Best Filament for Miniatures

Looking for the best filament for miniatures? If so, you have come to the right place. While miniatures are best printed using SLA 3D printers, newer FDM machines produce high quality prints for miniatures that do not have a lot of details.

Also, resin 3D printing can be quite difficult to get started with. This is especially when it comes to post processing the prints. Luckily, we’ve written a comprehensive guide on post processing resin 3D prints. After post processing, you may also want to color the miniatures to make them ready. For this, you will want to read our article on how to paint 3D printed miniatures.

Still, if you got started with 3D printing by using FDM machines, you can get away with printing large figures that do not have a lot of intricate details. And for these, you will need the right filaments. We have created this guide so that you can easily find the best filament for miniatures.

We haven’t provided a review of all the filaments we have listed since for the most part, they produce the same quality of prints. Also, the miniatures you will end up with will depend on the kind of printer you have. Check our guide on the best 3D printers for miniatures for recommendations of FDM 3D printers that produce decent miniatures,

We have included different types of filaments that you can use to print miniatures with an FDM machine. Our recommendations include PLA, ABS, PETG, NYLON, HIPS, TPU, FLEX-PLA, and SPECIAL filaments. By SPECIAL, we mean filaments such as WOOD, METAL, CARBON FIBER, LIGHTING, etc.

What is Filament?

Filament is the plastic used by 3D printers to print models. In a nutshell, it is the raw material used for printing. Our guide on What is a 3D Printer Filament? covers everything you need to know about the material.

We’ve also written more about different types of filaments, their areas of use, properties, specifications and more. Learn everything in our guide on the Types and Uses of 3D Printer Filament.

With that said, let’s look at the best filaments for miniatures.

Best Filaments for Miniatures

You can find the best filament for 3D printers by clicking on the “See price and buy” button for the respective materials.

We have only listed well-proven brands that have received the best in tests in terms of reviews and customer reviews.

In this way, you can focus on the design and creation of your 3D model without having to think about quality problems or which filament is best.

If you want to read more about the respective materials, you can easily click on the filament name below.

Filament Price Strength Flexibility Printbed Temp (°C) Printing Temp (°C)
PLA See Price 2 1 180-220
PLA + See Price 2 1 185-230
ABS See Price 3 2 95-110 220-250
NYLON See Price 5 3 70-90 245-275
PETG See Price 4 3 75-90 230-250
HIPS See Price 3 1 90-100 225-245
Flex-PLA See Price 4 5 60-80 225-255
PVA See Price 2 1 50-65 190-210
TPU See Price 5 5 20-90 245-255
PC See Price 3 2 90-120 260-280
ASA See Price 3 2 90-115 220-250

1. PLA


PLA, or polylactic acid, is a popular filament choice for FDM 3D printing, and for good reason. When it comes to miniatures, PLA offers several advantages and considerations:


  • Pros: PLA can achieve decent detail, especially with smaller nozzle sizes and proper settings. It’s good for capturing basic shapes and features.
  • Cons: Compared to high-end filaments or resin, PLA’s detail level is limited by its layer height and potential for stringing. Fine details like intricate textures might require extensive post-processing.

Surface Finish

  • Pros: PLA prints have a smooth and matte finish after printing. They can be further sanded and polished for a more refined look.
  • Cons: Layer lines are typically visible, especially on larger prints or with higher layer heights. Additional finishing might be needed for a truly smooth surface.


  • Pros: PLA is generally strong and rigid, making it suitable for most miniature applications. It can withstand moderate handling without breaking or chipping.
  • Cons: PLA is not as durable as some other filaments, like ABS. It can be brittle and prone to snapping if dropped or stressed.

Ease of Use

  • Pros: PLA is arguably the easiest filament to print with. It requires minimal bed adhesion, has low warping potential, and doesn’t emit harmful fumes.
  • Cons: PLA can be prone to stringing, especially with retraction settings not optimized. Support removal can also be challenging depending on the complexity of the miniature.

Safety and Fumes

  • Pros: PLA is considered non-toxic and biodegradable, making it a safe choice for homes and schools. It doesn’t emit harmful fumes during printing.
  • Cons: While generally safe, fine particles released during sanding can be irritating. Proper ventilation is recommended during post-processing.


PLA is one of the most affordable filament options, making it budget-friendly for beginners or large batches of miniatures.


PLA is a versatile and user-friendly filament that can produce decent-quality miniatures. It’s a good starting point for beginners due to its ease of use and safety. However, for those seeking the highest detail and durability, other options might be preferable.

2. PLA+


PLA+, often referred to as “premium PLA,” builds upon the strengths of standard PLA and offers several advantages for printing miniatures:


  • Pros: Compared to standard PLA, PLA+ generally excels in capturing finer details due to its improved layer adhesion and reduced stringing. Smaller nozzle sizes and optimized settings can further boost detail clarity.
  • Cons: While improved, PLA+ still falls short of the detail achievable with high-end filaments or resin printers. Intricate textures might require post-processing like sanding or filling small gaps.

Surface Finish

  • Pros: PLA+ typically delivers smoother surfaces than standard PLA, with less visible layer lines. This reduces the need for extensive sanding and polishes well for a more refined look.
  • Cons: Although improved, layer lines might still be noticeable on larger prints or with higher layer heights. Post-processing for truly smooth surfaces may be necessary.


