Ultimate 3D Printing Materials Guide
After over a year of research, countless filament spools, and hundreds of hours of printing, our team is proud to present the Ultimate 3D Printing Materials Guide. Covering over a dozen of the most popular materials in use today, this guide will help you select the best material for your next project or improve the quality of your prints with tips from our experts. Use the tags below to quickly sort the materials based on their characteristics, or view our extensive Filament Properties Table for a detailed side-by-side comparison. Once you have selected a material, view a detailed article with pros and cons, hardware requirements, best practices, pro-tips, example projects and more! Whether you’re new to 3D printing or an advanced user looking to experiment with a new material, this guide has everything you need to make the most of your next project.
3D Printed PA properties:
Commonly known as Nylon, this polyamide material is very strong. It is light and the smaller the wall thickness is, the more flexible it gets, which means you can also bend it. Applying the technology of Selective Laser Sintering, Polyamide is appropriate to create complex and delicate geometries. This material is relatively inexpensive and one of the toughest plastic materials.
3D Printed PA applications:
It produces a rugous and slightly porous surface, but can then be polished, varnished or smoothed . Our smoothing beautifier finish for white polyamide makes 3D Printed polyamide parts very close to injection molding parts. It is also available for white parts dyed in black. This material is relatively inexpensive and one of the toughest plastic materials.
ABS plastic (Arcylonitrile Butadine Styrene)
3D Printed ABS properties:
Part of the thermoplastic polymers family, this material is primarily used as filaments in FDM or FFF 3D printers that use material extrusion for its manufacturing process. Its advantages are its lightness and impact strength. ABS plastic can resist to temperature up to 200°C (392°F). In certain cases, ABS is biocompatible.
3D Printed ABS applications:
As FDM doesn’t create parts as strong as more industrial 3D printing techniques like SLS, ABS is mostly used for prototypes, and aspect parts.
PLA (Polyactic Acid)
3D Printed PLA properties:
PLA is a fully biodegradable thermoplastic that uses cornstarch as its special raw material. Using the technology of FDM, this vegetable-based material is slightly more fragile and less durable than other 3D printing materials.
3D Printed PLA applications:
As it has limited durability, Polyactic Acid is mostly used to create decorative objects without mechanical constraints.
Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU)
3D Printed TPU properties:
TPU becomes one of the favorite material options for 3D flexible and elasticity prints. Use the SLS technology, this material is excellent for its flexibility and has layered textures but it is not as solid as the other polymer-based materials.The raw material looks off-white, grainy and porous. It has a rubber-like aspect, but slightly more silky. In our online 3D Printing Material, TPU can be found in several colors includes translucent and almost transparent as well.
3D Printed TPU applications:
Our Flexible plastic has been used for several applications in medical industry to reproduce the organs to train the surgeons. Also for the fashion application which Anastasia Ruiz has been combining this TPU material into her Virus Collections. It can also be used for mechanical applications: prototyping, articulated objects and cases)
3D Printed Polyjet Resin properties:
Our resin can create an object from the method of Stereolithography (SLA), based on the photopolymerization. ThePolyjet resin enables to create detail and will result either white or translucent. The post-process colored will follow depending on the options chosen: Opaque, translucent and transparent.
3D Printed Polyjet Resin applications:
Polyjet Resin creates objects that are particularly detail and precise which are suitable for the ornamental objects and mechanical use (prototyping, designing end product).
CE- Cyanate Ester
3D Printed Cyanate Ester properties:
Cyanate Ester, the material with a glass transition is remarkable for its resistance to high temperature which up to 219°C. Slightly rassemble to Rigid Polyurethane in terms of its solidity and weight, CE is a strong material that provides excellent thermal stability and useful for the industrial components and electronic applications.
3D Printed Cyanate Ester applications:
Marked by excellent strength, stiffness and long-term thermal stability, CE is useful for under-the-hood applications, electronics, and industrial components.