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Good ABS/PLA Filaments

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Hi, I'm a new user awaiting an Ultimaker 2 Extended coming in the mail and I was curious about what filament brands are both cheap and high quality. I have seen posts about ColorFabb and Faberdashery but they are located in Europe. I live in the United States and was wondering if there are equivalent US brands or if it's still worth the investment to ship from European brands.

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I'm curious about this as well. I used up the first spool of silver PLA that came with my Ultimaker 2 Extended, and I need more (I'm on a deadline here at work). But their US supplier is out of stock on the silver filament.

I had purchased 5 other spools of various PLA colors that were made by Prototype Supply. They are terrible compared to the Ultimaker PLA filament. I've had lots of problems with the Prototype Supply filament, the worst of which is that the extruder drive wheel chews threw the filament on a regular basis, which it didn't do with the Ultimaker brand PLA. It's also very brittle, and the filament has actually cracked while being fed through the Bowden tube. It extrudes decently, but tends to string a lot more than the other. More post-processing. And lastly, the Prototype Supply filament colors are not that great. The filament looks like a good solid strong color, but when you print it comes out translucent and weakly-colored. I have to print thicker walls on my objects to get the color looking right. The exception is their black PLA - it's good stuff.

I won't buy Prototype Supply PLA again. But I am looking for the community favorite PLA brand that will give me decent performance.

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You need to specify country but in USA I recommend printedSolid.com. Great guy who runs it (Matt) and he has lots of great filaments (not cheap - but don't waste your money on cheap filament as it's worth it! Definitely worth it to get good quality filament). Another great source is dynamism.com which sells ultimaker brand filament (my second choice).

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Cheap and high quality doesn't add up. Either you go cheap and get cheap stuff, or you go high quality and have to pay for it...

I use Faberdashery and Diamond Age PLA. Both top-notch quality and both cost me pretty much the same (including shipping around the world and taxes).

Colorfabb XT is a very nice alternative to ABS.

Afaik, ABS is cheaper than a good quality PLA. But I don't use any ABS plastics anymore because they stink, release toxic fumes during printing and they generally produce worse prints than PLA or XT.

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I am eager to try ColorFabb stuff based on the many glowing reviews I have seen about it

As others mentioned, be sure to check their reseller link...there are sources in the United States and elsewhere.

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I was planning on trying out Faberdashery while buying more Ultimaker filament by ordering from fbrc8. Do you think ColorFabb filament would be better quality compared to those two brands? Forgive me for using the word "cheap", I simply meant cheaper than shipping from Europe.

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There all good (I assume we talk PLA here) but different, it's a matter of taste...

The colorfabb is a bit softer, but it also varies per color.

The advantage of the colorfabb is IMHO that its easier to print the last part of the spool, the UM and Faberdashery are a lot more "springy" (is that a word?) there's more tension in the PLA specially when it gets a bit older.

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UM filament is not actual "brand" filament. Afaik, UM doesn't manufacture their own filament, but buy the stuff from somewhere. In my experience, UM filament was among the worst quality stuff that I tried.

But I have to admit I went for the good brands very soon - it's worth it.

My UMO printer is very reliable - except for problems with filaments such as the string suddenly snapping off the spool, or even breaking completely just out of nothing. I never had any of these problems again since I started using only Diamond Age & Faberdashery PLA.

Personally, I'm not a fan of Colorfabb's PLA (too gummy / stringy), but their XT is probably the best printing filament ever.

Note that unlike PLA, XT is a bit more sensitive to "having a good, heated printing surface". Many people have difficulties getting it to work well. I'm using a PEI printing plate which works (almost too) well with XT.

You could also take a look at Taulman filaments (I believe they are a US brand?). Their T-Glase is supposed to be similar to XT. And Nylon is known to be a very strong and versatile filament. But it's also more difficult to handle & print than PLA. You need to store it dry (using silicate packs or rice) and the UM2's glass surface isn't the best choice for printing Nylon either.

By the way, it is NOT necessary to store PLA super-dry. In fact, this would make the filament brittle and prone to breaking in your feeder. I keep my filament away from dust (put it in some bag or box), but that's it. Never had any issues with humidity.

Note that these are only my personal opinions / experiences - nobody's perfect ;)

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Thank you all for your insightful answers. In an attempt to branch out to higher quality filaments, I think I'm going to start off with Faberdashery and ColorFabb XT and experience other brands including DiamondAge, Taulman and NinjaFlex from there.

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I personally find XT difficult to use, stringing can be a real pain, and when you print too cold layer adhesion can be ... I don't understand why people use XT unless you need the extra resistance against higher temperature. The higher printing temperature will also kill your PTFE faster.

If you like UM fillament, it's (at least some of it) produced by the dutch brand Innofil ( http://innofil3d.com/ ) one of there sales guys told me they do the UM Silver. I personally go for cheaper home brand stuff for normal PLA (makerpoint.nl) but also have a few favorite Colorfabb colors.

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It's true XT is difficult to handle. Having a specialized printer plate (I have a PEI plate) helps a lot. And XT is one of these filaments that should actually not be printed too slowly because when the nozzle moves too slowly, the filament underneath will melt (and get stringy) and warp. I use 40mm/s as a minimum speed with XT.

I also print XT a lot hotter than recommended, at 255°C (Note that my UMO probably underestimates temperature by quite a bit) which is indeed very demanding on the UMO hotend.

I have actually stopped printing XT for now because of that, and will switch to an E3D full metal hotend for printing XT in the future.

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I have not tried any new ABS filaments in my somewhat customized and enhanced UMO for quite a long time. I have a large inventory of Ultimachine ABS stockpiled, and it was my favorite a couple years ago.

I just got a couple of spools of MakerGeeks "High Performance PLA." I'm very impressed with it and prefer it to PolyMaker PolyMAX PLA, so far. The MakerGeeks high temperature PLA is not super expensive and it sure makes the hassles of printing ABS far less compelling! (BTW, I confirmed with their customer support that their "Dishwasher Safe PLA" is the exact same formulation as their "High Performance PLA.")

I mostly make mechanical and structural parts and standard PLA is usually too brittle to be of much use to me. I mostly print nylon but large nylon parts are a hassle to print well too.

I also purchased four spools of MakerGeeks PET-G and I plan to try it next next.

Edited by Guest

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Colorfabs PLA/PHA is slightly more flexible then "regular" pla which makes it much less brittle. But of course what is "regular" pla? UM also has additives to make it more flexible. Almost everyone does now. I plan to characterize the "young's modulus" of a few different brands of PLA in the near future. I just finished building my stress/strain tester.

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I know this is an old thread but I thought I'd weigh in anyway with some updated info.

Currently, I'm using "Inland" 3mm PLA from Amazon ($17.99/1kg roll)

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01N7MERGM/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I've used the Inland red and the blue and I think it's working fine. Adhesion is great (hairspray). A tiny amount of stringing that I can wipe off with my fingers (perhaps slightly more than the UM). Pretty much the same print quality as the UM filament that came with my machine. I actually bought these because I preferred the color of the red and the blue over many of the more expensive alternatives that I saw. I'm quite happy with the color and saturation.

Very good value overall.

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I've used Colorfabb with success in the past

 

I really hate Colorfabb's PLA/PHA (but the natural color is great) as I found it very squishy, almost like printing toothpaste.

I know only crave for filaments with Ingeo resin with little additives and colorants (Polymaker Polyplus PLA is nice)

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