Ultimate 3D Printing Materials Guide

After over a year of research, countless filament spools, and hundreds of hours of printing, our team is proud to present the Ultimate 3D Printing Materials Guide. Covering over a dozen of the most popular materials in use today, this guide will help you select the best material for your next project or improve the quality of your prints with tips from our experts. Use the tags below to quickly sort the materials based on their characteristics, or view our extensive Filament Properties Table for a detailed side-by-side comparison. Once you have selected a material, view a detailed article with pros and cons, hardware requirements, best practices, pro-tips, example projects and more! Whether you’re new to 3D printing or an advanced user looking to experiment with a new material, this guide has everything you need to make the most of your next project.

Select one of the materials below to get started. Each image highlights a sample project that was printed with that material.

  • ABS

    ABS is a low cost material, great for printing tough and durable parts that can withstand high temperatures.
  • Flexible

    Flexible filaments, commonly referred to as TPE or TPU, are known for their elasticity allowing the material to easily stretch and bend.
  • PLA

    PLA is the go-to material for most users due to its ease-of-use, dimensional accuracy, and low cost.
  • HIPS

    HIPS is a lightweight material most commonly used as a dissolvable support structure for ABS models.
  • PETG

    PET and PETG filaments are known for their ease of printability, smooth surface finish, and water resistance.
  • Nylon

    Nylon is a tough and semi-flexible material that offers high impact and abrasion resistance. It is an ideal choice for printing durable parts.
  • Carbon Fiber Filled

    Carbon fiber filaments contain short fibers that are infused into a PLA or ABS base material to help increase strength and stiffness.
  • ASA

    ASA is a common alternative to ABS and is great for outdoor applications due to its high UV, temperature, and impact resistance.
  • Polycarbonate

    Polycarbonate is known for its strength and durability. It has very high heat and impact resistance making it an ideal choice for tough environments.
  • Polypropylene

    Polypropylene is great for high-cycle, low strength applications due to its fatigue resistance, semi-flexible, and lightweight characteristics.
  • Metal Filled

    Metal filled filaments are made by mixing a fine metal powder into a base material, providing a unique metallic finish and added weight.
  • Wood Filled

    Wood filaments combine a PLA base material with cork, wood dust, or other derivatives, giving the models a real wooden look and feel.
  • PVA

    PVA is commonly known for its ability to be dissolved in water and is often used as a support material for complex prints.