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Materials Glossary

PLA Plastic

PLA is a biodegradable plastic made from renewable resources (corn starch, plant starch, etc) that's great for 3D printing. It's structurally strong, and can be shiny in appearance. PLA is perfect for larger prints as it's much less likely to warp or resize during the printing process -- which ensures reliable accurate prints for you to show off to your friends. ;)

ABS Plastic

ABS plastic is the plastic that LEGOs are made out of. Parts printed in ABS are tough and very durable (just ask the kids stomping on their LEGOs) with high impact tolerance and heat resistance. Unlike PLA, ABS plastic is not biodegradable.


Nylon is awesome; prints in nylon are stronger, more durable, and more flexible. For example, a 3D printed spring printed in nylon can be compressed all the way and will return to its original form. As Nylon is a relatively new material for 3D printing, nylon is often a bit more expensive than ABS or PLA.

Full Color Sandstone

Full color sandstone makes photo-realistic, full color designs possible. It's perfect for printing multi-colored toys, figurines, avatars and… MONSTERS!!! The finished product is hard, a bit brittle, and if you're printing monsters, very scary.


Made out of 40% recycled wood, 60% recycled plastic, and 10% awesomess (yes, that adds up to 110%), Laywood is a printing material that lets you make products that feel, look, and smell like they are made out of wood. Which is great. Laywood is strong structurally, and doesn't warp on large prints. So put away that whittling knife.


We love resin. Printing in resin offers a ridiculously high level of detail and a smooth surface finish. The the output is hard, strong, water-resistant, and... transparent! If you have a model that would look good in clear, resin is your guy.

Biomedical/Industrial Plastic

If your given name was "Polyetherkeytonekeytone" you would go by "biomedical/industrial plastic" too, hehe. But in all seriousness, PEKK plastic is used to print industrial strength parts and biomedical implants.