Fun with Filaments

Makers Guide to 30 Thrilling Types of 3D Printer Filament

3d printer filament

Read our guide to 3D printer filament types. Learn about PLA, ABS, PETG, Nylon, Flexible, Wood, HIPS, PVA, Metals and 21 more great filament types.

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Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) 3D printers are everywhere – from the home to the office; from the classroom to the workshop.

PLA and ABS thermoplastic are the defacto standard materials used for these machines. But did you know that you could fabricate things with exotic 3D printer filament, too? You can now print in wood, metal, carbon fiber, and much more besides.

As the name implies, exotic 3d printer filaments – also known as specialty or composite 3D printer filaments – are advanced 3D printing materials. They combine thermoplastics like PLA and ABS with ingredients like metal powder, carbon fiber, wood, and glow-in-the-dark compounds to create hybrid materials with unique properties.

With so much variety on offer, it’s easier than ever to create functional, beautiful, and high performing prints in a variety of exciting materials. Read our guide to find out which 3D printer filament – regular or exotic – is right for you.

3D Printer Filament Types: Overview

You can sort and search all properties in this table. Or you can skip this overview and jump directly to the detailed descriptions of the best 3D printer filament types.

Filament Special Properties
Uses Stre-
ngth
Flexi-
bility
Dura-
bility
Print
Skills
Print
Temp.
(˚C)
Bed
Temp.
(˚C)
Price
Check
PLA Easy to Print, Biodegradable Consumer Products ★★ ★★ 180 - 230 No PLA filament available at Amazon
ABS Durable, Impact Resistant Functional Parts ★★ ★★ ★★★ ★★ 210 - 250 50 - 100 ABS filament available at Amazon
PETG (XT, N‑Vent) Flexible, Durable All-Rounder ★★ ★★★ ★★★ ★★ 220 - 235 No PETG filament available at Amazon
Nylon Strong, Flexible, Durable All-Rounder ★★★ ★★★ ★★★ ★★ 220 - 260 50 - 100 Nylon filament available at Amazon
Flexible, TPE, TPU Extremely Flexible, Rubber-Like Elastic Parts,
Wearables
★★★ ★★ ★★★ 225 - 235 No Flexibel filament available at Amazon
Wood Wood Finish Home Decor ★★ ★★ ★★ ★★ 195 - 220 No Wood filament available at Amazon
HIPS Disolvable, Biodegradable ABS Dual Extrusion, Support Structures
★★ ★★★ ★★ 210 - 250 50 - 100 HIPS filament available at Amazon
PVA Disolvable, Water Soluble, Biodegradable, Oil Resistant PLA/ABS Dual Extrusion, Support Structures
★★★ ★★ 180 - 230 No PVA filament available at Amazon
PET (CEP) Strong, Flexible, Durable, Recyclable All-Rounder ★★★ ★★★ ★★★ ★★ 220 - 250 No PET filament available at Amazon
Metal Metal Finish Jewelry ★★ ★★★ ★★★ 195 - 220 No check here
Carbon Fiber Rigid, Stronger Than Pure PLA Functional Parts ★★ ★★★ ★★ 195 - 220 No Carbon Fiber Filament available at Amazon
Lignin (bioFila) Biodegradable Looks and feels cool
Stronger than PLA
★★ ★★ 190 - 225 55 PLA filament available at Amazon
PC Polycarbonate Strongest, Flexible, Durable, Transparent, Heat Resistant Functional Parts ★★★ ★★★ ★★★ ★★ 270 - 310 90 - 105 PC Filament available at Amazon
Conductive Conductive Electronics ★★ ★★ 215 - 230 No Conductive Filament available at Amazon
Wax (MOLDLAY) Melts Away Lost Wax Casting 170 - 180 No Wax filament available at Amazon
PETT (T‑Glase) Strong, Flexible, Transparent, Clear Functional Parts ★★★ ★★★ ★★★ ★★ 235 - 240 No PETT filament available at Amazon
ASA Rigid, Durable, Weather Resistant Outdoor ★★ ★★★ ★★ 240 - 260 100 - 120 ASA Filament Available at Amazon
PP Flexible, Chemical Resistance Flexible Components ★★ ★★★ ★★ ★★★ 210 - 230 120 - 150 PP filament available at Amazon
POM, Acetal Strong, Rigid, Low Friction, Resilient Functional Parts ★★★ ★★ ★★★ 210 - 225 130 POM filament available at Amazon
PMMA, Acrylic Rigid, Durable, Transparent, Clear, Impact Resistant Light diffusers ★★ ★★★ ★★ 235 - 250 100 -120 PMMA filament available at Amazon
Sandstone (LAYBRICK) Sandstone Finish Architecture ★★ 165 - 210 No Color changing filament available at Amazon
Glow-In-The-Dark Luminous, Flourescent For Fun ★★ ★★ ★★ 215 No Glow-In-The-Dark Filament available at Amazon
Cleaning Cleaning Unclogging of Nozzles N/A N/A N/A 150 - 260 No Cleaning filament available at Amazon
PC/ABS Rigid, Durable, Impact Resistant, Resilient, Deflecting Heat Functional Parts ★★ ★★★ ★★★ 260 - 280 120 PC/ABS filament available at Amazon
Magnetic Magnetic For Fun ★★ ★★ ★★ ★★★ 195 - 220 No Magnetic filament available at Amazon
Color Changing Changes Color For Fun ★★ ★★ ★★ 215 No Color changing filament available at Amazon
nGen Like PETG, but Easier to Print, Heat Resistant, Transparent
All-Rounder ★★ ★★★ ★★★ ★★ 210 - 240 60 nGen filament available at Amazon
TPC Extremely Flexible, Rubber-Like, Chemical-/ Heat-/
UV Resistant
Elastic Parts,
Outdoor
★★★ ★★ ★★★ 210 60 - 100 TPC filament available at Amazon
PORO-LAY Partially Water Soluble For Fun, Experimental ★★★ ★★ 220 - 235 No TPC filament available at Amazon
FPE Flexible Flexible Parts ★★★ ★★★ ★★ 205 - 250 75

