One of the main features of the modern world is the huge choice available to the end user. 3D printers and 3D printing materials are no exception. At the same time, we are not talking about brands – just not all threads are the same in their properties. There are different types of 3d printing materials.

When choosing a filament, you need to think about things like your budget, the types of parts you want to print, your expectations, and your personal experience. As new types of materials enter the market, selection decisions become more difficult. Not to mention the fact that there are more and more manufacturers and you need to be able to find the right balance between an acceptable price and high quality. Therefore, the question “which filament for a 3d printer to buy” is actually not as simple as it seems.

One of the biggest frustrations with 3D printing is the lack of quality in the printed parts. Sometimes bad prints are the result of incorrect print settings or if the 3D printer itself is not very good. But more often than not, mediocre 3D details are the result of using poor quality filament or choosing the wrong filament type.

Two things will get you out of trouble. First, knowing what type of thread to use. And secondly, and no less important, is the choice of a product that has good reviews and has been on the market for a long time. If you buy cheap filament, this can lead to false savings – you will be reprinting products and wasting more material.

Using the first thread

Among the various options to consider, you can find threads that provide waterproofing. And the truth is that for certain situations it would be very useful to have this type of thread. For example, your support for a security camera may be dropped and you may need to create an element that will solve this problem. All you have to do is print the piece yourself with impervious thread so you can use it outside without worrying about anything because bad weather won’t be a problem.

It could also be because you want to fix your steady rests or any other item that will last longer, be water resistant. In addition, this type of filament is simply demarcated because it does not have pores that they fill completely unless they have a certain type of water reproducing treatment or have no problems after long-term use.

Thus, there is no need to carry out special processing during the imprinting of parts with a filament. All you need to do is print the piece in the usual way on your 3D printer, turn in the excess material and start using your creation with all the lightness of spirit that this elusive element will not be a problem.

A modern 3D printer allows you to buy and use various materials. The most popular 3D filaments now are thermoplastics, which everyone is accustomed to simply call plastics. The types of 3D plastics that you will definitely encounter in your work are briefly described below.

PLA is biodegradable, easy to print, and often used to create consumer products. ABS is impact-resistant, strong, and is used to print cases and functional parts. Nylon is strong, strong, flexible and versatile in applications where flexibility is needed. HIPS is a biodegradable plastic for printing prototypes, models, supporting structures. You can buy any of them in our online store.

The best thermoplastics for 3D printing are durable and versatile. The most commonly used ones are the first two on the list – PLA and SLS filament. But today, more people are starting to experiment with other types of filaments as prices continue to drop and 3D printer capabilities grow. The size of the thread is also important – and this is what you need to know before you start buying materials. There are two basic filament sizes: 1.75mm and 3mm. Some 3D printers support both sizes and some don’t.

There are also many specialized threads. They are becoming more commonplace as 3D print enthusiasts become more creative. Many of these composite filaments are an elaborate mixture of common plastics such as ABS and PLA and various additives. It is this combination that gives the material new interesting properties. But of course, these are still isolated cases and the most common filaments described above are most often used.

3D printing is increasingly being used in commerce and manufacturing. Industrial printing requires special filaments. They are characterized by increased structural support. We offer a list of the 9 most popular professional consumables:

No. 1. Professional 3D Printing Filament: Carbon Fiber

Carbon fiber is often added to PLA, ABS, PETG, dlp sla to increase stiffness. Such connections are excellent for use in aggressive environments. The only negative is that the use of these consumables contributes to the rapid wear of the extruder (especially if it is made of soft metal).

No. 2. Professional 3D printing filaments: PC-ABS

ABS polycarbonate alloy is a rigid thermoplastic that combines the strength and heat resistance of polycarbonate with the flexibility of ABS. The material is characterized by hygroscopicity, therefore it causes certain difficulties when working with it. Another disadvantage is that the thread must be printed at a high temperature (at least 260°C). Since PC-ABS tends to warp, a high temperature of the printed layer (at least 100°C) is needed.

Number 3. Professional 3D Printing Filament: HIPS

High performance polystyrene is a copolymer that combines the hardness of polystyrene with the elasticity of rubber. Combined with ABS in a dual extrusion printer, HIPS is an excellent support material. Easy to sand, glue or paint. Doesn’t mix well with other threads (except ABS) as they can be damaged by limonene.

No. 4. Professional 3D printing filaments: PVA

Polyvinyl alcohol is water soluble, so it does an excellent job as a support material. Unlike the previous consumable, it is compatible not only with ABS, but also with PLA and nylon.

No. 5. Professional 3D Printing Filament: ASA

An alternative to ABS designed for greater weather resistance. Acrylonitrile styrene acrylate is not affected by chemicals, high temperatures. This is a durable and tough consumable that is easy to use in additive printing.

