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An Expert Buying Guide for Best 3D Printer Filament Selection

The choice of filament is a crucial part of selecting various 3D printing materials as any production of the 3D object will be incomplete without it. A 3D printer filament, also known as 3D printer ink, usually comes in a plastic form, but also available in other materials. If you are doing your part of the research for the best 3D printer filament, then this page will help you understand various 3D printer filament material so that you can select the best available product in the market for your 3D printing purposes.

3D printer filaments come in various types, and depending on the object, you may try various filament choice to build. Check here the best 3D printer filaments available in the market for 3D printing and different purposes they serve.

Before That Let’s Know What 3D Printer Filament is

A 3D printer filament is used to make three-dimensional printing. As most used and best 3D printer filaments, ABS - Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene and PLA - Polylactic Acid is the primary selections for most of the 3D printing businesses. However, there are more types of 3D printer filaments available in the market, but they may be costly options and not suitable for all-round purposes. 

Different Best 3D Printer Filaments Available in the market

Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene – ABS

ABS filaments are the most demanding among other filaments. High-quality ABS 3D printer filaments are tough and extremely impact resistant. ABS filaments are slightly flexible and strong, which makes it a very compatible material for 3D printer filament. In addition to this, ABS 3D printer filaments can be easily extruded, which offers easy handling and operation. It requires a print temperature between 210°C – 250°C. ABS is the best 3D printer filament option for automotive parts, moving parts, toys, and electronic housing. This type of filament also can be used in various automotive components, kitchen appliances, electronic assemblies, protective headgear, and more. This is the cheapest thermoplastic available in the market and extremely popular for its lightweight, flexibility, durability, and sturdiness.

Polylactic Acid – PLA

Another popular and best 3D printer filament choice for this list. PLA printer filament is made of biodegradable thermoplastic derived from eco-friendly and renewable resources such as sugar cane, corn starch, potato starch, and tapioca roots. This 3D printing filament is an environment-friendly option compares to ABS, which is a petroleum-based non-biodegradable plastic. It doesn’t produce any toxic fume during the printing, so it’s best preferable for classroom and home uses and suitable for kids in love with 3D printing. It requires a print temperature between 180°C – 230°C. PLA can be degraded into inoffensive lactic acid, which makes it suitable for surgical implants and medical Ativan suturing. Surgically implanted pins, rods, and screws made out of PLA component naturally break down inside the body within 6 to 12 months. Aside from this, PLA is also used for disposable garments, hygiene products, disposable tableware, classroom, and training purposes. Although PLA is the easiest and best 3D printer filament for beginners, it’s prone to jamming printer nozzles. It also attracts water molecules and becomes brittle at time.

Polyvinyl Alcohol – PVA

PVA filament  is also among the best 3D printer filament choices available in the market. This 3D print is made out of special biodegradable plastic, which is water-soluble. Based on polyvinyl alcohol, PVA is completely non-toxic. It’s easy to print and a great choice for printing 3D models with overhangs, which is impossible to print without support. It requires a print temperature between 180°C – 230°C. PVA printing filaments are commonly used as a thickener, paper adhesive, feminine hygiene products, freshwater fishing sports, and more. It’s completely biodegradable and non-toxic, but not easy to use and costly compared to other available best 3D printer filaments.

Polyethylene Terephthalate with Glycol - PETG

PETG filament is an extremely tough and durable 3D printing material. It can be printed without any odor. It offers the durability of ABS but with superb flexibility and minimal warping and shrinkage, which makes it one of the best 3D printer filament choice. It offers superior impact-resistance. PETG is not brittle and requires a temperature between 220°C – 245°C to 3D print. This type of 3D filament is best to be used with printing products subject to sustained or sudden stress, such as mechanical parts and protective components. PETG is a feature-loaded for its strength, flexibility, and recyclable property. It’s also not brittle nor wrap prone, but difficult to use and has poor bridging characteristics.

High Impact Polystyrene - HIPS

Another biodegradable and best 3D printer filament choice for our list. It has absolutely no adverse effects on humans or pets in contact. It used Limonene as a solvent just like ABS and counted as a superb material 3D print supporting material. It usually could be an excellent support material when we 3D print ABS with dual extrusion printer. HIPS requires a print temperature between 210°C – 250°C. It can’t use for any specific application as it can’t fabricate the 3D object itself. It’s a popular secondary 3D printer filament material to be used with dual extrusion 3D printers to offer structural support while building complex objects. HIPS filament is mostly used in the food industry for packaging. It is also used for medicinal tray production and CD disk packing. Although it has less warping, it displays adhesion and curling issues.

Polyamide or Nylon

It’s a popular 3D printer filament option, especially for industrial applications. It’s a cost-effective option and known for its excellent properties such as lightweight, strong, wear-resistant, flexibility. It could be the best 3D printer filament choice for functional and mechanical parts due to its high melting point and strength. It has a print temperature range between 210°C – 250°C. Nylon filament is an ideal selection for machine parts, gear and bearings, structural parts, dynamic load, mechanical components, tools, consumer products, toys, and more.

At MakeShaper, we are offering a wide range of best 3D printer filaments with the assurance of high-quality and best market price. Browse our website today to check all our product offerings, their respective prices, and feature sets. For instant query solving and questions, give us a call at 1-330-753-0100 now. We will be happy to help you.