3D Printer Filament Types #1: PLA

PLA 3D printer filament

Polylactic acid (PLA) has overtaken ABS to become the favorite 3D printer filament among 3D printing enthusiasts. This is a biodegradable thermoplastic derived from renewable resources such as corn starch or sugar cane. As a result, PLA based 3D printer filaments are much more environmentally friendly than other plastic materials. It is even called “the green plastic”.

The other great feature of PLA filament is that it doesn’t give off an evil smell when printing with it, so it’s comparatively safer in the home and classroom. And the plastic doesn’t contract so dramatically when cooling down, so you don’t necessarily need a heated bed on your 3D printer (though it helps).

The structure of PLA is more rigid than ABS, which means printed objects are slightly brittle, and the material melts in the range of 180°C – 230°C.

If you are looking for something a little bit stronger than plain PLA but still 100% biodegradable at the same time, look into the bioFila line of 3D printer filaments.

Read more about PLA vs ABS: PLA vs ABS: Filaments for 3D Printing Explained & Compared

PLA 3D Printer Filament Properties:

  • Primary benefits are good strength, user-friendly, durability, and some impact resistance
  • Ideal for consumer products, small toys, higher print speeds, smoother layers
  • Fair to good durability, but it can deform when getting too hot.
  • Very limited flexibility, slightly brittle
  • Not soluble
  • Less sturdy than ABS
  • Refer to manufacturer guidelines for food safety
  • General print temperature range is 180°C – 230°C
  • Minor shrinkage during cooling, less sensitive compared to ABS
  • Heated bed not required
  • Printing difficulty is easy, once temperature, bed height and speed are set
Check Price at Amazon:PLA 3D printer filament available at Amazon

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3D Printer Filament Types #2: ABS

ABS 3D printer filament

Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) is the second most popular 3D printer filament. This thermoplastic is cheap, durable, slightly flexible, lightweight, and it can be easily extruded — which makes it perfect for 3D printing.

It’s also the same plastic used in LEGO bricks and bicycle helmets.

But there are several disadvantages to using ABS filament, which is why it has fallen from favor in 3D printing. Firstly, it requires a higher temperature to reach melting point, usually in the range of 210°C – 250°C.

Moreover, a heated build platform is required to prevent the first layers of the print from cooling too quickly, so the plastic doesn’t warp and contract before the fabrication of the object has completed.

Another drawback of this 3D printer filament is the intense fumes that arise during printing, which can be dangerous for people (or pets) with breathing difficulties. The 3D printer needs to be placed in a well-ventilated area, and it’s critical that you avoid breathing in the fumes when in use.

Read our in-depth articles on ABS 3D printer filament here.

ABS 3D Printer Filament Properties:

  • Primary benefits are high durability, good strength and impact resistance
  • Ideal for moving parts, automotive parts, electronic housing and toys
  • High durability
  • More flexible the PLA, with minor bending before snapping
  • Soluble in Acetone
  • Not considered food safe
  • Curling and warping are typical issues when printing with ABS.
  • Easy to process after printing
  • General print temperature range is 210°C – 250°C
  • Shrinkage during cooling, enclosed chamber recommended to control cooling speed
  • Heated bed at 50°C – 100°C highly recommended
  • Printing difficulty is moderate, requires fine-tuning of bed and nozzle temperature
Check Price at Amazon:ABS 3D printer filament available at Amazon

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3D Printer Filament Types #3: PETG / XT / N-Vent

PETG 3D printer filament

PETG – the new all-rounder – is a co-polyester 3D printer filament, made from a blend of PET and Glycerol, also marketed as Amphora AM1800 by the Eastman Chemical company. It’s been specially developed for 3D printing, as opposed to another category of thermoplastic that’s being repurposed for 3D printing. The difference is subtle but important.

Key benefits are a good strength combined with high flexibility and durability. It produces little to no odors during printing, has a higher melting point than PLA, and has better layer adhesion for improved surface finish. This 3D printer filament also approved by the US FDA authorities for food contact. Still, it is a plastic material, so you should properly recycle it or resort to sustainable 3D printing material.

If want to learn more about the all-rounder PETG, read this article. There is a very similar new co-polyester, called nGen, which is a little bit easier to print than PETG.

3D printer filament consisting of Amphora AM1800, which is PETG,  is marketed as XT by ColorFabb and as N-Vent by Taulman.

PETG 3D Printer Filament Properties:

  • Primary benefits are good strength, high flexibility, durability and lightweight builds
  • Ideal for mechanical parts due to high impact resistance and durability
  • Highly flexible, more than PLA or ABS,  even PET
  • Not soluble
  • Refer to manufacturer guidelines for food safety
  • General print temperature range is 220°C – 235°C
  • Minor shrinkage during cooling
  • Heated bed not required
  • Printing difficulty is moderate, requires fine-tuning of bed and nozzle temperature
Check Price at Amazon:PETG 3D printer filament available at Amazon

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3D Printer Filament Types #4: Nylon

Nylon 3d printer filament

Polyamide, also known as Nylon, is a popular synthetic polymer used in many industrial applications. With nylon 3D printer filament, you have a cost-effective plastic that’s strong, light, flexible, and wear resistant. It’s also less brittle than PLA or ABS, also, it’s stronger and more durable than the two.

