Materials

Which Filament Option Works Best For You?

Choosing the right material for your project can sometimes difficult. Below we have outlined the main materials we like to print with to give you a better idea what you may want to go with for your project.

(Coming soon) For a more in depth look the complete selection we have and more specific details about each simply click on the button for each. 

PLA

- Large Variety of Colors
- Captures detail well
- Low warping temp

petg

- Mix of best PLA & ABS properties
- Translucent finishes
- Easily scratched

aBS

- Strong
- Temperature resistant
- Not dimensionally accurate

tpu

- Flexible
- Highly durable
- Cant capture high detail

Click here for a full list of materials and properties

-Exotics
-Composites
- Engineering grade materials

Deciding Factors on What to use

If your parts are going to be under stress or heavily used it is recommended that they are made in a more durable materials such as ABS or PETG. ABS is very strong and temperature resistant with PETG being not far behind. While PLA is versatile, it is fairly brittle when compared to other plastics.

While nearly all plastics will take spray or brush on paints well it is recommended not printing in PLA if you plan to sand your parts. This is mainly due to the low warping temperature and brittle nature of the plastic which makes it difficult to sand. If you plan to use a filler in addition to sanding in order to finish your part then any plastic should work well. 

While most materials are close in price, PLA is the recommended filament to choose for those who are on a budget as it is the cheapest and has a large selection of finishes available.

PLA is the recommended plastic for models with large amounts of detail as it is the easiest to print with unlike ABS which often warps while printing. If you have a detailed part that also needs to be strong however, printing in PETG may be the best choice as it is an excellent middle ground for the quality and strength between the other two.

If you’re looking for specific colors or finishes from your plastic part without having to add additional paints or coatings, PLA is recommended. Thanks to how it is made, it comes in the largest variety of finishes ranging from metallic, gloss, matte, glittery, and even glow in the dark. 

If flexible is what you are looking for, the main choice you have is TPU. TPU is the main rubbery material used in many phone cases and while it is more expensive than other materials, its ability to flex and stretch is unrivaled by every other available material. One downside however to TPU is it is also the worst material for capturing fine detail. 

Still unsure what material to pick? Contact Us and we help find the best choice for you!

What the Team Thinks

"Personally I have grown to love the versatile aspects offered by printing with PETG. While it can be difficult to dial in and more expensive than PLA or ABS, its qualities bring out the best properties of both other materials. This allows for stronger parts with a fine finish that is easy to post process."
Daniel Curry
Co-Founder
"PLA in most cases is my go-to. It prints fast, easily, and beautifully. It also features so many color variations and composite that, unless the parts will be under stress, there isn't much need for another material. "
Ambreen Khan
Public Relations Director
"When it comes to more engineering grade materials ABS can't be beat when it comes to strength when compared to price. At about the same price as PLA it allows for parts that are incredibly durable and will last a long time. It can also be chemically smoothed or bonded to other pieces"
Carlos Vergara
Co-Founder
"Is there really any debate as to the coolest material to print with? It has to be TPU. While it may print slow it is the only filament that has actual flexibility. Not to mention you can print an entire football out of it."
Tim Torres
Material Analyst