Best Filament for Creality Ender 3

After spending a lot of your hard-earned cash on a top-quality 3D printer, like the Creality Ender 3, you don’t want to cause issues by using incompatible filament.

Why?

Because you could seriously damage your beloved 3D printer. So much so in fact, that you’ll either have to replace most of the parts or, worse yet, replace the whole 3D printer and start over. Which would be quite a costly waste.

But, we’re pleased to report that there is a solution at hand. Before you go dropping any old filament in your printer willy-nilly, you should read or scan through this article to learn what are the best filaments for your Creality Ender 3.

Coming up next, we’re going to review some of the best filaments you can get that are proven to work well in a Creality Ender 3. They work like a charm.

After that, we’ve got a handy buying guide for you which lays out what filaments are and aren’t compatible, and provides some really good tips for using the filaments too. You might also want to stick around for our FAQ section.

And now, to show you the filaments that work best in your printer! 

OUR TOP PICK

HATCHBOX PLA 3D Printer Filament, Dimensional Accuracy +/- 0.03 mm, 1 kg Spool, 1.75 mm, Black, Pack of 1

Hatchbox is still THE best brand to go for, for your PLA filaments. And its price is very reasonable too. Cheap even. You can get a 1 kg spool for under $25.

For these reasons and more, it remains one of the most popular PLA brands out there, selling in its thousands, and comes very highly recommended by those who’ve tried it.

It has a diameter of 1.75 mm, which is perfect for your Creality Ender 3. And at this thickness, it can be very precise, with a dimensional accuracy of +/- 0.03 mm.

The recommended printing temperature is 180 to 210 degrees, which is very achievable on your Ender 3.

And it has loads of benefits against other brands. There’s better layer adhesion, less warping, and less clogging of the nozzle. There’s no bubbling to worry about, or tangling.

And that’s not all. It doesn’t require the use of the heat bed! How convenient!

It’s meant to be an odorless filament, but we’ve noticed a nice pancake-like scent that’s really appetizing.

Hatchbox’s PLA is a combination of bioplastics and polymers, which, they argue, makes the filament more “earth-friendly” than other brands of PLA. Moreover, the filament also has reduced traces of CO2 compared to other brands.

Customers have rated it quite highly on several features, including ease of use, durability, adhesion, print quality, and value for money.

If you click “Check Price” you’ll be taken to the product page for a black spool, but you’ll be pleased to hear that Hatchbox PLA is available with many retailers in a very wide range of colors and finishes.

You can go for matt or gloss finishes. Or textured, or even transparent! We like the ones that mimic marble in the prints!

Pros

  • Very affordable
  • better layer adhesion
  • less warping
  • less clogging
  • Wide range of colors
  • No heat bed needed
  • Very earth-friendly

Cons

  • Some customers have said that the spool of filament is poorly wound and sometimes has kinks in it

EDITORS CHOICE

You don’t have to scour the net to find a really good ABS filament for your Creality Ender 3, you can find it right on good old Amazon.

As with anything under the Amazon Basics, these filaments are very affordable, without compromising on quality. You can get a 1 kg spool for under $25.

And, you’ll be pleased to hear, more than 50% of customers who took the time to rate the filament scored it a full 5 stars out of 5.

This filament is 1.75 mm in diameter, which is perfect for use in your Creality Ender 3.

Its optimum melting temperature is set at 235 to 255 degrees Celsius, which is easily achieved on the Creality Ender 3, and then you need to set the heat bed to 90 to 110 degrees Celsius.

It has been engineered to reduce jamming and clogging. And you can get a very smooth finish with perfect bridging. Warping with any ABS is almost inevitable, but with this brand, it’s minimal.

Similarly, bed adhesion is also very easily rectified with the Amazon Basics brand of ABS.

It’s a great choice of filaments for prints that need to be made resistant to deformation from exposure to heat.

It’s available in 4 main colors, including black, grey, red, blue, and white. Or you could opt to buy a selection of these colors.

And better yet, it comes backed by the Amazon Basics 1-year limited warranty. Very reassuring.

There have certainly been some mixed reviews on this filament, but if you need to use an ABS filament in your Creality Ender 3, we maintain that this is the best brand to go for.

Pros

  • Minimal warping & bed adhesion
  • Smooth finishes with perfect bridging
  • Reduced jamming and clogging
  • Backed by a 1-year limited warranty

Cons

  • Very few color options to choose from
  • Warping may still occur if you’re not careful 

BEST VALUE

If you decide you want to use PETG filament in your Creality Ender 3, then this is the one we would recommend.

It has a diameter of 1.75 mm, which is perfect for your Creality Ender 3. And at this thickness, it can be very precise, with a dimensional accuracy of +/- 0.05 mm.

Its printing and bed temperature ranges are 230 to 250 and 60 to 80 degrees Celsius respectively. Both of which are very easily achievable with your Creality Ender 3.

And it really has a lot going for it besides all that. Odorless, no print head clogging, no tangling, high gloss, low shrinkage, high precision, minimal warping, the list goes on. You basically get the ease of use of PLA but with the rugged toughness of ABS.

