3D Printing Filament Brands
A great way to look at filaments for your 3D print designs is to compare them with the different types of paint that you can use on a canvas. There are different colors and textures behind each option that will vary on a case-by-case basis, which is why you want to carefully consider what you want to design before you make any rash decisions. Each filament that you look at will be suitable for a specific kind of purpose and it will be designed to give your prints certain qualities.
There are plenty of great filament brands out there but, at the same time, there are also a lot of options that lack quality, versatility, and are not user-friendly. The materials that are used to create printing filaments can vary in characteristics such as heat resistance and pliability. Overlooking important characteristics such as these can result in lackluster prints, as well as wasted time and money.
With 3D printing taking off and becoming more popular than it ever has been before, manufacturers involved in this industry are aiming to create products and filaments that are able to give quality results - with fewer technical challenges and obstacles. Today, you can find 3D printers in the homes of everyday people that simply want to enjoy creating fun designs as a personal hobby. Ultimately, this is a craft that can be as technical or as user-friendly as you want it to be - depending on how far you want to take it. Keep reading to learn more about the best 3D printing filament brands.
Hatchbox (Best Value for Quality)
With so much competition within the filament industry, it can be hard to determine the best option possible, as they vary so much across the board. However, a name that always tends to stand out among users is Hatchbox.
This filament manufacturer releases products of only the highest level of quality, which you can always gauge by the final outcome of your prints. Hatchbox excels in the world of PLA filaments - with more options available on the market than you will know what to do with. However, Hatchbox also releases amazing filaments from alternative types such as PETG and ABS (among others).
The versatility and consistent quality across various filament types imply that Hatchbox is a manufacturer that you can trust with your designs - no matter what your end goals are. This is great news for 3D print enthusiasts that want to rely on a single manufacturer to take care of all of their printing needs for virtually every common filament classification that is used today, as Hatchbox will not let you down.
With that being said, this is also going to be an excellent manufacturer for users who are just getting started in 3D printing and may not quite know what direction they want to take their craft. In this case, you may feel curious about experimenting with various different filament classifications to determine what type is going to be best suited for the goals of your projects. If you are just starting out and want to try out ABS, PETG, and PLA all at once - you really can’t go wrong with Hatchbox as your trusted manufacturer.
You will find that filaments from Hatchbox are available in standard sizes such as 1.75mm as well as 3mm. Once you have chosen your preferred filament size, you can select a color that you like for your project, as Hatchbox has an excellent variety for you to consider. The color selection is excellent. You can get creative with the aesthetics of your designs and create prints that match your artistic palette. In addition, you can retain a sense of environmentalism when using Hatchbox filaments given that they create all of their products using eco-friendly materials.
When using Hatchbox for your 3D prints, you can expect only the best outcome across so many of your designs. We found that for just about every print that was tested, warping and stringiness were all very minimal or completely non-existent. Whether you are printing very fun and basic designs or are testing your printer's capabilities with intricate challenges, Hatchbox is a filament brand that is going to be a very solid and reliable option through and through.
Lastly, what is great about Hatchbox is that you can probably afford to purchase this filament without breaking the bank. Unlike a lot of high-end filament manufacturers of this level of quality, Hatchbox has its products available for a very reasonable price, which means that you can achieve amazing designs even if you are on a budget.
Polymaker (Best Durability)
Polymaker has been around for years and they continue to prove themselves as being one of the best filament manufacturers for 3D printing in the entire industry. They currently have a lot of different filament types available for hobbyists and industry professionals to consider but we have found that their PLA option really shines as far as overall quality and consistency.
Polymaker’s PLA filament was designed to give your prints the absolute best quality imaginable - with the intention of it having all of the amazing characteristics of ABS but with much more practicality and versatility so that it can be used by every designer - regardless of their level of expertise or project goals.
Their PLA filament is available in 1.75mm and 2.85mm to give your prints some sizable range. You can then select the measurement that you want in relation to how much filament you want to buy - with 3kg and 7kg options available. If you decide to go with their 3kg PLA filament option, you are going to really enjoy the excellent color selection that they offer, as you can select from 10 different options that each have their own unique aesthetic and texture.
However, if want to purchase their 7kg option, then you will only have 3 standard colors to choose from with white, black, and grey being available. If you are okay with a smaller amount of filament, then Polymaker’s 3kg option is going to be an excellent choice for someone that wants to have more colors to play around with. Whereas the 7kg option is going to be a better deal and will be a more practical choice for someone that wants neutral prints - usually for industry professionals.
One of the key takeaways from Polymaker’s PLA is that it is widely considered to be the most durable filament option on the entire market right now. If you want to design your crafts with a material that is going to be able to withstand huge amounts of impact, there is no better option than Polymaker. On top of that, you are going to love how crisp and clean your designs come out - with stringiness and warping being highly unlikely.
With that being said, although Polymaker is praised for their PLA filament, you will be delighted to know that they also offer other standard filament options such as PETG, which will ensure that you get the best of both worlds - if you are the kind of user that likes to have a dynamic range with your designs.
We have also really enjoyed Polymaker’s Polysmooth filament option, which has been praised by many designers as being a very unique resource to utilize for achieving smooth prints. One characteristic that many designers have become tired of with their designs is the rough finish that a lot of standard printing filaments deliver.
