Best filament to use

Status
Not open for further replies.

SSGLordBert

Active Member
Member DIN
S207
Hey guys/gals/dudes.

What is the best filament you guys are using for your prints? I’m currently using overture eco-PLA black. Is there a better one I should be using? Or is it just preference?
 
I'm relatively new to 3d printing but as I understand it, filament choice depends entirely on the properties you care about. A lot of people here use PLA. I use PLA for prototyping and props/display items that are gonna stay inside mostly. I try not to use PLA for cosplay stuff bc in the event I need to stick it in my car or something I don't want it to melt/warp. ABS has better heat resistance but is harder to print and requires an enclosure. Another popular filament is PETG. From what I hear it's easy to print, doesn't need an enclosure and has similar strength and properties to ABS. I'm about to buy my first kg of PETG so I will let you know what I think about it in a couple weeks.

Generally PLA is fine and there are ways to strengthen it and keep it from warping -just requires more work. I know some people who swear by ABS but my experience with it was less than great. I'm excited to try PETG for props and cosplay stuff bc I have heard great things. I have also heard that it's not all it's cracked up to be however...so we will see.

As for specific brands: I have never noticed a difference in brands of PLA. I DID notice a diff between cheap ABS and mid-range ABS. The mid range worked really well and the cheap was picky as @#$#@ and impossible to get the settings dialed in for. Also it cracks super easily but that could be more of a walls/infill problem than a filament problem.

There are certainly people here with more knowledge than I on this but that's my opinion. I will try to summon SgtSaint who has way more experience than me.
 
I'm relatively new to 3d printing but as I understand it, filament choice depends entirely on the properties you care about. A lot of people here use PLA. I use PLA for prototyping and props/display items that are gonna stay inside mostly. I try not to use PLA for cosplay stuff bc in the event I need to stick it in my car or something I don't want it to melt/warp. ABS has better heat resistance but is harder to print and requires an enclosure. Another popular filament is PETG. From what I hear it's easy to print, doesn't need an enclosure and has similar strength and properties to ABS. I'm about to buy my first kg of PETG so I will let you know what I think about it in a couple weeks.

Generally PLA is fine and there are ways to strengthen it and keep it from warping -just requires more work. I know some people who swear by ABS but my experience with it was less than great. I'm excited to try PETG for props and cosplay stuff bc I have heard great things. I have also heard that it's not all it's cracked up to be however...so we will see.

As for specific brands: I have never noticed a difference in brands of PLA. I DID notice a diff between cheap ABS and mid-range ABS. The mid range worked really well and the cheap was picky as @#$#@ and impossible to get the settings dialed in for. Also it cracks super easily but that could be more of a walls/infill problem than a filament problem.

There are certainly people here with more knowledge than I on this but that's my opinion. I will try to summon SgtSaint who has way more experience than me.
Thank you man. I’ll probably try PETG for my next set and see how I like it over PLA
 
Yeah I would say those are the big 3 you hear about. For hobbyists. PETG does require an all-metal hot end so... heads up on that.
Yeah I have a Kobra max that has a steel nozzle on it. I know it can print TPU as well but I haven’t tried that.
 
How many different types of filaments are out there? I didn't know there was such thing as a wood filament.
 
There’s also wood filaments and carbon fiber filaments. Lol
But those are additives, not the base material of the spool.
You can get Wood PLA, or Wood PETG for example.
Carbon Fiber PLA, or Carbon Fiber PETG or Carbon Fiber ABS
I've used CF PETG and its freaking strong as hell. But expensive and its not smooth even after sanding because the fibers tear up. And sanding it means CF particulates. So something you want to use with care, ventilation, mask, and preferably a downdraft fan/filter combination like those used at nail salons. (or make a big one with a box fan and furnace filter)

In realty there aren't a lot of *types*.
  • PLA - Easy, forgiving, low softening temperature. Not good for outdoor, heat etc. Not a prop/armor choice in my opinion. But widest variety of colors if that matters to you. What color do you want your pots & pans hangers in the kitchen? Or the fancy drapery rod ends the wife wants? Silk or color changing flexi dragons as Christmas stocking stuffers. Wood PLA, Silk PLA, magnetic PLA... all still PLA.
    US$10 on sale, US$18-20 is pretty common
  • ABS - This used to be the only filament that existed in the early days of 3d printing. Higher temp Same stuff lots of car parts are made of. Tempermental to print with. And off-gasses toxic fumes when heated. So not a "spare bedroom" material: More like its own ventilated exterior room/shed/tent kinda thing.
  • ASA - This has basically taken over in the auto-parts niche. From what I understand all the positives of ABS without the toxic fumes. I have a couple spools to play with, but until my freight arrives in Australia I can't try it out yet.
    US$25-35 is what I generally see.
  • PETG - PET is the same stuff they make water bottles and so much more out of. Add glycol to make it printer freindly and you have PETG. 90% of all the qualities you want from ABS like high temp and UV resistance. And only little more learning curve than PLA. If you ask me, this is the material everyone needs to graduate to right after PLA. It's in the same ball park price as PLA; maybe marginally more expensive than PLA but totally fair for the added advantages.
    US$15 on sale, US$20-25 is common
  • Then you get in to the technical stuff that has far more exotic requirements with match price tags: Nylon, Delron, etc. You pick stuff in this realm for very specific properties you need.

So I think about everyone keeps PLA around for prototyping and basic stuff. Cheap, easy, forgiving. Work out all your experiments, first prints of models you're designing. Drag chains for the printer itself. Indoor iPhone stands etc. Just use it for stuff it can handle.
After that, 95% of the stuff I make is in PETG because basically; why not? Its nice knowing its not going to warp in the sun while paint is drying, or while in the trunk of my car on the way to a convention etc. And its just nice to set up machines & settings for a material and leave it alone: It just works.


My Expanse Goliath armor was all PETG (Titanium silver color). I didn't sand or paint it even. It had enough shine for my needs as you can see in the photos. I just wanted it for a Halloween and maybe one or two conventions. So I didn't invest thousands of hours. This came in at like US$17/spool in 2016.
IMG_2253.JPG


For my Spartan armor I'm going straight black PETG because I will sand, paint and so on. I bought spools and spools of black PETG when it was on sale for like US$12 because you can never go wrong with basic black, I use it for the guns and other props.
HelmetFit_001.png


Forearm-Left.png
 
So basically PETG is pretty much the perfect middle ground for armor? Like it doesn't break the bank but it's also durable enough to handle the travelling.
 
Dude that’s dope as heck. Thank you for all the info too. I might switch over to all PETG then. I’ve been using PLA because it is cheap. Thank you!
 
Oh. Yes. Yeah it is. And double gear extrusion.
Nice. Sounds similar to the Microswiss upgrades I did on all my Creality machines

So basically PETG is pretty much the perfect middle ground for armor? Like it doesn't break the bank but it's also durable enough to handle the travelling.
Yeah, basically. In my opinion anyway. *FOR ME* its my base-line everyday material unless I have a specific reason I can point at and say "I need to use that instead *because* of {.....} "
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Back
Top