It’s not just us who love this filament. Nearly three-quarters of people who left ratings on it on Amazon scored it 5 stars out of 5.

It’s available in some great color options, including some very nice semi-transparent that make for some really interesting prints. Although, as we point out in our buying guide a little later

If you do decide to go for this brand, you may be interested to hear that it can be noticeably cheaper on some sites than on others, so make sure you get yourself a good deal.

Pros

  • no clogging
  • no tangling
  • low shrinkage
  • high precision
  • minimal warping
  • Very easy to use
  • Tough printouts

Cons

  • It can be expensive at list price, but if you’re lucky you might be able to catch a good deal

RUNNER UP

If you’re looking for tough print-producing filament, you could do a lot worse, than the SainSmart brand of TPU.

It offers the perfect balance between rigidity and flexibility. It’s the go-to filament if you want prints that can bend without getting damaged.

It has a diameter of 1.75 mm, which is perfect for your Creality Ender 3. And at this thickness, it can be very precise, with a dimensional accuracy of +/- 0.05 mm.

Its printing and bed temperature ranges are 200 to 220 and 40 to 60 degrees Celsius respectively. Both of which are very easily achievable with your Creality Ender 3.

As a hygroscopic material, SainSmart’s TPU filament absorbs moisture easily, drying the filament before printing and this is how it achieves such a smooth finish.

If you get the settings just right, TPU can be really easy to print, thanks to its excellent bed adhesion, zero bubblings, and how unlikely it is to warp.

It’s a little more expensive than what you’d pay for other types of filament, but one look at the customer ratings should convince you that it could be worth it.

It’s available in a very wide range of color options, and you’re bound to find some that you like the look of.

Customers rated it highly for adhesion, print quality, and value for money.

Pros

  • Good bed adhesion
  • zero bubbling
  • Less warping
  • Smooth finishes
  • Wide range of colors

Cons

  • Some customers have found that the color of the spool they received was not as they had expected

Best Filament for Creality Ender 3 Buying Guide

As promised, here’s your buying guide! IN this guide, we’re going to cover which filaments are perfectly compatible with the Creality Ender 3, and which ones are best to avoid.

Let’s start off with the positives. 

Filaments that are compatible with the Creality Ender 3

The good news is that many of the more common types of 3D printing filament are perfectly compatible with your Creality Ender 3, such as PLA, ABS, PETG, and TPU.

Let’s take a closer look at each one in turn. Tips are written in Italics.

PLA

PLA, as you may have heard already, stands for Polylactic Acid. It is by far the most common filament used in 3D printing.

PLA is pretty much a universal thermoplastic, and is very readily available with just about all stockists of 3D printing filament. And it’s usually one of the most affordable ones to boot.

It’s available in many different colors, and many different finishes. And when you use it on a Creality Ender 3, or in any other 3D printer for that matter, it doesn’t emit any unpleasant odors.

PLA is 3D printed at between 180 to 230 degrees Celsius, a temperature that’s very easily reached on your Creality Ender 3. It comes out nice and smooth, with minimum curling and warping. It flows very easily from the extruder, and is well known not to clog up the nozzle, as some of the other filaments sometimes do.

If precision is of particular importance to you, you could invest in a heated platform (in addition to the integrated heated bed) as this will eliminate all chances of even the slightest warping. However, PLA is not designed to withstand very high temperatures, so you will have to keep the heating bed temperature between about 20 and 60 degrees Celsius.

You should get good solid adhesion with PLA in your Creality Ender 3, but you can find a few tricks to improve on this further still. For example, by using hairspray, or perhaps an alternate glass surface.


Another thing that makes PLA filament so popular is how it’s 100 % biodegradable, and it can be made compostable and will decompose in just 6 months under the right composting conditions.

So, not only is PLA filament the one that causes the least hassle in your Creality Ender 3, giving you some very nice and smooth filaments, but it’s also one of the most environmentally friendly ones you can get too.

ABS

ABS stands for Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene, and is one of the first forms of filament to ever be used in 3D printing.

ABS printouts are known for their superior durability, drawn from their high strength and moderate flexibility. It is this type of filament most often used in the manufacturing industry to make parts, rather than merely prototypes.

ABS printouts are also known to be very abrasion resistant, and also to feature good mechanical and heat resistance to boot.

ABS filament is perfectly compatible with your Creality Ender 3, and can come in really handy if you need your printouts to be durable, for example, if you want to create a small toy that you know won’t break through heavy handedness.

However, we’re going to be honest here and say that ABS is not the easiest filament type to work with. It’s quite the task and demands concentration.

First off, its melting temperature is quite high at 210 to 250 degrees Celsius. And although your Creality Ender 3 can get to these temperatures with no problem, there is another issue to consider. This high temperature makes your prints more prone to warping during the cooling phase, and the corners could start to curl inwards if you’re not careful.

Fortunately, however, your Creality Ender 3 with its integrated heating build plate is very good at reducing any warping in your printouts.