The Polysmooth filament that Polymaker offers must be combined with a small spray of alcohol in the printing process. By doing so, you are able to get incredibly smooth and glossed textures in your designs, which is going to be a huge selling point for users out there that want to achieve a unique finish that stands out.
All in all, Polymaker’s filaments are simply world-class and can match the quality and consistency of any of its competition. Although their PLA is what truly stands out, you can count on everything that they release to be on point. The only downside is that Polymaker is often a bit more expensive than some of the other options that are out there. If cost is not a concern for you, then look no further.
Sunlu (Most Affordable)
If you have been 3D printing for a while, then you have likely seen the name Sunlu before, as they are considered to be one of the best filament manufacturers in the business. Before we get into the amazing specs and qualities that Sunlu has to offer with its filaments, one of the best things about going with Sunlu is that you can achieve high-quality prints at the most affordable price on the market.
There are a lot of world-class filament manufacturers that make amazing products but they are often too expensive for 3D print enthusiasts who cannot afford to buy them. That is why Sunlu prides itself in making its products available to hobbyists and professionals - regardless of their budget.
With that being said, the affordability of Sunlu’s filaments is not the only department where this manufacturer shines. They offer a variety of different filament types if you happen to have preferences for your designs that standard options like PLA cannot achieve. We found that they have a fantastic PETG filament option that stands out among so much of the competition.
Their PLA filament is exceptional and can rival even the top contenders in the industry. When using Sunlu’s PLA, you will find that you have virtually no issues with tangles or warping. One of the most frustrating things with 3D printing is committing to a design, letting your printer do its thing, and then hoping that your filament will take care of the rest - only to find that when you return that your entire project is ruined and a mess.
Those days are over with Sunlu’s PLA filament, as the manufacturer markets this product as being completely free of tangles. In addition, you will enjoy how detailed and precise each of your designs is, which allows you to create incredibly intricate projects. Sunlu is particularly popular among mechanical engineers who want to create parts for their industry, as there are few filament manufacturers that have been able to deliver results that can compete with Sunlu in this regard.
The only downside to using Sunlu’s filaments is that they are known for giving off an unpleasant odor. In order to use Sunlu’s product, you need to set your nozzle temperature quite high, which results in your workspace becoming smelly. If you can tolerate the smell, then this is going to be an excellent filament to consider. We have found that the best way to cope with this minor drawback is to have your 3D printer set up in an isolated area in your home and then simply leave the room when the design is in motion.
MatterHackers (High-Quality & User-Friendly)
Since MatterHackers first came on the scene back in 2012, they have continued to be among the best in their class at delivering filaments of the highest level of quality. At the end of the day, 3D printing filaments can greatly vary across the board in specs and capabilities, which makes choosing the best brand rather subjective, as you can make this selection based on your tastes and project goals.
Depending on who you ask, many designers out there consider MatterHackers to be the best filament manufacturer. They have created filament products that range in types and we have found that no matter which one you choose, MatterHackers is going to come through with delivering a stellar outcome.
We really enjoyed the quality of MatterHacker’s PETG filament, but when it came to the best of what they had to offer, we found that their PLA option stood out. After testing the MatterHacker’s PLA filament across a variety of different designs that ranged in style and intricacy, we were impressed with how precise and detailed each project came out.
The texture of MatterHacker’s filaments is known for being a bit chalky, which is great for people that want to have a slightly rough texture, which is pleasant to the touch and not jagged by any means. On top of that, MatterHackers also offers their products at a very affordable price, which means that you can pursue amazing designs on a budget.
The only drawback of MatterHacker’s PLA filament was that it is widely known for being stringy in some cases. There are a number of tactics that you can utilize to remedy this, which you can implement depending on what suits your designs best. However, we have found that you can mitigate the amount of stringiness that you get with MatterHacker’s PLA filament by playing around with your temperature settings.
Given that stringiness is generally caused by overheating, you can try to lower your 3D printer’s temperature settings to achieve the ideal outcome. It may take a couple of times but after a basic trial and error procedure, you should be able to get your prints how you want them to be. If you do not mind dealing with this minor drawback, MatterHackers is an excellent choice for your designs.
Makerbot (Best Quality)
A name that you do not hear as much among casual users is Makerbot. This manufacturer is known for their PLA and ABS filament options and they are exceptional in both departments.
Makerbot’s PLA filament is highly-praised by 3D print designers for delivering phenomenal results. Users who want to achieve very detailed projects that are as intricate as can possible often rely on Makerbot.
We also really liked how Makerbot has a wide variety of color options available for you to select from. They currently have 10 choices available, which should give designers plenty of great options to give their projects a variety of aesthetic appeal. When going with Makerbot, you will find that they also offer their filaments to be sold in packs instead of just single spools.
By choosing the Makerbot pack, you can save yourself money in the long run, as you will get a spool for every single color that they have available with a ‘buy 9 - get 1 free’ offer. If you are committed to quality prints and wide color selection, then Makerbot has got you covered.
For many industry professionals and hobbyists who have to deal with mechanical parts, Makerbot is a one-stop-shop for filaments. This manufacturer prides itself in delivering a product that has the capability of creating 3D print designs that are as intricate and detailed as can be. Your designs will come out flawless - with stringiness and warping being irrelevant.
With that being said, a 3D print filament of this caliber is going to cost a bit more than the budget options that we mentioned. Although you can expect to pay more for Makerbot’s products, you will really get your money’s worth if you are seeking to create the best possible designs.