The filaments of 3D printers are plastic filaments that are used to make 3D prints. These
come in different types, and choosing one depends mostly on the object you are trying
to build. In 3D printing, the most popular filaments are ABS and PLA. However, there is a
fairly varied range of filaments to choose from. If you want to know the different types
of filaments for 3D printers in the current market, their purposes and the differences
between them, you are in the right place. Here we bring you a list of all the filaments for
the best 3D printer. Keep reading!
PLA (Polylactic acid)
The PLA is a biodegradable thermoplastic material that is derived from renewable
materials/resources such as sugar cane, potato starch, cornstarch, and tapioca roots.
This 3D printing filament is friendlier to the environment compared to other plastic
materials. PLA has the ability to degrade into lactic acid. Therefore, it is used in surgical
implants, food containers, candy wraps, disposable tableware, disposable garments,
hygiene products, diapers, etc.
The material is easy to work with, so it works well for beginners. It is less prone to
deformation compared to ABS, and available in translucent and glowing colors. On the
other hand, it is prone to clogging or blocking the printer nozzle. It attracts water
molecules and becomes fragile at times, which makes printing difficult. In addition, PLA
saturated with water needs a higher extrusion temperature.
Glow-In-The-Dark (Polylactic Acid)
As the name suggests, this 3D printer filament shines in the dark. It is designed to glow
intensively for an extended period of time. However, the object must be charged or
exposed to a light source so that it can emit light. This filament is a good choice for
projects related to Halloween. Since this is a type of PLA, it is biodegradable and
respectful of the environment. This makes it safe for everyone, including children.
ABS (Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene)
ABS is another common 3D printing material. It can be post processed with acetone to
give a glossy finish. When printing in 3D with ABS filament, it is recommended to use a
heated printed surface. This is due to the fact that ABS plastic shrinks when it cools,
which can lead to deformed parts.
ABS is ideal for moving parts, automotive parts, electronic housings and toys. In fact, it is
used in pipes, electronic assemblies, music instruments, automotive components,
protective helmets, kitchen appliances, LEGO bricks and more. It has the following
● Very resistant and durable.
● Lightweight and semi flexible.
● The cheapest thermoplastic on the market.
● Preferred material in the 3D printing community.
PET / PETG / PETT (Polyethylene terephthalate)
PET is another popular 3D filament. It is a stable and harmless plastic, it does not
produce any odd smell and it is totally recyclable. In its original state, it is colourless and
crystalline. However, when exposed to heat or cold, the material changes its
transparency. When the PET filament is allowed to cool slowly after printing, it will have
a crystalline structure.
PET has different versions, including PETG and PETT. The PETG is a transparent
thermoplastic that allows thermoforming and moulding the object after printing. For its
part, the PETT is a rigid and clear filament, whose main characteristics are high strength,
transparency and biocompatibility. PET is ideal for packaging purposes, due to its vapor
barrier and strength. This 3D filament is often used in telephone boxes and mechanical
parts, which require elasticity and impact resistance