The filament is a crucial component of any 3D printing project. These are three considerations to keep in mind when choosing the right filament.
The world of 3D printing is quite fascinating, but it certainly has its pitfalls - like selecting the wrong materials. To help you make the right choice, we've put together this guide to three key factors in choosing the right filament for your next project.
One of the most important determining factors in choosing filament is the size, particularly the diameter. This must fit with your printer's nozzle in order to avoid issues with jamming. Most available filaments are either 1.75 mm or 2.85 mm in diameter, which fit the majority of printers on the market. Check your printer's documentation to ensure you're choosing the right size.
When researching different filament suppliers, it's important to look into their tolerance and roundness specifications - key size qualities that help indicate the filament's quality. The tolerance is a measurement of how much larger or smaller the filament's diameter can be from the indicated size at any given point. Roundness, expressed as a percentage or a measurement of deviation, shows how consistent the filament's shape is. Always make sure to check for tolerance and roundness measurements to ensure you're purchasing quality materials. Ultimaker and FormFutura, for example, both make 2.85 mm ABS filament with a tolerance of 0.1 mm and a roundness of .1 mm and >95%, respectively.
The biggest determining factor in how a printed design will look and function is the filament material you use. Much like size, the material you choose must be compatible with your printer. There are some of the most common filament materials available.
This chart provides a quick guide to the filament materials that work with 3D printers available from Redstack.
|Printer||Filament Diameter||Supported Materials|
|Ultimaker 2+||2.85mm||ABS, CPE, PLA|
|Ultimaker 2+ Extended||2.85mm||ABS, PLA, U-PET|
|Ultimaker 2 Go||2.85mm||PLA|
|Ultimaker 3 Dual Extrusion||2.85mm||ABS, CPE, Nylon, PLA, PVA|
|Ultimaker 3 Extended Dual Extrusion||2.85mm||ABS, CPE, Nylon, PLA, PVA|
|Formlabs Form 2 SLA Printer||Formlabs Resin|
|MakerBot Replicator z18||1.75mm||PLA|
|MakerBot Replicator 2||1.75mm||PLA|
|MakerBot Replicator Mini||1.75mm||PLA|
Once you've figured out what size and material type you're looking for, you have to choose the right manufacturer. That's a crowded field, so the choice can seem daunting. The Ultimaker, MakerBot and FormFutura filaments are all available from the Redstack eStore. Redstack strongly recommend the 3D printer filament options from FormFutura out of the Netherlands. We thoroughly test the available filament options and have found the FormFutura filaments deliver exceptional quality and value for money.
In addition to the standard 1.75mm and 2.85mm PLA and ABS filaments in a range of of colours, Redstack also offer the FormFutura CarbonFil, EasyWood and FlexFil specialty filaments, for example:
Selecting the right filament can be a challenge, but the team at Redstack is here to help. For more information about 3D printing needs - from the hardware and supplies to the modelling software - get in touch with Redstack today or browse the full range of 3D printer filament at our online store.