Jesse Ransom (FFS)
Jesse Ransom (FFS) GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
10/26/20 6:52 p.m.

I'm hovering with excitement, because there's a Prusa i3 mk3s kit in the living room... I mean, I've got a bunch of work-type work to do before I get to even start assembling it, but... I'm hoping to get some insight into what filaments folks have worked with, and what they've learned in doing so.

To get started, I've got one spool each of:

  1. Prusament PLA, because it would seem to be a proven (if pricey for PLA) Known Good Starting Point for getting things working and figuring out what we're doing.
  2. Wood-fiber Prusament, because my wife is very much intrigued.

There's a bunch of stuff I'm more curious about, because I want to print parts for miscellaneous actual usages, whether it's brackets, tube guides.... er... all the innumerable bits and bobs that actually DO stuff.

  1. Carbon (or fiberglass) reinforced
  2. PC Blend (is this a Prusa thing?)
  3. ABS (or ASA)
  4. PETG
  5. And of course the machinable wax stuff for lost wax casting of metal...

What else haven't I thought of? Have some of these been straightforward to print? Nightmares? Unexpected benefits or shortcomings in the finished products?

TheTallOne17 New Reader
10/27/20 6:35 a.m.

In reply to Jesse Ransom (FFS) :

I started off with the prusament for tuning and initial prints, it works great and you will love your i3.

Shortly down the road I switched to PETG from esun. It has slightly more heat tolerance and a bit more flexability than pla, but isnt the pain in the butt that abs is. (No enclosure and it still works well), run the print cooling fan 100% to help stringing and add some between layer pauses when youre printing small to stop it from crash detecting because the nozzel picks up the previous not quite hard enough layer

Its also the closest to food safe, though I have yet to use it for that purpose

While there are niche applications for other filament, if you want to experiment with them I would first spend the time learning to tune petg, as its harder than pla which is simply magic out of the box, plus petg is about the cheapest non pla/abs option



engiekev HalfDork
10/27/20 7:48 a.m.

I can't speak to anything but PLA. I've tried the oft mentioned Inland PLA with terrible results, I could not get it to extrude cleanly and stick to the bed compared to any other PLA I've used.  This is with an Ender 3 and glass bed, with using glue sticks as assist.

I keep going back to 3D Fuel PLA, either the standard or Pro PLA if you want to play around with annealing or need additional strength (nearly the same as ABS impact strength). It's made in the USA and the price for standard 3D Fuel PLA is the same as Inland, and I've never had an extrusion issue with their PLA.

3DFuel Standard PLA:

3DFuel Pro PLA:

Fargo 3D printing is a great supplier too, free shipping over $35 and relatively quick shipping as well.  

Jerry UberDork
10/27/20 8:11 a.m.

Brand new to the world of 3D, finally completed building my Ender-3 from Prime Day "treat yo-self" purchase.  Need to level the bed and see if it actually works.

A Star Wars friend with 3 different printers and loads of experience (yeah I'm asking him A LOT of questions) recommended PLA from  for this new guy.  Eventually I'm going to learn more about this carbon fiber stuff.

RevRico UltimaDork
10/27/20 8:31 a.m.

Hatchbox pla is great.

Abs requires an enclosure at minimum. It's really finicky, but also the easiest material to post process. Hang it over acetone for a few minutes, bonus points if you can do it in a vacuum chamber, and voila, smooth prints. 

Nylon materials are great for making food grade stuff with, but are really rough on nozzles. 

I have no experience with the wood or carbon mixed stuff yet, but I'm also moving from FDM to resin shortly

RacetruckRon GRM+ Memberand Dork
10/27/20 8:59 a.m.

Start with PLA and learn how to tweak the settings in your slicer.   ABS and even PETg are totally different animals and require a good bit of background knowledge before diving in that deep.  

I used to print with Hatchbox filament but I would see a lot of variation in the quality and print settings roll to roll.  Inland PLA used to be my go to until this spring when the price went up and the availability went down I switched to JMO Engineering and Zyltech (both of which are US made).  JMO's prices have fluctuated quit a bit in the last few months but it's been good filament to me.  I would recommend Zyltech filaments all the way for whichever polymer you want to print. I have never had a single issue with any of their filaments, I've used about 50kgs of their black ABS since this spring.



sobe_death Dork
10/27/20 10:17 a.m.

Definitely start with PLA.  Nylon is also a good next step up without having to know too much about material properties in your print.  The micro-fiber reinforced plastics are quite strong and rigid, and definitely where you want to be if you're printing multi-use tooling, but the continuous strand fiber is a completely different animal and takes quite a lot of work to balance the reinforcement fill/placement. Hell, I don't even know if there are home machines that support continuous strand yet...

Mr_Asa GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
10/27/20 10:38 a.m.

Your filament is going to mainly depend on what you're doing with it.  Something in the house? PLA is fine.  Something in the car?  ABS, PETG, or something with a similar heat resistance.  Oil/gas resistant, Nylon is needed.  Stuff like that.


Hatchbox is good, eSun is good, I'm currently playing with Duramic PETG as it was on sale on Prime day, I'll give it a pass as well.

I don't think I've run across any filaments that are horrible, but I also haven't been trying anything super-cheap.  The main thing to do when switching filaments is to do a test print or two of them and make sure that you have the settings right.

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