What Are The Best 3D Printing Filament Colors?
While listing the best 3D printing filament colors might be a bit subjective, since everyone has their own color preferences, we’re going to do our best! Based on the input from a number of 3D printing enthusiasts, we’ve come up with the following list of the six best filament colors on the market. So without further ado, let’s just straight into it.
Normal 3D Printing Filament Colors
White is a fan favorite among just about everyone who’s serious about 3D printing. Its simple manufacturing process that doesn't require any additional pigmentation makes it compositionally strong compared to many other colors — especially those at the very bottom of this list.
To make it even better, white is also the easiest color to paint. Since it’s white, you don’t have to worry about needing to cover up another color underneath whatever you’re trying to paint. And since many enthusiasts like to paint their prints to make them perfect, white is the best base color to go with.
Grey is a great filament color for 3D printing for many of the same reasons as white. It’s easy to manufacture, doesn’t have any of the brittleness or fading issues that the colors at the end of this article have, and it’s also incredibly easy to cover and paint.
Many people that regularly 3D print will default to either grey or white as their normal color to 3D print with. Grey has a bit of a range of colors as well, but for most people, a lighter grey is typically used more commonly. The lighter it is, the easier it is to paint over. But if you want something a bit darker, an average grey-colored filament will provide a great looking print!
Standard Colors (Blue, red, green, purple, orange)
For those of you who don’t really want to use grey or white and then paint the print whatever color you like or anyone who just wants to add some color to their 3D model collection, then many “standard” colors are some of the best to use. When we say standard colors we’re referring largely to the primary and tertiary colors that make up everything else.
Of those colors, the best ones to use for 3D printing are blue, red, green, orange, and purple. You might have noticed one exclusion, and a primary color at that — yellow. As you’ll read about later, yellow fades more than any of these other colors. But feel free to use these five colors to make some eye-popping prints!
Unique 3D Printing Filament Colors
Silk Rainbow Multicolor
While the above colors are great for the vast majority of 3D prints and enthusiasts, sometimes you want to change things up a bit. And one of the best ways to do that is with a rainbow multicolor filament. Our personal recommendation is to go with one of the “silk” ones that give the final print a shiny, smooth finish.
While you can get rainbow filament that looks like a normal rainbow, there are so many variations out there to choose from that you can have hundreds of rainbow prints and still not have tried them all! Keep in mind, with rainbow filaments it’s better to use them on bigger prints so that there’s enough room for multiple colors to show up.
Thermochromic (Heat-Changing) Filament
As 3D printing becomes more advanced, one of the most intriguing new technologies in filament coloration is using thermochromic filaments. That sounds like a fancy word, but it’s just the more technical way of saying that the color of the filament changes based on heat.
While the colors involved in thermochromic 3D printing filament can be all sorts of various combinations, our favorite is the Zi-Rui Thermochromic PLA Filament. Depending on the temperature, the print will change from yellow, to orange, to black. So if you move it around the room, you could get different color variations. How cool is that?
Glow In The Dark Filament
Last but not least, we have another fan-favorite: glow in the dark 3D printing filaments. While this one might be a bit controversial since some of the cheap brands don’t offer a very high-quality filament, it’s so popular that we just couldn’t leave it off our list.
After all, think back to being a kid. Weren’t things that glowed in the dark just the coolest things ever? We all still have a bit of a kid inside us, and glow in the dark is still pretty cool! With this type of filament, you can print yourself an entire glow in the dark cache of little models and figurines. Just make sure you get a high-quality filament, such as HATCHBOX, for example!
Which 3D Printing Filament Colors Should You Avoid?
Now that you know about some of the best filament colors for 3D printing, you should probably get an idea of what some of the worst ones are. For one reason or another — which we’ll explain for each one — the next few colors you see listed here are ones that you might want to avoid using in your 3D printing.
While this isn’t exactly a specific color or anything, it is widely discussed in the 3D printing world that neon colors in general are one of the main filament types or colors to steer clear of. While they can certainly create some of the most eye-popping prints that you’ll ever see, they come with a slew of potential issues.
Depending on the brand, quality, color, and more, neon colored 3D printing filaments can be a headache to use. Some of them don’t bond well and begin to fall apart. Others come out looking almost transparent, revealing the support structures inside and not looking the way you’d want it to. Overall, you’ll likely be happier with the colors mentioned above!
We know, we know. Black is one of the best looking colors on quite a few things that you might be 3D printing. And the truth is, with a high-quality brand you might actually have no issues whatsoever using black filament. But for many brands and many users, black filament tends to lead to excessive brittleness and easier cracking. Why is this?
The issue of a black coloration leading to brittleness actually isn’t something that only comes up with 3D printing. It’s an issue in the entire textile industry. This is because oftentimes, black goods are the result of an over-dye, i.e. something that was meant to be a different color didn't match what it was supposed to look like. It then goes to a pile of black to be re-dyed.
It is this multifaceted dying process that leads to the black filament (and other materials) being more brittle than its other-colored counterparts.
Unlike the black filament above, yellow isn’t something to be avoided because of it being too brittle. No, instead you might want to consider avoiding using yellow filament just because of its coloration over time. Yellow pigment can be made from a lot of different sources, and its brilliance makes it a popular choice for 3D printing enthusiasts.
But the issue with yellow pigment is that it tends to react to UV light (think sunlight) more than other colors, and not in a good way. Yellow begins to break down and decay faster under UV light than other colors, which leads to the color fading much more quickly.