What To Consider When Choosing 3D Printer Filaments

What To Consider When Choosing 3D Printer Filaments

2023 Jan 31st

A 3D printer can change your life. You can print replacement parts to fix broken toys, bikes, or kitchen utensils like spatulas. Learning what to consider when choosing 3D printer filaments is essential. You’ll need to know if the filament is approved for food contact, what temperatures it can endure, whether it resists UV light and can be used outdoors, and whether it creates flexible or rigid parts.

What Are You Making and How Will You Use It?

What you’re making, and why, dictates your choice of filament. If you want to print reusable utensils to pack in a lunchbox, you need to ensure the filament is safe for food contact.

Items exposed to heat, like soup bowls and trivets for holding hot dishes on a sideboard, should be rated to endure the temperatures they’ll encounter with everyday use. Industrial uses for high-temp 3D printer filament include auto parts and gears for machinery. Other industrial applications need thermoplastic filaments that resist the corrosive effects of various chemicals they may encounter.

If you’ll be printing change purses, fidget toys, or bracelets, you may want a filament that produces flexible, stretchy, or squeezable, rubber-like items. Consider UV resistance if you are making a replacement part for a patio chair or outdoor game, like a bracket for your volleyball or badminton net.


Your home 3D printing machine can probably print almost anything you want to make. Its nozzle and bed temperatures range, as does the nozzle material. Whether or not it has an enclosure will affect the type of filament you can reasonably use.

Check the required temperature for every filament before use. For example, PLA filament is popular with beginners because it is easy to use and has a relatively low melting point. It also has no problems sticking to most print beds. Other filaments like Nylon can create very strong and tough parts but are tougher to print with. They may require higher nozzle temperatures, a heated bed, and/or a bed adhesive to prevent warping during printing and cooling.

Color and Texture

Another consideration when choosing 3D filaments is color and texture. Some filaments only come in white or transparent varieties, while others are available in a range of colors, including metallics. Special wood filaments are made with additives that create a realistic wood-like appearance. Filaments with carbon fiber add strength to your prints.

You may want a filament that is both colorful and food safe for toys, as small children tend to put things in their mouths. For household decor, Fortis3D’s Lignum series looks, feels, and even smells like wood!

Environmental Concerns

Plastics are major environmental concerns, and 3D printing relies primarily on thermoplastics. Some filaments are biodegradable and may be accepted by industrial composting operations. PLAs, for example, are made of plant-based materials, not petroleum-based materials.

If you’re not sure which type of filament is best for your projects, contact us at Fortis3D. We’ll provide more details about our products and their properties to help you as you consider choosing a 3D printing filament.