Ender 3 V2 is one of the most popular 3D printers among hobbyists and beginners.
Its greatest advantage is the attractive price tag, combined with good printing quality. However, the printer has its limitations and can’t handle all filament types. So, which ones can it handle?
PLA, ABS, and PETG are the three most common types of Ender 3 V2 filaments. The printer can also work with TPU, HIPS, and wood-filled or metal-filled PLA. However, it can’t print filaments with a higher melting point, such as pure wood or metal filaments.
Best Filaments For Ender 3 V2
The Ender 3 V2 is a versatile 3D printer that can handle a wide range of filaments.
However, the best results are achieved with the following options.
ABS is one of the most popular thermoplastics used for purposes ranging from prototyping to decorative objects. The material is known for its strength and durability, and the material is not as hygroscopic as PETG.
In hobby and household applications, ABS is used for printing toys, miniatures, collectibles, and decorative items. Industrial uses include parts for electric enclosures and automotive parts.
You can also use it for printing mechanical components and other parts that need to be strong, durable, or resist chemicals.
Most ABS filaments are also FDA-approved and suitable to use for printing food containers and kitchen utensils.
- Strength and durability: ABS is a strong and impact-resistant material, making it ideal for functional parts or components that need to withstand stress or wear.
- Heat resistance: ABS has a higher glass transition temperature than materials like PLA, which means it can better withstand higher temperatures without deforming. This makes it suitable for applications where heat resistance is essential, such as in automotive or electronic components.
- Easy post-processing: ABS can be easily sanded, machined, and painted, allowing for a more polished finish and customization of printed parts. ABS also can be smoothed using an acetone vapor bath, which helps achieve a glossy finish and can improve the appearance of layer lines.
- Print difficulty: ABS can be more challenging to print with than materials like PLA. It is prone to warping and layer separation if the print bed and environment are not properly heated and maintained. An enclosure is generally needed to maintain a stable temperature.
- Potential toxic fumes: When ABS is heated, it can release potentially harmful fumes, including styrene. Proper ventilation or an air filtration system is necessary to ensure a safe printing environment.
- Low environmental friendliness: ABS is a petroleum-based plastic and is not biodegradable, making it less environmentally friendly than materials like PLA, which are derived from renewable resources.
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While asking for a higher printing temperature than ABS, PLA is a lot easier to print with and a popular choice for beginners. This is also one of the few biodegradable 3D printing materials, making it a star among environmentally conscious individuals.
Similar to ABS, PLA is food-grade approved and suitable to use for printing containers, kitchen utensils, and even medical implants. It is also commonly used for toys, games, miniatures, and decorative items.
However, it has poorer strength and resistance than ABS, so its industrial uses are limited.
Nevertheless, PLA is a top choice low-stress, non-functional parts that require some heat resistance and flexibility. It is also a common choice for prototyping and customized gadgets and accessories.
- Printing ease: PLA is known for being easy to print, as it doesn’t require high temperatures, has good bed adhesion, and tends to have minimal warping or curling issues. Moreover, the material exhibits good dimensional accuracy and detail, making it suitable for creating precise models and prototypes.
- Wide range of colors and finishes: PLA is available in various colors, transparencies, and finishes, including wood, metal, and glow-in-the-dark, allowing for creative and aesthetically pleasing prints.
- Odorless and non-toxic: PLA is derived from renewable resources like cornstarch or sugarcane and doesn’t emit toxic fumes when heated, making it a safer option for indoor use.
- Biodegradable: PLA is biodegradable and compostable under industrial conditions, making it more environmentally friendly compared to other plastics like ABS.
- Limited strength and durability: PLA is more brittle than other materials like ABS or PETG, making it less suitable for functional parts or objects that need to withstand stress, wear, or impact.
- Poor chemical resistance: The material has limited resistance to chemicals and solvents, which can restrict its use in certain industrial applications or environments.
- Limited flexibility: PLA is less flexible than materials like TPU or PETG, making it less suitable for printing objects that require flexibility or elasticity.
Slightly less popular than ABS and PLA, PETG is still a common choice among Ender 3 V2 users.
This material is notoriously difficult to work with, but a good choice for prints that require high heat resistance. In fact, PETG requires higher printing temperatures than ABS and PETG, usually between 230°C and 250°C.
This makes PETG an excellent choice for outdoor applications, medical devices, functional parts and prototypes, and food-grade applications.
Food containers and kitchen utensils printed out of PETG are usually safe to use in the microwave, and they can be sterilized or washed in the dishwasher. As one of the few FDM filaments available in clear options, this material is also popular for transparent prints.
- Strength: PETG is stronger and more impact-resistant than PLA, making it suitable for functional parts, mechanical components, or objects that need to withstand stress or wear.
- Good layer adhesion: PETG exhibits excellent layer adhesion, reducing the risk of prints delamination or breaking apart.
- Versatility: PETG has a higher glass transition temperature than PLA (around 75-80°C), making it more resistant to heat and suitable for applications that require heat resistance. The material is also resistant to most solvents and chemicals, making it a suitable choice for parts exposed to corrosive substances. Moreover, PETG becomes waterproof once cooled, despite its hygroscopic nature. It is a good choice for parts that must be water resistant.
- Food-safe and odorless: PETG is generally considered food-safe, and it doesn’t emit strong odors when heated, making it a safer option for indoor use.
