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2019 Best 3D Printer Filaments (Fall Update)

Picture of Florian Gehrke
by Florian Gehrke
Nov 12, 2019
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Looking for the best 3D printer filament? Check out our selection of the best PLA, PETG, ABS, and flexible filaments available right now.

Due to the boom in 3D printing technology, there are countless different filament manufacturers, and continuously new ones pop up. Paired with the emerging of new materials and filament hybrids, the vast array of choices may be somewhat overwhelming for the end-user.

However, if you are wondering what’s the best filament for your project, there is not the best filament, you can simply point to for all intents and purposes. Rather it depends on the kind of object printed, its intended functionality, and lastly also your budget.

Luckily, the editorial team at All3DP tests filaments day in and day out. Using that insight, paired with research, we have compiled a list of filaments we deem to be most noteworthy. Ordered by material, but of no particular ranking, use the links below to dive in, or keep scrolling for the first entry.

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PLA Filament

Polylactic Acid, most commonly known as PLA, is a polymer made from renewable resources, mostly corn starch or sugarcane, and the go-to filament used in FDM 3D printing, due to its wide range of applications, and – even more so- because of its ease of use.

While PLA may not be as strong and durable as other filaments, it is very forgiving when it comes to temperature variations and other quirks.

PLA is biodegradable and most commonly used to print figurines, or plastic toys; enhanced PLA’s can even be used to 3D print functional parts.

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PETG Filament

PETG is a Glycol Modified version of Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET). Although PLA and ABS still sit atop the throne of 3D printing materials, PETG filament is quickly gaining recognition for combining the reliability of the former with the durability of the latter.

The material has become a popular alternative for makers looking to do away with printing difficulties of ABS, as well as those eager to take the next step up from PLA.

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ABS Filament

ABS is the second most popular 3D printing material, beaten only by PLA. With ABS, you can create parts that are impact-resistant, durable, and resistant to weather and heat. Outside of 3D printing, ABS is common in many consumer products, most notably Lego bricks.

ABS parts are also easy to post-process, with sanding, painting, and vapor bathing being all easy options you can use to get you the finish you want.

Printing with ABS is a bit more complicated, though, than printing with PLA and other filaments. As a result, it is important to buy from the best ABS filament brands available so that you don’t have to worry about clogs in your machine on top of getting the settings right.

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Flexible Filament

Flexible filaments, also known as Thermo Plastic Polyurethane (TPU) or Thermo Plastic Elastomer (TPE), are blends of hard plastic and rubber, capable of being used on any adequately equipped FDM 3D printer.

It is a medium-strength material with very high flexibility and durability, able to withstand much higher compressive and tensile forces than its more conventional counterparts PLA and ABS.

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License: The text of "2019 Best 3D Printer Filaments (Fall Update)" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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