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3D Printing at the Library of Engineering and Science: Filament Guide

Disclaimer

We prefer to print with co-polyester and PLA filaments.  Below are a variety of suggested filament types, as well as materials we've had issues with.  If you'd like to print with a material not on this list, but of an acceptable type, we are generally willing to make a good faith effort to print.  Please email walc3dpr@purdue.edu with any questions.

We will do our best to print with your material, but failures do occasionally happen, especially with filaments we don't have experience with.  We cannot refund or replace material lost to print failures.  (Any failures using our provided material do not count against your 100g limit).

Recommended Standard Filament

Hatchbox product image

Hatchbox 1.75 or 3mm PLA

*Default Provided Material Type (Black, White- up to 50g per print;  Red, Blue, Gold, Silver- up to 25g per print)

Hatchbox is an excellent all-around filament, suitable for most printing needs.  This is the filament we will use unless you specify otherwise in your request.

Amazon Basics 1.75 or 3mm PLA

*Default Provided Material Type (Black, White- up to 50g per print)

Amazon Basics is a fine filament which works with our printers.  This filament, or Hatchbox, is what will be used unless you specify otherwise in your request.

 

nGen product image

nGen by colorFabb

This co-polyester material is a newer development designed to remove the downsides of PLA and ABS.  It is a very versatile filament that can print with high detail; supports remove easily and cleanly (after some minor cleanup).  Relatively high cost for at $40/750g

 

eSun product image

eSUN 1.75 or 3.00mm PLA

*Provided Material Type (Purple, up to 50g per print)
 Entry level filament type.  This reliable PLA filament is an excellent balance of value and quality.  Costs about $25/kg, making it more accessible than nGen.  May be listed as 2.85mm rather than 3mm- either is fine.
 

SUNLU product imageSUNLU 1.75mm PLA+ / Dazzle Light 1.75mm PLA

Some of the cheapest filament available on Amazon at ~15$/kg.  Practical for simple shapes and prints without overhangs, bridges, or supports.  

Recommended Specialty Filament

NinjaFlex product imageNinjaFlex 3mm TPU

*Provided Material Type (Gold, Clear, & Black.  Up to ~25g per print.  Email for more info)

Flexible filament that creates non-rigid prints.  Depending on the print settings, the final product can be anywhere from slightly springy to completely collapsible.  Feel free to email with questions about printing with this material type.

 

LayWood Product ImageLaywoo-D3 (LayWood)

With actual wood fibers included, this material offers a unique texture and appearance.  It can be sanded, stained, and glued, opening up new avenues of creativity.

 

Hatchbox Woodfill Product ImageHatchbox Woodfill

* Provided Material Type (No color options.  Up to 25g per print)

Similar to LayWood, this PLA based filament has actual wood pulp mixed in to create a print that can be sanded, stained, and otherwise treated like wood.

 

 

Nylon Product ImageBridge Nylon by Taulman 3D

Co-Polyester filament designed to create strong, resilient parts for practical applications.  Prints have been inconsistent, often with noticeable warping.  Semi-flexable final products provide a nice middle ground between PLA and Flexi.  Excellent for single-width and spiralized prints. 

 

bioFila Product ImagebioFila Silk by twoBEars

Shiny, smooth surface material that crates beautiful sculptures and art pieces.  Biodegradable and sourced from renewable sources.

Filaments to Avoid

Magnetic Iron PLA product imageMagnetic Iron PLA

Caused damage to our printer during testing.  We will not print with this material.

 

 

ABS product imageABS - Any company

We've had significant issues with warping when printing with ABS.  Smaller prints may not have a problem, but larger prints seem to fail more often than not.  Purchase at your own risk.

 

 

PETG product imagePETG - Any company

This material caused damage to our print surface during prior use.  We will consider smaller prints, but cannot complete large items.  Please email us if you want to use PETG before submitting your request.

 

 

PRILINE product imagePRILINE brand PLA

From our experience, this filament had inconsistent width and prints failed repeatedly.  Some spools may be fine, but purchase at your own risk.

 

Snapmaker PLA FilamentSnapmaker brand PLA

From our experience, this filament was very fragile and had a tendency to break fairly frequently.