Printer Filament Materials

Some notes on 3d printer filaments




FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling) materials are melted in the print head and pushed through the nozzle to build a 3d print in layers.

Some basic materials are:

  • PLA (Polylactic Acid)
  • TPU (Thermoplastic Polyurethane)
  • PETG (Polyethylene Terephthalate Glycol)
  • ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene)
  • ASA (Acrylonitrile Styrene Acrylate)

Derivatives exist such as PLA Plus, wood fills, etc.  Zack Freedman goes rapidly through a TON of different PLA options (silk, color changing, high temp, marble, etc)

Advanced materials include things like:

  • Nylon
  • PC (Polycarbonate)
  • Carbon Fiber mixes (PLA-CF, PETG-CF, etc)
  • Glass Fiber mixes (e.g. ABS-GF)


Sources of Information

There are many great resources on the internet covering this, and I am a complete novice and not yet able to toss in my own opinions. 

Here are some sites I used to learn some of the basics:

Jonathan Levi (The Next Layer channel) has a great video here covering the basics.

He has a second video here covering the advanced materials.

Stefan (CNC Kitchen channel) has some filament tests  referenced by many other YouTubers.  He also has many videos on strength as a function of print layers, infill styles, etc.

Specific Materials


I have been using Gizmo Dorks (black, white, blue) and Overture (light gray), both with a shore hardness of 95A.


Bambu Lab does not support printing TPU from the AMS (Automatic Material System), which is a real bummer because I do multi-color TPU prints a LOT.   Some people have tested various brands and colors in it anyway, with mixed (but mostly poor) results.  The filament is just too soft and gets jammed in the AMS all the time.  

Note:  At the time of this writing they do say they support “77D, 55D, or higher hardness TPU” according to this page.  But I believe you have to “trick” the AMS by claiming it is PLA or some other material – as of current firmware there is no option to select TPU filament type in the AMS.

There is a Reddit post discussing various filament manufacturers and the success or failure of those in the AMS.


There are a TON of posts regarding settings, but it seems to boil down to speed, max volumetric pressure, and temperature.  In general, TPU needs to be printed much slower than more rigid filaments (exceptions are harder/higher TPU shore ratings, special blends like High Speed TPU, etc).

The Bambu default (generic) TPU settings were good, good enough to get me started.   I went down a looooong rabbit hole of testing settings but came back to the generic settings.  I think the main problem was that if I tried to print a temperature tower to calibrate printhead temps, the results would be heavily skewed by other factors such as volumetric pressure, overhang slowdown, etc.   It seems like if I have them all within the ballpark to start with, then I might fine tune some settings.

Some notes from my tests:

  • I ignored the temp range Gizmo Dorks suggests as they seemed consistently too low.  I print first layer at 225 and others at 235.
  • I do NOT heat the Textured PEI Plate at all.  Doing so makes my prints stick like they were cemented in place.
  • Max Volumetric Speed of 2.5 mmm/s
  • Layer speeds of 30 mm/s, though I believe it is slower than that due to Max Volumetric setting
  • Retraction of 2mm, with a spiral Z hop


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