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The best 3D printer filament is absolutely crucial for any 3D print and will determine many of the characteristics of the final product, ranging from durable or heat resistant it is, all the way down to whether or not it's biodegradable. If you're not interested in making your own filament, these are the best alternatives.
Of course, another huge factor will be choosing the best 3D printer, but when it comes to choosing your materials, these are the best 3D printer filaments currently available.
Another great option for PLA 3D printer filament is this product from Dikale. It comes in five different colors – black, gray, blue, white, and mustard yellow – in 1.75mm spools. Their color options might not be as varied as other brands’, but they still produce very high-quality prints. Dikale PLA filaments create brightly-colored prints with a glossy finish and appear a bit translucent when thinly-layered, which makes them ideal for creating lithophanes. Recommended extrusion temperature ranges from 374°F to 446°F.
Dikale ships their filaments in vacuum-sealed bags, which are then encased in sturdy cardboard boxes. Their packaging prevents moisture and air from seeping in, ensuring that you get nothing but high-quality 3D printing solutions. Since these spools come in a standard size, they fit snugly in most 3D printers today. They even have a little opening near the center spindle which allows you to keep track of the filament levels. For every kilogram you purchase, you have 1,099 feet of filament to work with.
Solutech’s 3D Printer PLA filaments are all made in the US. Their raw materials are grown in the country, and their filaments are produced here as well. Upon inspection, you will notice that this filament has a very smooth texture, and you'll see that same quality as you create your 3D prints. Final products are rendered with a glossy finish. Recommended printing temperature ranges from 374°F to 428°F.
These 3D filaments require a slightly higher temperature for printing, which indicates that the material may have some impurities. This 1.75 mm PLA printer filament is available in one-kilogram spools. Solutech packs these filaments in vacuum-sealed containers for protection.
The 3D pen/printer filament by Mika3D comes in a wide assortment of colors – three metallic hues, six transparent shades, and 15 solid colors. While you have enough variety to create many interesting prints, you also don’t have to worry about running out of color as each filament measures up to 10 feet in length. These are compatible with various 3D pens and 3D printers (it is not, however, ideal for the 3mm 3Doodler pen).
Mika3D’s filaments are made with polylactic acid. The material is eco-friendly and non-toxic, making your printed objects safe for children. Since PLA is highly susceptible to moisture, Mika3D ships these filaments in a vacuum-sealed bag. The package also comes with silicon finger caps to protect your fingers from the hot 3D pen nozzle or the printing plastic. The recommended printing temperature range for Mika3D’s 1.75mm printer filaments is 356°F to 410°F.
TPU is ideal when you're printing products that need to bend during the creation process. From the spool, 3D Best-Q’s filaments may seem very soft. But after printing, this material is actually very strong and durable with a nice flex to it. As long as you don’t make the walls too thick, you will have no trouble bending it with your hand. The 1.75mm filaments are available in one-kilogram spools in eight different colors.
3D Best-Q’s TPU is compatible with a number of FDM 3D printers – MakerBot, Cube, and Mendel to name a few. The recommended base plate printing temperature of this filament ranges from 392°F to 428°F. The ideal print bed temperature is 122°F to 176°F.
Teach your kids how to create 3D prints with Dikale’s non-toxic Pen and Printer Filaments. These 20-foot rolls come in 16 different colors, so your little ones can take on all the printing projects they want and still have plenty of colors to spare. But the best thing about Dikale’s filament is that it’s completely non-toxic and safe for kids. It's made with 100% Polylactic Acid, which doesn't smell and is fast-forming for ease of use. The only downside is that these filaments are quite durable and can be a bit stiff, so you may need to help your kids bend the thicker areas of the 3D model.
When you purchase this bundle, you also get 250 free stencil e-books. You don’t need a Dikale 3D Pen or Printer for this. Any 3D pen with a 1.75mm-diameter PLA filament can use these (unfortunately, this excludes the 3Doodler).
Dikale's PLA filament is the best bet for most prints, particularly for lithophanes. For printing in bulk or on a budget, however, 3D Solutech makes excellent white filament for less.