What is the difference between 3mm and 1.75 mm filament?

Diving Deep into Filament Dimensions: 1.75mm vs. 3mm


Hello there, tech enthusiast! It’s Carolina, your go-to guide in the fantastic world of technology. Today, I’ll walk you through a fascinating discovery I made while scrolling through Amazon and geeking out over YouTube videos: the intriguing world of filament sizes, specifically 1.75mm and 3mm. You might be wondering, like I was, about the distinctions between these two. So, buckle up and let’s explore this topic together!

1.75mm filament is all the rage! It’s the heartthrob of 3D printers, such as the Ender 3, Prusa MK3S+, Anycubic Vyper, and the Voxelab Aquila. Its popularity ensures that a plethora of filament brands are producing this size. However, the 3mm filament is the unsung hero – sturdy and robust, playing a pivotal role in printers like the Ultimaker series and the Lulzbot Taz 6. It’s got a resilience that can surprise you.

Peeling Back the Layers: History and More

Venturing into the annals of 3D printing, we find that it’s been over two decades since these machines made their debut. Back in the day, these were luxury items, almost as precious as my first computer! It’s fascinating to note that the initial standard was 3mm filament, a byproduct of plastic welding rods of the era. But as innovation took the front seat, by around 2011, the sleek and versatile 1.75mm filament was introduced, revolutionizing the industry.

When considering filament diameter, the common ones you’ll stumble upon are 1.75mm and 3mm. If you’re sitting on the fence about which one to choose for your 3D printer, my advice? Go for the 1.75mm filament. With it, you’ll have a broader range of materials, swift print speeds, and lesser oozing. As for 3mm, its strengths lie in working fabulously with larger nozzle sizes, and it has a sturdy nature, making it a dream for professionals.

Diving Deeper: Differences to Consider

– Flow Rates through the Extruder: With 1.75mm, there’s quicker melting and increased extrusion rates. But with 3mm, friction can increase towards the end of the spool.

– Rate of Tolerance: Interestingly, the smaller diameter of 1.75mm filament requires manufacturers to maintain tighter tolerances.

– Tangling Challenges: 1.75mm filaments can be a tad mischievous! They can tangle if not appropriately handled.

– Water Attraction: The 1.75mm variant is more susceptible to moisture due to its higher surface-to-volume ratio.

Can We Mix and Match?

If you’re wondering about using 1.75mm filament in a 3D printer designed for 3mm, or vice-versa, it’s not a straightforward swap. The extruder and hot end components are crafted uniquely for each size, and trying to interchange can lead to jams and uneven extrusion. And while converting 3mm to 1.75mm might sound appealing, unless you’re a filament wizard with specialized equipment, I’d advise against it.

2.85mm Vs 3mm: Is it Just Semantics?

Though often used interchangeably, it’s good to note that most 3mm filaments are technically 2.85mm. Depending on your supplier, there can be slight variations. My two cents? Always go for reputed brands that promise consistency.