Filament FAQ

How Do I Modify My Ultimaker to Use 1.75mm filament?

The Ultimaker machines are not compatible with 1.75mm filament. Because the nozzle assembly parts are designed for a flow of 2.85mm filament, the thinner filament will melt and pool to fill the available space but not get pushed out the nozzle.

Why Do Different Colors of the Same Materials Melt Differently?

Even though all PLA has the same chemical base, the different dyes used can affect the melting point. For example: Let's say you generally use a print temperature of 220 C. However, you've just changed to a new color. This color is runnier at 220 C and gives a lesser print quality. The dye in that new color is affecting how easily it melts. For that particular color, you would want to print at a lower temperature.

Why Aren't Different Brands of the Same Kind of Material All the Same Quality?

Imagine that the filament is a medicine. When you go to buy a medicine, there are different brand names and different generics but they all have the same active ingredients. It's the binders and fillers that are different. It's the same with filament. You have the same base compound [active ingredients] but what the company adds will be different [binders and fillers]. 

The Filament I Want to Buy Is Not on a Reel. Where Can I Get an Empty Reel?

You don't need to. For filament that is in loose coils, set it on a lazy susan on the floor behind the printer. As long as you've positioned it so that the filament is free to come up as it feeds, you won't have any issues.

I Heard Filament Will Eat Up My Nozzle and That I Need a Steel Tip. Is This True?

The nozzles on the Ultimaker printers are made of brass. Printing in certain specialty filaments (such as stainless steel or carbon fiber) wears away the softer brass. It erodes the inside of the nozzle and widens the opening in the tip. A steel nozzle will not wear away as easily. If you are printing in the regular plastics, you do not need a steel nozzle. 

For more filament questions, check out our other filament articles:

2.85mm v. 3mm

Types of Filament

Where can I find the Safety Data Sheet and/or Technical Data Sheet for Ultimaker filaments?

The safety and technical data sheets for Ultimaker PLA, ABS, and CPE are available below as PDFs. PLA, ABS, and CPE all have different chemical and physical properties, so be sure to choose the correct sheet for the filament you are using. The Safety Data Sheets (SDS) identify the safety procedures for normal handling and use of the materials. The Technical Data Sheets (TDS) identify temperature ranges and strength of the different filaments for different applications.


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