Matte and Glossy PLA Prints

3d printing with pla, printing with pla, pla printing" 3D printing is versatile in itself but materials can be printed in different ways that result in diverse finishes that aren’t dependent on post-processing techniques. Polylactic acid (PLA) is without a doubt the most popular 3D printing filament, but it also receptive to different surface finishes produced by varying extruder temperatures. When printing our PLA at the lower end of the recommended temperature range it will produce more of a matte finish like the print on the left side of the photo (printed at 205°C). PLA printed at a high temperature at the top and above the recommended range will have a shiny glossy surface finish like the print on the right side of the photo (printed at 250°C). By varying the temperature of your printer you can obtain different finishes with the same material without post-processing.

PLA Filament Review by Mike Learned

A while back we were contacted by Mike Learned (who runs a successful YouTube channel called NeoPortnoy 3D Printing) to do a review of our PLA filament for us. We sent him a sampling of our products and through a bit of back and forth conversation, we got his printer optimized and printing our filament with successful results. Check out his video for more information on his thoughts and opinions of our products.

PLA

PLA Filament Review by Norbert Davis

I'm not a big review person but I did promise to the MakeShaper guys that I would do one when I purchased my PLA from them a while back and well, here it is.

The Review

I had made a purchase on the MakeShaper site with the 10% discount on the first order special that they have advertised on this site and while there was a problem with the coupon at first, a quick message the MakeShaper team soon remedied that. I am new to 3D printing with only just under 4 months of designing and printing on my Monoprice Maker Select (Wanhao Duplicator i3 clone). I love my machine and have had little problems with it up until recently where I was getting a lot of clogs and jams in the extruder and nozzle. I had from the start ordered Hatchbox PLA filament and have been quite satisfied with the quality of the material and the prints with them. I suspect that I became spoiled by Hatchbox because I noticed that their filament was always smooth. I had ordered some PLA samples and found them to be rough and they did not seem to have the high tolerance for the diameter that I got with Hatchbox. So when the shipment from MakeShaper arrived I immediately broke into it to check it out. There was Grey, Blue, and Neon Green. Colors that I had not have from Hatchbox. I was excited to use the filament. I did a few runs with them and found that I was having some difficulty with printing correctly as it did not want to stick to the bed and was just printing, well, crappy. But again, a quick email to the MakeShaper team and they came back with some printer settings that made things print quite decently. The one thing that I thought was presenting a problem before I wrote to MakeShaper was the fact that the filament was fairly rough compared to the Hatchbox filament. I was hoping that it really didn't matter when it went into the hot end and melted then extruded from the nozzle but in the back of my mind I could see where perhaps the roughness was contributing to any imperfections that I saw in the print. The prints came out decent after the printer setting adjustments and I was fairly impressed with the filament. I did see some things but not every spool of filament is 100% perfect so I will see an issue every now and then but nothing terrible. Then things started getting bad. The printer was sputtering filament whenever I chose the MakeShaper filament and the only thing that seemed to print well was the Hatchbox filament. So naturally, I thought, "Yep, that MakeShaper rough filament is affecting the hot end and making all these problems." And you probably would have thought the same too if when you switched back to a trusted filament that things went back to normal and you got good prints. You blame the new filament. Well, a couple of weeks later even the trusted filament could not print worth a darn to save its life. I started getting clogs, jams, crappy output (if any) and I had to shut things down for a couple of days while I contemplated the right move; replace the nozzle and PTFE tube with the same stuff or go for the Micro-Swiss All Metal Hot End Upgrade for the Mk-10. Well, the total upgrade it was! It was going to happen eventually and so better now than later. So after a few days, the new equipment arrived and I installed it... twice. It seemed that while most everyone else in the world with the MK-10 would not need to use thermal paste to make the new hot end work, I would. OK, new Hot End is in and working fine. So, was my earlier issues with MakeShaper filament because of the filament itself or was it really the hot end's fault (or inability)? Well, as it seems, it was the hot end being temperamental and failing to properly heat the incoming filament and give a good smooth extrusion. So after a few test runs to make sure the hot end was 100% I decided to retry the MakeShaper filament (and because my son chose the neon green for his can holder) to see what it could do. Well after a few prints I was really impressed with how the filament was able to lay down some really consistent layers. They were perfect (from an extrusion sense) and the only real imperfections that happened were due to the machine itself (X & Y) anomalies showing up due to wear and tear on the machine. The filament despite the roughness, or being less smooth than Hatchbox, performed really well. With the new hot end and the updated settings for printing PLA with the new hot end really eliminated stringing and even the overhangs that should have had some real problems did really well.

The Results

Overall the MakeShaper PLA filament did excellent in the overhang department as well as basic layer to layer adhesion. It extruded really smooth and gave me some really consistent prints. Would I recommend this PLA filament to anyone, a resounding "YES". IT delivers what you expect from a good PLA and the price was good too. I am including some photos of the puzzle and the can holder that I printed with the MakeShaper Blue and Neon Green PLA. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to let me know. Thanks, MakeShaper and I will be back for more. Once the CFO allows me some more filament budget. lol Norbert Davis Elk Grove, Ca Monoprice Maker Select w/ Micro-Swiss All Metal Hot End 0.5mm nozzle can_holder_02, pla filament reviews blue_grip_inside, pla filament reviews blue_grip_macro, pla filament reviews blue_grips, pla filament reviews can_holder_01, pla filament reviews can_holder, pla filament reviews https://www.3dprintingforum.org/forum/hardware/materials/99126-makeshaper-pla-filament-review