Nylon 3D printer filament can be used in a variety of applications that include machine parts, containers, tools, consumer products, and toys. Oh, and another thing: you can use fabric dye to color it. 3D printing nylon is quite easy if you keep your spools dry otherwise you can run into problems. Since Nylon filament quickly absorbs humidity from its environment (in less than one day), it should be protected from humidity while in storage. Otherwise, the printing performance could be affected.

But it doesn’t stop at that. 3D printing filament manufacturer Taulman, has developed different types of nylon filament. Depending on the intended application of the 3D printed object, it is up to the user to decide which variation is most suited.

Taulman nylon 618 is an industrial grade material. It is great for prototyping but also for end products. Basically, what sets nylon 618 apart, is it’s excellent layer bonding if printed at 245°C and all the other settings are set appropriately. Also, nylon 618 does not emit any fumes. What might look like fumes, is water evaporating during printing. This type of nylon can be machined after printing and can also be used as the material for casting molds since it is possible to 3D print a very high quality, chemical resistant, and airtight object. Note: Glass and aluminum surfaces are not suited as print beds for nylon 618. Instead, a rougher or fibrous material like unfinished wood or Garolite should be used. Here is a list of detailed usage guidelines and material specifications.

Taulman nylon 645 is an improved version of nylon 618. Although mostly identical, nylon 645 has even more tensile strength and even better layer bonding. It is a translucent material unlike nylon 618, which is opaque. Here is  a list of detailed usage guidelines and material specifications.

Taulman Bridge nylon is a less costly version of nylon 645 spec nylon. Developed following the requests of a wide range of customers, Bridge nylon still meets certain desired characteristics such as excellent tensile strength, better first layer adhesion, affordability, reduced water absorption, opacity and reduced shrinkage. Click here for a list of detailed usage guidelines and material specifications.

General nylon 3D Printer Filament Properties:

  • Primary benefits are high strength, durability, and flexibility
  • Ideal for mechanical components, structural parts, gears and bearings, and dynamic loads
  • Tends to have a glossy finish
  • High durability
  • High flexibility
  • Not soluble
  • Can by recycled
  • For food safety, refer to manufacturer guidelines
  • General print temperature range is 220°C – 260°C
  • Must be dried before 3D printing
  • Some shrinkage during cooling
  • Heated bed at 50°C – 100°C recommended
  • Printing difficulty is moderate, requires fine-tuning of bed and nozzle temperature
Check Price at Amazon:Nylon 3D printer filament available at Amazon

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3D Printer Filament Types #5: Flexible, TPE, TPU

Flexible 3D printer filament

In commercial applications, TPE is commonly used in the production of automotive parts, household appliances, medical supplies, weather sealing for windows and doors, shoe soles, electrical insulation, smartphone covers, and wristbands.

With thermoplastic elastomers (TPE), especially Polyurethane (TPU), these flexible 3D printer filaments can fabricate objects that are super stretchable, survive punishment no ABS or PLA could tolerate. It can be difficult to work with, however – the material has a frustrating tendency to squeeze out of your extruder in all directions except the nozzle.

There is another flexible 3D printer filament called TPC, which is — unlike TPE/TPU — suitable for outdoor use.

Flexible TPE/TPU 3D Printer Filament Properties:

  • Primary benefits are extreme flexibility
  • Ideal for toys, novelty items, wearables, phone cases, and visual products
  • High durability
  • High flexibility
  • Not soluble
  • Not considered food safe
  • General print temperature is 225°C – 235°C
  • Low shrinkage during cooling
  • Heated bed not required
  • Printing difficulty is high, requires fine-tuning of nozzle temperature and flow rate
Check Price at Amazon:Flexible 3D printer filament available at Amazon

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3D Printer Filament Types #6: Wood

Wood 3D Printer Flilament

The appeal of wood 3D printer filaments is their ability to create objects with the tactile feel of wood. There are many wood PLA blends on the market: Bamboo, Birch, Cedar, Cherry, CoconutCork, Ebony, Olive, Pine, Willow. Each of these 3D printer filaments is a specific mixture of PLA and wood fibers. But be warned, there’s a sacrifice in terms of reduced flexibility and tensile strength.

Wood 3D Printer Filament Properties:

  • Primary benefits are the unique wood-like finish
  • Ideal for home decor, visual appearance of wood with performance of PLA
  • Varying durability, based on print geometry
  • Good flexibility
  • Not soluble
  • Not considered food safe
  • General print temperature range is 195°C – 220°C
  • Some shrinkage during cooling
  • Heated bed not required
  • Printing difficulty is moderate, requires fine-tuning of bed and nozzle temperature
Check Price at Amazon:Wood 3D printer filament available at Amazon

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3D Printer Filament Types #7: HIPS

HIPS 3D Printer Filament

High Impact Polystyrene (HIPS) material is commonly used in the food industry for packaging. HIPS 3D printer filament is biodegradable and has a bright white color, and there are no adverse effects when in close contact with humans or pets.

The specific application of HIPS filament in 3D printing is not to fabricate the object itself; the material has curling and adhesion problems, so it’s tricky to work with (especially if you don’t have a heated bed).

Instead, it’s very popular for use as a secondary material in dual extrusion 3D printers, providing structural support to a complex object whose core is printed using ABS as the primary material.

Once the print job is complete, the 3D printer filament can be dissolved using a colorless liquid hydrocarbon. It disappears like magic!

