I find that white filaments are quite translucent and printing 5 layers of white filament onto 2 layers of black filament (at 0.2 mm layers, the white layers being 100% infilled and the underlying black layer covering about 85% of the whole area) produces a slightly grey color on the top.

Is that a limitation of the white colour (or the actual material used)?

Are there materials, that address this issue to some extent?

Adjusting layer thickness while keeping the overall height won't change things, right?

  • $\begingroup$ i've seen dramatically different results from different brands of filament. fwiw, some matter hackers white i bought about 2 years ago is MUCH more opaque than anything else i've bought. $\endgroup$
    – dandavis
    Jun 15, 2020 at 4:44

2 Answers 2


PLA filaments are pretty transparent in their pure state. Other filaments, especially fiber-filled ones, are opaque in nature. But in the end, the color is determined a lot by the colorful pigments added and the amount of pigments directly correlates to the opacity. The more pigment is added, the more opaque it becomes. There are several screws for the color though: Ammount and type of pigments. For transparent filaments.

Not all pigments are the same. For example, white greatly differs between different brands. For example, my second-favorite brand's white is a little more in the "cream" color range, the filament sample that came with my TronXY X1 was very satin gloss and the first spool I ordered was a very white-opaque white. This all is because of the type of pigment used and the amount.

How can you tell the amount? From the print properties and the looks of a printed filament: a filament that is very laden with pigments tends to print hotter than one that has few to none, but it also blocks light much better. I have experienced up to 20 °C between a transparent and the very heavily pigment laden white filament for the sweetspot. The same white filament was completely opaque after 1.6 mm in walls but most prints are!

Remember: walls are generally thicker than roofs. If you really need to make the white covering fully, you'll need to make more white thickness, but thinner layers can help a slight bit as the included air in each layer helps a little.

  • $\begingroup$ With that said, unless the manufacturer provides very exact parameters (different temperature for different colors of the same material for example), there is no knowing unless I try the filament out. $\endgroup$
    – IsawU
    Jun 13, 2020 at 10:38
  • $\begingroup$ @IsawU exactly, but as a rool of thumb: thicker roofs cover better. Try about 4 or 5 layers? $\endgroup$
    – Trish
    Jun 13, 2020 at 15:25

Most of the plastics used for filament are inherently transparent and largely colorless. Color is achieved by adding pigment. Translucent and transparent colors are easy, but opaque colors require large amounts of opaque pigments, and even then, their opacity has its limits - even with black filament!

You can probably find very opaque white filament, but beware - too much pigment will affect the raw properties of the filament itself, either in terms of print temperature or things like layer adhesion or stringing/clogging etc.


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