3D printers, not surprisingly, work with special types of “inks”: Filaments, powders, pellets, etc. To learn more about 3D printing materials, check our materials page. In this article, we try to figure out costs related to filaments.
First of all, it should be noted that not every printer is able to print parts with every material. Actually, most of the printers can print only with a single type: filament, powder or pellet. More, in a single material type, most printers can only print with one or two material family. Therefore, the buyer is encouraged to learn beforehand with what materials their printer can print. As a final comment, some trademarked printers would only print with the producer’s or the official supplier’s printing material and would not support other (most probably, cheaper) materials.
Filaments are generally made from thermoplastics –with some exceptions- and their diameter is either 3 mm or 1.75 mm wide. As a general comment, it can be said that 3 mm filaments are substantially cheaper than its counterpart and also more capable of hiding accuracy errors in the output. For filaments, the price ranges are as in the below table for common materials. 3Ders offers a more detailed list.
|Material||Diameter||Price range (per kg)||Color options|
|ABS||1.75 mm||$ 19.61- $ 175.20||All primary colors, most secondary colors|
|ABS||3.00 mm||$ 18.96- $ 105.62||All primary colors, most secondary colors|
|PLA||1.75 mm||$ 19.19- $ 165.17||All primary colors, most secondary colors|
|PLA||3.00 mm||$ 20.70- $ 116.20||All primary colors, most secondary colors|
|PC||1.75 mm||$ 85.19||White|
|PC||3.00 mm||$ 85.19||White|
|PVA||1.75 mm||$ 88.00- $ 118.18||Natural, white|
|PVA||3.00 mm||$ 88.00- $ 118.18||Natural, white|
|Nylon-618||1.75 mm||$ 43.89- $ 103.91||Natural|
|Nylon-618||3.00 mm||$ 43.89- $ 103.91||Natural|
|Nylon-645||1.75 mm||$ 65.00||Clear|
|Laywoo- D3||1.75 mm||$ 93.56- $ 108.00||Cherry light brown|
|Laywoo- D3||3.00 mm||$ 93.48- $ 100.00||Cherry light brown|