3D Printering: Where Can I Get The Cheapest Filament?


We’ve complained about the price of 3D printing filament, and cheered at the machine that makes filament out of plastic pellets. Still, the price of filament for our 3D printers is climbing ever higher, leaving us to wonder, where can I get the cheapest filament?

Now, I’m going to start this of by saying this is a work in progress. Canvassing suppliers on every continent for 1.75 and 3mm ABS and PLA for every possible color while accounting for different amounts of filament and shipping is a whole lot of work. Therefore, we’re going to do this in parts, first starting with how much it will cost me to get a kilogram of PLA shipped to my door. This should be a valid test for just about everyone in the USA.

The test criteria is simple: find a supplier of PLA on the Reprap wiki printing material suppliers page and figure out how much it would cost me to get 1 kg of white or natural PLA shipped to my front door. I’ve organized this in a spreadsheet (below) that contains the supplier, size (1.75 mm or 3mm), weight (usually 1 kg although some suppliers are about three ounces short), color, and price with shipping included.

[googleapps domain=”docs” dir=”spreadsheet/pub” query=”key=0Al-qmKeQjYcHdGtZYlFGUmNxdTFsY0lRM2NrOHZYdUE&embedded=true” /]

As you can see, the cheapest place to get PLA filament is from eBay user kbellenterprises at $27 per kg.  The mean price on this chart is $43.93, SD = $7.74.

Knowing that, the cheapest places to get filament – less than 1 standard deviation from the mean – are kbellenterprises, Matter Hackers, Just PLA, Maker Geeks, Monoprice, and 3D printing supplies. Amazingly, kbellenterprises is two standard deviations below the mean price. Either this guy is selling junk – not likely given his eBay feedback rating – or running a business on eBay is a whole lot more efficient than starting a webstore from scratch.

The most expensive filament suppliers – more than 1 SD away from the mean – are UltimachineMakerbot, and MakerGear. For those of you complaining I didn’t test for normality, go ahead and run a chi-squared. I’ll put it up.

Like I said, this is a work in progress. If you find any errors or omissions, send them in on the tips line and I’ll correct it in the Google spreadsheet.

105 thoughts on “3D Printering: Where Can I Get The Cheapest Filament?

  1. Since everybody is promoting that their own business sells the cheapest and best filaments, I should do it to.

    However compared to many we are unique in the way that we not only provide quality and cheap filaments, but also CUSTOMER SERVICE!!!Heck, you can even do a request (contact customer service) and we will help you source for your filament color and sell to you!

    http://www.3dfilamenta.com – Affordable filaments

  2. Thank you all for a wonderful list and good suggestions.

    I have looked through all links/stores and comments. Based this I took out the best and made a own store selling filament.
    What I can offer is this conclusion: http://www.3dfilamenta.com
    +Cheap international freight
    +Good prices, not to cheap not to expensive
    + Quality filaments based on the price of course
    + Many colors!


  3. I’ve been using Gizmo Dorks filament for a few months now, and they’re far and away the best. No jams. Tight tolerances. Lots of colors. Their ABS is priced at $25! The best part is they offer more than just ABS and PLA. They have more exotic filament such as Nylon, Polycarbonate, and Acetal. I’ve used the Polycarbonate, and it’s good.


    Also, they have FREE SHIPPING!!!

  4. Hey guys!

    We opened a 3d Printer filament store here in Montreal, Canada! Our goal is to help the 3D printing community have access to good quality filaments at a low price. Prices are 18.99 and 19.99 CAD$ for ABS and PLA. The shipping rate are however much better for Canadians as you will see. We will build up our store depending on the preferences of our users. Come checked it out and support us! You can also find us on facebook. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate

    We are Creator Fuel

  5. I’ve seen some home filament extruders on Kickstarter recently. Considering the long-term cost of filament this is something I would definitely consider. The ABS and PLA pellets used for these extruders are about 10% of the price of the filament. So big savings for sure! You can also have more control over the colors as you have the ability to add your own dyes.

  6. I buy Excelvan pla off ebay us ahipped for $8 (rare but not crazy uncommon) to $13 per kg. In my replicator mini using simplify 3d i have burned through about 5kg in 4 or so weeks and have had zero issues and zero complaints. I love the stuff.

    Zero jams zero clogs zero issues at all. I have had failures but none related to the filament.

    I just cant see spending $35 to $45 a kg when this stuff works so well. I only get bad results when i try to print really tiny spires (sloppy and brittle)

    Its also proven quite strong and flexible. I though pla was brittle then again this onservation is relative. I am making rockets mosy of them single wall spiral/vase mode.

    I was able to see no difference between the Excelvan and the 9 rolls of makerbot filament i burned through.

    I have not tried any expensive filament like colorfabb or boots or proto pasta. Too expensive. I wanted to try some of the proto pasta coffee ht pla but damn its literally 6 times as costly as the Excelvan pla. I dont want to try it that badly.

    I have no idea if the pla is consistant or even in diameter but if not the printer does not seem to care and the widgets come out fine.

    I do wish some of the more interesting filaments would come down in price. For now i have about 20kg of pla stocked up. Anytime i see some for under $10 a kg i grab a few rolls in any color except black. Hate black.

  7. This post did not age well. :)

    Current prices (mid-2018) for a kilogram of known-good vendor PLA are (mostly) under $20 from Amazon (and free shipping), and seem to be headed slowly downwards.

    There was a period where filament prices where increasing?

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