Filament Brand Ratings
Last updated: 2021 September 13
There are a lot of filament brands available on Amazon, and it can be very difficult to evaluate the quality of the filament from the sparse (and sometimes mixed) reviews. So here are my experiences from the filament brands that I’ve used.
I wanted to like this filament. It’s cheap, with a good variety and good reviews. But my results have been inconsistent. I’ve bought a roll of their natural PETG, plus a roll of natural PLA and red PLA. The natural PETG prints fine, if a bit stringy.
My real issue came with the red PLA. It’s a disaster to print with. Something must have gone wrong in manufacturing, because fresh out of the package, it was brittle and snapping constantly. (People say this happens if PLA gets wet or lives in a humid environment, but I’ve never had a filament behave like this before.) I had to fish tiny broken pieces out of the whole chain of my Prusa MK3S + MMU, nearly disassembling the extruder to get it out. Since I’m not one to waste filament, I’ve continued to use it for non-MMU projects, and it quickly started getting incredibly stringy. The brittleness issue pops up in a number of the Amazon reviews, but I didn’t have this issue with my clear/natural PLA. I’m guessing poor quality control is the culprit here. Given that there are many other brands for $1-2 more, and none of these have given me the same issues, I likely won’t be buying more 3D Solutech filament unless I hear of changes.
CC3D comes up a lot as a source for quality silk PLA filaments – those really metallic shiny ones. I’ve had four rolls of this: silver, purple, white, and silk bronze. When it works, the prints look pretty great.
But there’s a glaring, consistent problem: jamming. At first, these filaments print great with the “Generic PLA” setting on my Prusa MK3S. But these filaments are apparently very humidity sensitive, and it doesn’t take long before the filament completely jams partway through prints. I spent ages tearing my hair out trying to figure out why this was happening. Eventually, I found that I had to bump up the print temperature to 215°C for the whole print. This was a bit of a disappointment, because everything online says that printing with lower temperatures really brings out the shine in the filament.
But from the fact that I have four rolls of it, you can tell that this frustration hasn’t stopped me from getting it, once I figured out how to solve the problem. The silk filament is still a really cool effect, and while some of the other brands I often buy filament from also offer silk filaments, it’s often a lot more than what I paid for the CC3D filament.
This seems to be a popular brand online (by which I particularly mean Reddit), so when looking for a new reliable source of standard PETG, I decided to give it a try with a roll of black filament. It hasn’t gotten much use yet, but so far so good. I’d be hard pressed to tell the difference from prints with Hatchbox PETG, which is a complement. It seems to be consistently available, but the price does fluctuate from its seeming base price of $22.99 (the same as Polymaker PETG).
I’m not giving it a full five stars yet, because I don’t feel like I’ve had enough experience with it to put it all the way to the top.
This was the first filament I started using consistently when I got my printer. It always worked flawlessly in PLA or PETG, and it was one of the cheaper quality filaments out there. It’s still very easy filament to print with, but recent changes have made it less appealing.
First, the availability is inconsistent, even before the pandemic hit. It’s frustrating that I can’t rely on getting a new spool to continue printing things that go together. The price has also increased; it used to consistently be $19.99 for 1 kg of PLA, and $20.99-22.99 for PETG. Now I often see $24.99 for PLA, and $23.99 for PETG. It’s not a huge difference, but when there’s other comparable filament that is slightly cheaper and more consistently in stock.
I’ve also recently been disappointed by changes they’ve made to their colors. Their yellow filament used to be some of my favorite: a really saturated, satisfying deep yellow – Pantone yellow, it said on the spool. But now, they don’t ship out “Yellow,” but rather “True Yellow,” which is in fact a different and disappointing color. It’s less saturated, and my guess is they mostly cut down on the amount of pigment they use. I’ve noticed this for other colors as well, which are now “True Blue” and “True Green,” for example. I’m still looking for a replacement yellow.
I’ve used Overture’s PETG (in various colors) and their matte pink PLA.
The PETG was slightly stringier than some other brands (Hatchbox and Polymaker), and the colors weren’t as nice. The blue is much more navy than it appears in the listing. It took a little bit more to get it tuned in (it seems to very slightly overextrude), but once it’s working, it prints consistently. At $21.99, it’s in line with other quality PETG prices.
The matte PLA created a very nice surface effect (I printed adorable tiny piggies), and it still printed flawlessly. There are some reviews on Amazon with poor extrusion, so I do wonder if there are issues with quality control. I really like the surface finish on this, so I plan to try out some more colors.
They include a print surface with the filament, which is just useless. Don’t use it.
This is one of my newest finds, purchased while on the hunt for teal filament. I’ve bought a roll of their teal Polylite PETG, and another in white. So far, I have been very impressed. It prints easily and consistently with very little stringing. The surface finish isn’t as shiny as some PETG, which I think gives it a nicer look (though that’s mostly personal preference). It comes in many colors (which I’m looking for an excuse to try), with a reliable and very reasonable $22.99 price point.
I really don’t have anything to complain about here, though I’ll update if any issues arise.
I haven’t tried their PLA, but given that it’s pretty much the same price as the PETG, I don’t see much of a reason to. If I could only have one filament type, it would be PETG, since I get the structural benefits and about the same ease of printing. That said, sometimes there’s the PLA benefit of being able to use with other PLA-only filaments, such as odd colors or shiny silk filaments.
I have only bought one roll of Sunlu PLA (in white), but it was a disappointment out of the box. It almost looks like the unpigmented/natural PLA. Clearly, they cheaped out and didn’t use enough pigment to create a quality white filament. Although it prints fine, it’s so barely white that I doubt I’ll use it for any project that I want to actually be truly white. That means it’s mostly been relegated to being a prototyping filament, and I’m still on the search for a quality, consistently available white PLA. (Hatchbox used to be my go-to, but see above for why it no longer is.)