Filament Reviews and Recommendations Ender 3 Pro

There are hundreds (thousands?) of brands of filament as well as many different types. 

I am going to focus on PLA, because if this is your first printer, I would recommend start with that before trying to print more unusual materials (more on why below)

Does Price of Filament Matter?

As a general rule, you're going to get what you pay for. That said you shouldn't start off with the most expensive filament, because there are a few items that drive the price of filament:

  • Ease of printing/print consistency. PLA can be printed at temperatures from 180-230 or so. What is the right temperature for each brand of PLA? Some only print well at a very narrow band of temperatures and are not forgiving. Higher quality filaments on the other hand will print well at a variety of temperatures, and have good bed adhesion with a variety of temperatures as well.
  • Quality control/consistency.  Cheaper filaments may be ok 8 out of 10 times  - but you may end up with bad batches, rolls where the colors are inconsistent from one batch to the next, and even differences in print quality.  In some 3D printing groups, I've seen people post pictures of rolls they have ordered that seem to have small metal chunks in them that have ruined extruders and hot ends.  So for me, I feel it's not worth the risk buying ultra-cheap filament.
  • Quality of finish/specialty materials.  Some materials produce a higher quality finish, but may be more difficult to print with. Some brands for example have filaments called PLA+, PLA Pro, etc - these may end up with more vivid colors, but may also be more difficult to print with.  Glow in the dark, "silk", metallic, carbon fiber, marble, etc filaments similarly result in a stunning final product - but may require fine tuning of models, print speeds, temperature, etc.  For these reasons, the spools may be more expensive (and worth it) - but not suitable for your first couple spools while you are dialing your printer in.

The most consistent filaments I have personally used are HatchboxOverture and FilamentOne

For your first spool or two, start off with plain, simple PLA, 1.75mm spools. 

  • I recommend you start by printing PLA. Do not print materials like PETG, TPU, ABS, etc until you have PLA printing well.  Everything else will be a little bit harder to start with due to bed adhesion stringing, temperatures - things that you should learn how to get right with PLA first
  • I recommend not buying any unusual PLA materials also: silk, metallic, carbon fiber, glow in the dark, rainbow color change, etc at least for your first 1-3 spools (your first 1-3 kg of prints). All these materials are more difficult to print, will be harder to stick to the bed, may cause stringing, and can be harsh on your nozzle/damage your nozzle. 
  • Once you get used to printing with these, a couple other popular lower priced brands (which I do not use, and have seen mixed reviews for on Facebook and Reddit) are eSun and Sunlu.  
  • Personally, I stick to the first three brands I mentioned above

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