mm and 3mm diameter sizes.For tips and tricks on 3D printing PRO Series ABS, check out How To Succeed When Printing With ABS.

 
PRO Series ABS 3D Printing Filament Properties:
 
ABS filament is a stiff but brittle 3d printing material.
Best used for interlocking parts like gears, parts exposed to UV and heat like a car cup holder, or prototyping.
Best 3D printer material for a wide selection of methods for excellent post-processing.


NylonX Polyamide With Chopped Carbon Fiber Strands (EXTRUDER TEMP: 260±10 °C; BED TEMP: 60±10 °C)


NylonX 3D printing filament is an amazing, reinforced nylon filament. By adding micro-carbon fibers to nylon, you get a tough filament capable of printing parts with stiffness, impact resistance, and high tensile strength. NylonX filament is an engineering grade filament, ready for home 3D printing, which gives you the durability of Nylon combined with the stiffness of carbon fiber. The best part of NylonX is that the carbon fiber adds stability and rigidity, so parts are much less likely to warp than with standard nylon. With a unique matte black finish, NylonX eliminates post-print processing. Finished prints can immediately be moved to production with no sanding, polishing, scraping, or pesky acetone vapor baths. If you are already printing with Nylon, it's time to upgrade to Nylon X. NylonX is available in both 1.75mm and 3mm.

 NylonX 3D Printing Filament Properties:
 
NylonX filament is strong like carbon fiber and durable like nylon.
Best used for tough functional parts, wear parts, and production-ready prints.
Printed parts come off the bed with zero post processing required.


Nylon Polyamide (EXTRUDER TEMP: 255±15 °C; BED TEMP: 70±10 °C)

Nylon is an incredibly strong, durable, and versatile 3D printing material. Flexible when thin, but with very high inter-layer adhesion, nylon lends itself well to things like living hinges and other functional parts. Nylon filament prints as a bright natural white with a translucent surface, and can absorb color added post process with most common, acid-based clothing dyes or ynthetic cloth specific dyes. Nylon filament is extremely sensitive to moisture, so taking drying measures during storage and immediately prior to printing (using desiccant, vacuum, or elevated temperature) is highly recommended for best results. Taulman Nylon is a specially formulated 3D printing Nylon filament that comes in a variety of sizes and packages, including 1-, 2-, and 3-packs of both 1.75mm and 3mm.

 Nylon 3D Printing Filament Properties:
 Nylon filament is strong yet flexible making it tough to break and shatter resistant.
Commonly used for living hinges, functionally strong parts.
Must be dried before printing for strength and a glossy finish.

Wood Filaments(EXTRUDER TEMP: 220±30 °C,BED TEMP:30±10 °C)

Wood-like 3D printer materials give 3D printed objects the look and feel of fiberboard. They imbue parts with other wood-like attributes, such as the ability be cut, painted, and sanded. These filaments use PLA as their base, and mix other materials (usually in powder form)into them. The PLA gives the 3D printer compatibility and ease of use while the material contributes to the look, feel, and properties of the filament. With With these organic fills, be cautious of too high of a temperature, as it will result in the wood burning which will give you a darker colored print. It is important to remove the filament from the extruder fairly soon after finishing a print, as the filament will begin to burn in the nozzle and start to clog it. These filaments are all available in both 1.75mm or 3mm unspooled and spooled rolls.

 Wood PLA 3D Printing Filament Properties:
 
Wood filaments looks and feels similar to actual wood with printing properties of PLA.
Best used for wooden busts, sculptures, or tikis. Anything really complex to chisel.
Different extruder temperatures produce different colors; the hotter, the darker.


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