So you are on the search to buy a 3d printer for your home use – you know what your requirement is, what you want out of it, how much you would like to spend and whether your 3d printer will meet your beginner hunger or help you in your refined journey to creativity and prototyping.
What you do not know is what type of 3d printer filament is best for you to use at home. Which one is safe to use in a homely environment, which one is not too irritating to work with and which one is affordable and cost effective at the same time.
When shopping for the right 3d printer filament for home, you will have to consider a lot of factors, features specific to different types of filaments along with their advantages and disadvantages. Of all the 3d printer filaments available in the market, there are some that are most commonly used and can easily be used at home for home-based 3d printers.
Common types of 3d printer filaments
Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene or ABS 3d printer filament provides incredible strength and is also long lasting at the same time. It offers high flexibility and is highly resistant to heat. ABS is one of the most common and most affordable 3d printer filaments available in the market today and definitely one of the most popular ones too for home use. If you have a well-ventilated room in the house where you would place your new 3d printer and use it there, a 3d printer with ABS 3d printing filament is your best bet.
Polylactic acid or PLA 3d printer filament is another common type of 3d printer filament that you can comfortably use in your home and create beautiful models using it. A PLA-type filament is bio degradable and is non-toxic so can be easily used in the comfort of your lounge rooms and is perfectly safe in a homely environment. This type of 3d printer filament is a little expensive than its other common counterpart ABS, but if you are after a material that is safer and more comfortable to work with in a home environment, you can blindly pay a little extra and stick with the PLA 3d printer filament.
Polyvinyl alcohol or PVA is a special type of 3d printer filament that is water soluble. This type of 3d printer filament is commonly used for packaging, in adhesives, and various types of sport equipment. This filament is also highly environmental safe and non-toxic and so can be easily and safely used for home 3d printing. PVA 3d printer filament is also safe to use for food at the same time.
While you are researching the best type of 3d printer filament to use for your home 3d printing, the other parameter you will need to consider is the filament grade. One type of 3d printer filament can come in a variety of grades. If you are new to the world of 3d printing, as a beginner you can easily stick with filaments with named grades.
The other thing to consider is the printing conditions of the used 3d printer filament. If your printer is placed in that corner of your home which is poorly ventilated, lies in the basement or a cold shop, you are best to work with a PLA 3d printer filament. Under poor ventilation, using ABS or any other type of 3d printer filament other than PLA can cause cracks in your prototypes and 3d prints.
Another thing to consider is how much you like to play with colours. If you can live with natural colours, they will come in cheaper and will be extremely cost effective for a first-time 3d printer at home.
Honestly speaking, there are so many filament types in the market today and with all the research going on in this space, what is today a disadvantage with expensive 3d printer filaments such as metal, sandstone, etc can easily become accessible at your doorstep and make working with any kind of 3d printer filament at home a reality.
Until then, study carefully what your options for 3d printing at home are and choose the filament that best meets your needs and lets you convert your creative ideas into reality.