HIPS 3D Printer Filament Properties:

  • Primary benefits are dual extrusion support structure when paired with ABS
  • Easily removable ABS support structure
  • High durability
  • Low flexibility, minor bending before snapping
  • Soluble in various solvents
  • Not considered food safe
  • General print temperature range is 210°C – 250°C
  • Shrinkage during cooling, enclosed chamber recommended to control cooling speed
  • Heated bed at 50°C – 100°C recommended
  • Printing difficulty is moderate, requires fine-tuning of bed and nozzle temperature
Check Price at Amazon:HIPS 3D printer filament available at Amazon

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3D Printer Filament Types #8: PVA

PVA 3D Printer Filament

Polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) 3D printer filament is typically used as support when printing an object in PLA or ABS with overhangs that would be otherwise impossible to print. Like HIPS, PVA is a great filament for 3D printers with dual extruders.

Because it’s based on polyvinyl alcohol, this material is non-toxic and biodegradable, and it can be dissolved in water.

This 3D printer filament can be used on all common desktop FDM 3D printers but requires a heated build platform. Important to note is that you should not exceed printing temperatures above 230˚C.

PVA 3D Printer Filament Properties:

  • Primary benefits are dual extrusion support structure when paired with PLA or ABS
  • Easily removable support structure
  • Good durability
  • Low flexibility, some bending before snapping
  • Soluble in water
  • For food safety, refer to manufacturer guidelines
  • General print temperature range is 180°C – 230°C
  • Some shrinkage during cooling
  • Heated bed not required
  • Printing difficulty is easy, once temperature, bed height and speed are set
Check Price at Amazon:PVA 3D printer filament available at Amazon

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3D Printer Filament Types #9: PET (CPE)

PET 3D printer filament

PolyEthylene Terephthalate (PET) 3D printer filament, also marketed as CPE by Ultimaker, is a fantastic alternative to the ABS or PLA, thanks to its characteristics of strength and flexibility that surpass even ABS. PET 3D printer filament is relatively easy to print with, with similar requirements to PLA (and no funky odors in your workshop), and totally recyclable.

Good applications for PET are phone cases or mechanical parts that require flexibility and impact resistance or toughness.

Also, take a look a PETG 3D printer filament. It’s the cousin of PET improved for 3D printing.

PET 3D Printer Filament Properties:

  • Primary benefits are high strength, stiff, lightweight, and impact resistant
  • Ideal for mechanical parts, impact resistance, flexibility, durability
  • High durability
  • Good flexibility, more flexible than PLA or ABS
  • Not soluble
  • Refer to manufacturer guidelines for food safety
  • General print temperature range is 220°C – 250°C
  • Minor shrinkage during cooling
  • Heated bed not required
  • Printing difficulty is moderate, requires fine-tuning of bed and nozzle temperature

Check Price at Amazon:PET available at Amazon

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3D Printer Filament Tyes #10: Metal PLA

metal 3d printer filament

Essentially, this is a category of PLA combined with fine metallic powder. Objects 3D printed using metal 3D printer filament will look and feel as if they were made of bronze, brass, copper, aluminum and stainless steel and can be polished, weathered and tarnished just like those metals. These metal 3D printer filaments also have substantially more heft – they’re several times the density of standard PLA, so it feels less like plastic and more like metal.

If you prefer ABS, most of these metal 3D printer filaments are also available as ABS bends.

Metal 3D Printer Filament Properties:

  • Available materials are bronze, brass, copper, aluminum and steel
  • Primary benefits are the unique metallic finish and appearance
  • Ideal for jewelry, statues, home hardware, or artifact replicas
  • High durability
  • Low flexibility, depends on structural design
  • Not soluble
  • Not considered food safe
  • General print temperature range is 195°C – 220°C
  • Very little shrinkage during cooling
  • Heated bed not required
  • Printing difficulty is high, requires fine-tuning of nozzle temperature, flow rate, and post-processing

Check Prices at Amazon:  Brass, Bronze, Copper, Aluminum, Steel, Silver

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3D Printer Filament Types #11: Carbon Fiber

Mixed with small, chopped carbon fiber strands, Carbon Fiber 3D printer filament offers incredible rigidity, structure, and great layer adhesion. But these added benefits come at a significant cost: this exotic 3D printer filament is made with abrasive materials which, even when finely ground, will increase the wear and tear on your printer nozzle – especially if your nozzle is made of a soft metal like brass. After printing as little as 500g of  this exotic 3D printer filament, for example, there will be a noticeable increase in the diameter of a brass nozzle.

So, if you want to print with this 3D printer filament, your printer nozzle should be made (or coated with) a harder material. Otherwise, be prepared to replace your nozzle after prolonged use!

Carbon Fiber 3D Printer Filament Properties:

  • Primary benefits are high structural strength, layer adhesion, and rigidity
  • Ideal for mechanical parts, protective casings, shells, and high durability applications
  • High durability
  • Low flexibility, brittle when flexed
  • Not soluble
  • Not considered food safe
  • General print temperature range is 195°C – 220°C
  • Very little shrinkage during cooling
  • Heated bed not required
  • Printing difficulty is moderate, upgraded nozzle required.
Check Price at Amazon:Carbon Fiber 3D printer filament available at Amazon

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3D Printer Filament Types #12: Lignin (bioFila)

3D printing filament biofila

The biopolymer company twoBEars, located in Germany, develops fully biodegradable filaments for 3D printers. The filaments are made only from renewable resources and contain not animal products. To break the contents of the filaments down, twoBEars uses lignin, a major component of wood,  PLA and additives to give each product its distinct characteristics. Currently, twoBEars manufactures three types of bioFila filament: plaTec, Silk, and Linen.

bioFila plaTec filament prints just as well as PLA and has excellent heat resistance up to 120°C. The thicker the print, the better it holds up to heat. Thin areas are reported to have deformation problems when boiled in hot water. User reviews also show that there aren’t any problems with warping during printing or layer bonding issues afterward. It is recommended to set the extruder between 190° and 195°C and the print bed to 55°C.

bioFila Silk filament is a strong material with an astonishing silky appearance and interesting feel. This material is best used for parts and objects that need to look noble and shiny. Extruder temperature should be set between 170° – 195°C and the print bed to 55°C.

