How to choose the best 3d printing filament

Choosing a Filament that is Right for You

At Print Your Mind 3D our mission is to have you optimally set up to fulfill your 3D printing needs with minimal effort and maximum long-term results. PLA is the standard filament choice for people and businesses that start with 3D printing, but there are many other available options in our store. Which filament you need to choose depends mainly on your target application and your production environment: 

Visual Models

When it comes to printing parts which are purely aesthetic, for testing things like fit and form, or if the print won't be exposed to any heat or stress, PLA is the industry standard. PLA is one of the easiest materials to print with and also the most economical. PLA is not a great material choice if you need temperature or chemical resistance, or if the part with be exposed to tensile forces. 

Robotic component product development with 3D printing
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Mechanical Parts

Mechanical applications require a heavier duty material choice. ABS used to be the standard choice but requires a dedicated printing environment. A great alternative to ABS is PETG because it offers higher strength and temperature resistance, without the downfalls of ABS such as its strong smell and tendancy to warp.

 

Nylon is another great material option for mechanical parts with the added benefit of being slightly more flexible and also chemical resistant. 

 

For higher temperature applications, where the prints will be exposed to ~60-100C, you will want to look to materials such as Polycarbonate, CPE+, or Taulman BluPrint. 

Flexible 

Our standard choice for flexible material Ninjaflex which prints very well with the additional Flexystruder on Lulzbot printers. Ultimaker printers can use TPU95A which offers a semi-flexible printing option. For a premium alternative, PCTPE has superior strength and a satin appearance making it exceptionally suited for wearable applications. 

 

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Niche Applications

Specific use cases require selective material choices. Only certain materials can meet challenging demands for applications like medical use, foodgrade, outdoor applications, and high impact uses. We will reccomend some to consider for each of these:

 

Medical - Gu!dline, T-Lyne

Outdoor applications -  ASA

High impact - TPU95A, PCTPE, Ninjaflex

 

 

Print Your Mind 3D PLA

 

Diameter 1.75mm or 2.85mm +/- 0.05

Roundness +/- 0.03

Print Temperature 210°C

Heated Bed 60°C (optional)

Print speed 40-120 mm/s

Density 1.25 g/cm3

Elongation at Break 6%

Glass Transition 60°C

Impact Strength 96 J/m

Flexural Strength 62 MPa Max.

Water Absorption 6%

Applications Toys, visual models, aesthic prints

 

 

Flexibility 

Strength ☆☆

Durability ☆☆

Ease-of-use ☆☆☆☆

Aesthetics ☆☆

 

PLA is our most popular material, and for a reason. It is a nontoxic, bio-degradable material with a semi-sweet smell derived from renewable resources such as corn starch or sugar cane. It has a good blend of strength and flexibility, hardly deforms during printing and performs very well on all 3D printers. It adheres well to your heated glass print bed or PEI surface. Be sure to print with help of blue tape or additional glue spray or hair spray for non-heated beds. PLA tends to absorb water moisture when exposed to ambient air, and as a result becomes brittle. Store it in a cool and dry place, according to our guidelines in ‘How to properly store your 3D printing filaments.’ 

Ultimaker PLA

Ultimaker PLA 

Diameter 2.85 +/- 0.10

Roundness +/- 0.10

Print Temperature 190-210°C

Heated Bed 60-70°C (optional)

Print speed 40-120 mm/s

Density 1.24 g/cm3

Elongation at Break 3%

Glass Transition 60°C

Impact Strength 96 J/m

Flexural Strength 62 MPa Max.

Water Absorption 6%

Applications Toys, visual models, aesthetic prints

 

Flexibility 

Strength ☆☆

Durability ☆☆

Ease-of-use ☆☆☆☆

Aesthetics ☆☆☆☆ 

 

Ultimaker PLA is dedicated for optimal performance on Ultimaker machines such as Ultimaker 3, Ultimaker 3 Extended, Ultimaker 2+, Ultimaker Extended 2+ and Ultimaker 2Go. It will also print well on other 2.85/3.00 mm compatible printers including Lulzbot. Choose this filament if you need just that superior visual quality. This material adheres well to cleaned glass and PEI build surfaces.

