Looking a spool of good PLA filament? Check out our buyer's guide to find the best PLA filament for your needs and budget.
PLA is without question the most popular material used in FDM 3D printing. It’s easy to use, safe, affordable, and it has outstanding material properties. You can use PLA filament for a wide range of applications and it comes in an equally diverse range of composites and colors.
But with all of that variety, it can be tough to discern which filaments are created by reliable manufacturers and are good quality. After all, you don’t want the cheapest filament if it means it’ll give you lousy print results, nor do you want to buy the most expensive filament when a cheaper one would have been just as good.
We’ve helped you narrow down your filament selection to a curated list of the best manufacturers so you can make an informed decision. We based our list on two main factors: Price and quality. We’ve also linked our reviews of these filament brands to give you a better idea of how they perform.
For special and exotic PLA filaments, also check out the section in our PLA guide.
So, to find out which PLA filament you should be printing with, read on.
If you are looking for a cheap PLA filament that prints without issues and has vibrant colors, this is the filament for you. As a bonus, the filament is backed by online retail giant Amazon; meaning fast shipping, returns, and Amazon’s one-year warranty all come with the AmazonBasics filament.
Note that the resolution is of 0.05 mm, but the filament performed flawlessly in our filament test, and the fact that the spool comes in a resealable plastic bag makes storing your filaments an easy task. Also, the spool itself has a handy gauge on the side that allows you to approximate how much filament you have left – both in meters and by weight. Combined with the – almost – unbeatable price, the Amazon Basic PLA is perfectly suited for your everyday prints. A reliable and affordable choice worth having in mind.
US-based Hatchbox offers good quality PLA filament at a reasonable price, making it the perfect all-around, everyday filament.
Hatchbox quickly rose to become the #1 filament seller on Amazon, with thousands of satisfied user reviews. Hatchbox PLA filament is a blend of bioplastics and polymers, combining a smooth finish with a reduced CO2 footprint. Aside from that, its filament combines everything you would look for in a PLA: The material’s tolerance is great, the colors are vibrant, it is flexible, yet strong for a PLA, and the detail resolution is amazing. On top, it has a sweet pancake smell (as if that wasn’t selling point enough). And all that for a bang-good price.
The spool comes packed in a recyclable cardboard box, and sealed in a plastic bag, but the bag is not resealable. Meaning, you will need a dry box or a suitable compartment to protect your filament from humidity, but it’s a minor drawback that can be tackled by finding a proper storing solution.
We’d certainly recommend it to those looking for good quality on a budget.
Apparently creating one of the most popular 3D printers wasn’t enough for Josef Prusa and his team at Prusa Research. His company is the only 3D printer manufacturer with its own filament production. Their tagline is: “Affordable filament for everyday printing in premium quality.”
Prusa’s quality assurance offers premium material achieved with thorough testing. As a basic ingredient, Prusa uses Natureworks resin, which is one of the best and most widely used in 3D printing. Moreover, the manufacturing precision is a differentiating factor given that most of their filament has a 0.02 mm precision, as compared to the standard of 0.05 mm. As a quality control assurance, customers can inspect the testing parameters of every filament spool by scanning the QR code on the product and reading the details online.
Prusament PLA is available in 1.75 mm diameter and in many different and vibrant colors.
China-based filament manufacturer Amolen offers PLA in a wide variety of colors, as well as more unusual composites. The above photo is an example of Amolen Marble-Like PLA.
Starting in 2017, this Shenzhen-based filament manufacturer has won its reputation for its affordable spools. Available in 1.75 mm diameter, customers can choose between on 0.5 or 1 kg spools. After testing it at All3DP, we’ve printed some smooth prints with excellent results. The material has good layer adhesion, but you may need to use some adhesive to the printing bed.
To its disadvantage, the spool comes in a non-resealable plastic bag. This, again, means that you will need an alternate solution for keeping your filament away from moisture.
Polymaker started in Shanghai, China, and quickly became one of the well-known 3D filament companies.
According to the website, their PolyMax PLA has an impact resistance somewhere in the neighborhood of nine times that of more regular PLA filaments. Making it even tougher than ABS while still retaining the easy-to-print attributes of PLA. But being PLA, it doesn’t have any of the warping problems or toxic fumes, and it’s even biodegradable.