Although the name suggests it does, bioFila Linen does not actually contain linen fibers. Its name only comes from its appearance. User reviews report a strong resemblance of the material to PLA in regards to printability and the physical properties of the material. According to twoBEars, the extruder temperature can be set between 190° and 225°C, whereby the surface of the print gets rougher the hotter the extruder. The print bed should be set to 55°C.

bioFila 3D Printer Filament Properties:

  • 100% biodegradable
  • For food safety, refer to material data sheets provided by twoBEars
  • General print temperature: 190° – 225°C depending on the product
  • Heated bed at 55°C
  • Stunning looks
  • Interesting feel and texture
  • Printing difficulty is easy
Check Price at Amazon:bioFila 3D printer filament available at Amazon

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3D Printer Filament Types #13: PC / Polycarbonate

Polycarbonate 3D Printer Filament

Polycarbonate (PC) is the strongest 3D printer filament on this list. Although it’s very tough, PC is not rigid.  It’s resistant to high temperatures and transparent. Up until recently, its use as a 3D printer filament was confined to expensive, high-end industrial 3D printers. The good news is that more and more manufacturers are beginning to offer this valuable material for consumer grade desktop 3D printing.

Unlike PLA or ABS, Polycarbonate is able to withstand temperatures over 100 °C, making it an ideal material choice when working with lighting, engineering, and for any part that will be exposed to high temperatures. Polycarbonate is also known for its high-quality mechanical properties, offering more strength and impact resistance than all other desktop 3D printer filaments.

An added benefit of this 3D printer filament is optical clarity so that objects can be rendered with an attractive crystal shine. Further post-processing like sanding and spraying with a clear coat of lacquer to obtain a glass-like transparency.

Polycarbonate / PC 3D Printer Filament Properties:

  • Primary benefits are high strength, transparency and heat resistance
  • Ideal for parts exposed to high temperatures
  • High durability
  • Not rigid, more flexible than PLA or ABS
  • Soluble in Acetone
  • Not considered food safe
  • General print temperature range is 270°C – 310°C
  • Shrinkage during cooling, enclosed chamber recommended to control cooling speed
  • Heated bed at 90°C – 105°C recommended
  • Printing difficulty is moderate, requires fine-tuning of bed and nozzle temperature
Check Price at Amazon:PC 3D printer filament available at Amazon

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3D Printer Filament Types #14: Conductive

conductive PLA

Conductive 3D printer filament opens up a new realm of engineering possibilities for your next 3D printing project. With the addition of a conductive carbon particulate, you can 3D print low-voltage electronic circuits for simple items such as LEDs and sensors.

Couple this 3D printer filament with a regular PLA on a dual-extrusion machine, and you can fabricate a basic circuit board straight from the print bed.

If you prefer ABS, there is also conductive ABS available on the market.

Conductive 3D Printer Filament Properties:

  • Primary benefits are printing low-voltage electronics and circuits
  • Ideal for LEDs, sensors, circuits and low-voltage Arduino projects
  • Low durability
  • Medium flexibility, but may break with repeated bending
  • Not soluble
  • Not considered food safe
  • General print temperature range is 215°C – 230°C
  • Very little shrinkage during cooling
  • Heated bed not required
  • Printing difficulty is easy, very similar to standard PLA
Check Price at Amazon:Conductive 3D printer filament available at Amazon

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3D Printer Filament Types #15: Wax (MOLDLAY)

Wax 3D printer filament

Do you need an object out of real brass, tin or another metal? Well, you can 3D print it – indirectly. Wax 3D printer filament, also marketed as MOLDLAY is hard and rigid at room temperature, and becomes extrudable at 170°C and turns liquid at 270°C. These characteristics are achieved by mixing a certain kind of plastic with paraffin.

A method called “lost wax casting” requires a positive wax object, which can be 3D printed, that is then dipped into plaster. After the plaster is dry, it is put in an oven at around 270°C in order to melt the wax away with no residue. The leftover negative mold can now be used to cast an object out of metal or another material. So this 3D printer filament lets you print the positive to build the casting mold.

So this 3D printer filament lets you print the positive to build the casting mold. The harder part is still to come, the casting of the metal. If you don’t know exactly how to cast metal you should consult an expert.

Wax 3D Printer Filament Properties:

  • Primary benefits are wax-like properties, polishable and carvable at room temperature
  • Ideal for lost wax casting
  • Low durability
  • Little flexibility
  • Not soluble
  • Not food safe
  • General print temperature is 170 – 180°C
  • Near zero shrinkage
  • Heated bed not required
  • Printing difficulty is easy
Check Price at Amazon:Wax 3D printer filament available at Amazon

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3D Printer Filament Types #16: PETT (T-Glase)

PETT 3D printer filament

PolyEthylene coTrimethylene Terephthalate (PETT), is a cousin of the PET copolymer. PETT 3D printer filament is also marketed as T-Glase by Taulman.

It’s a rigid and clear 3D printer filament, whose main characteristics are high strength, transparency (especially when printed at high layer heights) and biocompatibility. It’s also been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for use in food containers.

