Are you looking for the right filament for your 3D printer, you’ve come right, the technology and different variants of 3D filaments are constantly updated.
Those who are interested do the best in testing and reading to see which materials and filaments the 3D printer can handle best. Most common is to invest in a 3d printer of which mainly handles printing in plastic filaments such as PLA and ABS.
Printing in this type of plastic is something that the vast majority of 3D printers master. These two types of filaments are usually enough for many private users who have just become familiar with the technology. However, there are endless possibilities to choose other types of filaments and materials to print on: wood, metal, carbon fiber, glass and more.
Of course, the size of the printed object also includes the choice of materials, but the fact is that today’s modern 3D printers can often handle more complicated filaments and objects than the usual user needs.
Select the correct filament for your 3D printer
Because some 3D printers are still relatively expensive, it is recommended to carefully consider how and in what way the 3D printer will be used already at the time of purchase.
To compare prices and get more information, we have a page comparing and reviewing different 3D printers to ensure there is a guarantee that your 3D printer can handle all types of filaments that you will be interested in using in future. To get a deeper understanding of 3D printers, it is recommended to read how 3D printers work for more basic knowledge.
Filament is usually purchased when the 3D printer is purchased, but filament is a consumable and today there are many cheap filaments to find on the internet. For those who want to try out and experiment with different types of materials for their prints, they often do best to obtain filaments in smaller volumes. Affordable filaments for all 3D printers can be found but one has to know where to look and we will help you!
ABS vs PLA plastics for 3D printing
The most popular material for 3D printing has been the ABS material (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) since the beginning of the machines. The plaster is and remains the 3D printer’s first choice and several machines targeted at private users focus mainly on prints in just ABS and can hardly be difficult to handle other types of materials.
ABS is very durable and reminiscent of the material in Lego. It’s a lightweight material that can be easily formed by squeezing together in a variety of ways, making it perfect for just 3D printing.
ABS requires less energy and power to compress into objects than PLA, which is another popular filament for 3D printers. The disadvantage of ABS is that it requires higher temperatures compared to PLA and usually requires a temperature of 210-250 ∞ C to print with ABS.
ABS vs PLA Filament: Vapors and odors
Another negative aspect of just ABS is that it emits quite strong vapors when it is melted and compressed into new objects. These vapors can be dangerous for humans and animals to breathe in, especially if you have problems with asthma or the like.
This also causes a fragrance to be emitted when printed with ABS, so it may be good to have the machine somewhat secluded, especially for private use when it is most commonly found in the home. Because a 3D printing so far takes a few hours depending on size, the ABS plastic smell can be experienced as very strong, something that should be taken into consideration.
It is best to have the printer in a well-ventilated room. However, ABS is one of the absolute cheapest filaments on the market for 3D printers, and it is another reason for the continued popularity of the material.
HIPS and PVA as support material for 3D printing
The HIPS and PVA materials are examples of filaments used to create 3D objects with large overlaps and projections. It’s hard to print something in 3D format if there is nothing under the object that it can rest on.
The solution to this problem is the support filament used to support the printout, which can then be removed or in some cases dissolve in water when printing is completed. Two types of such support materials are HIPS and PVA.
PVA filament (polyvinyl alcohol) is easy to print with and is often used to support an item during printing, especially for objects with hanging parts that would otherwise be very difficult to print. This is a perfect material for 3D printers with two or more nozzles and has several good features, the two main ones being completely non-toxic and completely degradable after dissolving in water.
It may be advantageously dissolved in cold water, even if the solution process goes a little faster with warmer water, but be careful with excessively high temperatures (max. 70 ∞ C is recommended on the water). Filament has a flexible and expandable structure, making it the best support for 3D printing.
PVA is compatible with most modern 3D printers with heated platform but should not be used at printing temperatures above 225 ∞ C when the material is not suitable for such high temperatures.
The HIPS (High Impact Polystyrene) material reminds a lot of ABS filaments and is an excellent support filament for 3D printing.
The material is common, mainly in the food industry for packaging of different types. It is also used to pack and close CDs and to create trays and troughs in the healthcare industry. This makes HIPS one of the world’s most widely used plastic materials. Naturally, this filament has a strong white color and it is also biodynamically degradable. This means that there are no negative consequences that the material comes into close contact with humans or animals.
HIPS as filament has some bending problems and can be problematic in adhesion, but it can be remedied with a well-heated printing platform. When HIPS is used as support material for printing in other materials, it can easily be dissolved and disappeared in a colorless liquid of hydrocarbon called the Limonene.
Nylon is another very interesting material for 3D printing. Nylon is known for its high biodynamic compatibility and is therefore a very popular material in the medical industry. Many prostheses and brooches are made of just nylon.
Several different types of nylon that are already widely used for 3D printing in healthcare and industry. The most popular nylon filament for 3D printers is Nylon 618 which has a white color, and Nylon 645, which is slightly more transparent but which can be harder to work with. Although nylon filaments are not so popular for 3D prints, such as ABS and PLA, it’s a good alternative that constantly wins new ground.
Wood material for 3D printers
Those who want to try to make 3D wood prints make the best use of FDM technology together with PLA and wood blended filament. The result looks both like and has a scent of ordinary wood, and consists of a combination of recycled wood together with a binding polymer.
The objects printed in 3D with this filament do not look like other prints depending on the typical appearance and character of the wood. Printing with wood filament is very similar to the process used when printing with PLA and ABS. The difference is that the result looks amazing like a regular wooden item.
In order to use this filament, adjustments need to be made until a good result. No heated building platform is needed as this will only get caught in the material. The temperature for printing in wood filaments is usually around 175-200 ∞ C.