Print Your Mind 3D ABS 

Diameter 1.75mm or 2.85mm +/- 0.05

Roundness +/- 0.10

Print Temperature 245-260°C (Ultimaker) / 240°C (Lulzbot) Heated Bed 80°C (Ultimaker) / 110°C (Lulzbot)

Print speed 40-120 mm/s

Density 1.1 g/cm3

Elongation at Break 20%

Glass Transition 100°C

Impact Strength 304 J/m

Flexural Strength 37 MPa Max.

Water Absorption 0.7%

Applications Stiff mechanical parts, prototypes, enclosures, phone cases, tools, car parts 

 

Flexibility ☆☆

Strength ☆☆☆☆ 

Durability ☆☆☆☆

Ease-of-use ☆☆

Aesthetics ☆☆☆ 

 

Professionals often choose ABS for its strength, temperature resistance and machinability. It is moderately superior to PLA and more suited for load-bearing applications. However it is not foodsafe and a bit more difficult to print with. You will need a well-ventilated area to carry away the fumes and a combination of kapton tape and hair or glue spray for your heated bed in order to prevent warping of the print. With acetone vapor post-processing you can give your prints a smooth finish.

Ultimaker ABS

 

Diameter 2.85mm +/- 0.05 

Roundness +/- 0.05

Print Temperature 235-250°C

Heated Bed 110°C

Print speed 40-120 mm/s

Density 1.10 g/cm3

Elongation at Break 5%

Glass Transition 97°C

Impact Strength 304 J/m

Flexural Strength 37 MPa Max.

Water Absorption 0.7%

Applications Stiff mechanical prototypes, enclosures, phone cases, tools, car parts, small batch production 

 

Flexibility ☆☆

Strength ☆☆☆☆

Durability ☆☆☆☆

Ease-of-use ☆☆

Aesthetics ☆☆

 

Ultimaker ABS is dedicated for optimal performance on Ultimaker machines such as Ultimaker 3, Ultimaker 3 Extended, Ultimaker 2+ and Ultimaker Extended 2+. It will also print well on other 2.85/3.00 mm compatible printers including Lulzbot. This strong and temperature-resistant material is ready to print on your Ultimaker with the default Cura print settings profile. You will need a well-ventilated area to carry away the fumes so it is not recommended for use at home or in an educational setting. Use a combination of kapton tape and hair or glue spray, or ABS slurry for your heated bed in order to prevent warping of the print. With acetone vapor post-processing you can give your prints a smooth finish!

Print Your Mind 3D PETG

Diameter1.75mm or  2.85mm +/- 0.05

Roundness +/- 0.03

Print Temperature 245°C (Ultimaker) / 250°C (Lulzbot) Heated Bed 80°C

Print speed 30 mm/s

Density 1.27 g/cm3

Elongation at Break 109% (average)

Glass Transition 81°C

Impact Strength 88 J/m

Flexural Strength 77 MPa Max.

Water Absorption 0.2%

Applications Transparent models, food-safe, flexible mechanical parts, snap-fits 

 

Flexibility ☆☆☆

Strength ☆☆☆

Durability ☆☆☆☆

Ease-of-use ☆☆☆

Aesthetics ☆☆☆ 

 

PETG is a clear, glycol-modified PET plastic but counter intuitively becomes an entirely new and more ductile material with different properties compared to PET. Despite being less UV-resistant, it provides better grip, clarity, flexibility as well as moisture, chemical and heat handling. We recommend applying PVA glue onto the print surface using a washable glue stick for easy part removal.

Taulman Tech-G

Diameter 2.85mm

Print Temperature 238-245°C

Heated Bed 45°C

Print speed 30-80 mm/s

Density 1.27 g/cm3

Elongation at Break 3%

Glass Transition 77°C

Impact Strength 77 J/m

Flexural Strength 90 MPa Max.

