While technology has surely made things best for us, it has also made things a bit confusing with so many options to choose from. The very same issue applieswhen it comes to picking the best 3D printer filament for your project. Every strain of the best 3D printer filament has been designed to adhere to specific requirements of the users, be it industrial use or personal use.
In this blog, we will describe to you all about the popular 3D printer filaments and their characteristic properties to help you pick the best as per your requirement.
An acronym for Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene, the ABS is one among the commonly used and best 3D printer filament. It is used primarily for the creation of durable parts in need to handle higher temperatures. As compared to its contender, PLA filament, this option is more ductile and less brittle. When you are opting for 3D printing by using the ABS filament, it is recommended that you use a heated surface for printing. This is because ABS tends to contract upon cooling immediately which leads to warping of the parts.
Properties of ABS Filament:
- Ductile and strong material that is heat tolerant and resistant to wear & tear
- Commonly used for interlocking parts such as gears, UV exposed parts, prototyping
- Wide range of options available for proper post-processing.
If you are in need of an excellent alternative to the ABS filament, you can surely go with the ASA filament. The Acrylonitrile Styrene Acrylate comes with a range of add-on features that isn’t dominant in the ABS filament. This particular 3D printer filament comes with enhanced weather resistance as well as keeps away from yellowing due to the UV light. So, if you are in need of the best 3D printer filament for outdoor purposes, the ASA filament is a must buy.
Properties of ASA Filament:
- Resistant to weather, UV, as well as temperature fluctuations
- Best for planters, outdoor clips, fixtures, etc
Also known as the Polylactic Acid, the PLA filament is the best 3D printer filament for someone who requires output with minimal warping. It is a highly recommended material for a broad array of printing needs. With features such as low-warping and odorless filament, the PLA doesn’t need the heated bed, making the printing processmore straightforward. It is created from renewable sources such as corn-starch, making it an environmental-friendly option.
Properties of PLA Filament:
- The filament is stiff but tends to showcase instances of brittleness
- Used mainly for prototypes, cosmetic prints, desk-toys, as well as low-stress application
- Best for beginners
4-Elite PLA Filament:
The Elite PLA filament for 3D printing is an advanced variant of the PLA filament that is intended to produce high-quality, professional 3D prints. It comes with a visually distinct product finish with opaque, vibrant colors as opposed to the regular PLA filament. Created with a better tolerance factor, the filament can work best for all kinds of professional needs. So, if you are in need of the best 3D printer filament for professional work, do give this filament a try.
Properties of Elite Filament:
- It is sturdy yet brittle depending upon the nature of use
- Comes with an array of colors
- Best used as a beginner material with low or no warp & shrinkage
If you are in need of the best support filaments, the PVA could be just what you need. An acronym for Polyvinyl Alcohol, this particular filament is translucent but with a hint of yellow tint. It is used primarily as support material for 3D printing, given its property of being water-soluble. This means the print will dissolve upon exposure to water. This filament is used mainly with the 3D printers that hold the capability for dual extrusion.
Properties of PVA Filament:
- Serves as a stiff & water-soluble support material for 3D printing
- Best used with models that require internal supports with incredible details
- Best 3D printer filament to provide support for PLA printing given similar temperatures for 3D printing
The PETG filament comes as the variation of PET filament that has been modified with the addition of the chemical glycol. The resulting printed material is highly-durable & provides prints with no odor. Apart from that, the PETG filament is known to offer impact-resistance and durability. The addition of glycol removes the limitations that PET filament possesses.
Properties of PETG Filament:
- No brittleness or warping issue
- Flexible, recyclable, and highly-durable
- Doesn’t absorb moisture or water from the air
In need of a durable, strong, as well as versatile 3D printing filament? The Nylon filament should be your go-to material. While the material in itself is thin, this feature adds in a sense of flexibility to the material. The filament also has a high form of inter-layer adhesion that works well with parts such as hinges. Nylon filament is known to be a bright & naturally white translucent surface that can absorb colors that have been added post the printing process.
However, you need to keep in mind the fact that this filament tends to be extremely sensitive when it comes to moisture content. So, try and make sure that you store it in an air-tight container.
Properties of Nylon Filament:
- Flexible and strong making it shatter-proof and break-resistant
- Generally used for strong parts or living hinges
- Needs to be dried prior to printing for glossy finish and added strength
HIPS or the High Impact Polystyrene filament is similar to the ABS filament. The prime difference between the two is the fact that HIPS can actually be dissolved with the use of Limonene as solvent. This particular feature makes it an excellent option for being used as support material with the ABS-prints.
Properties of HIPS Filament:
- A rigid variant of support material that dissolves only with limonene
- Best used with internal as well as external support models
- Best 3D printer filament for support material in conjunction with ABS
Before you purchase your 3D printer filament, it is essential that you determine your need for the same. Depending on what you need to print, your selection will vary. Another factor you need to keep in mind is the spool’s diameter, which needs to be round and consistent throughout. All-in-all, practice is what will make you perfect and help you understand your needs in a better way. So, try and test them all to get the best fit for your 3D printing needs.
Planning to start your very own printing project with the best 3D printer filament? With MakeShaper by your side, you do not need to look any further! Select from our range of high-quality 3D printing filaments,designed for industrial as well as personal needs, and start printing today!