  • Pros: PLA+ boasts increased strength and temperature resistance compared to standard PLA. This makes it more durable for miniatures, less prone to breaking or chipping during handling.
  • Cons: While more durable, PLA+ isn’t as robust as some other filaments like ABS. It can still be brittle and susceptible to snapping under high stress or drops.

Ease of Use

  • Pros: PLA+ maintains the general ease of use associated with PLA. It requires minimal bed adhesion, has low warping potential, and doesn’t emit harmful fumes.
  • Cons: Stringing can occur with PLA+, though typically to a lesser extent than standard PLA. Fine-tuning retraction settings might be necessary for intricate prints. Support removal complexity depends on the model.

Safety and Fumes

  • Pros: Similar to standard PLA, PLA+ is considered non-toxic and biodegradable, making it safe for home and school environments. No harmful fumes are emitted during printing.
  • Cons: As with standard PLA, fine particles released during sanding can be irritating. Proper ventilation is recommended during post-processing.


PLA+ is more expensive than standard PLA, but still generally more affordable than other high-performance filaments. This makes it a cost-effective option for those seeking better detail and durability.


PLA+ offers a significant upgrade over standard PLA for printing miniatures. It delivers improved detail, a smoother surface finish, and enhanced durability while maintaining ease of use and safety. For hobbyists or professionals seeking a balance between affordability and quality, PLA+ is a solid choice.

3. Nylon

Nylon offers various advantages and challenges for printing miniatures, making it a unique choice with specific trade-offs. Here’s a detailed analysis:



  • Exceptional Detail: Nylon excels at capturing incredibly fine details due to its excellent layer adhesion and ability to handle complex geometries. It rivals resin prints in detail level, making it ideal for miniatures with intricate features, armor textures, and delicate weaponry.
  • Superior Durability: Nylon boasts the highest strength and flexibility among common FDM filaments. It’s exceptionally resistant to wear, tear, and impact, making it perfect for miniatures that will be handled frequently or dropped occasionally. Unlike some other filaments, it can handle bending without breaking.
  • Smooth Surface Finish: While not as glossy as resin, nylon prints have a naturally smooth and slightly matte finish. This reduces the need for extensive sanding and polishes well for a refined look.


  • Printing Difficulty: Nylon is more challenging to print than PLA or PETG due to several factors. It requires higher printing temperatures (240-270°C) and an enclosed printer to prevent warping. Proper bed adhesion is crucial, and advanced settings adjustments might be necessary.
  • Fumes and Safety: Nylon emits fumes during printing that contain potentially harmful particles. Proper ventilation and fume extraction are essential, especially in home environments. Consider a well-ventilated space or an enclosure with a dedicated filtration system.
  • Post-Processing Effort: While the initial surface finish is good, achieving a truly smooth and flawless look often requires more effort compared to other filaments. Sanding, polishing, and vapor smoothing techniques might be necessary for a professional finish.
  • Cost: Nylon is one of the more expensive filament options, making it a less budget-friendly choice for large batches of miniatures.


Nylon is a powerful filament for miniatures when detail, durability, and flexibility are top priorities. However, its higher printing difficulty, safety concerns, and cost make it less suitable for beginners or casual use. If you have the experience, a well-ventilated setup, and prioritize these qualities, nylon can produce exceptional results for your miniatures.

Which Filament Should You Choose?

Best Filament for Miniatures 1
Which filament you should choose for your 3D printer depends on the project and the goal you have. First of all, not all 3D printers can handle all types of filament materials.

Some materials need a heated plate, cooling, or a enclosure (chamber) on the 3D printer.

Secondly, you must check the area of use of the pre-printed model. Should it cope with outdoor climates and high humidity? Or should it just stand on a desk as an ornament? All these variables make demands on which filament to choose.

For miniatures, you generally want to consider whether you will be printing models with intricate details or those that don’t have a lot of details. In this case, the filament you choose won’t really matter. Instead, what will matter is the 3D printer you use.

The settings of the 3D printer should be adjusted well to ensure you end up with high quality prints. This means reducing the printing speed of the unit.

Still on printers, the type of printer you have will determine what kind of filament you will be able to print. Some filaments have special characteristics that will require them to be printed on units with print heads that can reach high temperatures. Some materials, such as ABS, produce an odor and therefore, would be best printed with printers with an enclosure.

For materials such as TPU (and other flexible plastics), you will need a printer that has a Direct Drive extruder rather than a Bowden extruder. You can learn more about this in our guide: How to Choose a 3D Printer for Flexible Filament.

Special Filament

Filaments made of wood, metal or carbon fiber are examples of special filaments that can be printed with a 3D printer to achieve a unique result.

These filaments are in fact not completely created from wood, metal, or for example carbon fiber. Basically, all these filaments are PLASTIC with additives. For example, a carbon fiber filament can be PLA plastic with a little added carbon fiber to get carbon fiber properties.

There are also luminescent, magnetic, conductive and other types of special filaments.

The use of these filaments will also depend on the type of 3D printer you have.


In the end, the properties of the miniatures you want to print will determine the type of filament to buy. However, remember that most FDM 3D printers do not produce highly detailed models. Therefore, if you plan on creating models that you would like to sell, it would be better to use a resin 3D printer. See our guide on the best resin 3D printers on the market.

However, nothing should stop you from 3D printing miniatures using filaments.


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