Best Filament for Outdoor Use


I’m attempting to develop some parts to build platforms for long trough planters. The issue is what filament will be strong and withstand the weather and sunlight sufficiently to not cause a catastrophic failure where my platforms break and my planters are on the ground with veggies destroyed?

I’ve done several experiments with outside applications.
It started with Bird feeders made of PLA - That was a bad idea in that the PLA will get very soft when outside temperatures
are above about 85 degrees and the sun is shining.

Next was a set of fittings for my Hydroponic garden trellis.
Made from PETG - That worked out pretty good, but the PETG is somewhat brittle.
a small amount of flexing cause 1 fitting to fail.

More bird feeders made of nGen material - Those held up pretty good, but nGen like PETG is more brittle than I would like.

Even more bird feeders - made of ABS material - ABS seems so far, to hold up better to sun, rain and freezing temperatures than
PLA, PETG,nGen materials.

All of the above materials have been outside, summer and winter, through rain, shine, snow and cold.

My current project is printing as I’m writing the reply to your post.
I redesigned the fittings for my Hydroponic garden trellis.
I’m using ABS material to build them.
ABS is tricky to print and tends to warp.
So far, I’ve gone through 2 CURA profile changes and each one is looking better than the last.
When I have the quality that I want, my plan is to brush on 1 or 2 coats of Acetone to seal the porosity.
Then I’ll assemble my trellis and see how it does for the next year or 10.

I hope my comments have helped you in some manner.

Has anyone tried Inova - 1800? I am thinking of building a weather station and need a radiation shield. I think I’ll print this one.

Right now I have Inova 1800, PLA, and nGen in white. I also have some Alloy 910 in translucent/clear that can be painted. The guy on the thingiverse page used white spray paint on his which might be a good idea for extra UV protection but I don’t want the solvents in the paint to degrade the plastic either.

thoughts/opinions? Thanks!

According to Technical Support at Lulzbot, ABS is my best bet. So, I ordered the enclosure kit and am preparing to build it. I’ve been doing other projects up til now.

In response to GJG, I’ve been using XTC-3D ( to seal my prints. This stuff is amazing, as it self infiltrates the gaps between the layers of the print, producing a very nice smooth surface. The material is not a UV protection material. According to the manufacturers, they suggest priming and painting the object for UV protection. The XTC-3D is easily primed and painted. So, I’ll be using painted ABS. As far as the warping, I’ve seen this with Alloy 910 on large parts. The Cura Profile is the most up to date, but the parts warp easily if they are large and have holes for screws. For rigidity and durability, it seems ABS is best for outside use. Inside use I am finding PLA to be sufficient.

In response to amcbride, I looked at the Inova-1800 quite closely. But was steered away from it in favor of the ABS. The nylons are very UV sensitive. I had a water distribution system for my outside plants made of nylon tubing and brass fittings. The first year they worked very well. The second year, they all broke due to UV exposure making them brittle. I switched to a drip irrigation system from Lowe’s and that has withstood the time and UV. In fact, I’ve modified some of their fittings to make water distribution easier. So, I would stay away from outdoor use of the Alloy 910, unless it is in use in a place that does not see sunlight.

You need to check the specifications before choosing the filament. It may be PLA, PET or PVA depending upon your requirement. So, you need to check the material data sheets and then purchase the filament based on your requirement.