My favorite 3D printer filament

Since I started 3D printing at the beginning of 2022, I have tried several different filaments to find one that printed well. While I have yet to have a material I could not print with, I have found some more appealing than others. Most recently I have found a company that really stands out, PrintBed.

PrintBed is different because they actually manufacture their filament in the US, Shelby Township, Michigan to be more specific. They pride themselves on not only making their filament in-house, but they also source their raw materials from a US pellet manufacturer that uses reclaimed greenhouse gases. Even their spools are made from recycled paper. While I am not an environmental activist, I greatly appreciate the thoughtfulness that went into their product. I firmly believe that every reasonable effort we can make toward reducing our impact on the environment is worth it.

If the environmentally mindfulness of their materials isn’t enough to sell their product, the care in their process makes it even more convincing of a sell. PrintBed uses a “three-axis laser micrometer” to inspect the filament as it is being extruded. Coming from a manufacturing environment that deals with tight tolerance fitment of round tubing, I understand and greatly appreciate this measurement method. Common practice is to only measure on two-axis to calculate the diameter of the material. They claim the two-axis method has a potential to cause extrusion rate to vary by as much as 27%! Their three-axis method reduces that potential variation to only 9%. Their quality doesn’t stop at just making sure the material diameter is accurate and consistent. They also inspect the color in every inch of the filament to ensure accurate and consistent appearance. No need to fear seeing a spool change in the middle of a print.

Currently their primary product line is 1kg spools of PLA. They have all the standard colors, Black, Blue, Green, Grey, Orange, Purple, Orange, White, and Yellow; as well as “Mystery” (a limited run of experimental colors that may or may not make it to production), limited (currently Midnight Blue, Mint, Nacho Cheese, and Natural PLA), and their own proprietary colors (Baja Blue V2, Lavender V2, and Sour Apple V2)

If there is a need for something durable that a standard PLA, they also offer their “FORGE” PLA+ product line and recently introduced a clear PETG. The reason for the “FORGE” name is it can be heat treated after printing to increase the strength and temperature stability of the printed part. I plan on adding a spool of this to my material list soon for some comparison tests against other highly recommended PLA+ filaments on the market, so keep an eye out for that. As of writing this, the FORGE line is only available in Black, Natural, and White.

In addition to having full 1kg spools, they also have a product line called Minis. Minis are 0.2kg spools of material and are sold in packs of 5 colors. Best part is the colors are selectable. This is how I first dipped my toe into trying PrintBed, as I was missing a couple colors for my Christmas ornaments I was printing. Having never needed the colors prior, I felt it was a good opportunity to get the colors I needed in small quantities while getting a chance to try something new.

While the above sounds good and can give people a warm and fuzzy feeling, the most important questions is: “How does it print?” In my opinion, it prints very well. By far the best material I have printed with to date and is now replacing my previous favorite filaments as my “Go to” material. I am having to force myself to finish using the old materials so I can make room to order more spools from PrintBed. It is that good.

Currently their material is only sold directly through their website, so you won’t find it on any of the big online market places, but don’t let that prevent you from ordering it. All orders ship within the continental US, FedEx Next Day for only $5. At the current price of $20 for their standard PLA line, that still puts them well under what you could expect to pay for most high quality materials found on Amazon.

Whether you are just getting started, looking to experiment with a new material, upgrade to higher quality material, or just be more environmentally conscious with your 3D printing, PrintBed is a great place to start. I have been amazed at how better my prints have turned out with all 5 of the colors I have tried so far. I am looking forward to trying the rest of their product line and seeing how far I can push my designs with my new found confidence in FDM printing.

If you would like to give them a try, follow the link below and checkout their site. This is an affiliate link, so it does give me a small credit for the recommendation, but I only set it up after I bought their material with my own money and had tried the material for myself. Plus it doesn’t cost you any more than it would going to their website directly. My conscience wouldn’t let me become an affiliate any other way.