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How Much Does 3D Printer Filament Cost?

How Much Does 3D Printer Filament Cost? | 3D Printing Spot

Updated by

William Stone

/

November 12, 2021

3D printer filament is to a 3D printer what ink is to a normal printer. We all know that printer ink is expensive, but how much does 3D printer filament cost?

On average, regular filaments, such as the ABS and PLA variety, cost $25 per kilogram. However, there are exceptions, such as nylon filaments that cost $95 per kilogram. In this article, we are going to take a closer look at the costs of different kinds of 3D printer filaments. 

One of the main reasons why you should be concerned about the type of 3D filament you’ll be using is that the price of your chosen filament will impact how much of it you can buy, and by extension, the quality and size of your printed model.

The cost of 3D printer filament all depends on the type of filament you’re going to get. If you’re looking for answers, we’ve got them right here. With years of experience in the 3D printing space and having printed tons of models ourselves, we’ll be happy to tell you all you need to know about the cost of 3D printer filament.

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Table of contents:

PLA and ABS Filaments

Regular filament options for 3D printers, such as ABS and PLA, only cost $25 for a kilogram. When it comes to the type of filament you will be using, it all depends on the 3D printer. While some can only work on the manufacturer’s own brand-made filaments, others can use open source options. This is why it is crucial to always consider the material options and filament costs when buying a 3D printer. Besides, you don’t want to be stuck with a 3D printer that can only operate with filaments that cost an arm and a leg.

Open-Source Filaments

Basically, the term “open-source 3D printer filaments” means that third-party filaments can be used on the 3D printer you have purchased. However, as mentioned, many 3D printer manufacturers only design printers to work with their branded filaments, which restricts your filament choice and ends up costing more than open-source 3D printer filaments.

On the other hand, open-source options offer much more variety when it comes to filament types and colors. Furthermore, the increase in open-source filament options means that users get to use the best quality filaments since more competition encourages innovation. Keeping that in mind, the following are some of the options that you have when it comes to choosing from open-source 3D filament options.

Generic ABS and PLA

By far, two of the most commonly used filaments in 3D printers are ABS and PLA, and for good reason. First off, both PLA and ABS can be used to create almost anything on a 3D printer, which is something other types of 3D printer filaments simply can’t compete with. Secondly, PLA and ABS are extremely affordable, making them the ideal choice for beginners or small business owners. The generic variety only costs around $25 per kilogram roll.

Specialty ABS and PLA

Now that you have an idea of what the normal, generic ABS and PLA are, there’s also another type of PLA and ABS, known as specialty filaments. These specialty ABS and PLA filaments are unique as they can be fused with other elements as well in order to alter their function. Some examples of this type of fusion that can only be done with specialty ABS and PLA include being infused with ceramic, metal, wood, and other materials during the 3D printing project.

One of the reasons why 3D printer operators or projects may require the use of specialty PLA and ABS filaments is that these prints give off a unique glow or can be electrically conductive or make the filament magnetic. There are a number of uses for such 3D printer items, which makes the specialty PLA and ABS filament another great option. However, these unique properties also come with a price.

For instance, while generic PLA and ABS filaments cost around $25 per kilogram, specialty filaments will cost you around $55 per kilogram, making them one of the more expensive options available for 3D printers.

ASA Filament

This is another popular type of 3D printer filament that is mostly recommended for outdoor use. One of the main selling points of the ASA filament when it comes to 3D prints is that they are far more durable than ABS filaments. Also, ASA filaments are considered to have better weather resistance as compared to many other filament options. ASA filaments cost around $37 per kg, but they are well worth the price.

Nylon Filament

This has got to be one of the most common options for those 3D printer users who prefer filaments that are not only thinner as compared to other filament options but are also more flexible as well. If you are in the market for a high-quality 3D printing filament, then nylon filament should be right up your alley. That being said, these extra characteristics and the fact that it’s nylon means that they tend to cost much more than other filament options. In fact, nylon filaments are right up there with the polycarbonate varieties, with both costing around $95 per kilogram.

PETG Filament

Speaking of really strong 3D printer filaments, PETG is considered one of the strongest options available in the market today when it comes to 3D printer filaments. But what’s even more interesting about the PETG filament is that it also offers low shrinkage. This ability to have low shrinkage as compared to other filament options means that PETG filaments are the best choice for those 3D printer users who are searching for a filament that does not shrink as much and is relatively stronger than other common 3D printer filament options, such as ABS.

PETG filaments come at a slightly higher cost of $35 per kilogram roll as compared to ABS, but the low shrinkage and stronger build quality that it’s able to deliver make PETG filament a good option for more durable prints.

Flexible Filaments

If you are a 3D printer user who is not going for flexibility, per se but still wants to have something squishy with a high level of durability and scratch resistance, you can’t go wrong with flexible filaments. This variety is made up of materials that have a blend of rubber and plastic, also known as thermoplastic elastomer or TPE. This makes the filament behave in a similar way to rubber as opposed to just being flexible like nylon filaments.

About THE AUTHOR

William Stone

William Stone

William has spent 20 plus years in the custom manufacturing industry as a COO, CEO and Owner of various custom product businesses. His experience has exposed him to all types of manufacturing from die cast, die struck, injection molding, CNC machining, laser etching, engraving and of course 3D printing.

Learn more about William Stone

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How Much Does 3D Printer Filament Cost?

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