How We Test 3d Printers
When we review a 3D printer, we set up each model, noting how long it takes from the time to remove the printer from its packaging to calibrating the printer so that it’s ready to use. We also take note of any special set-up instructions.
We look at what kind of materials a 3D printer supports and whether the manufacturer requires you to only use materials they sell.
When its time to test the printer, we have three different test models a miniature statue of Rodin’s Thinker, a complex set of planetary gears that incorporate interlocking parts, and a geometric sculpture to see well the printer can reproduce sharp edges and points. In addition to evaluating the quality and detail of each print, we also time how fast the printer works at various speeds, from draft mode to the highest-quality setting.
We also consider the software that a printer uses and the different ways you can control prints, whether it’s from a computer or via a control panel on the 3D printer itself.
Sunlu Pla 3d Printer Filament
Another 3D printer filament worth your attention is the SUNLU PLA Filament with a dimensional accuracy of +/- 0.02mm and a 1kg spool. It features a 1.75mm diameter that allows it to work and harmonize excellently with all the standard 1.75mm FDM 3D printers. That is also supported by high-quality manufacturing accuracy and standards and small dimensional accuracy.
Best 3d Printer Filaments
Once you’ve chosen a 3D printer, you’ll need to pick a type of filament intended for your project. The filament is the raw material used in 3D printers that will be heated at a high temperature to turn it into a semi-solid state. While in this phase, the printer can easily generate the appropriate design layers and print the entirety of the 3D CAD model onto the printing plate.
However, when you venture through various 3D printer filaments, youll hear about numerous materials that could only add up to the challenge of picking the right choice for you. This is particularly true for folks who are just starting to explore the world of the 3D printing process.
While most of us are not new to PLA and ABS, there are other filament materials that you should know such as HIPS, PET, PETG, TPE, TPU, TPC, and several more. And to get a better idea about them, here are some of the most typical types of 3D printer filaments available in the market.
You May Like: Printer To Macbook Cable
What Are The Best 3d Printers
Based on our extensive evaluations and hours of testing of more than a dozen models in different price ranges, we recommend the Monoprice Voxel as the best 3D printer for anyone on a budget. It produces good-looking prints at speeds you’d expect from more expensive models. When you’re ready to step up to a more advanced printer, we’d point you to the FlashForge Adventurer 4.
Monoprice also makes our best budget 3D printer, the Delta Mini V2, which is easier to find these days than the also excellent XYZ da Vinci Nano. We also like the 3Doodler Create Plus pen as a tool to help teenagers and hobbyists create their own 3D objects.
As for SLA printers, the Form 3 from FormLabs is ideal for professionals who need a dependable 3D printer and who won’t blink at the printer’s high price tag. If you’d like to pay less for your SLA printer, the Photon Mono X lowers the cost of SLA printing to less than $1,000.
What Filaments Are There
Before I name specific brands and sources of supply, I would like to briefly explain what properties the individual filament types have and where they are best used.Each filament type has its advantages and disadvantages, so you should carefully consider which filament for which 3D model you use . All filament types that I name here are supported by most 3D printers.
Recommended Reading: How To Put My Printer Online
Why 3d Prints Tend To Be Tricky To Paint
Paints like tacky surfaces, as this gives the resin in the paint mixture ample room for adhesion. At the same time, paint tends to spread easily over a smooth surface. Thats why we always apply filler and primer on brink-and-mortar walls before painting.
3D printed parts tend to have an un-even surface due to layer-lines, as well as somewhat of a glossy finish due to the high-temperature extrusion process. This resultantly provides very little in the way of good binding surface area for the paint to stick to. The choice of paint may also affect the results we get, as well as the ease of getting said results. Most users tend to have a much easier and more pleasant experience with acrylic-based paints. Enamels can be used as well, but your mileage may vary with them as well as with other more exotic varieties
Which Filament Is Best For 3d Printing
The best 3D printing filament is the Polylactic Acid filament. Its arguably the most accessible, inexpensive, easy to use, and safe material. Its a biodegradable material made economically renewable resources. Apart from these, its flexible and highly reliable compared to ABS. That might be the reason its considered the king of 3D printing filament.
Don’t Miss: Printer Doesn’t Print Black Ink
What Makes A Strong 3d Printer Filament
Strength can mean many things. As far as 3D printers go, its most common to understand strength to mean tensile strength. This is how much stress the material can come under before it breaks.
Tensile strength is measured in PSI, or pounds per square inch. This is how much force it can withstand before it breaks.
Take these numbers with a grain of salt, though: even though raw tensile strength is a good indicator for filament strength, the strength of your final part will also depend on how it was designed and printed.
The simplest example of this is a hook: when printed flat on the bed, it will be much stronger than if printed standing up. This is because there are far fewer layer lines in a flat print than a standing print.
What Are The Factors To Consider Before Buying A 3d Printer Filament
The purpose of the 3-Dimensional printer filament will determine what type of filament you will need. Suppose your final product is to be subjected to high-stress applications. In that case, you will need a filament that withstands harsh weather, chemicals, and even heat.
