The 11 Best 3d Printer Filament Spools In 2021 According To 47000+ Satisfied Shoppers
Welcome to the Thomas guide to the best 3D printer filament in 2021. Thomas has been connecting North American industrial buyers and suppliers for more than 120 years. When you purchase products through our independent recommendations, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Thankfully for DIY additive manufacturing enthusiasts, there are many different types of 3D filament available, but this may get beginners in a bit of a pickle how do you know which 3D filament is the best for your needs? We outline below the different 3D filaments and their uses, as well as a selection of the top 11 products available to buy now to help you find the right one for you.
Image credit: Shutterstock/luchschenF
What Is The Stiffest 3d Printing Material
PLA filament is also known as Polylactic Acid and is one of the most used filaments in 3D printers.
It is considered as a standard filament material that is widely being used because it can print clearly at a very low temperature without requiring a high heated bed.
It is the stiffest 3D printing material and is ideal for the beginners because it makes 3D printing easy as well as it is very inexpensive and produces parts to be used for a variety of purposes.
After being the stiffest 3D printing material it is also known as the most environmentally friendly material to be used in 3D printers. As an amazing property, PLA emits a pleasant smell while printing.
Is Petg Safe To Drink From
In general, PETG is a food-safe plastic thats commonly used for food containers and bottles for liquid beverages. Like acrylic and many other thermoplastics, PETG is fully recyclable. PETGs damage resistance is far higher than that of acrylic, to the point that it rivals the impact resistance of polycarbonate.
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What Material Does A 3d Printer Use
- 6 min read
When thinking of 3D printing, plastic is everyone’s first thought. But the number of materials that are 3D printable is increasing quickly. Here is a list of all materials that a 3D printer uses.
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How To Make Pla Stronger
You can greatly increase the strength of your PLA parts through a process called annealing. This involves gradually heating your PLA parts to about 70-80 degrees C. At this point, youve hit the glass transition temperature, where the molecules are in flow again. When the part cools again, they will form a stronger bond with one another.
The only disadvantage of annealing is that it slightly alters the shape and dimensions of your parts.
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D Printer Infill Percentage And Overall Object Strength
To understand infill, think about the doors in your home. Very few doors that are mass produced are made of solid wood. The cost is simply too prohibitive. The majority of doors available commercially have a wooden or metal outside surface built around a core consisting of a lower density material.
This allows the door to be produced quickly in large volumes while remaining affordable.
So, to an FDM object. The typical FDM design consists of a solid outer surface which is built around a lower density infill. As was the case with doors, this arrangement allows the object to be printed as quickly as possible at a reasonable cost.
The majority of slicer programs have a default infill setting somewhere between 18% and 20%. For many designs and objects, this default density is perfectly acceptable. However, when it comes to infill percentage, there is no hard and fast rule that fits all scenarios.
An 18% to 20% infill percentage may work fine for a prototype object where strength takes a backseat to form or shape. However, that same infill percentage will be completely inadequate for an object that has been designed to hold weight, like a bracket.
In general, the strength of an FDM object is directly tied to the infill percentage used during printing. For example, a part utilising 50% infill is approximately 25% stronger than a part that utilises 25% infill.
Increasing the infill percentage will increase the density of the connection, with a corresponding increase in strength.
Best Pla 3d Printer Filamentoverture
A lot of avid 3D printing fans love OVERTURE filaments as the company has a stringent manufacturing system of examination that ensures their filament is clog-, and bubble-free, and provides a smooth and stable printing experience every time. Each PLA filament also comes with a free bed surface mat and a helpful small plastic ruler. With thousands of positive ratings, this product is one of the best PLA filaments you can buy, and one enthusiastic purchaser confirmed, “All my prints came out flawless for the desired settings It’s the best PLA you can get for your money. Period!”
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Best In Tensile Strength
With the exception of a few very specific brands, polycarbonate is considered by many to be the strongest 3D printing filament in terms of tensile strength. This has been proven by numerous tests that involved suspending weights on 3D printed hooks. Although several other factors affect the performance of a 3D printed polycarbonate part, the base tensile strength of the material is at an impressive 9800 psi.
Based on a test done by Airwolf 3D, a PC hook was able to withstand up to 685 pounds of tensile stress before breaking. At the same test parameters, hooks made from ABS and PLA were only able to handle up to 285 pounds. The results were replicated by Matterhackers, yielding a maximum load of 409 pounds for a PC hook and 154 pounds for a PLA hook.
Along with recent advances in 3D printing technology, the use of polycarbonate has created a new paradigm of what is possible with 3D printing. Nowadays, it is no longer impossible to 3D printing highly reliable safety-critical parts using strong filaments like polycarbonate.