But you should set the printing platform to a lower temperature for the best results. Between 80 degrees to 110 degrees Celsius is best to allow proper adhesion.

When printing with ABS, you’d be best advised not to switch on the Creality Ender 3’s cooling fan. This is because allowing the prints to cool down naturally reduces their chance of warping.

Post-processing is a breeze with ABS. We recommend the Acetone Vapor Smoothing, which provides a super smooth finish to your prints. It’s easy to set up too.


Moreover, because of the high melting temperature, the nozzle of the extruder will start to release toxic fumes from the melting filament. And again, you will have to exercise caution, since these fumes could cause eye irritation and/or respiratory issues.

In summary, although ABS is not as easy to work with as PLA, we certainly get why you may want to use it. It just takes a little more care and attention to get right and avoid warping. And you’ll get a very tough and durable print for your troubles.

PETG

PETG stands for Polyethylene Terephthalate with Glycol. It’s kinda in between PLA and ABS. It’s just as easy to use as PLA but has all the strength, resilience, and toughness of an ABS printout. Effectively giving you the best of both worlds. It’s a great all-rounder.

There is one clear advantage of PETG however, and that is that it has been deemed food-safe, meaning you can use it as crockery or dine ware to eat food from or drink from.

And while it may not be biodegradable like PLA, it is instead 100% recyclable, which is almost as good.

Its best melting temperature is between 220 degrees and 250 degrees Celsius, which presents no problem to your Creality Ender 3.

It gives a very sturdy printout with a very refined surface and isn’t too prone to warping. And best of all, it never comes into the danger of overheating.

It offers superb layer adhesion, and this can be boosted further still by tweaking the build plate temperature.

However, PETG prints are more likely to stick to the printing platform, so when a glass build is being used, you may also have to use a releasing agent to free the print from the build plate.

A build plate temperature between 50 and 75 degrees Celsius is recommended.

You also have to be careful to avoid stringing or oozing with PETG, where leftover strings of the filament keep coming out of the extruder. To avoid this, we recommend keeping the first layer’s height setting should be maintained at 0.32 mm, as this will prevent the nozzle from getting clogged and starting to string or ooze.

You can also help avoid this stringing by switch the printer’s cooling fan on.

TPU

TPU stands for Thermoplastic Polyurethane, and is also compatible with your Creality Ender 3, and the use of TPU in 3D printing is on the rise.

It is quite unique as a thermoplastic because it is very elastic, yet has a little more toughness to it compared to some of the other types of filaments.

These qualities mean that it’s very easy to manipulate as it comes out of the extruder, yet at the same time, it also has a very high tensile strength, making it exceedingly durable and providing prints that are particularly tough and very hard to damage or break.

TPU prints also have a very high resistance to scratching and abrasion.

And when it comes to warping issues, we are pleased to report that TPU poses virtually no warping issues in the Creality Ender 3, and we believe it’s a filament that even a beginner could easily get to grips with.

Although TPU does not elicit any of the health concerns met by ABS, it is important to note that TPU is not classed as food safe, and therefore should not be used to eat or drink from. This is because TPU is hygroscopic, meaning it will absorb moisture from its surroundings.

As such you should be careful to store your TPU prints somewhere that’s both cool and dry.

Its optimum melting temperature lies between 210 degrees and 230 degrees Celsius, a range that your Creality Ender 3 can very easily reach. But better yet, TPU doesn’t need a heated build plate.

That said, we would recommend setting the build plate to about 60 degrees Celsius, as this helps with its adhesion process.

We also recommend that you carry out your TPU printing slowly, at around 25 to 30 millimeters per second. This is down to the sheer pliability of the filament, and slowing the printing down should prevent any issues inside the extruding nozzle.

We also recommend that you use your Creality Ender 3’s cooling fan with TPU. This can help to prevent stringing, oozing, or the formation of blobs caused by too much filament in a specific point.

So, TPU is also great for use in your Creality Ender 3, both in terms of the printing procedures and in terms of the quality of the printout.

Filaments to avoid in the Creality Ender 3

As we mentioned in our introduction, there are some types of filament that you should definitely avoid using in your Creality Ender 3. These include the likes of glow-in-the-dark filaments, wood fill filaments, and polyamide.

But before we go into why they are normally to be avoided, it’s certainly worth noting at this point that you can get away with using these filaments provided that you upgrade to a hardened steel nozzle and a fully-metal hotend.

Glow-in-the-dark filaments

Glow in the dark filaments can be quite abrasive, and as such the brass nozzle of your Creality Ender 3 is not up the job of dealing with it, it will tear right through the extruder.

Woodfill filaments

Woodfill filaments can cause very similar issues, as they’re also quite abrasive.

You might be able to get away with it if you use a good brand like Hatchbox PLA, but we don’t recommend using wood-fill filament in your Creality Ender 3 if it can be avoided.

Polyamide

The issue with polyamide, more commonly referred to as nylon, is that it requires a very high melting temperature.

Temperatures that your Ender 3 cannot reach with first being modified to do so. 

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