- Slower print speed: PETG usually requires slower print speeds than PLA to achieve optimal results, which can increase print times.
- Stringing and oozing: This filament is more prone to stringing and oozing than PLA due to its higher viscosity. Proper tuning of retraction settings and print temperature can help minimize these issues.
- Bed adhesion: PETG can sometimes stick too well to certain print surfaces, causing damage to the print bed when removing the print. Using a layer of glue stick or blue painter’s tape can help prevent this issue.
TPU is perhaps the most common filament used for printing flexible parts. The material is also resistant to abrasion and can absorb shocks, characteristics that make it the perfect choice for a wide range of applications.
This rubber-like filament is often the go-to choice for printing fashion accessories, footwear components, and parts for wearables, such as smartwatch bands. It is also used for protective cases and covers, especially for electronic devices.
Thanks to its biocompatibility, TPU is also used for printing medical devices, assistive tools, and prosthetics. Other industrial uses include custom grips and handles and vibration-dampening components.
- Flexibility and elasticity: TPU is highly flexible and elastic, making it ideal for applications that require rubber-like properties, such as gaskets, seals, or wearable items.
- Durability and resistance: TPU is resistant to wear, abrasion, and tearing, making it suitable for components that experience friction or stress. It also has excellent shock-absorbing properties, which makes it a good choice for protective cases, covers, or other applications that require impact resistance. The chemical resistance ensures suitability for parts that must withstand chemicals, oils, and grease. Moreover, TPU is hydrophobic and perfect for water-resistant parts.
- Biocompatibility: Some TPU formulations are biocompatible, making them suitable for medical devices, prosthetics, or assistive tools that require a soft and comfortable interface with the human body.
- Printing difficulty: TPU can be more challenging to print with compared to rigid materials like PLA or PETG. It typically requires slower print speeds, fine-tuned retraction settings, and potentially a direct drive extruder for optimal results – a thing that makes it even more challenging for the Ender 3 V2. TPU’s flexibility can make it more challenging to achieve precise and accurate prints, particularly for intricate or detailed models. Due to its limited rigidity, TPU is not suitable for applications that require rigid or load-bearing components, as its flexibility and elasticity can compromise structural integrity in such scenarios.
- Stringing and oozing: Due to its elasticity, TPU is prone to stringing and oozing, which may require extra post-processing or fine-tuning of print settings to minimize these issues.
- Higher cost: TPU filaments are generally more expensive than materials like PLA or PETG, making them a less cost-effective option for some users.
How To Choose The Right Ender 3 V2 Filament
Knowing what filaments you can use on an Ender 3 V2 doesn’t mean that they are all the right choice.
Here are a few things to consider.
Consider the specific requirements of your project. For example, if you’re printing a prototype or model that doesn’t need to be functional or strong, PLA might be the best choice.
However, if you’re creating a functional part that requires strength and durability, you may want to opt for PETG or ABS.
The Ender 3 V2 is compatible with a wide range of filaments, but it’s essential to ensure that the filament you choose can be printed within the printer’s temperature range.
The Ender 3 V2 has a maximum nozzle temperature of 255°C and a maximum bed temperature of 110°C.
Filaments are available in various colors, finishes, and transparencies.
If you’re printing decorative items or models, you may want to choose a filament with a specific appearance or finish that suits your project.
Consider the environmental impact of the filament you choose.
PLA is biodegradable and made from renewable resources, while other materials like ABS or PETG may be less environmentally friendly.
Filament prices can vary significantly depending on the material, brand, and quality.
Consider your budget and weigh the pros and cons of each material to find the best fit for your needs.
Compatibility Of Filament Sizes With Ender 3 V2
FDM filaments come in various sizes, and this is the case for all filament types mentioned above. However, the Ender 3 V2 printer is not compatible with all sizes.
Creality designed this printer specifically for use with a 1.75 mm filament. Using a larger diameter filament, such as 2.85 mm or 3 mm, is not recommended and can cause issues with feeding, extrusion, and overall print quality.
Some of the issues a larger diameter could cause include clogging of the extruder, uneven extrusion, or damage to your printer.
To use larger diameter filament, significant hardware modifications would be required, including changing the extruder, hot end, and potentially other components.
This is generally not advisable, especially if you are not experienced with 3D printer modifications.
If you want to use a larger diameter filament, you should probably opt for a different printer, such as Ultimaker or Raise3D series.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does a bigger nozzle use more filament?
Yes, using a larger nozzle typically results in higher filament usage.
When you increase the nozzle diameter, the extruded filament’s width and height also increase, leading to thicker layers and wider extrusion lines. This means that more filament is required to cover the same print area compared to using a smaller nozzle.
Why is my Ender 3 not pushing filament through?
A clogged nozzle is one of the most common reasons why your Ender 3 is not pushing filament through. Other causes include filament grinding or tangles, a damaged PTFE tube, stepper motor or wiring issues, incorrect nozzle temperature, or the wrong filament diameter.
Firmware and wrong slicer settings could also interfere with extrusion.
Ender 3 V2 is a versatile entry-level printer for hobbyists and beginners. It is compatible with a wide range of 1.75mm filaments that require an extrusion temperature under 255°C. However, the best filament choices include PLA, ABS, PETG, and TPU.