Also, if the final product is for commercial purposes, professional materials will be required. This way, you can produce complex shapes since the filaments will be flexible, durable and will allow you to apply professional finishes to the object.
Type of 3D printer
Before purchasing a 3D printer filament, one factor that needs to be considered is the type of 3D printer you own. 3D printer filaments should not be used with just any 3D printer but only those they are compatible with. The reason for this is related but not limited to the melting temperature of the 3D printer filament.
A typical example is a Nylon filament that melts at 240 degrees Celsius. Many 3D printers are not built to generate those melting temperatures.
Durability and melting temperature
Another important consideration is the durability of the 3D printer filament. The durability of the filament will be determined by its intended purpose and working environment.
The melting temperature of whatever filament you choose is another important factor to consider and will determine if your printer is compatible with it. It should melt at a temperature thats way below the melting temperatures the printer can generate.
Advanced And Professional Users
PP, ABS, PA, and TPU are considered mid-level filaments because they can print more complicated designs. You can use a standard profile for these mid-level materials, but you may also have to tweak your configuration in Cura or your printing software.
Professional users may find themselves using materials like PPGF30 or PAHT CF15, which are filaments that contain glass fiber and carbon fiber respectively. These are considered more professional materials because they are also harder to print and because you need a special hot-end to print the filaments.
Wood 3d Printing Filament
If you are tired of producing plastics and want to see something new in your next 3D printing project, you can unleash your creativity with wood-like outputs by using FDM filament also known as Wood Filament.
Wood Filament contains a mixture of recycled wood with a binding polymer. Thus, helping you produce a 3D object that looks and smells like wood.
Due to its wooden nature, its difficult to tell that the object is 3D printed. So, if you want to achieve that wooden appearance, get a wood 3D printer filament. Using wood filament is similar to using a thermoplastic filament like ABS and PLA.
When using this type of 3D printer filament, the temperature should be between175C and 250C. Otherwise, you wont achieve wooden-like appearance in your 3D printed output.
Print Temperature Range: 195°C 220°C
Wood filaments are often used in decors or materials that you want to achieve with a wooden nature. Moreover, you can use it to print a wooden box, wooden figurine, tables, chairs, cups or the likes.
Also Check: Epson 200i Ink Cartridge
How To Paint Pla To Get The Best Results
PLA tends to be a very forgiving 3D printing filament not only during the printing process, but also in post-processing. PLA can be painted with acrylics, enamels, and it can also be coated with varnish and other similar clear coats.
Painting bare PLA will, in most cases, give you okay results. But be aware that the natural layer-lines tend to become more visibly pronounced when painted. If that is the look you are after, then that is fine. But for those that want a smooth finish, it is best to follow the tried and tested multi-step method for post-processing 3D printed parts:
Matterhackers Printdry Filament Drying System & Storage System
- Storage System Price: $99Available at Matterhackers here
If youve ever worked in a bar or grew up in a household that rationed soft drinks, you may know of the concept of a fizz-keeper. Essentially, theyre small air pumps that render soda bottles airtight, which makes them stay carbonated for longer.
Matterhackers PrintDry system works in very much the same way. At a glance, they look like simple plastic containers, but their pump system vacuum seals your filaments away.
The best thing about the PrintDry system is that it doesnt need to be used right away. If youre worried that your filament has already absorbed moisture and want to minimize the risks of that, you can use the PrintDry system to dry your filament before use.
Essentially, this means that the Matterhackers PrintDry system not only works as a filament storage device, but also as a preparation method to ensure the filament is ready for printing without worries, provided they arent too far gone.
Recommended Reading: Canon Pixma Printer Scanner How To Scan
Tpu Filament Flexible Like Rubber Yet Particularly Easy To Print
GEEETECH TPU shade orange
A very nice flexible filament, it looks a little bit harder rubber. The elasticity can be controlled somewhat with the degree of filling, with 100% filling it gets quite hard. It is wonderfully easy to print, just as easy as PLA, especially because the adhesion is very good! You just have to print a little slower, so far I have been using 30mm to 49mm / sec, 50 ° C bed temperature and 220 ° C for the nozzle. It already makes a little more threads than PLA or PETG, but it is still in the frame. The color is reminiscent of a real orange or orange rear light, thinner structures also let light through. Price is average to low. Support structures are sometimes somewhat difficult to remove with this filament, so use them without support structures if possible.
- Printing temperature manufacturer information: 200 220
- Speed manufacturer information: 40mm / s.
- My preferred printing temperature: 220 ° C
- My preferred print speed: 40mm / s
- My print bed temperature : 50 ° C
- Fan: 10% from shift two
- Edge: not necessary
extrudr® TPU medium ANTHRACITE
- Printing temperature manufacturer information: 230 250
- Speed manufacturer information: 20-30mm / s.