Water Absorption 0.2%

Applications Mechanical parts, Food-contact, living hinges, jewelry 

 

Flexibility ☆☆☆

Strength ☆☆☆☆

Durability ☆☆☆☆

Ease-of-use ☆☆☆

Aesthetics ☆☆☆☆ 

 

Tech-G is a higher strength PETG for engineering and architectural use. It is less brittle than PLA with better tensile strength compared to ABS enabling its use for functional test models. We recommend applying PVA glue onto the print surface using a washable glue stick to ensure easy part removal. 

Taulman Gu!dline

Diameter 2.85mm

Print Temperature 244-252°C

Heated Bed 45°C

Print speed 30-80 mm/s

Density 1.27 g/cm3

Elongation at Break 6%

Glass Transition 77°C

Impact Strength NA

Flexural Strength NA Max.

Water Absorption 0.2%

Applications Medical grade, food-contact, prostheses, microfluidics, support material for medical grade nylon

 

Flexibility ☆☆

Strength ☆☆☆☆

Durability ☆☆☆☆

Ease-of-use ☆☆

Aesthetics ☆☆☆☆ 

 

 

Taulman guidel!ne is a high strength PETG especially suited for parts with fine detail. It is made of a raw material that is approved by the FDA making it suitable for food or medical grade applications. It also prints at the same temperature as nylon and snaps away cleanly from it when printed as a support material. 

Taulman PETT T-Glase

Diameter 2.85mm

Print Temperature 238-245°C

Heated Bed 45°C

Print speed 20-120 mm/s

Density 1.4 g/cm3

Elongation at Break 109% (average)

Glass Transition 70°C

Impact Strength 43 J/m

Flexural Strength 85 MPa

Max. Water Absorption 0.5%

Applications Water-clear models, food-safe, jewelry 

 

Flexibility ☆☆

Strength ☆☆☆☆

Durability ☆☆☆☆ 

Ease-of-use ☆☆☆

Aesthetics ☆☆☆☆☆ 

 

PETT is a 100% recyclable high strength filament that prints at lower temperatures without odors. It is more rigid than PETG and the most transparent of all materials we carry. Because of great interlayer bonding, with a layer thickness of 0.50-0.80 of the nozzle thickness you already get excellent results. We recommend applying PVA glue onto the print surface using a washable glue stick to ensure easy part removal. For truly clear models, use an epoxy such as XTC-3D to smoothen out the parts. 

Taulman BluPrint

Diameter 2.85mm

Print Temperature 265-270°C

Heated Bed 90°C (Buildtak / PEI) / 95°C (Glass)

Print speed 40-120 mm/s

Density 1.08 g/cm

 Elongation at Break 7%

Glass Transition 110°C

Applications Lampshades, car light covers, thermal clamps, boiling, food contact, robotics, jewelry 

 

Flexibility ☆☆

Strength ☆☆☆☆

Durability ☆☆☆☆

Ease-of-use ☆☆

Aesthetics ☆☆☆☆ 

 

 

BluPrint has specifically been developed to withstand high temperatures and is suited for immersion in boiling water for up to five hours. It is a clear material with a very subtle blue hue making it suitable for aesthetic applications. 

Ultimaker Nylon

Diameter 2.85mm +/-0.05

Roundness +/- 0.05

Print Temperature 245-255°C

Heated Bed 60°C (optional)

Print speed 30-120 mm/s

Density 1.14 g/cm

Elongation at Break 210%, 20% to yield

Glass Transition 50°C

Impact Strength 60 J/m

Flexural Strength 50 MPa Max.

Water Absorption 2%

Applications Prototypes, gears, snap fits, prostheses, robotics 

 

Flexibility ☆☆

Strength ☆☆☆☆

Durability ☆☆☆☆

Ease-of-use ☆☆☆☆

Aesthetics ☆☆ 

 

Ultimaker nylon is a very strong, machinable and durable low-cost material optimized for printing with Ultimaker machines. It does not release any fumes when printed. Using a PVA glue stick makes for great bed adhesion, and you can color the material with acid-based dyes! 

Nylon rapidly absorbs water moisture when exposed to ambient air, decreasing print performance. Store it in a cool and dry place, according to our guidelines in ‘How to properly store your 3D printing filaments.’ 

 

For an extended guide on 3D printing settings, see ‘How to print with Ultimaker nylon.’ 

