How Long Does 3D Printer Filament Last?

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Updated January 16, 2023

If you are new to the world of physical printing, you may wonder how long does 3D printer filament last. Some of the best printers, after all, are 3D printers and these models require expensive materials like resin or filament to operate. So how long does filament last, and how to maximize the lifespan of the material when paired with the best 3D printers? Keep reading to find out.


  • 3D printer filament lasts anywhere from two or two dozen print jobs, as it depends on the complexity of your prints and the efficiency of your printer.
  • This ABS filament spool ships in one-liter containers, which should be stored in a cool part of the home that is not overly humid and free from direct sunlight.
  • Try printing hollow objects to ensure your spool of filament will last a long time or that your roll of filament will be there when you need 3D prints.

How Long Does Filament Last?

When learning how long a 3D printer can run, you eventually encounter the issue of filament and related materials. Filament ships in one-liter containers, which are just under one kilogram. The lifespan of this material varies depending on how long 3D printing takes. In other words, if you only print the occasional knick-knack, your filament will last months and months. If you print many large and complex objects, you could run out in just one or two jobs.

Insider Tip

Shop in bulk or during sales to ensure you always have filament when needed.

This also assumes you understand how thin a 3D printer can print. The thinner the print, the longer the lifespan of the filament.

Tips to Increase the Lifespan of Resin and Filament

There are a number of tips worth considering to make sure your filament or resin lasts a long time.

Hollow Out the Objects

Perhaps the easiest way to extend the lifespan of any spool of filament is to hollow out your print jobs. What does this mean exactly? Instead of solid models, opt for hollowed-out versions. The vast majority of blueprints include an option for a hollowed-out variety, and these objects save up to 75 percent on the filament. That adds up over time. Of course, this is only appropriate for objects that will be able to handle the decreased weight that comes with being hollow.

Store it Correctly

You want your filament to be available when you need it, so store it correctly to maximize its lifespan. Keep spools of filament in a slightly cooler space than room temperature and keep it away from moisture and extreme heat. Save the heat for the print nozzles when they make contact with the filament.

STAT: You could create a spreadsheet to track your average filament consumption per day (or week, month, year, etc.), account for your custom slicer settings, note the particular density of your material, calculate the exact mass of material per spool, and factor in the performance of each machine you use. (source)

Practice Makes Perfect

You are going to waste filament as a beginner. There is no way around that. However, as you become comfortable with the 3D printing process, you will begin to accommodate, thus saving filament or resin in the meantime.

Filament Lifespan FAQs

How many things can I print with a 1KG spool of filament?

This depends on what slicer software you are using and the 3D printing material you are using. Expect anywhere from two to 15 objects when using PETG filaments and assorted 3D printing filaments.

How much filament do you need for a print?

This depends on the filament diameter, the slicer software you use, and the size and shape of your 3D print. Filament rolls last multiple small objects and only one or two large objects.

Can 3D printer filament actually expire and go bad?

Yes, filament goes bad over time, thus ruining any 3D prints. The lifespan depends on the infill percentage, the type of filament used, and how you store it.
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