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How Long does 3D Printer Filament Last

  • 5 min read

Maximizing Durability:How Long Does 3D Printer Filament Last?

Understanding the lifespan of 3D printer filaments is essential for anyone involved in 3D printing, as it directly impacts the quality and efficiency of their projects. "How long does 3D printer filament last?" is a critical question for both hobbyists and professionals. The life of 3D printer filament is influenced by the type of filament material, the conditions under which it is stored, and its exposure to environmental elements. Generally, most filament types can last approximately 1 to 2 years without notable degradation in quality if stored correctly. This guide aims to explore these critical factors in depth, offering valuable tips to ensure that your 3D printing projects maintain their high quality over time, thereby maximizing the potential of your 3D printer filaments.

Factors that Affect the Lifespan of the Filaments

Understanding whether and why 3D printer filament goes bad is essential for achieving consistent and high-quality printing results. These factors encompass various aspects, including the type of filament material used, storage conditions, and exposure to environmental elements. Let's delve into each of these factors:


Filament Material

The type of material used in filament production plays a critical role in its lifespan. For example, PLA (Polylactic Acid) is known for its user-friendly properties but is more susceptible to moisture, leading to a shorter lifespan under poor storage conditions. In contrast, ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) is more resilient to environmental factors but can degrade when exposed to UV light. Specialty filaments like PETG (Polyethylene Terephthalate Glycol) and flexible TPU (Thermoplastic Polyurethane) also have unique longevity characteristics, influenced by their chemical composition and intended use.

Storage Conditions

Proper storage is paramount in preserving filament quality. Filaments absorb moisture from the air, which can cause issues like brittleness and poor layer adhesion during printing. Storing filaments in airtight containers with desiccant packets can significantly extend their usability. Additionally, maintaining a consistent, moderate temperature and shielding filaments from direct sunlight helps in preserving their integrity and print quality over time.

Exposure to Environmental Factors

Environmental factors such as humidity, temperature, and direct sunlight can drastically affect the condition of 3D printer filaments. High humidity can cause materials like PLA to absorb moisture, leading to issues like filament bubbling during printing. This raises the question, "How long does PLA filament last?" The answer largely depends on the level of exposure to these conditions. Similarly, exposure to high temperatures or direct sunlight can alter the filament's properties, making it brittle or deformed. Protecting filaments from these environmental elements is crucial to maintain their integrity and print quality.

How to prolong the lifespan of the filaments?

Now that we've explored the various factors that can impact the lifespan of 3D printer filaments, from the type of material to environmental exposures, it's clear that maintaining filament quality is an ongoing challenge. To ensure your filaments last as long as possible and maintain their performance, consider the following key strategies:


  • H3-Store Properly
Effective storage solutions are essential for prolonging filament lifespan. Filaments should ideally be stored in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight. Using airtight containers with desiccants can significantly reduce the risk of moisture absorption. Moreover, specialized filament storage solutions, such as vacuum-sealed bags or containers, offer additional protection.
  • H3-Use High-Quality Filament
The quality of the filament is a decisive factor in its longevity. High-quality filaments are generally more stable and resistant to environmental degradation. They are manufactured to precise standards, ensuring consistent diameter and composition, which contributes to longer shelf life and better printing results. At Ankermake, our 3D printer filaments are crafted with these high standards in mind, offering enhanced durability and reliability for a wide range of printing applications.

  • H3-Maintain Regularly
Regular maintenance is essential for both the filament and the printer. Inspect filaments routinely for signs of degradation, such as brittleness or color changes, and keep them free from dust and debris to prevent clogging the printer’s extruder. Maintaining the printer, including cleaning the extruder and print bed and ensuring firmware is up-to-date, also helps in maintaining optimal print conditions, thus extending the filament’s useful life.
Bonus Tip: Enhancing Filament Lifespan with AnkerMake M5 and AnkerMake M5C Printers
To further optimize the longevity and performance of your filaments, consider leveraging the advanced capabilities of our AnkerMake M5 and AnkerMake M5C printers. These cutting-edge printers are designed to work seamlessly with a variety of filament types, ensuring that your materials are used efficiently and effectively.


Our AnkerMake M5 3D Printer is a testament to efficiency in the 3D printing world. Capable of speeds up to 500 mm/s, it reduces printing time significantly. Precision is another key feature, with a fine detail level of 0.1 mm, ensuring that every inch of filament is used effectively to produce crisp, detailed prints. We've also incorporated an AI camera for monitoring, which helps in detecting and minimizing issues that could lead to filament wastage. The advanced 7×7 auto-leveling system further ensures that each layer is perfectly aligned, maximizing the use of every filament strand.
In the same vein, our AnkerMake M5C 3D Printer stands out with its unique capabilities. It offers user-friendly features our AnkerMake app and a customizable one-click operation, allowing for precise and streamlined printing processes. Matching the M5 in terms of speed, the M5C also boasts a high extrusion flow rate of 35 mm³/s, promoting efficient and precise filament use. Its robust all-metal hotend ensures smooth filament extrusion, reducing the chances of jams or inconsistencies that can lead to filament waste.
By integrating the use of high-quality AnkerMake printers with the best practices in filament storage, quality selection, and maintenance, you can significantly extend the life of your 3D printing filaments. This combination not only improves print quality but also boosts the overall efficiency and sustainability of your 3D printing processes.


In conclusion, the lifespan of 3D printer filaments is influenced by a variety of factors, including the material of the filament, storage conditions, and exposure to environmental elements. Understanding these factors is crucial in maximizing filament longevity. To prolong the life of your 3D printer filaments, it's essential to store them properly, opt for high-quality filaments, and maintain them regularly. Remember, the answer to "How long does 3D printer filament last?" largely depends on how well you adhere to these guidelines. By implementing these practices, you can ensure that your 3D printing projects are not just successful but also cost-effective in the long run.

Frequently Asked Questions About “How Long Does 3D Printer Filament Last?”

Can I revive or dehydrate filament that has absorbed moisture?

Yes, you can revive or dehydrate filament that has absorbed moisture. This is done by baking it in an oven at a low temperature for several hours, or using a specialized filament dryer.

Can I use expired or old filament for less critical projects?

Yes, you can use expired or old filament for less critical projects. While the quality might not match that of new filament, it's still suitable for experiments or drafts where precision and strength are less crucial. Just ensure the filament hasn't degraded too much to avoid printer issues.

Does the color of filament affect its lifespan?

The color of filament does not significantly affect its lifespan. Lifespan is more influenced by material type, storage conditions, and exposure to environmental factors. However, some colored pigments may slightly alter the filament's properties, but these changes are usually negligible in terms of overall filament longevity.