Taulman Bridge Nylon 

 

Diameter 2.85mm

Print Temperature 255-265°C

Heated Bed 45°C (optional)

Print speed 40-120 mm/s

Density 1.08 g/cm3

Elongation at Break 248%

Glass Transition 52°C

Impact Strength 60 J/m

Flexural Strength 50 MPa Max.

Water Absorption 2% Applications

Prototypes, large parts, translucent (45% opacity) parts, gears, living hinges, snap fits, prostheses, robotics 

 

Flexibility ☆☆☆☆

Strength ☆☆☆☆☆

Durability ☆☆☆☆☆

Ease-of-use ☆☆☆

Aesthetics ☆☆ 

 

Taulman’s Bridge nylon is an engineering plastic with superior strength and low cost. It was developed as a variant of 645 nylon in order to better suit 3D printing processes. Using a PVA glue stick makes for great bed adhesion, nylon releases no fumes, and you can color the material with acid-based dyes. It now also comes in black! 

 

Nylon rapidly absorbs water moisture when exposed to ambient air, decreasing print performance. Store it in a cool and dry place, according to our guidelines in ‘How to properly store your 3D printing filaments. 

Taulman Alloy 910

Diameter 1.75 / 2.85mm +/-0.05

Print Temperature 250-255°C

Heated Bed 30-65°C

Print speed 30-120 mm/s

Density 1.12 g/cm3

Elongation at Break 32%

Impact Strength 160 J/m

Flexural Modulus 0.634 GPa

Glass Transition 82°C

Water Absorption 3.7 %

Applications Foodsafe, Prototypes, translucent (70% opacity), gears, prostheses, robotics, engine assemblies 

 

Flexibility ☆☆

Strength ☆☆☆☆☆

Durability ☆☆☆☆☆

Ease-of-use ☆☆☆

Aesthetics ☆☆

 

Nylon 910 is a very strong, machinable and durable material engineered to attain as many high performance qualities as possible. It especially has a high tensile strength. Nylon rapidly absorbs water moisture when exposed to ambient air, decreasing print performance. Store it in a cool and dry place, according to our guidelines in ‘How to properly store your 3D printing filaments. 

Taulman T-Lyne

Diameter 2.85mm

Print Temperature 185-235°C

Heated Bed 40°C (optional)

Print speed 18 mm/s (Ultimaker) / 25 mm/s (Lulzbot)

Density 0.94 g/cm

Elongation at Break 300% 

Glass Transition NA

Applications Food contact, living hinges, remoldable prosthetics 

 

Flexibility ☆☆☆☆

Strength ☆☆☆☆

Durability ☆☆☆☆

Ease-of-use ☆☆

Aesthetics ☆☆ 

 

 

T-Lyne is a polyethylene(PE)-based thermoplastic developed to incorporate a unique mix of properties to enable its use as a remoldable material after immersion into hot water. It contains the Surlyn ionomer which is used for golf ball and bowling pin coatings. Together with a non-slippery surface and great clarity, this makes it very useful for creating prosthetics, tools and ergonomic evaluation models. 

Ultimaker CPE 

 

 

Diameter 2.85mm +/- 0.10

Roundness +/- 0.10

Print Temperature 235-250°C

Heated Bed 65°C

Print speed 30-60 mm/s

Density 1.27 g/cm3

Elongation at Break 5%

Glass Transition 82°C

Impact Strength NA 

 

Applications Visual and functional prototypes, chemical contact, outdoor uses, small batch manufacture, watertightness 

 

 

Flexibility ☆☆☆

Strength ☆☆☆☆☆

Durability ☆☆☆☆☆

Ease-of-use ☆☆☆☆

Aesthetics ☆☆☆☆☆ 

 

 

 

CPE (copolyester) materials are tough, accurate, and very well suited for mechanical parts. In gray scale it results in professional looking models. Compared to ABS it is a bit more flexible, less prone to warping and does not emit harmful vapors. This filament has been developed for Ultimaker printers such as Ultimaker 3, Ultimaker 3 Extended, Ultimaker 2+ and Ultimaker Extended 2+ and is compatible with Cura’s standard print setting profiles. We recommend using a PVA glue stick for great first layer adhesion.

