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Favorite filament for printing minis?

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I'm curious what filament types people are using to print gaming minis! They can be quite challenging prints with a combination of fine details, overhangs needing support, and small breakable bits.

I've mostly used Hatchbox and Makergeeks brand PLA..mostly because those are what I started with and have dialed in. The standard PLA from these brands has been very consistent for me. However I've never been able to get support that removes as cleanly as I'd like.

I also like the woodfill PLA from Hatchbox and the new Raptor PLA from makergeeks. The woodfill has a slightly grainy texture that makes print lines less visible, and support is easy to remove. Downside is it's a bit brittle. The Raptor PLA is advertised as high-strength, and thin parts hold up a lot better. Seems to need more attention to ooze control than regular PLA though.

So...anyone have some secret-sauce filament they'd like to share? :)

(I'm printing on a flashforge creator pro)

If you want something clear, try printing with PET (also known as T Glase) at a low resolution. I bet it'd be cool for some pieces.

I mostly use hatchbox PLA for basically everything. And I have printed some minis with the stuff. Even some at 50 micron on my Lulzbot Taz 5 (stock)

Hi, for my part I'm using PLA printed at 90% in 50 microns, gives me really stunning results with 15mm figurines. To avoid support and get best quality, I generally use models sliced in 2 parts and printed flat (as user Dutchmogul models).

We have PLA+ filament, upgraded PLA. Toughness is 10 times more than the PLA on the market and has no wiredrawing or cracking problem. The smelling of ABS is annoying, you can try more biodegradable and environmentally friendly 3d filament, like PETG, eMorph. You can also try eCopper and Wood, they are very unique.

Just got some eSUN PLA+ actually, will be trying it soon!
Pretty sure PETG is not biodegradable...maybe recyclable...

Thought I would update. I've been printing with the eSUN PLA+, and the extra flexibility and toughness is pretty nice. The little bit of flex allows removal of support material without snapping the figure. Other properties like diameter consistency and plastic blobbing are OK, comparable to similarly-priced stuff ($25/kilo). It also has a deathgrip to buildtak...

one other note and I'll shut up; lol.

I should find/build a method to easily and properly re-roll filaments onto another empty bulk roll reel... I've found among the different reel sizes and manufactures that a few of the rolls from the factory are improperly wound. The filament is so tightly wound or somehow tucked under a winding or managed to under-wrap with a reverse twist in another direction - I hope that makes sense. The filament, like metal wire, has a memory and twists back on itself to it that causes issues as it unrolls. It reminds me of how as a kid we used to twist up the poor slinky toys so it was never the same again... Either way, it ends up snapping the filament or causing the roll to stop unwinding causing a jam or failure to print. I've had two instances where the Afinia printer lifted the jammed roll up off the table while trying to print. I wonder if this isn't one reason Makerbot went to the wider diameter filament reels...

Thanks for sharing all that info! May try out semiflex.
Definitely agree with simplify3D being great for tricky prints. You really need the ability to modify support structures for weird complex objects. I have also used Meshmixer for this purpose.

I've encountered the issue of filament being tucked under itself as well, great way to ruin a print...however I think the primary cause for me has been user error. When taking a roll of filament off the machine, the cut end should immediately be stuck through one of the little holes on the spool. Otherwise it's surprisingly common for it to get tucked or tangled...

This thread is on topic if dated, but I am finding that printing after using meshmixer to calculate position, then run overhang analysis provides the best prints I have ever had with supports that are fairly easily removable even with PLA.

That said I plan to test printing with nylon to see how minis hold up with it.

I have personal printers at home but at work we have access to a few different types so we have to make sure the filament we use for students and faculty projects is consistent for the machines to reduce frustration, failures and jams. We've had good success with Makergeek, Makerbot PLA as well as 3D Solutech and GP3D (most recent find) PLA.

I had a decent run with Hatchbox PLA, however, we ran into a few bad batches on particular colors (red, dark/hunter green) that wouldn't print at all no matter what printer I ran it through - airprints, moisture pops... I think I was able to only use the red printing at 100% infill and reduced print speed, the green we had to throw out.

I've run Sainsmart in ABS that worked very well however we've run more PLA then ABS in the last 2 years... although I like how you can smooth ABS and fuse breaks with acetone, the off gas fumes during printing is off-putting in the closed office space and studio area... we primarily leave the ABS prints for use with the commercial printers that use proprietary cartridge as well as vent and/or reduce those fumes.

Most recently, we've had better luck printing with Semiflex over Ninjaflex for a series of shoe design prints...

I've run Hatchbox transparent PLA with good success through the Rep2 and Afinia printers - orange, yellow, clear. I've had hit or miss with transparent PLA with Hatchbox on the Fusion3, snapping filament during print is the most common annoyance. With the Fusion3 printer we haven't found any transparent PLA that work well - this may also have to do with the way the extruder system feeds and retracts the filament in short bursts and the brittleness of the transparent PLA.

The Fusion3 has by far the thinnest and easiest support material removal using the base material as support material; the Simplify3D slicing software used allows for a broad range of print speed and options to help with final prints and tricky prints that would normally fail even on the commercial printers. Afinia still hasn't released an option to turn off support material nor modify the amount/percentage used - I don't think they ever will. It manages to somehow print support material on models that do not require support... Fortunately, the Afinia support isn't too difficult to cleanly remove unlike the Rep2 and Rep2X; filament removal on the Makerbot's printers is better with their last release but definitely still needs improvement. Printing with HIPS on Rep2X is ok but the Limonene process is a little messy and one can't seem to completely clean the residue even after an alcohol bath.

Yeah, we print a lot of our models in halves and glue them together. If I'm not painting something, I'd ultimately rather live with a seam (less noticeable the more your plate/extruder is dialed-in) than a bunch of support, though I have been having a lot more luck playing around with supports lately. We use a lot of Hatchbox, both PLA and ABS. It's the best we've found, getting especially hight quality out of the translucent blue and translucent black ABS.

I use Hatchbox and Inland both. Hatchbox has better color, but if I'm painting with acrylic, Inland prints well and is around $15/kilo

I use whatever I get cheapest but I tend to print larger things like mecha, vehicles, and buildings in the 15mm scale. I find the key is really how a print is laid out more than anything. Gotta eliminate those overhangs as much as possible. I'd rather spend a little more time assembling a model and sanding joins than trying to deal with droopy spaghetti overhangs.