Best 3D Printer Filament Reviews 2017

Just as you can’t print without ink in your regular printer, you can't print without filament in your 3D printer. Finding a suitable filament can be a complex task with the many choices out there. Don’t worry, we have you covered! We have done the research and have come up with five of the best 3D printer filaments from trusted brands. If after going through our review, you still aren’t satisfied with what you see, these featured brands make other filaments you will like. Check them out too.
Overview
PROS
CONS
SPECS
Type
Temperature
Size/Weight
Color
Design
Our Top Choice
SainSmart Flexible TPU 3D Printer Filament
SainSmart is a professional open hardware manufacturer with a specialization in component technologies that support electronic devices.
The plastic reel fits well into most 3D printers. It is flexible and elastic. The resultant prints are glossy and tough.
Isolated complaints that it is a bit heavy.
FDM
200°C - 220°C
0.06 inches; 2.20 lbs.
9 colors
Vacuum-sealed with desiccant
Best Value
eSUN 3D PETG Printer Filament
With the level of commitment eSUN has been giving to its R&D, it is no surprise that its products are of superior quality and performance and offered at great prices.
It has great impact strength, a low shrink rate and great liquidity. It is odorless and recyclable.
No problems have been reported.
PETG
230°C - 250°C
0.06 inches; 2.20 lbs.
16 colors
Hydrophobic (won’t absorb water)
IC3D ABS 3D Printer Filament
IC3D empowers fabricators with high-quality 3D printing gear they can use to create prototypes.
It makes strong and consistent prints, flows smoothly, and delivers quality finish on resultant prints.
There are isolated complaints of poor overhand.
ABS
220°C - 230°C
0.12 inches; 2 lbs.
Black
Vacuum-sealed with desiccant
3D Solutech Black 3D Printer PLA Filament
3D Solutech was founded with the aim of manufacturing durable and reliable 3D printing filaments, to help professionals and enthusiasts express their creativity.
It is very reliable. The resultant print bonds very well and is durable. It creates really black and glossy prints, and does not tangle.
No problems have been reported..
PLA
190°C - 220°C
0.06 inches; 2.20 lbs.
Black
Vacuum-sealed
HATCHBOX PETG 3D Printer Filament
Hatchbox fosters creativity by offering high-quality solutions for 3D printing. It makes the display of ingenuity and great ideas easier for professional engineers, designers and hobbyists.
This filament is very strong and flexible. It can accommodate a wider processing range. The resultant print is transparent and durable.
There are isolated complaints that it tangles in spots.
PLA
180°C - 210°C
0.06 inches; 2.20 lbs.
6 colors
Hydrophobic (won’t absorb water)

(Updated )
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How Do I Choose the Best 3D Printer Filament?

Are you a professional who collects real-life designs with your 3D scanner, and recreates them with a printer for 3D? Or are you a beginner, and you just want to print something cool you can put on your living room console table? Whatever category you belong to, you will need 3D printer filaments. What you want to print and what you want the resultant print to look like depends on the filament you use, as they come in different types, such as ABS, PLA, and PETG.

The best 3D printer filaments are tough, durable, and manageable, and so are their resultant prints. Filaments have different extruding temperatures that vary according to the filament types. Some release fumes when heated, while some smell more like maple syrup. Some are made from petroleum, others from plant starch. Filaments have two main diameters, 1.75 and 3 millimeters. The type of filament you choose to use for your projects will largely depend on the 3D printer you want to use and what you want to print.
Price
3D printer filaments vary in price, even though the differences in features aren’t many. There are some factors that can affect the price, such as filament type. Some filaments are sold by weight, so the weight per reel will also affect the price. The diameter of the filament is another factor. There are 1.75 millimeter filaments with 2.2 pounds of reel weight that cost around $40, while there are filaments of the same dimensions that cost just a little over $20.