Ultimaker CPE+

Diameter 2.85mm +/- 0.10

Roundness +/- 0.10

Print Temperature 235-260°C

Heated Bed 65°C

Print speed 30-60 mm/s

Density 1.18 g/cm

Elongation at Break 7%

Glass Transition NA I

mpact Strength NA

Applications Visual and functional prototypes, chemical contact, outdoor uses, small batch manufacture, watertightness 

 

Flexibility ☆☆☆

Strength ☆☆☆☆☆

Durability ☆☆☆☆☆

Ease-of-use ☆☆☆

Aesthetics ☆☆☆☆☆ 

 

If you choose for the premium CPE+ filament, you gain 10x more toughness, better impact strength and temperature resistance up to 100°C instead of 70°C for the regular CPE filament. 

 

This filament has been developed for Ultimaker printers such as Ultimaker 3, Ultimaker 3 Extended, Ultimaker 2+ and Ultimaker Extended 2+ and is compatible with Cura’s standard print setting profiles. Use a PVA glue stick for great first layer adhesion. For optimal print performance with Ultimaker engineering materials, we recommend the Advanced 3D Printing Kit available here. 

Ultimaker Polycarbonate 

 

Diameter 2.85mm +/- 0.05

Roundness +/- 0.05

Print Temperature 260-280°C

Heated Bed 110°C

Print speed 30-60 mm/s

Density 1.18 g/cm3

Elongation at Break 3%

Glass Transition 112°C

Impact Strength 440 J/m

Water Absorption 0.15%

Applications Lighting, functional prototypes, tools, small batch manufacture 

 

Flexibility ☆☆

Strength ☆☆☆☆☆

Durability ☆☆☆☆☆

Ease-of-use ☆☆ A

esthetics ☆☆☆☆ 

 

Polycarbonate (PC) is a top choice filament for engineering applications where high strength and impact resistance is needed in high temperature environments up to 110°C. 

 

This filament has been developed for Ultimaker printers such as Ultimaker 3, Ultimaker 3 Extended, Ultimaker 2+ and Ultimaker Extended 2+ and is compatible with native Cura printing profiles. Read this page for extended print settings. For optimal print performance with Ultimaker engineering materials, we recommend the Advanced 3D Printing Kit available here. 

Ultimaker Polypropylene 

Diameter 2.85mm +/- 0.05

Roundness +/- 0.05

Print Temperature 205-240°C

Heated Bed 85°C

Print speed 30-80 mm/s

Density 0.89 g/cm3

Elongation at Break 300% / 18% at yield

Glass Transition 170°C

Impact Strength 95 J/m

Water Absorption 0.01%

Applications Packaging, food-contact, living hinges, snap fits, functional prototypes, lightweight, medical, chemistry 

 

Flexibility ☆☆☆☆

Strength ☆☆☆☆ 

Durability ☆☆☆☆☆

Ease-of-use ☆☆☆

Aesthetics ☆☆☆☆ 

 

This translucent polypropylene (PP) is a tough and ductile material, most used for applications that require repeated bend and stress. This filament has been developed for Ultimaker printers such as Ultimaker 3, Ultimaker 3 Extended, Ultimaker 2+ and Ultimaker Extended 2+ and is compatible with native Cura printing profiles. Read this page for extended print settings. For optimal print performance with Ultimaker engineering materials, we recommend using adhesion sheets available here. 

Ultimaker TPU 95A 

 

Diameter 2.90mm +/- 0.13

Roundness +/- 0.07

Print Temperature 225-235°C

Heated Bed 80-110°C (optional)

Print speed 25-35 mm/s

Density 1.22 g/cm3

Elongation at Break 580%, 55% at yield

Glass Transition -24°C

Impact Strength 19 J/m

Water Absorption 0.18%

Applications Living hinges, robotics, functional prototypes, snap-fits, enclosures 

 

Flexibility ☆☆☆☆

Strength ☆☆☆☆

Durability ☆☆☆☆

Ease-of-use ☆☆☆☆

Aesthetics ☆☆☆☆ 

 

If you are looking to optimize your flexible parts and are an Ultimaker owner, this is the right material for you. Their semi-flexible TPU integrates both the qualities of a rubber and a plastic for a wide array of applications and is easier to print vs. other flexible filaments. It is the most abrasion resistant of all flexible filaments. Not recommended for outdoor use and water immersion. Use a PVA glue stick to improve bed adhesion. 

