1st Annual Filament Olympics

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The Olympic and Paralympic Games are an amazing show of athletic talent from around the world. As the world watches the best compete for the gold medal, I wanted to see how all the filaments that I have tested compare to each other.

Just like gymnastics, there is a complex grading system that I can use to rate the desired properties of a 3D printing filament. For the first annual  Filament Olympics,  I will review all the filaments against each other in the following categories.

PLA / PHA, Other Polymers, and Exotic filaments.

Filament Olympics PLA / PHA

This is by far the largest field in the Filament Olympics. PLA and PLA / PHA  are popular blends of plastic for beginning to experienced 3D printers. Any company entering the filament field must be able to produce a quality polymer that does not warp.

The competing countries: Canada, China, Netherlands, Portugal, USA.

USA Flag - Filament Olympics
USA Flag

canada - Filament Olympics

china - Filament Olympics

Netherlands Flag - Filament Olympics
Netherlands Flag

portugal - Filament Olympics

Filament Olympics RESULTS

USA Company MeltInk  is a new contestant in the Olympics. I originally wanted to print replica Olympic medals with their gold and silver PLA and PLA / PHA samples, but instead I used them to revise the spool of thrones holder  that I designed. The gold filament has a rich honey glow that would be great for toys and artistic prints. The silver PLA / PHA likewise was a solid print material with a matte shine that would be good for cosplay props.

MeltInk Gold and Silver PLA / PHA printing a spool of thrones holder - Filament Olympics
MeltInk Gold and Silver PLA / PHA printing a spool of thrones holder

Flexibility: 12 pts      Color: 3 pts    Starting Quality: 2 pts          Warping: Slight warping 2 pts       End of Print: 3 pts     Environmental: 2 pts           Special consideration: 1 pt             Processing: 1

Final Score: 25 / 28

Canada: Filaments3DQubec 2.85 mm 25 /28

China: Beaver Silk – like 2.85 mm 27.5 / 28

China: 3DDPlus Multigradient 1.75 mm  26 / 28

China: Wenotion 2.85 mm  27 / 28

China: Prototype Supply 1.75 mm  27 / 28

China: Prototype Supply  22 / 28

Netherlands: ColorFabb 2.85 and 1.75 mm  28 / 28

Portugal: Bee Supply 1.75 mm  16 / 28

USA: MakerBot 1.75mm 22.3 / 28

Filament Olympics WINNERS PLA / PHA

Netherlands Flag - Filament Olympics
Netherlands Flag

Gold: Netherlands: ColorFabb 2.85 and 1.75 mm 28 / 28

Silver: China: Beaver Silk – like 2.85 mm 27.5 / 28

Bronze: Two way tie,

China: Wenotion 2.85 mm 27 / 28

China: Prototype Supply 1.75 mm 27 / 28

Filament Olympics Other Plastics

3D printing is exploding with new plastics coming on the market daily. These new brand of polymers have better mechanical and printing qualities than PLA / PHA, and produce a wide range of properties that may be desired for industrial 3D prints.

The competing countries: Netherlands

Filament Olympics RESULTS

Netherland: Colorfabb nGen: 24 / 28

Netherland: ColorFabb HT 24 / 28

Netherland: ColorFabb Xt

26.5 / 28

Filament Olympics WINNERS Other Plastics

Netherlands Flag - Filament Olympics
Netherlands Flag

Gold: Netherlands: ColorFabb XT

Silver: Two way tie, Netherlands: Colorfabb HT and nGen

Filament Olympics Exotics

Exotic blends of filament are another exciting class of filaments coming to the market. They combine the printing abilities of PLA with the mechanical properties of a composite material to produce amazing industrial and artistic prints.

The competing countries: USA, Netherlands

Filament Olympics RESULTS

Netherlands: ColorFabb Glow Fill PLA / PHA 26 / 28

USA: NinjaFlex 2.85 mm TPU 27 /28

USA: SemiFlex 2.85 TPU 27 / 28

USA: INprinting Hemp Based HIPS Filament 23 / 28

USA: Proto Pasta Stainless Steel 18.8/28

USA: Proto Pasta Magnetic Iron 18.8 / 28

USA: Proto Pasta Aromatic Coffee 24.2 / 28

USA Proto Pasta Conductive 23.2 /28

USA: 3Dom USA Buzzed 21.6 / 28

USA: 3Dom USA Glass Filled 21.75 / 28

USA: 3Dom USA Wound Up 23.3 / 28

Filament Olympics Winners EXOTIC

USA Flag - Filament Olympics
USA Flag

Gold: USA: NinjaFlex and SemiFlex  27 /28

Silver: Netherlands: ColorFabb Glow Fill PLA / PHA 26 / 28

Bronze: USA Wound Up (coffee)  23.3 / 28

This is a compilation of the filament reviews for this year. Please check the links for full details of each filaments performance. If you would like to participate in the next annual filament Olympics, please contact 3D-PT in the comments or [email protected] to review your filaments.

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  1. Ben says

    I don’t understand why you didn’t do ABS.

    1. 3D-PT says

      I Don’t normally work with ABS due to environmental concerns and frustration with warping. I also feel other materials showcase the properties of a filament maker better.

  2. Chemy says

    I hope to see pictures of all test, sometimes the looks worths more than the quality of some material due the destination of the print.

    1. 3D-PT says

      Review the links for pics of each filament in testing.

  3. Israel says

    How did you select which filament manufacturers to test? I find Filkemp to be the best quality and best pricing available.

    1. Stan Baldwin says

      I just get filament sent to me to test. I’m always looking for new brands to test for 3Dprinterchat.com

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