PETT 3D Printer Filament Properties:

  • Primary benefits are high strength, transparency, stiff, lightweight, and impact resistant
  • Ideal for mechanical parts, impact resistance, flexibility, durability
  • High durability
  • Good flexibility, more flexible than PLA or ABS
  • Not soluble
  • Refer to manufacturer guidelines for food safety
  • General print temperature range is 235°C – 240°C
  • Minor shrinkage during cooling
  • Heated bed not required
  • Printing difficulty is moderate, requires fine-tuning of bed and nozzle temperature
Check Price at Amazon:PETT 3D printer filament available at Amazon

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3D Printer Filament Types #17: ASA

ASA 3D Printer Filament

Acrylonitrile Styrene Acrylate (ASA) is a 3D printer filament with great strength and unparalleled retention of physical features. It’s also exceptionally weather and chemical resistant, so it can withstand outdoor conditions of all sorts with unmatched durability.

Another benefit of ASA 3D printer filament is its ability to retain both shape and color over time. Whereas many pale shades of other 3D printer filaments can turn yellow as they age, ASA is a stable, resistant-to-wear printing material with high levels of color-fastness.

ASA 3D Printer Filament Properties:

  • Primary benefits are high strength, durability and weather resistance
  • Ideal for parts used outdoors and in severe conditions
  • High durability
  • Flexibility is low, with minor bending before snapping
  • Soluble in Acetone
  • Not considered food safe
  • General print temperature range is 240°C – 260°C
  • Shrinkage during cooling, enclosed chamber recommended to control cooling speed
  • Heated bed at 100°C – 120°C recommended
  • Printing difficulty is moderate, requires fine-tuning of bed and nozzle temperature
Check Price at Amazon:ASA 3D printer filament available at Amazon

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3D Printer Filament Types #18: PP

PP 3D Printer Filament

Polypropylene (PP) has a very broad area of application. The combination of good flexibility, good chemical resistance, and food safe characteristics make this material an excellent choice for various containers, packaging, bottle caps and much more.

It has also found its place in the 3D printing industry offering durability and good flexibility at the same time. PP 3D printer filament enables you to print objects and parts for more specific uses. Since many household objects are made of PP plastic, it is possible to recycle old junk and turn it into new PP filament for your 3D printer.

PP 3D Printer Filament Properties:

  • Primary benefits are flexible, tough, fatigue resistant
  • Ideal for household items, containers, packaging
  • Good durability and flexibility
  • Not soluble
  • Food safe in pure form: refer to manufacturer for more details
  • General print temperature is 210 – 230°C
  • Shrinkage during cooling
  • Heated bed required
  • Printing difficulty is high
Check Price at Amazon:PP 3D printer filament available at Amazon

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3D Printer Filament Types #19: POM, Acetal

POM 3D printer filament

Polyoxymethylene, also known as Acetal or Polyacetal, is an engineering plastic. It is good for industrial applications requiring precision parts, but also toys and other objects. The zipper on your jacket is most likely made from POM plastic.

Thanks to its rigidity, low friction coefficient, excellent resilience and wear resistance, it is used in 3D printing. This makes POM 3D printer filament an excellent material for parts with mechanical functions, like gearwheels and ball bearings.

POM 3D Printer Filament Properties:

  • Primary benefits are high stiffness, low friction, excellent wear resistance, good resilience
  • Ideal for precision and moving parts
  • Good durability
  • Very little flexibility
  • Chemically sensitive to acid hydrolysis and oxidation by chlorine
  • Not food safe
  • General print temperature is 210 – 225°C
  • Shrinkage during cooling, heated chamber recommended to reduce warping during print
  • Heated bed required
  • Printing difficulty is high
Check Price at Amazon:POM 3D printer filament available at Amazon

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3D Printer Filament Types #20: PMMA, Acrylic

PMMA 3d Printer Filament

Polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA), widely known as acrylic, is a highly transparent material that is also very rigid and high impact resistant. It’s frequently used by hobbyists and industry for objects that need to be – you guessed it – transparent and rigid. This 3D printer filament is great for toys, replacement window panes, or light diffusers.

PMMA 3D Printer Filament Properties:

  • Primary benefits are transparency, high impact resistance, and rigidity
  • Ideal for parts requiring light diffusion
  • High durability
  • Flexibility is low, with minor bending before snapping
  • Soluble in Acetone
  • Not considered food safe
  • General print temperature range is 235°C – 250°C
  • Shrinkage during cooling, enclosed chamber recommended to control cooling speed
  • Heated bed at 100°C – 120°C recommended
  • Printing difficulty is moderate, requires fine-tuning of bed and nozzle temperature
Check Price at Amazon:PMMA 3D printer filament available at Amazon

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3D Printer Filament Types #21: Sandstone (LAYBRICK)

Sandstone 3D printer filament

If you’re working on an architectural or landscape 3D printing project, sandstone 3D printer filament, also marketed as LAYBRICK, combines fine chalk powder with co-polyester to produce the color and texture of stone. By varying the extrusion temperature during 3D printing, this 3D printer filament can offer either smooth or rough surface characteristics.

Sandstone (LAYBRICK) 3D Printer Filament Properties:

  • Primary benefits are the unique sandstone finish and appearance
  • Ideal for architectural, museum, or landscape display and structural parts
  • Low durability
  • Minor flexibility, but brittle and prone to snapping or breaking
  • Not soluble
  • Not considered food safe
  • General print temperature range is 165°C – 210°C
  • No shrinkage during cooling
  • Heated bed not required
  • Printing difficulty is moderate, requires fine-tuning of bed and nozzle temperature
Check Price at Amazon:Sandstone 3D printer filament available at Amazon

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3D Printer Filament Types #22: Glow-in-the-Dark

Glow in the dark 3D printer filament

The characteristics are pretty self-explanatory here. Expose to a light source for around 15 minuted, flip off the lights, and the printed object emits an eerie glow. Depending on the material used, a manufacturer can achieve a green, blue, red, pink, yellow or orange glowing colors. Glow-in-the-dark 3D printer filament is considered to be non-toxic when based on PLA material.

