Material Guide

Original Prusa i3 printers are compatible with a wide range of materials with unique properties: easy-to-print and very popular PLA with plenty of color variations, tough PETG for mechanical parts, strong and versatile ABS with great thermal resistance, composite materials resembling wood, bronze or copper, glow-in-the-dark materials and many many more. Once you start printing with more materials, only then you will unlock the full potential of your printer.

And no matter how complex or demanding your project is, we've got you covered! Visit our shop and choose from dozens of available filaments.

Buddha statues were printed with our DETAIL print settings (100 µm layer height) and 60 mm tall

...and many more! We constantly add new materials. Send us tips for materials you would love to see supported 🙂

Buddha statues were printed with our DETAIL print settings (100 µm layer height) and 60 mm tall.
Full resolution image download, Buddha model download


Supported Materials


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PLA

PLA is the most commonly used filament. It’s biodegradable, easy to print, and very strong. The perfect choice for printing large objects thanks to its low thermal expansion (little to no warping) and for printing tiny parts because of its low melting temperature.

PLA materials are available in a wide range of colors, some even have special characteristics such as the ability to glow in the dark. Keep in mind that certain PLA filaments may require a different nozzle.

Printing instructions:

Nozzle temperature: 215°C
Bed temperature: 50-60°C
Surface preparation: Keep the print surface clean and grease-free, use isopropyl alcohol and a fabric cloth to wipe the print surface if printed objects tend to lose adhesion. For more information about print surface maintenance, read our guide.

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PET/PETG

PETG is a very tough material with good thermal resistance. It is a universal material, but it's especially suitable for mechanical parts and both indoor and outdoor use. PETG has almost no warping​, so printing large objects isn’t a problem. We use PETG to print parts for our printers!

PETG is one of our favorite materials for 3D printing. It’s almost as easy to print as PLA, but it can offer many mechanical properties that PLA prints just cannot achieve. The G in the acronym PETG stands for Glycol which is added during the manufacturing
process. Glycol modifies the properties of PET, so that it’s easier to print, less brittle and clearer​when printing with semi-transparent variants. PETG has low thermal expansion, so even when printing big objects, and without an enclosure, it rarely lifts from the bed and warps. In addition to that, PETG is ductile​. It has a healthy amount of flex which can prevent parts from breaking under pressure.

Printing instructions:

Nozzle temperature: 240°C
Bed temperature: 80-100°C
Surface preparation: Keep the print surface clean. Do not use isopropyl alcohol, otherwise the adhesion may be too strong. You can use the bundled glue stick as a separator, however a better choice is Windws or similiar window cleaner. Pour a little amount of it on an unscented paper towel and wipe the print surface. For more information about print surface maintenance, read our guide.

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ABS

ABS is a very strong and versatile material with great thermal resistance. It’s suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. ABS is a thermoplastic polymer; that means that just like PLA, it can be melted and crystallized multiple times without degrading too much. ABS, however,
melts at a higher temperature than PLA. Higher melting temperature gives ABS great thermal resistance; your prints won’t show signs of deformation up to 98 °C​.

ABS includes high wear-resistance synthetic rubber, which makes it very strong and impact resistant​. And last but not least, it’s soluble in acetone! This makes it really easy to
not only connect multiple parts together, but also it allows you to smooth prints ​with acetone vapors. You still have to be careful when handling acetone, but it’s not anywhere near as
dangerous as PLA solvents, for example.

If you need to use your print outside, or just need your print to be stronger, give ABS a shot. After all, it’s what LEGO​ is made of.

Printing instructions:

Nozzle temperature: 255°C
Bed temperature: 100°C (up to 110°C for larger objects)
Surface preparation: Keep the print surface clean and grease-free, use isopropyl alcohol and a fabric cloth to wipe the print surface if printed objects tend to lose adhesion. For more information about print surface maintenance, read our guide.

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Flex

Flex is a very strong and flexible material. There are many use cases when hard plastic is not the best option. Whether you need a phone cover, an action camera case
or wheels for your RC car, flexible is the way to go.

Flex has a very good abrasion resistance, remains flexible in cold environments, and is resistant to many solvents. It doesn’t shrink much when cooling down, so you can be fairly accurate with your measurements and models requiring a perfect fit.