Most filaments in that range are of good quality. They will serve their purposes adequately and you will be happy with the results. There are some really cheap 3D printer filaments on the market, but we advise that you consider the ones we paid attention to in our review, as those are the ones we can vouch for. The cheap ones just don’t cut it, and that is why we didn’t include them. You’ll probably end up being sorry if you buy them.
Features
3D printing is a fairly new technology. Though it is catching on, it is still growing. The 3D printer ink, or filament, is still in the foundation stage and will still go through several phases of development. Who knows? It might get to a point where we can print things that will interact with us. But until then, we’ll do the very best we can with the few features we currently have, such as:
  • Filament type
  • Moisture absorption rate
  • Filament diameter
  • Post processing
  • Extruder temperature
With this new knowledge, you can easily decide which of these features are important to you, and then consider the price range of the filaments that meet your needs.
Construction and Design
There are quite a number of filament types out there, but only a handful are commonly used. Each kind has its own advantages and drawbacks. ABS, for instance is strong, durable, has a smooth finish and cools down fast, but it produces strong fumes, and it is non-biodegradable. PLA is made from plant starch. It is tough, eco-friendly, has a high print speed and shrinks less. However, it is slow to cool down, has low heat resistance and is easier to break than ABS.

PETG filaments are fast gaining ground, mainly because this type combines the advantages of both ABS and PLA. It is stronger, temperature-resistant, and more durable, and also has a high printing speed. The resultant prints do not warp or shrink, and they are easily recycled.

Filaments come in two main sizes, 1.75 millimeters and 3 millimeters. There are very few 3D printers that can accept both sizes, so it is very important to know which one to buy. They are used for different types of printing.
Performance and Ease of Use
The prints from ABS filaments can easily be sanded (smoothed out), glued and even painted. Their strength makes them good for printing mechanical parts. Prints generally have a matte appearance, so you know if you want a glossy finish, ABS will not make a good choice. ABS has affinity for moisture, which reduces the performance of the filament. If you won’t be using it for a while, it's best to store it in an airtight container.

PLA is normally extruded around 160°C-220°C, which is a significantly lower temperature than ABS. When heated, PLA gives off an odor that has been described as similar to sweet corn or pancakes (not a surprise, considering it is made from plant starch). PLA became popular because of its eco-friendliness and it comes in a wide variety of colors. PETG is considered to be food safe in most countries (though that doesn’t mean you can eat it), but you should still check the manufacturer’s documentation.

Generally, 3D printer filaments should be stored in dry environments, as air humidity will cause misprints or failed prints. PETG, however, is usually not affected by air humidity. Whatever your 3D printing requirements are, it is easier now to find the kind of filament that suits your needs.

What is the Best 3D Printer Filament?

The different prices, options and features you will notice are a result of all the requirements we considered. Since you have decided on your own requirements, now it’s time to check which brand and product offers them. Let’s have a look at the brands and products that made our top five.
Our Top Choice
The SainSmart Flexible TPU 3D Printer Filament is a durable and versatile material that can be used to create prototypes. It has a diameter of 1.75 millimeters and variations of ± 0.05 millimeters. If you prefer the popular PLA filament, you can try out the SainSmart PLA Filament, which is available in fluorescent green.
SainSmart 800g Spool 1.75mm Flexible TPU 3D Printer Filament– Available in 9 Colors

SainSmart 3D Printer Filament 21-028-225– Orange


Features
SainSmart specializes in “maker” products, ranging from development boards and sensors to motors and testing equipment. Its business philosophy says: “Profit is vanity, quality is sanity.” SainSmart strives to create top-quality products you can always depend on, and still manages to offer them at the most competitive prices. It has a dedicated R&D team that is always researching new ways of improving its product offerings, and making production processes effective and efficient so it can keep churning out great products at affordable prices.

The SainSmart Flexible TPU 3D Printer Filament ($29.99) can be used to create prototypes. It has a rubbery texture, and is more flexible than ABS and PLA, making it especially suitable for 3D printers. This filament has a diameter of 1.75 millimeters, variations of ± 0.05 millimeter and roundness of ± 0.05 millimeters.

This highly flexible and elastic filament is great for making prototypes of flexible objects, as it lets you demonstrate the elasticity of the object with the prototype. With variations that small, you can guess how this filament’s low rate of shrinkage makes it great for storage over a period and still good for use when next you need it.

