Choose 3D materiAL

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An inkjet printer uses ink cartridges to print. 3D printers use spools of filaments. There are several types of filaments, with different characteristics and properties (flexibility, resistance, ecological, etc.).

In order to help you choose the right material, we have prepared a guide with their technical characteristics.


PLA (polylactic acid) is the most used filament in 3D printing. Unlike ABS, it is biodegradable (made from corn starch), so it can be used to print objects that will be in contact with food products (plates, bowls).

It is increasingly used in the food industry to pack products such as fruits, vegetables, eggs, but also to replace tote bags and plastic bags distributed so far in the shops. On the other hand, it is quite sensitive to heat and water.

PLA is one of the easiest materials to print, its main feature being its low shrinkage, which does not necessarily require having a hot plate on the printer.

If it responds well to post-print processing like painting, it’s pretty hard to make it perfectly smooth. Indeed, the heat of friction of the sanding paper tends to melt the material.

There is a wide variety of colors that will allow you to give free rein to your imagination.

  • Visual quality – 95%
  • Impact resistance – 40%
  • Heat resistance – 40%
  • Moisture resistance – 40%
  • Inter-layer adhesion – 95%
Advantages of PLADisadvantages of PLA
  • Biodegradable (corn, rice, beet starch)
  • Economic
  • Wide choice of color
  • Compatible with food contact
  • Limited impact resistance
  • Limited heat resistance
Example of use
  • Prototyping
  • Models
  • Decoration
  • Model making
  • Piece of art and design
  • Architecture
  • Spare parts
  • Electronic device enclosures


PLA PRO (or PLA +) (Polyactic Acid), is an ecological filament that can eventually replace ABS. It has properties similar to ABS while being environmentally friendly. If you’re looking for a reinforced material that offers the same benefits as ABS while being mindful of environmental impact, PLA PRO is a top choice for your 3D printing projects.

  • Visual quality – 90%
  • Impact resistance – 60%
  • Heat resistance – 80%
  • Moisture resistance – 80%
  • Inter-layer adhesion – 90%
Advantages of PLA PRO (+)Disadvantages of PLA PRO (+)
  • Properties similar to ABS
  • Good resistance
  • Good durability
  • Low deformation
  • Good impact resistance
  • More expensive than standard PLA
  • Not as strong as ABS or PETG
  • Less biodegradable than standard PLA
Example of use
  • Functional prototypes
  • Mechanical parts
  • Engineering parts
  • Commonly used parts
  • Repair parts
  • Electronic boxes


ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) is the most used material in the industry. Indeed, a large number of parts for automobile, electronics and appliances are made from this material. This is also the case for Lego bricks.

It belongs to the family of thermal plastics (or thermoplastics) and therefore has a base of elastomers that makes it more flexible and resistant to shocks. In addition, it supports temperatures between -20 ° C and 80 ° C.

In addition to its excellent strength, ABS is reusable, perhaps polished or welded by chemical processes (using acetone). All these technical features make it the preferred material for engineers.

As for the PLA, it exists in a multitude of colors. On the other hand, it is not biodegradable.

  • Visual quality – 75%
  • Impact resistance – 80%
  • Heat resistance – 90%
  • Moisture resistance – 80%
  • Inter-layer adhesion – 70%
Advantages of ABSDisadvantages of ABS
  • Good abrasion resistance
  • Good resistance to mechanical forces
  • Good impact and heat resistance
  • Sensitive to UVs
  • Plastic from petroleum (non-biodegradable)
Example of use
  • Mechanical parts
  • Functional prototypes
  • Industrial parts
  • Everyday parts
  • Model making
  • Parts requiring high mechanical strength


PET (polyethylene terephthalate) is even stronger than ABS. It is mainly used for the manufacture of parts requiring both flexibility and robustness.

It is the ideal material for parts intended to be in contact with food products. It is found for example in plastic bottles or in plastic glasses found in events such as festivals or concerts. In addition, PET is 100% recyclable.

There is a variant that is PETG (polyethylene terephthalate glycolized). The only difference is that the PET is brittle while the PETG is more flexible and therefore breaks less easily.

  • Visual quality – 80%
  • Impact resistance – 60%
  • Heat resistance – 60%
  • Moisture resistance – 100%
  • Inter-layer adhesion – 80%
Advantages of PETGDisadvantages of PETG
  • Good impact and abrasion resistance
  • Resistance to scratches and wear
  • Resistance to chemicals
  • Recyclable
  • More difficult to clean than PLA
Example of use
  • Functional prototypes
  • Functional parts
  • Pet accessories
  • Packaging (food containers, containers for cosmetics)
  • Games and toys

PC (polycarbonate)

Polycarbonate (PC) is a technical material that stands out for its high toughness, tensile strength and ability to withstand heat.

In addition to its use in 3D printing, it is used in the manufacture of CDs, goggles, screens and car headlight covers, among other applications.

In addition, Polycarbonates (PC) offer good suitability for 3D printing and are suitable for the creation of technical parts with high mechanical and thermal resistance.

  • Visual quality – 70%
  • Impact resistance – 80%
  • Heat resistance – 100%
  • Moisture resistance – 100%
  • Inter-layer adhesion – 70%
Advantages of PCDisadvantages of PC
  • High resistance down to -20°C
  • High mechanical resistance up to 140°C
  • Has good impact, abrasion and tensile strength
  • Withstands repeated steam sterilizations
  • Good electrical insulation properties
  • Warping, especially with large models
  • Higher price
Example of use
  • Functional prototypes
  • Mechanical parts
  • Molds
  • Repair parts
  • Hinges
  • Pulley bearings


Today, many filaments are available. Among the multitude of choices, one type of filament has a great success: the flexible filaments.

They are quite similar to PLA, but are made from TPU or TPE (thermoplastic elastomers). The use of these materials is very present in the world of fashion, but also in the industry that can enjoy a flexible material, strong and very pleasant to the touch.

As for PLA and ABS, flexible filaments are available in many colors to give vent to your imagination.

  • Visual quality – 60%
  • Impact resistance – 100%
  • Heat resistance – 30%
  • Moisture resistance – 100%
  • Inter-layer adhesion – 60%
Advantages of PLADisadvantages of PLA
  • Very high flexibility
  • Very resistant to shocks and wear
  • Can be printed in different hardnesses
  • More difficult to print
  • More difficult post-processing
Example of use
  • Cable protection
  • Phone cases
  • Seals
  • Engineering parts
  • Handles and grips
  • Belts


There are materials that are composed of PLA associated with a powder that gives them a different finish, texture and color. Generally, the ratio is 70% PLA and 30% of the hybrid material.

Today, we can print filaments based on cork, wood, bamboo, metal (bronze, copper, silver) and even organic materials such as rock, brick and cement.

The results obtained are simply breathtaking.