We currently have quite a few tags about filament:

I feel like we need to clean these up and make clear what we'll use each tag for.


  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Are there any plastics that would not be thermoplastics (that would be used in 3D printing) $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 15, 2016 at 13:44

3 Answers 3


All filament used in 3D printing is thermoplastic filament, so plastic-filament and thermoplastic-filament are redundant.


I see a form of hierarchy that could be used.

Depending on the question a higher level tag could be used or a more specific one for specific problems (or both tags even).

  • Filament
    • Plastic Filament
      • ABS
      • PLA
    • Water Soluble
      • PVA
    • Flexible
      • NinjaFlex and similar
      • TPU
    • Conductive
    • Metalic
  • Resin
  • Powder
  • Full Color

Feel free to edit to add more types

  • $\begingroup$ I really like this approach. One issue, though, is that if you put something under (for example) "TPU" , then someone who's searching for a parent category like "flexible" will miss it. Unless stackexchange has (or would implement) some automation for category hierarchies. Also, I'd suggest lengthening names since they'll be seen out of context. $\endgroup$
    – TextGeek
    Commented Jan 18, 2016 at 19:11
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I like the idea of a hierarchy, but how will that be displayed to users? AFAIK all tags in SE's are independent of each other. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 15, 2017 at 12:07
  • $\begingroup$ You could do somwthing like ABS-plastic-filament vs pla-plastic-filament $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 15, 2017 at 16:04
  • $\begingroup$ while hirarchy is ok and "flexible Filaments" as well as Conductive or water soluble make sense, the category of "plastic filament" is reduntdant. $\endgroup$
    – Trish
    Commented Aug 18, 2018 at 16:38

I bump this and propose the radical method:

We only need ONE tag and then any tags for specific material (e.g. ) groups that have specific properties (e.g. )

  • The difference between and in use is nonexistant and both are pretty much identical to filament in the current use - it is rather random which one gets used, in many cases more than one is used.

  • There is no filament that can be used in 3D printing that is not a thermoplastic, as the method to re-shape the filament via heat demands a thermoplastic.

  • While there are clearly more plastics than thermoplastics, non thermoplastic plastics are not useable for 3D printing unless you would design a whole printer to use for example an UV-curing resin delivered to the workpiece via a needle - which makes this a non-FDM printer.

  • $\begingroup$ I think it is worth stating what makes this best - and I think in terms of categorising questions 'filament' is more than enough for the current level of detail that these questions seem likely to cover. $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 20, 2018 at 21:19
  • $\begingroup$ @SeanHoulihane added more $\endgroup$
    – Trish
    Commented Aug 20, 2018 at 22:14
  • $\begingroup$ Looking at the synonyms page, thermoplastic-filament is a synonym of plastic-filament. Are you saying that they should be merged? $\endgroup$
    – Greenonline Mod
    Commented Aug 30, 2018 at 11:12
  • $\begingroup$ @greenonline pretty much $\endgroup$
    – Trish
    Commented Aug 30, 2018 at 11:35

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