Cheap vs Expensive 3D Filament – A Guide

Published On: 2022-04-02

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Does the quality of the filament you use for a 3D printer affect the final product?


You might not get how it all works, but the short answer is that cheap 3D filament will be different from expensive stuff. Knowing how to tell the difference, and understanding how it works, is vital for successful 3D designs.

Let’s take a look at what you need to know about different kinds of filament, and how it changes the game.

Why Quality Matters

So, quality definitely matters when it comes to the quality of 3D prints.

A 3D printer works by feeding the filament through the machine, and the speed it does this will impact the quality of the print.

It’s all about the details that make the difference when it comes to the filament.

The Small Details

So, generally, plastic filament is created using massive industrial technology. Every manufacturer has their specific guidelines to create a filament – this does mean a lack of regulation, however.

High-quality manufacturers guarantee that the polymers they are using are optimal for 3D printing. They make sure their filament runs through the machine smoothly.

Budget designs aren’t as good. It’s more about keeping costs down than making a good filament.

It’s All About Tolerance

Tolerance is a pretty good factor when it comes to your filament. The high quality stuff has a good, close tolerance. The closer the tolerance, the more precise the print.

The big problem that a lot of manufacturers have is that they will cut corners when they’re trying to make a filament. Therefore, you don’t get a good tolerance.


Something that a lot of people don’t think is the packaging of the filament. 3D filament is actually incredibly likely to change in moisture. High-quality designers will allow their products to get maximum shelf life by packaging in sealed bags to prevent exposure to the outside world.

Obviously, this isn’t something that you’ll find a lot of the cheap and cheerful designers investing in. Some may not even know that degradation can take place in this fashion. Their primary concern will be keeping costs lower – the end result is often lacking in long-term usage.

Final Thoughts

It is clear that the level of quality in a 3D printing filament is notable. The optimal configuration would be a filament with close tolerance, packed in a sealed packaging.

Understandably, there is an element of “you get what you pay for”. The problem with this process is that it is often difficult to separate quality providers from others – you should research a manufacturer before buying from them.

To get the best 3D design, you need a quality filament. It is necessary to carefully choose a manufacturer which meets the necessary standards. Your designs will benefit from a high-quality 3D filament. To give them the best structure and strength, there are many options.

Low-quality manufacturers should be avoided. Their materials are exceptionally poor and the resulting design will be unsatisfactory.

Low-quality manufacturers should be avoided. Their materials are exceptionally poor and the resulting design will be unsatisfactory.

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