No. 6. Professional 3D Printing Filament: PP

Polypropylene is strong, flexible, lightweight, chemical resistant and food safe. True, the thread has a number of disadvantages, including poor adhesion and difficulty in deformation.

No. 7. Professional 3D Printing Filament: Acetal (POM)

Polyoxymethylene (POM) also known as acetal. Differs in durability, rigidity, wear resistance and, the most important, low coefficient of friction.

No. 8. Professional 3D Printing Filament: PMMA

Polymethyl methacrylate is a rigid, impact-resistant, transparent material. It cannot boast of flexibility and ease of printing.

No. 9. Professional 3D Printing Filament: FPE

Flexible polyester is a flexible and soft material that boasts good adhesion, moderately high resistance to heat and chemical compounds.

3d printing with a multicolor thread

Most of us are still excited about moving away from single-color fused fiber production to explore the potential of multi-color, multi-material 3D printing, usually reserved for high quality inkjet technologies. While multicolor printing has historically been a more sophisticated technology, it often gives the user more options.

Most consumer 3D printers create objects using deposition modeling. This involves using a spool of polymer filament, which is then heated to its melting point and then extruded from its extruder for printing. This way they create elements one horizontal layer at a time.

As always, accessibility allows new hardware, software and materials to catch on. With this in mind, a research team from the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at Texas A&M University, in collaboration with scientists from Meiji University (Japan) and Osaka University, developed an interactive system for 3D printing with multiple colors and multiple materials using a single print head – and without any or equipment.

Programmable filament works with existing 3D printers by combining multiple filament elements into a single filament. The process starts with a simple print of a new filament made up of various existing filaments. This new multi-colored filament in various materials can then be used to print multi-colored objects in various materials. The programmable filament allows users to print a 3D object in multiple materials with an FDM printer without any hardware modifications.

The printing process begins with analyzing a computer model of the object to be printed, determining which parts of that object will be printed with which polymers and in what order. It then uses an existing 3D printer to create a custom spool of filament, with different parts made from different polymers.

Once the resulting spool of multipolymer composite is loaded into the printer, the object can be printed in a single process. At the points where changes between polymer types should occur, the extruded “programmed” filament will change accordingly.

Choosing the Right 3D Printing Filament: ABS vs. PLA

ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) was the most popular plastic material used in 3D printing before the advent of PLA. However, it is still widely used as an assembly material for desktop 3D printers.

ABS Filament Features:

  • General printing temperature: 220° to 250°
  • Physical properties: very durable, can be sanded, glossy surface
  • Flexibility: low flexibility, slight bending
  • Available colors: wide variety. Various colors and shades can be obtained by adding colored pigment to raw plastic. Moreover, even colorless
  • The ABS printed item can be later dyed any color the user wants
  • Price: cheap
  • Environmentally friendly: non-biodegradable, toxic, potentially flammable
  • Smell: smells bad and releases toxic fumes at high temperatures

Specifications of ABS for 3D printing

  • Density: 1.05g/cm3
  • Tensile strength: 30 MPa (2400 MPa (23 ° C)
  • Impact strength: 130 (at 23°C), 100 (at? 30°C) kJ/m2
  • Voltage modulus: 1627 MPa
  • Voltage modulus at 23°C: 1700 – 2930 MPa
  • Bending modulus: 1834 MPa
  • Elongation ratio: 6%
  • Electrical strength: 12-15mW/m
  • Moisture absorption: 0.2-0.4%
  • Glass transition temperature: ~100°C
  • Melting point: ~220°C
  • Auto-ignition temperature: ~ 395 ° C

ABS also has the ability to dissolve in acetone (nail polish remover). An acetone solution can be used to polish printed ABS products. Under the action of acetone, the outer layer of the model melts, smoothes, acquires a special shine, and the pattern of the printed model layer becomes invisible.

It is recommended to print ABS models on a heated mounting plate as the thermoplastic material can shrink and flex when cooled too quickly. The build plate temperature ranges from 50° to 100°. It is also recommended to use a closed heated chamber for printing ABS elements, allowing them to gradually cool down during printing, thus avoiding shrinkage of the product.

There are few materials with ABS effects on the market. Here are two of the most popular.

Glowing in the dark lcd sla. Glow-in-the-dark ABS filament contains phosphorescent particles that cause the printed element to glow when exposed in the dark. In fact, phosphorescent particles absorb energy from a light source and release it slowly in the dark. This type of filament is no different from standard ABS building material.

It’s fun to work with, requires no special print settings, and handles just like standard ABS material. Glow in the dark ABS available in multiple colors; however, green glow in the dark is said to produce the best results. Luminous ABS filaments are commonly used for printing toys.


Have experience in writing for big hi-tech magazines. I love new technologies and I always want to be on the cutting edge. That’s why I write about them – to share my experience with other people who are interested in this stuff like me.

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