3D Printing Filaments

Finding the right material for your application

The applications of 3D Printing have rapidly expanded thanks to innovations in material science from companies like Polymaker. Today users can 3D Print in a wide range of materials, everything from education & hobby friendly materials like PLA to rigid & tough engineering-grade PolyCarbonates, soft and flexible TPU materials and even industrial aerospace-grade materials like PEEK.

Finding the right material for your application is as important as choosing a quality 3D Printer. You can read through our material summary below to learn about the different types of materials.

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PLA Filament

General purpose 3D printing material

Derived from renewable resources such as corn starch and sugarcane, PLA is one of the most popular 3D Printing materials for prototypers, educators and hobbyists due to its low printing requirements and excellent dimensional stability at a low cost.

Types - PLA / PLA+ / PolyMax™ PLA

Print Requirements - Low Requirements / 190-220°C Extruder Temperature / Optional 0 – 60°C Heated Bed.

Print Quality - High print quality and compatibility with most 3D printers. Prints with excellent dimensional stability and minimal warping.

Mechanical / Thermal - Regular PLA exhibits high tensile strength and stiffness but is brittle with low heat resistance. PLA+ materials further improve tensile strength. Our toughest PLA is Polymakers PolyMax™ PLA which is nano-reinforced with vastly superior impact resistance and ductility.

Other - N/A

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PETG Filament

General Purpose 3D Printing Material

PETG is one of the most popular 3D Printing materials on the markets for prototypers, educators and hobbyists, offering improved mechanical and thermal properties than regular PLA and lower printing requirements than ABS at a low cost.

Types - PETG / PolyMax™ PETG

Print Requirements - Medium Requirements / 230-240°C Extruder Temperature / 70-80°C Heated Bed.

Print Quality - High print quality and compatibility with most 3D printers equipped with a heated bed. Prints with excellent dimensional stability and minimal warping with most sizes.

Mechanical / Thermal - Regular PETG exhibits ballanced mechanical properties with moderate heat resistance. Typically regular PETG materials are more flexible than ABS and tougher than PLA. For mechanical performance Polymakers PolyMax™ PETG offers vastly superior stiffness and ductility.

Other - N/A

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ABS Filament

General Purpose 3D Printer Plastic

ABS is one of the earliest and most common everyday 3D Printing materials which has maintained its popularity for prototyping and production due to its low cost, balanced mechanical properties, thermal properties and excellent printing quality.

Types - ABS

Print Requirements - Medium - High Requirements / 240-265°C Extruder Temperature / 80-100°C Heated Bed / Enclosure Recommended / Optional 50-60°C Heated Chamber

Print Quality - High print quality and compatibility with most 3D printers equipped with a heated bed. A high environmental temperature is key to printing ABS with excellent dimensional stability, so an enclosure is recommended. Additionally a heated chamber may be required to print large parts without warping or cracking.

Mechanical / Thermal - ABS exhibits good tensile strength, medium-high heat resistance (90-95°C) and improved toughness when compared to PLA or PETG.

Other - We recommend good ventilation when printing ABS.

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ASA Filament

UV and weather resistant plastic

ASA is a UV and weather resistant material sharing some similar characteristics to ABS. Best suited for outdoor-use, ASA has become a popular choice in construction, automotive and consumer household applications.

Types - ASA

Print Requirements - Medium - High Requirements / 240-260°C Extruder Temperature / 80-100°C Heated Bed / Enclosure Recommended / Optional 50-60°C Heated Chamber

Print Quality - High print quality and compatibility with most 3D printers equipped with a heated bed. A high environmental temperature is key to printing ASA with excellent dimensional stability, so an enclosure is recommended. Additionally a heated chamber may be required to print large parts without warping or cracking.

Mechanical / Thermal - ASA exhibits excellent UV resistance with good tensile strength, high heat resistance (105°C) and improved toughness when compared to ABS.

Other - We recommend good ventilation when printing ASA.

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TPU

Flexible Plastic

TPU is a flexible filament with excellent durability, inter-layer adhesion and resistance to oils. The Shore hardness scale is used to rate the flexibility of a TPU material, with TPU95 offering a balance between flexibility and ease of use.

Types - TPU (Various hardness ratings)

Print Requirements - Medium - High Requirements / 220-240°C Extruder Temperature / Filament feeding path with minimal drag

Print Quality - Great print quality. Compatibility varies based hardness of the TPU. More flexible TPU plastics like TPU80 or TPU60 may require extruder modifications.

Mechanical - TPU is durable, elastic with excellent flexibility. The flexible properties of TPU vary on the filaments hardness rating. For example 60A is more flexible than 80A or 90A.

Other - Due to their elasticity and softness, it is important to minimize drag on the feeding path when printing TPU. With a single extruder, TPU supports are very difficult to remove, limiting which geometries can be printed well. Soluble supports can be used to vastly expand the complexity and applications for TPU.