A huge drawback of polycarbonate is that it can be a very difficult filament to work. It prints at very high temperatures of up to 300 °C and is highly prone to warping. It also needs heavy support in terms of bed adhesion and bed temperature. For all the most experienced 3D printing professionals, 3D printing with polycarbonate will always be a substantial challenge.
Best Metallic 3d Printer Filamentcc3d
No polishing is needed when using the CC3D printer silk rainbow multicolor PLA filament as the end result is always highly detailed and sleek. The color change is random so you cant arrange the color scheme but it provides a beautiful and unique finish nonetheless. One of the many happy customers described, “It flows great with no clogs or jams, has great moisture resistance and the end results of these filaments are stunning. The filament has great strength, and layers are solid with a smooth, extremely shiny surface.”
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Which Is Stronger Polycarbonate Or Carbon Fiber
One other thing to note about Polycarbonate is that although it is used in bulletproof glass and other applications like eyeglasses, it is also easily scratched unless sandwiched between glass as is often done with windows. Carbon fiber on the other hand, is a very strong, durable and lightweight material.
What Do Statistics State About Composites
Airwolf is yet to publish anything on this matter, but research from Matterhackers could help us with the results of carbon fiber infused Nylon and glass infused nylon filaments.
The former one is known to hold 349 pounds before breaking whereas the latter one is known to hold 268 pounds before breaking.
There is also little observation done by the website rigid.ink which gives glass-infused nylon filament four out of five ratings in terms of strength and durability, whereas carbon-fiber-infused Nylon is given five out of five ratings.
But compared to PLA and ABS, they are both one and two ratings stronger and more durable respectively.
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What Is The Weakest 3d Printing Filament
As it is mentioned above that simple nylon or some PLA filaments are considered as the weakest 3D printing filaments in the 3D industry. This fact is only valid for previous or old versions of the nylon filaments.
However, the new updates such as filled nylon filaments with Onyx or nylon carbon fiber filaments come in the list of top strongest filaments for the 3D printers.
D Printing With Nylon
Though lacking some strength when compared to polycarbonate, Nylon is easier to print than polycarbonate.
But if you are thinking that it offers you the flexibility that PLA does, we would have to state a Sorry to you, because it does not.
Also, Nylon is a hygroscopic material and thus it absorbs moisture from the air. So you will have to define parameters for storing this filament, unline others.
You will have to ensure that this 3D printer filament is dry. Also, it requires a somewhat higher temperature for printing which ranges anywhere from 220 to 270 degrees Celsius.
The material is prone to a mild amount of warping and it also impacts, fatigue as well as heat resistance.
As mentioned above, the maximum hand strength of this material is 485 pounds as reported in the test done by Airwolf.
The advantage of using Nylon is that it does not undergo any impact as such as other 3D printer filaments because it is impact resistant.
Being fatigue-resistant is also a key benefit of Nylon as well as being heat resistant. Also, to note is the way in which Nylon is not as difficult to print, as much as polycarbonate is.
The disadvantage of printing with Nylon is that one has to take care of storing it in a place where moisture is absent otherwise it sucks in all the moisture.
Also while printing with the material one needs to take care of it because Nylon warps. And it requires a very hot temperature for 3D printing this material.
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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.
Best 3d Printer Filaments For Outdoor Use
One of the hallmarks of modern 3D printing is how these machines once known only for rapid prototyping, have become able to produce functional as well as ornate objects for simple everyday use.
But while the average PLA print from an FDMmachine or a standard resin print from an SLA machine, would last animpressively long time inside the house, taking things outside into the opentends to be a little more complicated.
In this article we will take a look at some of the best 3D printing materials available and the best filaments that have what it takes to withstand the harsh environment of the great outdoors.
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What 3d Printing Material Is The Most Stable
PLA filament, also known as Polylactic Acid, is one of the most commonly used filaments for 3D printers.
Because it prints clearly at low temperatures without the need for a heated bed, it is a popular standard filament material.
This filament is stiffer and beginner friendly using which parts can be printed at a low cost that are useful in many applications.
PLA is the most eco-friendly material. PLA has a wonderful property of emitting a pleasant odor when it prints.
How To Define Strength
Before we jump into declaring which filament is the strongest, we first need to define what strength is. Strength can be demonstrated through many aspects. Knowing which type of strength you will prioritize will depend on the specific application of your 3D printed project. Here are just some of the ways to tell that a 3D filament is strong:
As you can tell by now, there is not a single answer to which 3D printing filament is strongest. With the four standards we have identified, we shall now attempt to come up with a shortlist of the strongest filaments you can buy.
