The best 3D printer filaments you can buy for around $ 25

6 min read

This list gives you an overview of each material and the best product you can pick up for less than $ 25 in its class. For my money, Inland PLA is the very best you can buy for the cheapest price. It won't disappoint you.

Note: This list is made from filaments with a diameter of 1.75 mm, as this is the most common width used by home 3D printers. Most products here can also be found in a diameter of 3 mm.

Polylactic Acid (PLA) filament

PLA is the most commonly used filament for beginners and general use. Made from organic polymers, PLA is a biodegradable, rigid material with a low melting point. It is often used as a basis for models that you want to paint and for objects that are stored indoors. The disadvantage of PLA is that it can soften on relatively low heat, around 60 degrees Celsius, or 140 degrees Fahrenheit for the American makers, and it does not do well in the elements.


My choice

Interior PLA

Inland PLA is my go-to when I want cheap, reliable PLA for large projects. When you call in, it has an almost matte finish that looks great on unfinished models.

$ 17 at Amazon


Designed to build

MatterHackers builds series PLA

The MatterHackers series is tailor-made for printing objects that you will sand or paint. Use it for creating cosplay items or painted models.

$ 20 at MatterHackers


Amazon branding

AmazonBasics PLA

Although not the cheapest of the filaments, AmazonBasics PLA is surprisingly of good quality with the added benefit of a bulk buy option. Buy it in rolls of five, if you can, to reduce costs per kilo.

$ 19 at Amazon


Push the envelope

Esun Silk PLA

The latest release of eSun, the Silk PLA, is one of the nicest threads I have ever used. It presses like butter.

$ 26 at Amazon


A favorite with fans

Hatchbox PLA

In my many Facebook groups on 3D printing, Hatchbox is often mentioned as a favorite for people everywhere. It's a hit for me, but so many people swear by it, so it had to make the list.

$ 20 at Amazon


The real thing

Polymaker Polylite

When Lulzbot sent me his Mini 2 for viewing, they sent a Polymaker Polylite roll to work with because it claims it is one of the best filaments to use with the printer. I tested it and the statement is correct: it is pretty good.

$ 25 at MatterHackers


The newcomer

Prusament

Prusa, the makers of one of the best available 3D printers, have made something special here. Prusament has amazing accuracy that ensures super smooth printing.

$ 25 at Prusa Research

Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS)

ABS is used in many products around the world and is praised for its high temperature and environmental resistance. It is also extremely heavy once it has been printed and can be sanded wet to a super fine finish if you want to take your time. The biggest disadvantage of ABS is the harmful fumes. If you consider printing with ABS, make sure that you are in a well-ventilated place and use a housing if possible.

Thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU)

TPU is the softest of the four filament types and can be used to make rubber models such as phone cases or tires. It also works very well to make flexible hinges or protective covers when double printed with a different filament type. TPU is usually more expensive than other materials, so not everything is covered by the budget, but these are still your bargains.

Polyethylene terephthalate glycol (PeTG)

PeTG is the happy mix between PLA and ABS. It has the strength and temperature resistance of ABS while it is safe to print inside. It can be a bit difficult to be right, but once you do, you will never look back. You may need to use a Micro Swiss Hotend because PeTG requires a very high temperature for printing.

There are many choices

If you had chosen one of these products over the different types of material, you would have an excellent opportunity to make excellent prints. Some work better than others on different printers, so it's always a good idea to try different filaments until you find the right one for you.

I have given the ones I use regularly as titles My choice because they give me the best results, but remember that everyone's printers are unique, so your mileage can vary.

For my money, the Build series from Matterhackers is an excellent choice for all different filament types. From ABS to PeTG, the build series just works.

You should also look at eSun Silk PLA if you do not intend to paint your models. The glossy finish is just beautiful on unpainted prints. The Moon City by kijai design above is a perfect example of how good the Silk PLA looks.

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Written by

Emily Parker

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