- My preferred printing temperature: 230 ° C
- My preferred print speed: 40mm / s
- My print bed temperature : 60 ° C
- Fan: from shift two 10%, from shift three 100%
- Edge: I prefer to print a small edge which avoids loosening by warping
- My extrusion multiplier: 1
DasFilament TPU White
What Should I Look For In 3d Printer Software And Connectivity
Gone are the days when tinkerers had to cobble together several different programs to get a 3D printer to run. Manufacturers either include their own 3D printing program or modify an existing platform such as the open-source Cura.
3D printing software performs three main functions: processing an object file , slicing it , and printing it. These are almost universally combined into a seamless process. Some high-end printers have software that supports a wider range of settings you can tweak, but even the basic suites work at least reasonably well.
More likely to vary among the cheaper set is the array of connection options from model to model. Nearly all have a USB Type-A port to fit a thumb drive for printing from document files. Most also have a USB Type-B port for connecting directly to a computer, and some offer Wi-Fi, too , while a handful let you connect via Ethernet to share the printer across a local network.
Some printers support storing 3D files on an SD or microSD card . Most 3D printer manufacturers have a mobile app to launch and monitor print jobs, and a few provide access to cloud services from which you can print.
While high-end 3D printers tend to have an abundance of connection choices, discount models vary widely in their choices. Some are generous and some are basic, so it pays to assess what a given model offers.
Recommended Reading: Hp Envy 5530 Printing Blank Pages
Best 3d Printers 2021
There’s never been a better time to join the world of 3D printing or, for experienced makers, to upgrade. With the right printer, you can make models, toys, hooks, stands, replacement parts for electronics or a new case for your Raspberry Pi. You can get one of the best 3D printers and plenty of material for well under $300 in 2021, so consider what youll be making with it and read on to learn more.
The two most common types of home 3D printers are resin MSLA and filament FDM . The best 3D printers for beginners or those with children, FDM printers use reels full of plastic filament that is fed into a hot nozzle and extruded out layer-by-layer to form a solid model. MSLA printers use a UV-cured resin material to form a model layer-by-layer as it rises from a vat of liquid that requires very careful handling.
There are several factors to consider before buying the best 3D printer for you, so be sure to consider the questions before making a choice.
Petg And Asa Are Filaments For Outdoor Use
PETG and ASA are 3D printing materials for outdoor use and durable . Both filaments are insensitive to changing temperatures and UV rays. They are perfect to use in extreme conditions without deforming shape or appearance.
Thanks to the high resistance to deformation these filaments remain solid in wind and sun. Despite the suns UV rays, 3D printed parts made from PETG and ASA do not significantly change or fade color.
Read Also: Hp Envy Printer Is Offline
Do You Want To Print In Multiple Colors
A few 3D printers with multiple extruders can print objects in two or more colors. Most are dual-extruder models, with each extruder being fed a different color of filament. One caveat is that these printers can only print multicolored objects from files that have been designed for multicolor printing, with a separate file for each color, so the areas of different colors fit together like three-dimensional jigsaw puzzle pieces.
Best Carbon Fiber 3d Printer Filamentpriline
For a strong and rigid 3D filament, this PRILINE carbon fiber polycarbonate version is the way to go. With excellent layer adhesion and dimensional stability, as well as a high strength-to-weight ratio, and high heat tolerance , this product provides superior layer adhesion for prints that wont warp. Its Amazons choice for the best carbon fiber PETG filament, and one of the many happy customers commented, These carbon fiber filaments make parts that appear much more professional, adding that another benefit is that there is little or no stringing.
You May Like: Bypass Empty Ink Cartridge Hp Printer
Properties Of Flexible Filaments
Different blends of flexibles vary in their elasticity, depending on the exact chemical formula used. Some flexible filaments are designed to be only moderately flexible, instead prioritizing other properties such as strength and chemical resistance, whereas other flexibles can mimic the elasticity of a rubber band, and can be stretched extremely wide without snapping.
Hatchbox Pla 3d Printer Filament
The HATCHBOX PLA Filament is one of the most sorts after 3D printer filament and for impressive reasons. Its available as a 1.75mm filament with a dimensional accuracy of +/- 0.03. Its a Polylactic Acid filament that comes vacuumed and sealed with a desiccant. It requires 180°C 220°C extrusion or nozzle temperature.
You May Like: Canon Printer Ts3122 App
D Printer Filament Prices
Filament prices are determined almost exclusively by the material theyre made from or the additives that are mixed with them to create more exotic characteristics. There is a considerable amount of overlap, so pricing categories are not cut-and-dried.
Low-priced filaments start around $8 per spool for plain white PLA filament. Colored PLA filaments range as high as $19 per spool.
Mid-range filaments start at $19 to $20 per spool up to $29 per spool for premium PLA and ABS filaments. Wood fiber additives and cheap metal filaments will be in this range.
High-end filaments are anything over $30 per spool. These include exotic uses and additives for transparent and/or professional filaments.