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D Printer Filament Types
There are two main types:
- 1.75mm filament: the 1.75mm size is by far the most common, and is the smaller diameter of filament available.
- 2.85mm filament: sometimes referred to as 3mm filament, 2.85mm filament appears to be going increasingly out of fashion with makers drawn to 1.75mm filament instead. However, some printers including BCN3D Sigma printers and Ultimakers range of 3D printers take 2.85mm filament, including the Ultimaker 3, S3 and S5.
Best 3d Printer Filament Setmika3d
The Amazon’s choice eco-friendly MIKA3D PLA filament bundle consists of high-quality, silky, and shiny metallic effect filaments for making stunning prints. These 500g spools are universally compatible so should be able to fit the majority of 3D FDM printers on the market. Many buyers are thrilled with the printing outcomes of these filaments, as well as their reasonable price tag . In addition, there are over 15 different bundle options available. One customer wrote, “It is the best PLA that I have used on my printer its quality is amazing and the color is just wow.”
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How Do You Revive Old Filaments
5 Answers. The easiest way to freshen up filament is hot air, although there are other options. There is an optimal melt processing moisture level for every plastic, typically in the range of 0.1-0.2% water content by weight. But the equilibrium moisture content of most plastics in humid air can be more like 1%.
Best Multicolor 3d Printer Filamentttyt3d
The TTYT3D rainbow multi-colored 3D printer PLA filament prides itself on the speed of color change, its smooth, glossy appearance, and its versatility for making anything from figurines to arts and crafts. It is easily compatible at the standard 1.75mm diameter and boasts no edge warping and no clogging. It has a consistent feed which keeps it stable and reliable and is also eco-friendly. One very pleased consumer wrote, “Prints came out absolutely gorgeous I had zero issues with layer adhesion, and its a pretty strong filament. Was worried about brittleness, but nope. Good and strong.”
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What Do Statistics State About Nylon
Similar to the experiments mentioned in the polycarbonate 3D printing filament section, Nylon too was made into a hook form and tested for how much weight a hook made up of Nylon can hold.
Airwolf 3D reports that Nylon has a tensile strength of 7000 PSI, whereas the strength of ABS is 4700 PSI. A clip that is printed using Nylon filament is known to hold 485 pounds.
In their observations, Matter Hackers found results matching to Airwolf, a hook printed using the second strongest 3D printer filament, Nylon could hold 364 pounds before breaking.
There is also a review for Nylon 3D printing filament on the rigid.ink website which gives it four from five in terms of durability. Whereas you find PLA rated at three in terms of strength and durability.
So, as you can conclude when you wish to make a part of higher durability and strength than ABS or PLA, but lesser than that of Polycarbonate, you should consider none other than Nylon 3D printer filament.
What Do Statistics State About Polycarbonate
After testing many filaments, the company Airwolf 3D derived if there is a 3D printing filament that can be, both suitable for desktop 3D printers, as well as remain strong for producing parts and functional prototypes, it is polycarbonate.
In their tests, they were able to hang a weight of 685 pounds on the hook which was printed using polycarbonate material. The tensile strength of polycarbonate was found out to be 9800 PSI.
When a part was printed using the PLA 3D printer filament, it could only handle weights up to 285 pounds.
A similar test was also conducted by a company named MatterHackers, a variant of polycarbonates filament was tested with a variety of other materials, in a hook made up of polycarbonate material, they were able to hang and hold on an average 409 pounds of weight.
Whereas if the hook was printed using PLA, it was only able to hold on an average 154 pounds weight.
Also, to note is how the famous YouTube reviewer Thomas Sandladerer who while reviewing some polycarbonate 3D printer filament gave a very positive review about its strength.
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Important Considerations Before Choosing A Filament For Outdoor Use
Most of us would instinctively consider theexposure to wind, rain and a wider range of ambient temperatures as the primaryfactors affecting the longevity of any item we place outside. The biggestculprit, however, is invisible to the naked eye: ultraviolet light.
Plastics, in general, are subject to aspecific process known as UV degradation. The beams of UV light hitting theplastic object tend to deteriorate the polymeric structure of the plastics.Thereby affecting build quality as well as tensile and overall strength of theobject. Many 3D printed objects will become quite brittle over time due to thisUV degradation.
In addition to the effect on strength, UVlight also causes increased discolouration or fading of color on coloredplastic objects. An example of discoloration that we have all seen is thenotorious yellowing of clear or white plastics over time.