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Nylon (PA)

Engineering Grade Material

Nylon is an engineering grade 3D printing material exhibiting excellent mechanical and thermal properties. Nylon has low printing requirements however some brands of Nylon are harder to print and control than others due to unique behaviour like crystallization during printing.

Types - Nylon 6 / Nylon 12  / CoPA / Carbon fiber reinforced / Glass fiber reinforced

Print Requirements - Low to Medium Requirements / 235-260°C Extruder Temperature / Optional 0 – 70°C Heated Bed.

Print Quality - Good to high printing quality, generally compatible with most 3D printers. Some brands and Nylon filaments print with warping and poor dimensional stability. Polymakers PolyMide™ series of Nylon have been formulated to print without warping.

Mechanical - Varies on the type. Intrinsic properties of Nylon are improved flexibility, excellent toughness, chemical resistance, heat resistance and low friction. Nylon filaments with Carbon fiber and Glass fibers typically improve stiffness.

Other - Nylon be annealed to further improve mechanical and thermal properties. Nylon is very hygroscopic, it is important print Nylon from a dry box and to store spools in a resealable bag with desiccant.

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PolyCarbonate (PC)

Engineering Grade Material

PC (PolyCarbonate) quickly became one of the most popular materials for engineering and industrial applications, offering vastly superior mechanical properties to ABS. PC exhibits excellent mechanical and thermal properties.

Types – PC / PolyMax™ PC

Print Requirements - Medium - High Requirements / 240-265°C Extruder Temperature / 80-100°C Heated Bed / Enclosure Recommended / Optional 50-60°C Heated Chamber

Print Quality - High print quality and compatibility with most 3D printers equipped with a heated bed. A high environmental temperature is key to printing PC with excellent dimensional stability, so an enclosure is recommended. Additionally a heated chamber is required to print large parts without warping or cracking.

Mechanical / Thermal - PC exhibits great tensile strength and high heat resistance (110°C). Our toughest PC is Polymakers PolyMax™ PC which is nano-reinforced, exhibiting vastly superior impact resistance and ductility.

Other - We recommend good ventilation when printing PC.

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Ultem

Industrial-Grade Material

Ultem (also known as PEI) is an industrial aerospace-grade material used for demanding applications in aerospace, automotive, oil and gas, advanced research and medical industries.

  • An industrial-grade PEEK 3D Printer is required due to its high printing temperature (340°C).
  • Ultem displays very high mechanical strength, toughness, chemical resistance and self-extinguishing properties, making it the ideal solution for demanding applications.

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PEEK

Industrial-Grade Material

PEEK is an industrial aerospace-grade material used for demanding applications in aerospace, automotive, oil and gas, advanced research and medical industries.

  • An industrial-grade 3D printer capable of PEEK 3D Printing is required due to its high printing temperature (400°C).
  • PEEK superior high mechanical strength, toughness, chemical resistance and self-extinguishing properties, making it the best material for demanding applications.

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PolySmooth™

Specialty 'Polishable' Material

PolySmooth™ is a first of its kind 'polishable' material which can be polished with Isopropyl Alcohol to acheive an attractive glossy and smooth surface.

  • PolySmooth™ prints between 190-230°C, with no heated bed required (For good adhesion 60-70°C is recommended)
  • Mechanically, PolySmooth™ exhibits a good tensile strength, low heat resistance (70°C), low UV resistance, and parts exhibit good impact resistance. PolySmooth has improved mechanical properties when compared to ABS.
  • PolySmooth™ can be polished in the Polysher™ (via Polymaker’s patented Micro-Droplet Polishing™ technology), eliminating the layers from filament-based printing processes and resulting in a very smooth part surface.
  • Prints with near-zero warping and low printing odor.
  • PolySmooth™ is a hygroscopic filament, absorbing moisture from the air. We recommend storing PolySmooth in a moisture protection storage box during printing and a resealable bag with desiccant during storage.

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PolyCast™

Specialized Investment Casting Material

PolyCast™ is a unique material designed specifically for investment casting (also known as lost-wax casting) of metal. You can use it with 3D printing to replace the wax patterns used in industrial investment casting processes.

  • By using 3D printing and PolyCast™, you can eliminate the need for tooling, expediting the manufacturing process and decreasing costs.
  • PolyCast™ can be polished in the Polysher™ (via Polymaker’s patented Micro-Droplet Polishing™ technology), eliminating the layers from filament-based printing processes and resulting in a very smooth part surface. This is critical to ensure the quality of metal parts.
  • Most polymers leave residues when they decompose – this is a problem for investment casting and can lead to defects on the metal parts. Polymaker have engineered the material to ensure that it decomposes completely at T > 600 C, leaving a clean mold ready for casting.

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3D Printing Filaments

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