Conditionally, yes, you can make use of a lawn trimmer line as the filament for your 3D printer. However, do not forget this safety information! Make sure you only 3D print using a trimmer line as your filament in an area that is well-ventilated and ensure you are always somewhere around that area. 

As you must have observed, there are always complications when you make use of certain substances that are not the usual materials for 3D printing. Particularly when you heat them, they begin to discharge TOXIC FUMES due to the heat.

Having said that, let’s get right into the thick of it. If you have ever made use of a lawn trimmer, you probably have found out an unspoken similarity. Here you have it! The trimmer line that you see on that lawn trimmer matches what you see as the filament used for 3D printing. 

This lawn trimmer line is mostly created from Nylon materials. You cannot find a roll of nylon in every household. This is as a roll of nylon has become quite costly and is not the best material to 3D print with.


This situation, therefore, raises the question of whether a lawn trimmer line from any hardware store around you is a practical substitute for the actual kinds of 3D printing filament. 

What if you only need this trimmer line for a little portion of your 3D printing project and you don’t wish to have a chunk of your cash going for that? If any of these is the case with you, then, you are in the right place. We will expose you to the likely possibilities, what you should do and not do, and what to prepare against based on our research experience. Keep Reading!

This text will be divided into two phases:

  • Our First Experience With A Lawn Trimmer Line As Filament
  • Our Second Experience With A Lawn Trimmer Line As Filament

Our First Experience With A Lawn Trimmer Line As Filament

The Product Comparison

As a part of our research work, we had to pay a visit to a local hardware store around the corner. There, we found an Oregon trimmer line with a diameter length of 1.7mm. 

To get a roll of this lawn trimmer line which measured a length of 15m and weigh about 42g had me parting with €2.79. By our calculations, the price is not as expensive as that of an actual filament and you do not even need to get the full spool.

We similarly discovered that you can get your own lawn trimmer line in those local stores around you. You can big half and full pound rolls of the line and they get less costly per kilo. It was to our utmost surprise that the diameter length of the lawn trimmer line we got was quite even and practically fitting right within the range of what a typical 3D printing filament will offer.

Even from the product description we saw, a lawn trimmer line is made from similar materials and additives to a normal 3D printing kind of filament. 

You have a nylon co-polymer product reinforced with additives to give a long-lasting and unbreakable effect. This is nothing shy of a standard mechanical part suitable for printing using 3D print technology.

We discovered that the lawn trimmer line has only been a part of our daily life that we never thought would hold such an important part in the realm of modern-day technology (3D Printing)

The Printing Process

We continued by proceeding to load these trimmer lines into the E3D Toolchanger to see if it will work well and we could print something out. We measured a nozzle temperature to about 250°C seeing that Nylon’s print is mostly set at that lower range.

In the process of loading the trimmer line into the E3D Toolchanger, we began to catch a glimpse of what we thought would happen, but we were prepared. 

The nylon content in it is a hygroscopic substance. This implies that it would soak up moisture that then oozes out in the process of melting it. At the end of the day, your prints get ruined.

It is for this reason that we advised at the beginning of this text that you should ensure that this trimmer line is kept moist. That way, you do not have to be bothered about the line becoming brittle. Like it was in our case, there was quite a handful of bubbles and steam. These bubbles and steam completely covered the filament after it was extruded.

We went on to check out how our 3D prints would be like with a trimmer line as the filament. We made use of a temperature level of 105°C on the glass bed and coated it using a glue stick to aid the adhesion.

Our Printed Piece

As it appears, the print out beat our expectations as it came out successfully. There was no jam. But, at the end of it all, we had a foamy and a little bit of stringing on our 3D printed item. This outcome is logical considering the level of moisture that was present.

In general, our printed piece didn’t come out so great, yet, it was not a disaster. The adhesiveness of the layers stayed firm throughout the entire process. 

The parts of our printed piece stayed together till the end without crumbling apart as some would have expected. In conclusion, this is not in any way the worst beginning, and we also accept that it can still be better than this.


Our Second Experience With A Lawn Trimmer Line As Filament

From our first experience using a lawn trimmer is our filament for our 3D printing project, we can deduce one crucial point. And that is the fact that when there is a considerable amount of moisture contained in a trimmer line, it is never a good substitute for a regular filament material for 3D printing.

The Adjustment

How about we dry our trimmer line and check if the result will change. This was exactly what we did!

The fact that water absorption is common to most polymers makes them a bad fit for whatever 3D printing project you want to do. A lot will surely change when we take out most of this water content.

So, we wriggled in another donut of trimmer line (as it is fondly called), into the food dehydrator we had gotten for the process. We increased the temperature level all the way to as high as 70°C and left the trimmer line in there for a while.

From time to time, we would take out the trimmer line and scale it since we had no idea how long it should stay in the dehydrator before we can say it has dried up completely. This process of drying our trimmer line up lasted for about a whole day. At the end of the day, a significant amount of about 3% moisture was extracted from our lawn trimmer line. From that, we can posit that 12 hours might be enough time for you to properly dehydrate your lawn trimmer line when you want to do so. But, in our own case, we would love to say, the drier, the better!


The Second Print

We then took out our substitute filament from the food dehydrator and instantly hurled it into a completely dry container. Picking up moisture again can really be faster than you could have imagined.  Hence, we had to keep it in that dry environment to ensure our results are as uniform as possible.

Next up, we took our makeshift filament material and printed out the exact G-Code of the Lumpy Bumpy Vase we had just printed.