3D printing is a precision-sensitive process, and this high-precision plastic filament delivers the professional outcome you desire. The 2.2-pound spool has a wide core that can be automatically fed to the 3D printer, to prevent tight coiling of the filament. This filament has an accuracy of 1.7-1.8 millimeters, which is good as far as 3D printer filaments are concerned.

This SainSmart filament comes in nine different colors.
Best Value
The eSUN PETG 3D Printer Filament works for all FDM 3D printers. PETG filaments combine the advantages of PLA and ABS filaments. It has a feeding speed of 30-80 millimeters per second. If you prefer the PLA version of this filament, then the eSUN PLA PRO 3D Printer Filament is what you need.
eSUN 1kg Spool PETG 1.75mm Solid Black 3D Printer Filament

eSUN3D Printer Filament PETG175SB1


Features
Shenzhen eSUN Industrial Co., Ltd. is a high-tech enterprise specializing in researching, developing, producing and operating degradable polymer materials such as PLA and Polymorph. eSUN owns three different R&D centers, which specialize in material syntheses, modification and application. It started researching 3D printing materials in 2007, and has since then developed PLA, ABS, PVA, HIPS, PA, polymorph, and PC filaments. Its filaments have come to be known for absolute roundness, accuracy and tenacity.

The eSUN 3D PETG Printer Filament ($25.99) is recommended for all FDM 3D printers. It comes in a solid black color with a 2.2-pound spool that’s highly compatible with most printers. It has a feeding speed of 30-80 millimeters per second, and an idling speed of 90-150 millimeters per second. The base temperature is 80℃ or no warming, and the best printing temperature is from 230℃-250℃. This 1.75-millimeter filament has a variation of +/- 0.05, and it is a type that combines the advantages of PLA and ABS filaments. Other features of this filament include the following:
  • Odorless
  • Hydrophobic – will not absorb water
  • Good liquidity
  • Low shrink rate
  • Great toughness and impact strength
  • High transparency
  • Glossy prints
  • Excellent flexibility
  • Recyclable
The IC3D ABS 3D Printer Filament is a 3-millimeter filament made in America under the strictest quality standards, so you can get the great finish expected from a professional. If you want a natural color with the same great quality and specifications, go for the IC3D Natural 3mm ABS 3D Printer Filament.
IC3D 2-Pound Spool ABS Professional Grade Black 3D Printer Filament

IC3D3D Printer Filament ABS32Black


Features
IC3D is a 3D printer manufacturing company. It was the first to manufacture its own line of 3D printing filaments, as it realized that the filament from other industries, such as plastic welding, was not producing the type of output it required. It then recognized the need for a new material with properties made especially for 3D printing machines. Its manufacturing process, combined with its expertise and focus, provide some of the highest-quality filaments at affordable prices.

The IC3D ABS 3D Printer Filament (Suggested Retail Price: $34.99) is a 3-millimeter ABS filament that is compatible with most 3D printers. It has a diameter of 2.9 millimeters +/-0.1 and roundness of within 4%. Each hand-checked spool weighs 2.1 pounds, with an accuracy of +/-0.5 millimeters. It is vacuum-sealed with desiccant to avoid moisture absorption. It has also been extensively tested on various 3D printers, utilizing several extruder designs and hot-end styles.

Here are some other great filaments made by IC3D:
  • IC3D Green 1.75mm ABS 3D Printer Filament – Highly compatible and extensively tested
  • IC3D 3mm PLA 3D Printer Filament – An eco-friendly filament that is harder than ABS and melts at lower temperatures
  • IC3D 1.75mm ABS 3D Printer Filament (20-Pound Spool) – Recommended for large 3D printers that print bigger objects
The 3D Solutech Black 3D Printer PLA Filament does not require a heated bed before it can be used. It is proven to maintain smooth and consistent printing. If you prefer the white color with the same spec, go for the 3D Solutech Real White 3D Printer PLA Filament. It has the same great features.
3D Solutech Black 2.2-Pound Spool PLA 1.75mm 3D Printer Filament

3D Solutech 3D Printer FilamentPLA175RBLK


Features
3D Solutech develops and manufactures innovative 3D printing filaments. It was started by a group of young people who believe the future of 3D printing has just started and want to be involved in its growth and direction. 3D printers allow you to bring your ideas to life, almost like thinking up something and then printing it to life just like that. That is why 3D Solutech creates top-quality filaments that will solidify your ideas. Its filaments come in various color selections. It also makes its products affordable, so anybody can enjoy the fun of 3D printing.