This 3D printer filament is a good choice for Halloween projects, or to provide added functionality in low-light situations. Like carbon fiber, this 3D printer filament will wear out your nozzle.

If you prefer ABS, there is also Glow-In-The-Dark ABS available on the market.

Glow-in-the-dark 3D Printer Filament Properties:

  • Primary benefits are cosmetic, a luminous glow in the dark
  • Several colors available (green, blue, red, pink, yellow or orange glow)
  • Ideal for toys, novelty items, wearables, phone cases, and visual products
  • Good durability
  • Medium flexibility
  • Not soluble
  • Not considered food safe
  • General print temperature is 215°C
  • Low shrinkage during cooling
  • Heated bed not required
  • Printing difficulty is easy, very similar to standard PLA
Check Price at Amazon:Glow-in-the-dark 3D printer filament available at Amazon

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3D Printer Filament Types #23: Cleaning

Cleaning 3D Printer FIlament

Cleaning 3D printer filament is only used to clean and unplug 3D printer extruders. When switching between two 3D printer filament types with very different extrusion temperatures, for example, using it (no color) will prevent the nozzle from clogging up since it becomes extrudable at 150°C and remains stable up to 260 – 280°C. Also, when changing to a different color, the nozzle still contains residual material from the last color. By feeding 10 – 15cm of cleaning 3D printer filament through the nozzle, any left-over material should be removed.

Cleaning 3D Printer Filament Properties:

  • Primary benefits are nozzle cleaning ability, somewhat adhesive
  • Ideal for cleaning and unclogging nozzles
  • Durability: irrelevant
  • Flexibility: irrelevant
  • Solubility: irrelevant
  • Probably not food safe. There’s no chemical composition to be found on the web
  • General print temperature is 150 – 260°C
  • Warping: irrelevant
  • Heated bed not required
  • Printing difficulty: feed into extruder by hand using light pressure
Check Price at Amazon:Cleaning 3D printer filament available at Amazon

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3D Printer Filament Types #24: PC/ABS

PC/ABS 3D Printer Filament

Polycarbonate ABS alloy is a tough thermoplastic and a great 3D printer filament. Its uses vary from industrial application to home appliances like televisions, computer casings, and even children’s toys. PC/ABS 3D printer filament is also great for printing mechanical and rigid, yet resilient parts.

But it doesn’t stop there. Polycarbonate ABS 3D printer filament can be used to print anything you like within the limits of your printer. Before you can start printing away with this super 3D printer filament, your printer needs to be somewhat capable. The need for a heated bed and an extruder that can go all the way up to at least 260°C makes it somewhat exclusive. Some manufacturers suggest drying the 3D printer filament in an oven at 85 – 95°C shortly before printing, due to its sensitivity to moisture, to ensure better results. In addition, the use of an enclosed printing area is advised to counteract warping; especially for larger prints. The results, however, are worth the extra effort.

PC/ABS 3D Printer Filament Properties:

  • Primary benefits are strength, resilience, heat deflection impact resistance, rigidity
  • Ideal for mechanical and moving parts
  • High durability
  • Little flexibility
  • Good resistance to chemical attack
  • Not food safe
  • General print temperature is 260 – 280°C
  • Prone to warping
  • Heated bed required
  • Printing difficulty is hard, requires heated bed, very hot nozzle, and enclosed print area
Check Price at Amazon:PC/ABS available at Amazon

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3D Printer Filament Types #25: Magnetic

Is 3D printing in metal not exciting enough for you? Okay then, how about a magnetic metal? This exotic 3D printer filament is PLA infused with powdered iron for a grainy, gunmetal finish. The bonus is that you can get this PLA to stick to magnets, a mechanical property that might come in handy for your next project.

Magnetic 3D Printer Filament Properties:

  • Primary benefits are magnetic properties
  • Ideal for fridge ornaments
  • High durability
  • Low flexibility, depends on structural design
  • Not soluble
  • Not considered food safe
  • General print temperature range is 195°C – 220°C
  • Very little shrinkage during cooling
  • Heated bed not required
  • Printing difficulty is high, requires fine-tuning of nozzle temperature, flow rate and post-processing
Check Price at Amazon:Magnetic 3D printer filament available at Amazon

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3D Printer Filament Types #26: Color Changing

Color Changing 3D Printer Filament

Remember those T-shirts from the eighties, that would change color based on body temperature? This is the same deal. Color changing 3D printer filament will change color based on changes in heat. There are several color combinations available from different manufacturers, each with slightly different properties. Some of them will also respond to light!

If you prefer ABS, there is also Color Changing ABS 3D printer filament available on the market.

Color Changing 3D Printer Filament Properties:

  • Primary benefits are colors changing at certain temperatures
  • Ideal for toys, novelty items, wearables, phone cases, and visual products
  • Good durability
  • Medium flexibility
  • Not soluble
  • Not considered food safe
  • General print temperature is 215°C
  • Low shrinkage during cooling
  • Heated bed not required
  • Printing difficulty is easy, very similar to standard PLA
Check Price at Amazon:Color Changing 3D Printer Filament available at Amazon

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3D Printer Filament Types #27: nGen

nGen 3D printer filament
nGen 3D Printer Filament (Image: ColorFabb)

nGen, which consists of Amphora AM3300 by Eastman Chemical company, is a new fancy pants 3D printer filament. It was specially designed for use in 3D printing and is a co-polyester similar in composition to PETG. Unlike PETG, nGen has a larger print window, better temperature resistance, slightly less toughness and can be transparent.

nGen has a wide, stable print temperature range (210 – 240°C) while at the same time being extremely heat resistant; more so than PETG. That makes this 3D printer filament easier to 3D print. The print quality is astounding with improved bridging capabilities and cleaner overhangs. In addition, there is almost no warping during cooling. The manufacturer recommends the use of a heated bed at 60°C.