PolyMax shows barely any stringing and convinces with a solid performance on overhangs and bridges. Polymaker PolyMax PLA is available in 1.75 and 2.85 mm diameters and comes on 0.5, 1, or 2-kilogram spools.
As you would expect from a PLA filament of this quality, it’s not the cheapest. But then again, the PolyMax PLA is the closes thing you can get to ABS without actually buying ABS.
Proto-pasta launched after a successful Kickstarter campaign in 2013 and is now a well-established filament manufacturer, gaining wide popularity for its super high quality and reliable tolerances. Proto-pasta is a filament by makers, for makers. In fact, the Proto-pasta team has been focused on material quality so heavily over the last few years that they only recently released aesthetically pleasing filament. But by now they have exotic filaments such as HT-PLA Aromatic Coffee filament. And yes, it does smell like freshly ground coffee.
Their filament is a bit pricey, but the quality makes up for it. The company’s special HT-PLA boasts similar ease of printing to standard PLA, but can also be heat-treated for added stability and strength, to hold shape at temperatures approaching 200 °C, compared to PLA’s average melting temperature of about 50 °C. The newest version of HT-PLA is a result of three years of refinement and user feedback.
Fun fact: the name Proto-pasta derives from the pasta-like shape of filament.
MatterHackers, the American company, based in Southern California, sells a wide variety of high-quality filaments, printers, tools, and parts to makers around the globe.
Their Build Series PLA has a dimensional accuracy of ±0.05mm and is created to balance quality with price. Marketed to makers on a budget, this filament is said to have “all the best aspects of PLA,” but in a more affordable package. A 1 kg spool of MatterHackers Build Series PLA is available as both 1.75 mm and 3.0 mm diameters and comes in a large variety of colors. Please be aware that most Matterhackers products currently only ship to the US.
MatterHackers also offers a PRO PLA filament, which is a formulation of PLA filament intended for producing professional, high quality, 3D printed parts. It features a visually distinct finish and a more vibrant, opaque color than MH Build PLA filament. PRO Series PLA is also made in the USA and is produced to more precise specifications. It is available in 1.75 mm and 3 mm and is a hard, but brittle material available in a wide selection o rich colors and can be printed easily due to no shrinkage and warp.
It can be best used for cosmetic prints, prototypes, desk toys, or low-stress applications.
Fillamentum is probably best known for the extravagant colors it offers its filaments. Always adding new and astonishing colors with beautiful brand names such as Flirty Plum or Morning Sun Transparent. The company also guarantees ease of printing, combined with great visual quality and highly detailed printing. Fillamentum guarantees high precision of filament dimensions within the tolerance of +/- 0,05 mm, which is strictly controlled throughout the production.
Overall, the Fillamentum Extrafill PLA is a good PLA filament that is showing no signs of warping, while only needing a slight bump in the retraction settings to give spectacular prints in the fanciest color versions.
The material – available in 1.75 or 3 mm diameter – prints with the same properties as regular PLA, and the spools are available in 750 g packages, or – ordering by request only- also in 2.5 kg spools.
Recognizing the market’s need for high-end, premium-quality filament, Colorfabb set out to meet the demand, becoming one of the most reputable filament manufacturers in the world; also thanks to their PLA.
The secret behind Colorfabb’s PLA is a little extra ingredient; PHA (Polyhydroxyalkanoate), which makes the filament stronger and more durable than most other PLAs, with excellent layer adhesion properties and reduced warping tendencies – while retaining biodegradability and ease of printing. It’s an excellent 3D printing filament.
As far as technical specs and quality control goes, Colorfabb PLA filaments are top-notch. They have awesome tolerances. They never clog or jam, and the spools are always perfectly wound. It doesn’t get much better than this.
Colorfabb filament is definitely at the top of the price range. But then again it’s not a bad deal for some of the best PLA filament worldwide.
License: The text of "2019 Best PLA Filaments" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Subscribe to updates from All3DP
You are subscribed to updates from All3DP
You can’t subscribe to updates from All3DP. Learn more…