Although 3D printing is fun, some parts may not be strong enough to serve their purpose. This is often due to standard materials that have not been designed for strength or endurance.
Using the strongest 3D printer filament is the solution!
Because you can print small parts without worrying about their breakage. Strong filaments increase the 3D Printing possibilities.
We’ll be looking at 5 types of strongest filaments in this article. We’ll explain what strength actually means for filament materials before we get to that.
Let’s get to the bottom of these powerful filaments.
What does Strength mean?
There are many factors that can be used to measure the 3D printer filament strength. However, we will mostly use Tensile strength in this article. This measurement is done with reference to elongation at break. The first measurement is the material’s resistance to being pulled apart and can be used to determine its overall strength. Elongation at break, on the other hand, measures how far the material can stretch before it breaks and can be used to measure impact resistance.
It is important to remember that strength of printed parts does not depend only on the material. The design type, post-processing methods, and print settings can all affect a part’s strength. Make sure you print, process, and package your parts correctly.
3D-printed objects were once considered fragile and weak by many people. But, we have made significant strides in improving their durability.
It is possible to make strong 3D printer filaments that can withstand extreme conditions. I was intrigued to find out what the strongest 3D filament is to buy.
Polycarbonate filament is the strongest 3D printer filament. Polycarbonate filament has a unique mechanical structure that has been tested for strength and resilience. Polycarbonate is used extensively in engineering. It has 9,800 PSI, compared to PLA’s 7,250.
I’ll be sharing some interesting information about the strength of the 3D printer filament. We’ll also take you through a list of the top five strongest 3D printing filaments.
What is the Strongest 3D Printer filament?
Polycarbonate (PC) Filament is considered to be the strongest filament of all available currently on the market. It’s used to make bulletproof glass, Mobile Phone & Desktop Computer cases, riot gear, Masks (Scuba), and more. The PC is more durable and rigid, outweighing the other printing materials.
Polycarbonate filament has a glass transition temperature rate that is significantly higher than other plastic filaments. This means it has high-temperature resistance.
ABS filament is a tough competitor to Polycarbonate. But you’ll be surprised to learn that Polycarbonate filament withstanding temperature is higher than 40 degrees Celsius than ABS. This makes it a very strong filament.
Thin PC prints can be bent at room temperature without any crack or bent. It is not affected by wear and tear as in other materials. This is a great advantage in many 3D printing applications.
The impact strength of PC is far superior to that of acrylic materials and even higher than glass. PC is a strong contender when it comes to 3D printing materials due to its transparency and lightweight.
The weight lifting capacity of Polycarbonate filament is 685 pounds and has a strength of 9,800 PSI.
Polycarbonate filament can be extruded at temperatures up to 260°C depending on the type of 3D printer and the reliability of its components. To print properly, a heated bed of 110°C is required.
These statistics prove that Polycarbonate filaments are more efficient and better than any other filament. When it comes to strength, Polycarbonate filaments are the king of all.
Top 5 Most Strong 3D Printing Filaments
- Polycarbonate Filament
- Nylon Filaments
- Carbon Fiber Filaments
- PEEK Filaments
- ABS Filament
1. Polycarbonate Filament
Polycarbonate filament is the strongest plastic for 3D printing as we have already mentioned it at the top of our list. There are many reasons and reliable features that make polycarbonate filaments superior to other filaments. However, the following are the most important features:
- PLA can deform at temperatures below 60 degrees Celsius, but polycarbonate filament can withstand heat up to 135 degrees Celsius.
- It is strong and resistant to impact and shatter.
- It is not conductive electronically.
- It is highly flexible and transparent
The PRLINE Carbon Fiber Polycarbonate Filament is a great choice. It’s not as expensive as I thought, but it’s still a great product! You can also check out the great reviews.
One user tested the PROLINE Carbon Fiber Polycarbonate Filament to see how much carbon fiber there was. They found it to be around 5-10%.
This is one of the strongest filament for Ender 3 that can be printed on an Ender 3 easily, but it is highly recommended that you use an all-metal hotend.
2. Carbon Fiber Filament
Carbon fiber is a thin filament made of carbon atoms. Carbon Fiber has atoms that are placed in crystalline structures to increase its strength. It is a strong and durable material that can be used in industries such as automotive.
Markforged claims that the strength to weight ratio of their carbon fiber is the highest. They have shown that in their flexural strength test at three points, it was 8x stronger than ABS, and 20% more than aluminum’s yield strength.
They claim that their Carbon Fiber exhibits 540MPA flexural strength. This is 6 times stronger and 16 times stiffer than their nylon-based filament such as onyx.
You could buy a 2KG of carbon fiber PETG at $170 from Amazon. This is a very high-quality 3D printer material but also a great deal for high-quality filament.
It is lightweight and resistant to corrosion and chemical degradation. Carbon fiber exhibits superior dimensional stability due to its strength. This helps to reduce the likelihood of it colliding with or shrinking.