Aesthetically, nGen is one of the best 3D printer filaments on the market. Apart from being tough, the final results of your prints will be bright, glossy and slightly opaque. Unlike the slightly more tough PETG, nGen is also available transparent.

Altogether, nGen is one of the best allround 3D printer filaments possibly aimed at replacing the likes of ABS and PLA in the future. This 3D printer filament can be used to 3D print anything you like and is especially suited for interlocking and functional parts.

nGen 3D Printer Filament Properties:

  • Primary benefits are good strength, flexibility and impact resistants and moderate print difficulty
  • Ideal for mechanical parts, heat resistance, complex parts and anything else
  • High durability
  • Good flexibility, more flexible than PLA or ABS (if bent too far, nGen will snap without warning)
  • Not soluble
  • Refer to manufacturer guidelines for food safety
  • General print temperature range is 210°C – 240°C
  • Minor shrinkage during cooling
  • Heated bed recommended (60°C)
  • Printing difficulty is moderate, requires fine-tuning of bed and nozzle temperature
Check Price at Amazon:PETG 3D printer filament available at Amazon

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3D Printer Filament Types #28: TPC

TPC 3D Printer Filament
TPC 3D Printer Filament (Image: My Mini Factory)

TPC (Thermoplastic copolyester) is another rubber-like, flexible 3D printer filament. It is similar to TPE/TPU except for some minor differences.

TPC 3D printer filament requires a hotter print bed at 60 – 100°C and it is recommended to use a glass build platform. It is also suggested to lubricate the filament guide tube in order to ensure that the filament can be pulled through the tube without too much friction, due to its rubbery texture. On the other hand, TPC comes with a handful of advantageous characteristics. It offers long-term heat resistance (up to 150°C), good chemical resistance and excellent UV resistance. TPC 3D printer filament is great for printing soft, flexible components like smartphone and tablet cases or anything that has to bend in order to fulfill its functionality; even in outdoor environments.

TPC 3D Printer Filament Properties:

  • Primary benefits are extreme flexibility, heat resistance, chemical resistance, UV resistance
  • Ideal for outdoor toys, novelty items, wearables, phone cases, and visual products
  • High durability and flexibility
  • Not soluble
  • Not considered food safe
  • General print temperature is 210°C
  • Low shrinkage during cooling
  • Heated bed at 60 – 100°C is required
  • Printing difficulty is high, requires fine-tuning of nozzle temperature and flow rate
Check Price at Amazon:TPC 3D printer filament available at Amazon

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3D Printer Filament Types #29: PORO-LAY

poro-lay-filament
Left: after printing Right: after being rinsed in water

The PORO-LAY lineup of filaments is a new, interesting and experimental project from the mastermind behind LAYBRICK. PORO-LAY filaments are special, because they consist of two different materials. The addition of PVA to the rubber-elastomeric polymer makes these filaments partially water soluble. After printing, the material is strong, solid and rigid like most other 3D printer materials. Once the material is rinsed in plain tap water, the water soluble PVA component of the print dissolves leaving the rubber-elastomeric polymer behind. This changes the physical characteristic and feel of the print. The printed object should sit in a bath of tap water for about 1 – 4 days, depending on the thickness of the objects’ walls and the objects’ infill. The now micro-porous material is jelly-like, foamy or felty depending on the characteristics of the rubber-elastomeric polymer used.

There are four different variations of filament in the PORO-LAY lineup.: GEL-LAY, LAY-FOMM 40, LAY-FOMM 60, LAY-FELT

PORO-LAY filaments all have near zero warping during printing and don’t need a heated print bed. A nozzle temperature of 225° – 235°C is recommended for GEL-LAY and LAY-FELT and a temperature of 220° – 230°C for the LAY-FOMM filaments.

PORO-LAY 3D Printer Filament Properties:

  • Primary benefits are partial water solubility, elastic, rubbery, foamy, felty, sponge-like
  • Ideal for experiments (new, experimental filament), in-water objects, reservoir for various liquids, etc.
  • High flexibility, elasticity
  • PVA component is water soluble
  • Refer to manufacturer for food safety information
  • General print temperature is between 220°C and 235°C
  • Near zero warping during printing
  • Heated bed is not required
  • Printing difficulty is low
Check Price at Amazon:PORO-LAY 3D printer filament available at Amazon

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3D Printer Filament Types #30: FPE

fpe-filament

FPE filament stands for “Flexible PolyEster”. It is a mixture of a rigid polymer and a soft polymer. The specific hardness of each blend is determined by the ratio of rigid to soft polymers. Additional characteristics include good layer adhesion and a relatively high heat resistance. A heated bed (about 75°C) is required and a nozzle temperature of 205° – 250°C is recommended.

FPE 3D Printer Filament Properties:

  • Primary benefits are flexibility
  • Ideal for objects that need to be flexible and resistant to several liquids
  • High flexibility
  • Refer to manufacturer for food safety information
  • General print temperature is between 205°C and 250°C
  • Heated bed required (about 75°C)
  • Printing difficulty is moderate (print at slow speed to avoid filament buckling)

Buy FPE 3D Printer Filament at plastic2print.

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