11 Different Types of 3D Printing Materials For The Best Result

By Ashutosh Jha → Last Updated on Wednesday, July 11, 2018
3D printing is a great innovation and many people have been trying to learn the idea. There are many products which can be made through 3D printing. There are many different types of printing materials available in the market. Certain filaments such as magnetic, glow in the dark and conductive filaments are also available which you can try. In 2D printing, the printers use inks to print. Others use a toner cartridge with fine powder and heated fuse.

However, the results only have width and height but they do not have depth. There are many special machines and printing materials available in the market which can be used. Some of the common 3D printing materials are ABS Filament, PET Filament, Nylon Filament, Sandstone Filament, Metal Filament, Magnetic Iron Filament, PLA Filament, PETT Filament, PVA Filament, Wood Filament & HIPS Filament.

What is a 3D filament?

The filaments used in 3D printing are special types of plastics known as thermoplastics. The can become flexible when heated to the right temperature and it allows the printer to create any shape and size.

Let us look at some of the different types of 3D Printing materials.

1. ABS 3D Filament

It is one of the most popular 3D printing filaments, which is widely available in the market. It costs almost $20 for 1.75mm and 1kg pool. The material is tough and has good impact resistant properties. The strength and flexibility make it the best choice for printing. Extruding it from the printer`s nozzle is also easy which gives it an added advantage.

2. PLA 3D filament

It is also popular among amateurs and professionals. It is made from organic materials like cornstarch and sugarcane. It costs similar to ABS 3D filament. The PLA is easier & safer to use. There are no toxic fumes emitted and the sweet smell of the sugarcane is pleasant to many people. Also, the products made from PLA are more aesthetically pleasing compared to ones made from ABS. You need to remember that the melting point of PLA is much lower than ABS and it is not suitable for parts which are going to be exposed to high temperature.

3. PET Filament

It is also a popular choice for the 3D material. It is also known as Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET). The plastic is stable and harmless and it also does not produce any odors when used. The filament is crystal clear and 100% recyclable and when heated or cooled it changes to a non-transparent state. It is one of the FDA approved polymers and is food safe which means that the products made can be used with eatables.

4. PETT Filament

Also, known as Polyethylene Trim-ethylene Terephthalate or T-Glass filament is also a popular 3D printer material. It is also food safe and the filament is non-biodegradable. It is approved by the FDA and is used to make food containers and similar kitchen utensils. It is a difficult material to use for beginners and the printer nozzle bed needs fine tuning for best results.

5. Nylon Filament

It is also known as poly-amide and is a popular choice among users. It is a synthetic polymer which is more durable and stronger than PLA and ABS. It is also cost-effective, light, flexible, less brittle and wear resistant. You can choose the material as per your need and budget. You have two options to choose from and you can go for nylon filament which has an opaque finish and less shrinkage.

6. PVA Filament

Polyvinyl alcohol is a great 3D filament which is used as a support material when printing with ABS or PLA. Without the support, it would be impossible to print perfectly The PVA usually works best with printers which have dual extrudes. It is a biodegradable and non-toxic material which can dissolve in tap water. The print bed temperature should not exceed 200C for best results.

7. Sandstone Filament

The sandstone filament is unique and offers a different finish to the 3D printed parts. It is also a PLA material which includes chalk powder-like substance. It gives the end product stone line finish and with little practice, you can even produce smooth, rough or anything between the two texture. It can play an important role in architectural display models.

8. Wood filament

Many people may not believe it but 3D wood filaments are also available. It is usually helpful to people who want to be creative with their 3D printers. This material consists of recycled woods with a special binding polymer. The model looks real and also smells like it. It can be used for decoration items, tables, and chairs.

9. Metal Filament PLA / ABS

Metal filaments can produce some very impressive and unique 3D printer parts. It contains fine metallic powders and PLA. The end products look very similar to metals and feel like 100% metal. Some of the popular choices are stainless steel, brass, aluminum, copper, and bronze.

You can make changes to the finished product and although they are not 100% genuine they are very close.

10. HIPS Filament

Also known as High Impact Polystyrene is a white colored 3D material which is biodegradable and safe to use. It works as a support material and does not have any harmful effects. It is difficult to use on its own and liquid hydrocarbon can dissolve the filament. It is strong and rigid and can be used as per the need.

11. Magnetic Iron PLA Filament

It has magnetic properties and is created by infusing powdered iron with PLA material. The iron particles give the end products the grainy metal type finish. It also sticks to magnets and is used for various projects. It can be used to make fridge magnets and such types of end products.


After reading through this list you can decide which type of 3D printer you should use. There are many others which you can use, however, do remember that not all 3D printers can print all 3D materials.
Ashutosh Jha

Ashutosh Jha is a professional blogger, Blog and IT Consultant. He writes about Blogging, SEO, Making Money, Internet Marketing and Web Design.
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