3D printer Filament


3D FILAMENT
Filament logos

Filament for a 3D printer is like ink to an inkjet printer and we stock a wide range of 3D printer filaments in various sizes, materials, and colours.


We have the two most common types of thermoplastic filament available for 3D printing, ABS and PLA, as well as a large selection of specialty filaments from the most respected manufacturers in the world.

 

Our two primary brands are our own custom-manufactured Select range, and the Flashforge Premium range:



Think3D Select range 3D filament

Our select range is custom manufactured to our own precise specifications and tolerances to ensure quality and consistent output every time.

We constantly use the Select range ourselves and we guarantee the quality with a 100% Money Back guarantee!

Our Select range is available in 1.75mm diameter PLA, ABS, HIPS, Nylon, TPE Flexible rubber, and Glow-in-the-Dark.

 

Our Select range filaments are well known for their reliability, strict tolerances, diameter uniformity, and vibrant colour stability.

Our range covers a spectrum of beautifully vibrant colours using extremely stable dyes.

Got a particular favourite colour? We can even manufacture a Custom colour for you to perfectly match your requirements (contact us for more info)


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Think3D Select 3D filament range



Genuine FlashForge Premium filaments filaments


Our other mainstream filament channel is Genuine FlashForge Premium filaments.

Why? because Flashforge filaments are specifically deisgned and manufactured by Flashforge for Flashforge printers. This means they are fully optimised to attain the best possible quality prints with the least possible problems.

FlashForge Filament Sizes
FlashForge Roadmap
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Filament quality & why it matters


It is easy to under-estimate the importance of filament quality. This is another classic example of "You get what you pay for". Even the highest quality printer will still produce poor prints if you feed it cheap, poor quality filament.

Whilst it may be common practice to use a "slightly" cheaper filament for rough tests & initial prototypes it is important to be aware of the pitfalls and just how "cheap" you can go.

Cheap filament may be subject to some or all of the following problems:

Think3D Select 3D filament range


These are just a few of the problems that can be associated with cheap filaments and the result will always be the same – poor quality prints and a higher level of jams and/or total print failures.


Filament types explained


A traditional inkjet printer needs ink cartridges in order to be able to print – the situation is similar for 3D printers, except that 3D desktop-type printers need plastic filament. These consumables are available in a variety of types of material (ABS, PLA, PVA, etc), along with various colors, diameters and lengths (or weights).


Whilst we have included a comprehensive table below of the majority of the different filament types, we will primarily focus on the two primary types of filament that are available for everyday use - PLA and ABS.



PLA (Polylactic Acid) is one of the two most commonly used desktop 3D printing materials (with the other being ABS). It is the 'default' recommended material for many desktop 3D printers, and with good reason - PLA is useful in a broad range of printing applications, has the virtue of being both odourless and low-warp, does not require a heated bed. PLA plastic is also one of the more eco-friendly 3D printer materials available (corn-starch).


ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) is another commonly used 3D printer material. Best used for making durable parts that need to withstand higher temperatures. In comparison to PLA, ABS plastic is less 'brittle'. It can also be post-processed with acetone to provide a glossy finish. When 3D printing with ABS filament a heated printing surface is recommended, as ABS plastic will contract when cooled leading to warped parts.

3D filament sample


Support filaments

There is another category that we will also briefly look at – Support filaments. We'll cover these because they can be extremely useful for printers that have dual extruders (Creator Pro, Dreamer etc.). Removal of support structures from a printed model can be tiresome and somewhat detract from the finished quality of the model, sometimes requiring trimming and/or sanding to remove leftover traces.

The benefit of using certain support filaments is that they are soluble in water or other liquids meaning you can soak the just-printed model in a solution and the support filament will dissolve away sometimes without leaving any trace at all.


We shall look at the two most common soluble filaments used for support structures:


 

PVA (Polyvinyl Acetate) filament prints translucent with a slightly yellow tint and is primarily used as a support material because it is water-soluble, meaning that it will dissolve when exposed to water (and so MUST be kept dry prior to use). PVA is most often used with 3D printers capable of dual extrusion: one extruder printing a primary material (usually PLA) and the other PVA.


HIPS (High Impact Polystyrene) is very similar to ABS. The main difference is that HIPS plastic uses Limonene as a solvent, therefore making it relatively to dissolve in Limonene leaving just the clean ABS model. No trimming/sanding necessary.



Diameter & weights


Filament is generally sold in two sizes: 1.75mm and 3.0mm diameters. Make sure you order the correct diameter for your printer model as these are not interchangeable. Most manufacturers will produce the same filament in both of these diameters but these are essentially identical in other ways.

The next variance is the size of the rool or spool that the filament is stored on. Coomon sizes are 1kg and 600g per sppol. This usually means nett filament weight not including the plastic spool. So how long is a roll of filament? This obviously varies with the filament diameter but a good rule of thumb is around 400m of 1.75mm per 1kg roll.

 

So which size roll do I need? Well actually, either will work but It does sometimes come down to the spoolholder on your specific printer model i.e. some printers store their spools in a specific size compartment or cartridge so check your printer manual. The reality is you don't even need a spool but your print job will likely turn into a tangled mess without one.




Filament comparison

Filament specifications table




Genuine FlashForge Premium filaments filaments

We primarily use and recommend Genuine FlashForge Premium filaments.

Why? because Flashforge filaments are specifically deisgned and manufactured by Flashforge for Flashforge printers. This means they are fully optimised to attain the best possible quality prints with the least possible problems.

FlashForge Filament Sizes
FlashForge Roadmap

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