Advanced Materials for 3D Printing

Great advances have been made in the last few years with 3D printer materials (the filament, or ‘ink’ for 3D printers). Because of advances in filament technology, and partnerships with 3D printer manufacturers, more materials and colours are now printable.

We always recommend new users to start with PLA (poly acetic acid), as it’s easy to work with, safe for use anywhere and available in a wide range of colours. This maize-based bioplastic is the go-to material for 3D printer users, but there are so many more options now available.

Nylon (Polyamide)

Nylon is an industrial-grade impact and abrasion resistant material that’s used in manufacturing. It is durable, strong, has good flexibility and low friction and is corrosion resistant. It’s great for tools, functional prototypes and end-use parts.

  • High strength-to-weight ratio
  • Low friction coefficient
  • Resistance to alkalis and organic chemicals
  • Available in black and natural


Polycarbonate (PC)

This advanced material is excellent for engineering and manufacturing purposes. It is strong, tough and has high temperature resistance.

  • Stable up to 110C
  • Flame retardant characteristics
  • Available in white, black, transparent (can thus get translucent prints)
  • Recommend using the Advanced 3D printing kit with this material



Polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) is a water-soluble material that is used in dual-extrusion printing to print supports. This means that you can simple dissolve away the support material, rather than removing it manually. In addition to making support removal easier, this allows for the printing of complex models that need internal supports.

  • Dissolves in water
  • Works with other materials like PLA and Nylon
  • Allows for endless possibilities for mechanical parts
  • For use on the Ultimaker 3


We’ll discuss other Advanced Materials in another post. Email us at for assistance in choosing your materials and to order from us.


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