The 3D Solutech Black 3D Printer PLA Filament ($29.99) does not require a heated bed before it is used. It maintains smooth and consistent printing for the best printing outcome. It is very round, produces no oily residue or air bubbles, and will not kink or break. It is backed by the company’s 100% satisfaction guarantee.

This filament has a diameter of 1.75 millimeters, and the spool weight is 2.2 pounds. It's compatible with most popular 3D printers. The package is vacuum-sealed to ensure the filament does not absorb moisture.

Some other filaments made by 3D Solutech include:
  • 3D Solutech Hot Pink 1.75mm 3D Printer PLA Filament -- Made in USA and has 80% more shine than regular PLA
  • 3D Solutech Real White 1.75mm 3D Printer PLA Filament – Compatible with most 3D printers, and has great liquidity
  • 3D Solutech Navy Blue 1.75mm 3D Printer PLA Filament – 100% satisfaction guarantee with no air bubbles nor oil residues
The Hatchbox Yellow PETG 3D Printer Filament is a great alternative for ABS or PLA filaments. It can be printed on acrylic, glass, polyimide tape, or blue tape. If you want this same specification, but in red, go check out the Hatchbox Red PETG 3D Printer Filament.
HATCHBOX 1kg Stool Yellow 1.75mm PLA 3D Printer Filament

HATCHBOX 3D Printer Filament 3D PLA-1KG1.75-YLW


Features
Hatchbox offers an extensive collection of 3D filaments that cater to numerous applications (suitable for home, business or just playful creativity). Its outstanding craftsmanship makes it unique and puts it at the forefront of the 3D printing race. For consistency in quality, variety in selection and affordability in pricing, Hatchbox has carved a niche for itself in the 3D printing world.

The Hatchbox Yellow PETG 3D Printer Filament ($22.99) is a great alternative to ABS or PLA filaments. The easy adhesion quality it possesses makes it unnecessary to use a heated bed. It can be printed on acrylic, glass, polyimide tape, or blue tape. This filament is also great for printing lightweight objects because of its durability. It has a 1.75-millimeter diameter, with a +/- 0.05-millimeter tolerance. The spool weighs a total of 2.2 pounds. The recommended extrusion temperature is 240°C-260°C.

This filament is hydrophobic; it does not absorb moisture. This makes it relatively easy to store, as you don’t have to look for any special storage system to ensure it stays dry. This is one major advantage of using a PETG filament for your 3D printing projects. Some other types of the filament will produce a smell when heated. This filament is odorless, avoiding any allergy issues for sensitive users.

A heated bed is not compulsory when printing with PETG, but it can be an advantage, especially when printing large pieces. PETG is considered to be food safe in many countries (no, not edible! You can’t eat it). You can print items to use with your food and drinks, but we still advise that you check the manufacturer’s specifications. It is also environmentally friendly and can be easily recycled.

Following are some other printer filaments by this brand:
  • Hatchbox Black PLA 3D Printer Filament – Vacuum-sealed with desiccant and has an extrusion temperature of180°C - 210°C
  • Hatchbox Wood 3D Printer Filament –1.75-millimeter diameter and dimensional accuracy of +/- 0.05 millimeters
  • Hatchbox Blue PETG 3D Printer Filament – It does not absorb moisture, and it can be recycled

Get the Best 3D Printer Filament of 2017!

We hope you’ve found the right 3D printing filament for your needs. It’s now time to make that purchase. But if you did not find one that you like among the featured products, go ahead and check out the other filaments made by these same trusted brands through any of the links on this page.

Our Top Choice
SainSmart Flexible TPU 3D Printer Filament
Best Value
eSUN 3D PETG Printer Filament
IC3D ABS 3D Printer Filament
3D Solutech Black 3D Printer PLA Filament
HATCHBOX PETG 3D Printer Filament