Knowing and Choosing Your 3D Printer Filaments

by | Mar 5, 2022

3D printing technology have seen a massive raise in popularity amongst the makers and engineers who are working in the prototyping and product development recently. It is because the versatility of the machine in terms of fast and direct ability to produce an object without have to to go through the workflow of an actual conventional production line with the compatibility of many software from your home computer.

Now, an FDM printer will use filaments as material in producing an object, these filaments are made from materials like thermoplastic seperti PLA/ PLA+, ABS, and Nylon.

In this article, we will share with you the types of FDM 3D printer filaments

  1. PLA//PLA+ 

Polylactid Acid (PLA) is the filament type that is widely used in the 3D printing field. Made from corn kernels that have been extracted and purified, making this material very Eco Friendly.
PLA and PLA+ have the characteristics of easy to shape and have lower melting point compared to ABS, and it doesn’t produce smelly fumes when being melted

  1. ABS/ABS+ 

Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) is the second most popular material widely used. It have a better strength than PLA.
It is defined as sturdy, and better heat resistance. This made ABS/ABS+ require a higher nozzle and bed temperature to produce the best result, because a sudden cooling of the object made with this material will bend, so it is important to maintain a high temperature of this material when processing.

Also ABS will produce a pungent fumes when used, so it is important to keep the room ventilated when using this type of filament 

  1. PETG 

Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) is the types of Thermoplastic that is mainly used in plastic bottles. The letter “G” in PETG refers to Glycol-modified, making it sturdier and easier to mold than the initial version of said material (PET).
PETG can be used as the best solution compared toABS and PLA because it is more flexible and sturdy yet easy to shape compared to ABS

The downside of PETG is that it is hygroscopic, means that it will absorb moisture out of thin air, so if the room is humid, the PETG filaments will be brittle in the long run.
Also, it have a very strong adhesive strength to the bed of 3D printer, making cleaning supports from the printed object will be quite tricky


  1. Nylon 

Nylon is an industry favorite synthetic polymer. It is lighter than other types of filaments in terms of weight, but is also flexible and durable.
It is also able to be colored before and after printing, the common grade of Nylon to be used in 3D printer filaments are type 618 and 645.

The strength, flexibility and tolerance of Nylon make it very suitable to produce prototype, light hardware, mechanical components, etc.
But it is also hygroscopic like PETG, so humidity in storage have to be a point to notice.

  1. TPU 

Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU) is a little bit rigid from PET, so it is easier to print and maintaining it’s elasticity in the cold temperature. This material is perfect to be used to make extreme flexible objects so it can withstand droppings, pulled apart and squished. This filament material is not suitable for objects that need hard surface and rigid construction

  1. PC 

Polycarbonate is the filament with the highest strength and durability on this list. Having a semi transparent appearance and extreme resistance to heat (it can handle high temperature until 110°C) and impact, it is perfect to build object with high durability.

This material is also hygroscopic, so moisture and humidity is a thing need to be maintained

It is mainly used to make bulletproof glass, electronic screen and roof for housing, etc.