Over the years, 3D Matter has built a large database of scientific data on 3D printing filaments. We have published a few articles on specific types of filaments, such as an early post on PLA, a study on “premium” filaments, and an assessment of flexible materials. We have now characterized over 70 materials in our database, OptiMatter, and thought it would be useful to conduct a review of the best filaments we have tested over time. We have not tested all the filaments in the market, so if you see a great material we are missing, please let us know!
This article showcases the best filaments we have tested in 9 categories: flexible, semi-rigid, easy to print, mechanical performance, visual quality, high temperature, affordable, resistance to environmental conditions, and best all-around. We provide one “winner” in each category, but in many cases the “runner-ups” are also very good and the differences are narrow.
We provide data-driven evidence for our choices, but for the purposes of this article we detail only the highlights. To get a full picture of a given material, we invite readers to sign up to the Full Version of OptiMatter to get access to all the data we have on each material.