Filament Recommendations

Someone asked me recently for filament recommendations for printing. Here is basically what I mentioned in my email. This person was new to 3D printing and wanted starter information. See this as a beginners guide to choosing a filament.

There may be other things that you would recommend to consider. Feel free to post a reply and give your thoughts.

Sizes and Type

For the Ender 3 V2, you need 1.75 mm diameter filament size. There is another filament size typically called 3 mm filament. It is actually 2.85 mm. There are very few consumer level printers that still use this larger size. But, it does exist and therefore you need to pay attention to the size you are buying.

For a person new to 3D printing, I would say your first couple of filament purchases should be PLA. This is a relatively easy filament to print. Relative to PETG and ABS. While PETG isn’t super difficult, it is harder than PLA. I would avoid ABS unless you know you need it. As someone new to printing, you will end up with way more failures on ABS than you want to deal with right now.

As you spend more time getting used to the PLA you can learn about some of the PLA varieties and may find that you never have a need for ABS.

Filament Brands

I really like Hatchbox. To me that is a good quality brand. You buy it through Amazon or eBay. Amazon sales it for $20-30 depending on the color. eBay seems like it is all $27.99. Mostly, Amazon has the better prices and is where they officially sell their filament.

High end brands are Proto-pasta, MatterHackers, Prusament (as well as many others). MatterHackers has their Pro PLA at about $40 a roll, but their build series at $20 a roll.

The high end stuff should be theoretically better; however, as long as you stay in the $17+ range, it is all pretty good these days. The problem used to be that low quality filament would be 1.5 mm in some spots and 1.9 in others. You would end up with poor layer adhesion and weak prints. That problem is almost a non-issue now.

These days, to sell filament, there is an expectation that it is very close to the advertised size. While the plastic is not all identical from one brand to another, if you find out what temperature that brand prints well at, then the final result is all about the same.


If you buy filament between $18 and $25 you almost can’t go wrong and you aren’t paying too much for it.