Taulman PCTPE 

Diameter 2.85mm

Print Temperature 235-242°C

Heated Bed 40°C (optional)

Print speed 25-60 mm/s

Density 1.11 g/cm3

Elongation at Break 497%

Glass Transition 74°C

Impact Strength NA

Applications Footwear, wearables, prosthetics, enclosures, living hinges, robotics 

 

Flexibility ☆☆☆☆☆

Strength ☆☆☆☆☆

Durability ☆☆☆☆☆

Ease-of-use ☆☆☆

Aesthetics ☆☆☆☆☆ 

 

 

PCTPE is a flexible material with added nylon for strength, durability as well as colorability with acid-based dyes. Because of its smooth and lustrous surface, it is especially suited for wearable designs. Use a PVA glue stick for great bed adhesion. 

Ninjaflex 

Diameter 1.75 / 2.85mm

Print Temperature 225-235°C

Heated Bed 40°C (optional)

Print speed 15-35 mm/s Density 1.19 g/cm3

Elongation at Break 660%, 65% to yield

Glass Transition -35°C

Impact Strength NA

Water Absorption 0.22%

Applications Footwear, wearables, prosthetics, living hinges, robotics, prototypes, seals 

 

Flexibility ☆☆☆☆☆

Strength ☆☆☆

Durability ☆☆☆☆

Ease-of-use ☆☆☆

Aesthetics ☆☆☆ 

 

Ninjaflex is a prime flexible TPU filament with good toughness, and abrasion resistance. Since it has no UV stabilizer we recommend this material for indoor use only. If you are a Lulzbot owner, we recommend the Flexystruder or FlexyDually tool head for best performance because at 85A Shore hardness this is a very flexible material. Use a PVA glue stick to improve bed adhesion. 

Print Your Mind 3D Woodfill

Diameter 1.75 / 2.85mm +/- 0.05

Roundness +/- 0.03

Print Temperature 200°C (Ultimaker) / 195°C (Lulzbot)

Heated Bed 60°C (optional)

Print speed 40-80 mm/s

Density 0.81 g/cm3

Elongation at Break 6%

Glass Transition 60°C

Impact Strength 96 J/m

Flexural Strength 92 MPa Max.

Water Absorption 10%

Applications Buoyant parts, housewares, figurines, scale models 

 

Flexibility ☆☆

Strength ☆☆

Durability ☆☆

Ease-of-use ☆☆☆

Aesthetics ☆☆☆☆☆ 

 

Our specialty Woodfill material is a blend of PLA and fine wood particles that results in prints that look, feel, smell and are machinable like actual wood! What’s more, the Mooncactus plug-in for Cura will provide your print with layers that vary in temperature which results in a wood-like banded surface coloration. To prevent clogging we recommend using a 0.5mm or larger nozzle. This is a great material to experiment with as different settings create different results. 

Ultimaker Dissolvable (PVA) 

 

Diameter 2.85mm +/- 0.10

Roundness +/- 0.10

Print Temperature 215-225°C

Heated Bed 60°C

Print speed 30-60 mm/s

Density 1.23 g/cm3

Elongation at Break 10%

Glass Transition 60°C

Impact Strength NA

Application Dissolvable support material 

 

Flexibility ☆☆

Strength

Durability

Ease-of-use ☆☆☆☆

Aesthetics  

 

PVA is a biodegradable filament that dissolves in water without any hazardous byproducts. This makes it ideal for use as a support structure on dual-head 3D printers, especially for PLA, nylon and CPE. This filament has been developed for Ultimaker printers such as Ultimaker 3 and Ultimaker 3 Extended and is compatible with native Cura printing profiles. Read this page for extended print settings. 

Want to try the materials listed above for yourself?

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