Carbon fiber is a strong contender in the aerospace and automotive industries due to its stiffness.
3. PEEK Filament
PEEK filament is a trusted and reliable material in the large 3D printing space. PEEK stands for Polyether Ether Ketone, its composition is a semi-crystalline thermoplastic used for 3D printing.
It is known for its high-end chemical resistance and strength. It is manufactured using a process called phased polymerization at very high temperatures.
This process turns the filament extremely resistant to a bio, chemical, and organic degradation in any environment with an operating temperature of 250°C.
Medical fields and industries quickly adopt PEEK filaments to 3D printers because they are less prone to moisture absorption and simplify sterilization.
It can get quite expensive so be aware!
4. ABS Filament
ABS is the strongest filament for 3D printer because it’s a thermoplastic material that can withstand impact with grace.
This filament is used for many printing purposes such as engineering and technical printings. This filament is the most economical of all major types of fiber filaments.
This filament is ideal for users with tight budgets who still want a strong, high-quality filament for 3D printing.
ABS is the best choice for printing items that require high functionality. This filament is both heat and water-resistant and provides a beautiful and appealing finish.
It is also possible to work with the material easily, such as sanding or acetone smoothing or painting.
5. Nylon Filament
Nylon is a strong and durable material that is used in many 3D printers. Nylon has a remarkable tensile strength of nearly 7,000 PSI, which is much higher than other 3D filaments.
This filament is resistant to heat and chemicals, making it a great choice for use in major industries and organizations.
It is strong, but it comes after ABS. However, the nylon industry continues to make improvements by using mixtures of fiberglass and carbon fiber.
These additives can increase the strength and resistance of nylon filaments.
NylonX by MatterHackers is an excellent example of this composite material that can be 3D printed with incredible strength. This material is beautifully illustrated in the video below.
6. TPU Filament
TPU is a flexible filament but it offers some good strength in impact resistance, and chemical and abrasion resistance, wear and tear resistance. It also has shock absorption and long-term durability.
It demonstrated remarkable material strength and flexibility, as shown in the video entitled “The Ultimate Filament Strength Contest” above. The Ninjaflex Semi-Flex was able to withstand 250N of pulling force before it snapped. This is in contrast with Gizmodork PETG which withstood a force that was 173N.
Which Filament Is Stronger ABS or PLA?
When compared, PLA has a tensile strength that is 7250 PSI higher than ABS which is 4,700 PSI. However, strength can come in many forms.
ABS says, has more flexible strength than PLA which is brittle and has less ‘give’. ABS is better than PLA if you want your 3D printer parts to bend or twist.
ABS is the material used to make the famous Legos. They are virtually indestructible.
PLA loses its structural strength in hot environments so ABS will be more durable. Both are strong, but each has a different strength.
PETG is a good choice if you are looking for a filament that meets somewhere in between the two. It is easier to print than PLA but it possesses less strength compared to ABS.
PETG is more flexible than PLA, so it should retain its shape for longer.
PETG can withstand higher temperatures than PLA. However, you need to ensure your 3D printer is capable of printing PETG at the right temperatures.
What 3D Printer Resin is the strongest?
Accura CeraMax is the 3D printer resin provider that has the strongest strength. It is fully resistant to temperature extremes and has the highest heat and water resistance.
It is efficient enough to print perfect composites such as prototypes, ceramic-like parts, jigs and tools, assemblies, and fixtures.
What 3D printing material is the most stable?
PLA filament, also known as Polylactic Acid, is one of the most commonly used filaments for 3D printers.
Because it prints clearly at low temperatures without the need for a heated bed, it is a popular standard filament material.
This filament is stiffer and beginner friendly using which parts can be printed at a low cost that is useful in many applications.
PLA is the most eco-friendly material. PLA has a wonderful property of emitting a pleasant odor when it prints.
What 3D Printing Filament is the Most Weak?
As mentioned, simple nylon and some PLA filaments are the weakest 3D printing materials in the 3D printing space. This is true only for the older versions of nylon filaments.
The new updates, such as nylon carbon fiber filaments or nylon with Onyx are now on the top of the hardest 3D Printer filaments list.
Let’s summarize everything that we have read till now. What filament is the strongest for 3D printing?
Polycarbonate is the strongest 3D printing material of all in the current 3D market. It is stronger than any other options, more durable, and has amazing overall resilience.
There are many filament options available that are strong enough to be used as a substitute for nylon filament, including carbon fiber, PEEK, and ABS. They are not as strong and durable as polycarbonate, but they are tough.
I am Bheema Shankar. I have worked on SLS, CJP, DLP, SLA and FDM technologies at Think3D. Currently working as Process and application engineer at VEER-O-METALS PRIVATE LIMITED. I am always fascinated by the process of creating things layer by layer. This fascination led me to pursue a career in 3D printing technology. I am passionate about how 3D works and enjoy exploring new ways to improve the 3D printing process.