Printing instructions:

Nozzle temperature: 230°C
Bed temperature: 50°C (up to 65°C when printing larger objects)
Surface preparation: Keep the print surface clean and grease-free, use isopropyl alcohol and a fabric cloth to wipe the print surface if printed objects tend to lose adhesion. Some very soft flex materials can bond to the bed too much and require use of glue on the bed as a separator to prevent PEI damage. For more information about print surface maintenance, read our guide.

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Composite Materials

Composite materials (woodfill, copperfill, bronzefill, glow-in-the-dark, carbon or aramid composites and many others) consist of a main plastic base and a second material in the form of dust. These materials tend (except for wood composites) to be very abrasive, therefore, a hardened nozzle is strongly suggested for long-term printing. A larger nozzle is recommended while printing with wood composites (0.5 mm and up). Please use corresponding print settings in Slic3r or PrusaControl as print parameters can be very different depending on the plastic base.

The first step in polishing is sanding. It’s a good idea to start with a coarse grit size (80) and slowly move up the grit table. After sanding, a big improvement in polish can be achieved with steel wool or a brass brush. If you’re still not happy with the finish, you can try wet sanding with a very fine grit (1500).

Printing instructions:

Nozzle temperature: 190-210°C
Bed temperature: 50-70°C
Surface preparation: Keep the print surface clean and grease-free, use isopropyl alcohol and a fabric cloth to wipe the print surface if printed objects tend to lose adhesion. For more information about print surface maintenance, read our guide.

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nGen

Developed by Eastman Chemical Company and colorFabb, nGen offers increased resistance to heat as well as dimensional stability. The material is low-odor and styrene-free.

Printing instructions:

Nozzle temperature: 240°C
Bed temperature: 80-100°C (use higher temperatures for larger prints)
Surface preparation: ​Make sure the surface is clean. Do not use isopropyl alcohol to clean the bed, otherwise the adhesion may be too strong, use window cleaner instead. If you do not have anything else on hand, use the bundled glue as a separator after cleaning it. Windex or similar window cleaner is a great option for nGen and you don’t need to use the glue after the cleaning. Spray a small amount on an unscented paper towel, and wipe the print surface. For more information about print surface maintenance, read our guide.

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HIPS

HIPS is high impact polystyrene, and as for behavior, it's similar to ABS, so it's easy to print. It's a universal and stable material with excellent heat resistance, and it produces very smooth layers. HIPS is also very malleable, and it can be dissolved using limonene. HIPS is mostly suited for printable mechanical components.

Printing instructions:

Nozzle temperature: 220°C
Bed temperature: 100°C (or up to 110°C when printing large objects)
Surface preparation: Keep the print surface clean and grease-free, use isopropyl alcohol and a fabric cloth to wipe the print surface if printed objects tend to lose adhesion. For more information about print surface maintenance, read our guide.

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Polypropylene (PP)

Polypropylene is a flexible and resistant material suitable for printing precise objects requiring the flexibility, firmness and persistence.

Printing instructions:

Nozzle temperature: 254°C
Bed temperature: 95-100°C
Surface preparation: The best results are achieved with common scotch tape. For more information about print surface maintenance, read our guide.

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Nylon (Tauman Bridge)

Nylon is a very tough material suitable for mechanical parts.

Printing instructions:

Nozzle temperature: 240°C
Bed temperature: 80-90°C
Surface preparation: Use a glue stick as a separating agent. For more information about print surface maintenance, read our guide.

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ASA

Acrylonitrile-styrene-acryl (ASA) is a material with properties similar to ABS. Its main benefit is an increased weather and UV resistance. Another advantage is overall dimensional stability. To achieve a cast-like surface, acetone smoothing can be used.

Printing instructions:

Nozzle temperature: 270-280°C
Bed temperature: 100-110°C
Surface preparation: Make sure the surface of the heatbed is clean. Using a brim is suggested. For more information about print surface maintenance, read our guide.

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PC-ABS

Polycarbonate ABS (PC-ABS) is an enhanced version of traditional ABS. It offers easier processing, higher strength, stiffness, and temperature resistance. PC-ABS is also suitable for structures with openings and its bridging capability is improved compared to ABS. Typical usage of PC-ABS is for durable plastic parts like television or computer casings.

Printing instructions:

Nozzle temperature: 270-280°C
Bed temperature: 100-110°C (use higher temperatures for larger prints)
Surface preparation: ​Make sure the surface is clean. For more information about print surface maintenance, read our guide.