Cheapest 3D Printing Filaments that don’t suck.

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Cheapest 3D Printing Filaments that don’t suck.
4.3 (85.71%) 7 votes

Printing with exotic filaments is great but it can be very expensive.

It actually is the most expensive part of this hobby. I’m not just talking about the exotics, though. Matter hackers are one of the more trusted filament makers around and if you just buy the bread and butter of filaments PLA and ABS, it will run you 30 a spool. Think back on all the spools you have burned through this year. How many spools have you used? Five, Ten maybe fifteen? Let’s say you stick with them because you trust them and why not they make a good product and you used 15 spools in a year. This is what I use in an average year. Sometimes more sometimes less but that is only a little over a spool a month. That is still 450$ a year spent on Filament. I could buy another printer for that.

Those prints look good though right? Sure, but is it worth it? I don’t really think so. There are times when you want to print with the good stuff. I use the logic of “The good China”. If you only break out the good china when guests are over then do the same with the filament. Use fewer shells and infill, unless you need strength. Buy cheap for anything that isn’t absolutely necessary. If you use support and have a dual head extruder buy the cheapest stuff you can find for support. The same could be said for infill. I’m willing to bet most of you just started scratching your heads there. If you print with the good filament for your shells and switch heads for the infill you can you can save a lot of money just by changing the other filament to a cheaper spool. This is a little off topic but a lot of the time we only need infill because the part would sag or fail on top without it. If you model your part with a small hole in the bottom then use soluble filament as your infill you can make the part hollow. It makes for all kinds of possibilities. With all that being said here are a few of my favorite discount filaments.


Hatchbox – Cheapest filaments

This is my go to the Cheapest filaments. The diameter is consistent and I never get a clog. They aren’t the cheapest but the quality is there. I had one spool that was brittle and I was able to send it back and get a new one thanks to amazon. That being said just like matter hackers stuff it’s still spendier than I would like. If you see the Wood filament they sell in stock, Grab it! Half the price of everything on the market and it prints great. It’s just never in stock because it sells out so fast.


GP3d – Cheapest filaments

This has become my one of my new favorites cheapest filaments. I have gone through 2 spools and have only run into some minor issues. I had to adjust some things to my feed and print speeds but only slightly. Once I dialed it in though it printed great. I used most of a spool to print my son a gladius I found on Thingiverse. I printed it at 150% and he looks like he is trying to kill dragons when he is outside playing with it. Now everything isn’t all sunshine and rainbows though A fellow member of 3dprinterchat used the PLA and got some different results. I will let his words speak for themselves. Just one more reason I print with abs.


eSUN – Cheapest filaments

Lastly, I will leave my runner up I have used Esun a few times and They have all been Ok experiences. I could never get a “Perfect Print” but I was able to print at good speeds and turn out parts that only needed a little touching up. Overall not a bad product. Just not one that I will jump at If the others are available. Most of the stuff they have is priced low enough that they are worth a try should you want to see for yourself, though.


I am constantly buying the cheapest stuff I can find so this will be an ongoing blog. I have a few dozen other spools to try so as I work through those and buy others I’ll post more like this If you would like me to try out a filament leave a comment below and I’ll see if it fits my budget.

Don’t Forget to check My List of 3D Printing Filaments made in The USA

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9 Comments
  1. Seth says

    Have you tried Inland pla or abs? I get it through microcenter for $15 per roll + reasonable shipping especially if buying multiple rolls. I’m finishing up a big project now where I’ve used nothing but it and I’ve had zero problems. Have run it through lulzbot taz6, makerbot 5th Gen, and makerbot z18… We’re now buying it in bulk and getting the same results that we’d been getting with the stupid expensive makerbot filament…

  2. Richard Bynum says

    Thanks! Great info…I’m doing my best to save! I would love to print almost everything I see online every day but my wallet won’t let me!…haha. How much printing are you doing for 1+ spool a month? Everyday printing? Big prints?

    1. Seth says

      Depends on the project and infill levels needed… As I got more used to 3d printing I found that I was more comfortable using less infill. Right at the end of my huge project I discovered protoparadigm’s pla+ and seeing as I was printing out a 6+ foot tall decorative outdoor windmill, I switched to it for the heat tolerance improvement…

  3. Tom Baxter says

    This, this, and this! As I am fairly new to 3D printing, these reviews are immensely helpful. Just go look on Amazon at the number of filament companies. It’s hard to know what’s good and what to avoid.

  4. Mike says

    This was a good, helpful read, thank you!
    It looks like you go through amazon, so I have to ask, have you tried Yoyi pla?
    It’s 1.75mm and I think I spent $13.99 on it shipped through prime.
    My experience: printed GREAT for the first half of the roll, then EVERY print after that failed!
    I don’t know what the issue was but random layers would be way too thin and stringy making weak points in the print or just straight up nozzle clogs. The few reviews that I’ve read seem to be 50/50 good/bad so if you tried it I wanted to know your experience with it!
    Anyway, thanks!

    1. Nathan Cox says

      No i havent but i put in an order. So I will tell you soon.

  5. David says

    I have had some really good results from very cheap PLA, better than some of the branded PLA’s in fact.

    By the way, off topic, but has anyone ever seen a golden nugget? I have spent literally hours searching with zero results.

  6. Ronan says

    This will prove to be handy. Thanks

  7. John says

    Have any of the filament makers embraced spool less sales yet. I am going to print the super spool in hopes of finding a decent supplier. eliminating the need for a spool should lower everyone’s cost!

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