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brentwerder

Looking for a reliable, low-cost filament supplier.

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Hey everyone,

After a couple months of playing around with my Ultimaker Original + (which, I have to say, is my new favorite industrial toy), I ran into some problems with the bowden tube. I was a complete idiot, and the story in a nutshell is that I squished the tube with some pliers (ruining it), and the guys at Ultimaker were so kind as to send it to me for free.

Now, since I'm waiting for the tube to arrive, I have some time to prep the machine for some more printing (buying new filament, finding cool stuff to print, etc.). Ever since that lovely roll of silver PLA ran out, I've been buying my PLA from a great company called MakerGeeks. Their MakerFIL printed pretty well, and I hardly ever ran into problems with it. And, better yet, each 1kg. spool cost ~$20, and shipping was free. But, now that I'm looking back, the prints I had were a little lack-luster in the color department. There were parts that were transparent in the sides of it where the dye they used wasn't strong enough, places where the color wasn't vibrant, all that nasty stuff. I would add some photos showing the sub-par quality, but the ones I took didn't show enough detail.

My question to you, O Great Reader, is this: Do you know of any filament suppliers that match what I've been buying? As in, the filament is great quality, low cost (under $30 for 1kg spools, preferably), and ships free? I'm looking to branch out in my great quest for the Perfect Print.

I've looked at Faberdashery, ColorFabb (their XT-Copolyester looks like a good bet), and, of course, Ultimaker, but none of them really met my standards. I might be a little picky, but hey. If I can save $20 for every kilo I buy, I'm a happy man.

Thanks for reading, and hopefully you can help me find some reliable filament!

-Brent

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My Opinion about filaments is that you don't want to save a couple of dollars for a cheap roll. I prefer spending more and having a reliable and constant filament to print with.

I print a lot with ColorFabb and Ultimaker filaments with no issues. Faberdashery is great too.

I heard some good things about Dutch filaments and formfutura also.

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I had to admit that I did try that route and there's no much alternative than buying the good stuff. I use bq cheap pla for noncomercial stuff and tests but for anything than needs constant size, constant color or 'good' colors you need the good stuff. They are expensive because they are good and they are good because put more money con the color/size control. I ordered a free mini spool from a italian company that sells many colors (eurosomething) and the 20grm mini spool has constant changes on the size. So yeah, there's no magic brand cheap/perfect.

Edited by Guest

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Wow, I have tried maker geeks and have had so many problems with it. The plastic is really cheap and clogs easy, and I found that my extruder's bolt could not grab the filament for anything after the first 1/4 of my first spool. When I contacted support about the filament appearing to have quality control issues, they sent me another spool for free, however it had the same issue.

I've heard a lot of good things about Ultimachine, but I haven't gotten around to buying a new spool yet. Also, if you're looking for a US distributer of colorfabb, I know matterhackers.com caries it.

Edited by Guest

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One thing I learned quickly with filament...and many things in life...you get what you pay for.

The Ultimaker filaments have been good but I have to say, I really like the ColorFabb PLA/PHA. I'm pretty picky about what I spend money on with my 3D printing and in the past two weeks, I've bought four rolls of ColorFabb from PrintedSolid (USA Retailer). It shows up in 3 days and the four or five things I have printed over the past week look great.

I tried MatterHackers PLA Pro filament and it works fine too. I've only done two small prints with it and no issues.

Again, we may all be saying this in vain...but don't buy cheap filament. And if you post about a massive clog or jams by doing so....be prepared for Told You So's :)

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Thanks for the great responses!  Guess I'll put in a couple extra bucks - looks like Ultimaker or Colorfabb is the way to go.  It's a shame that I've already bought 4 rolls of MakerGeeks filament...  I'll just have to keep printing till I'm out, or maybe sell 'em on eBay.

 

The MakerGeek PLA needs to print at slightly higher temps. I cranked it up to 220c.

I have had a bunch of failed prints with the Maker Geek PLA, but I have also had some good prints. Blah. At some point in the future I might get itchy and try them again.

Here is my rant on the subject.

https://ultimaker.com/en/community/view/17005-makergeek-filament-versus-ultimaker-brand-filament

After the hassles with the MakerGeek filament, I went back to Ultimaker brand filament.

After two spools of successful printing...... I was feeling a bit itchy for a deal again, so I am currently trying the PLA filament from 3D Universe.

I have made two small prints with the red color and they look great. They are completely opaque. I am in the middle of a 9 hour long print using the silver color. Fingers crossed. I hooked the UM2 up to my PC at work and set up the webcam so I could monitor it and kill it if need be..... too bad I forgot to turn the LED's on. Wamp.

On a side note, one of the reasons I am looking for other filament vendors is just larger spools sizes. With larger spools you will have fewer end-of-spool-dead-ends.

Edited by Guest

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I'm printing the pieces to the Star Wars Episode 7 blaster rifle.  Using Colorfabb PHA/PLA (black) filament.  Hour 16 of a 22 hour print (0.1 layers)

12006382_10153566404780169_1385251672409374519_n.thumb.jpg.462f50228705249606a5432eaa707152.jpg

 

The butt of the rifle looks great. Will there be photos of all of the other parts?

And yes, judging by the number of references to Star Wars, it is time to create a dedicated topic for the fans :)

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I've always wanted to print a realistic gun just because they look cool, but it seems to get mixed reactions. There seem to be none available for free download, i don't care even if it isn't airsoft. Ill do some hyper detailed guns next after my manga project and other million things i plan to print, lol!

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The MakerGeek PLA needs to print at slightly higher temps. I cranked it up to 220c.

 

Yeah I had some success at 215, but I switched back to the ultimaker silver that came with my umo for a print, then the makergeeks wouldn't print again when I tried to switch back. I tried all sorts of temperatures, 220, 225, I think I tried 260 in an attempt to keep it flowing, nothing worked. It would clog every time.

Edited by Guest

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I've always wanted to print a realistic gun just because they look cool, but it seems to get mixed reactions. There seem to be none available for free download, i don't care even if it isn't airsoft. Ill do some hyper detailed guns next after my manga project and other million things i plan to print, lol!

 

If the model deserves it, and I have a free 10-15 dollars, why not buy?

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@Labern  I wish I could afford it, every time I have some spare money something comes up!

I keep hoping @SandervG will pull some strings and gift me one!   :)

 

Yes they don't come cheap.

I hear the guys at UM love cookies. That may help persuade SandervG.

 

That would be R & D mainly.. It is getting close to becoming a currency here ;)

Edited by Guest

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I've always wanted to print a realistic gun just because they look cool, but it seems to get mixed reactions. There seem to be none available for free download, i don't care even if it isn't airsoft. Ill do some hyper detailed guns next after my manga project and other million things i plan to print, lol!

 

If the model deserves it, and I have a free 10-15 dollars, why not buy?

 

I dont think id find a hyper realistic one for 10-15 dollars defo not on turbo sqiud. Ill keep looking, want a desert eagle, or colt 45 or uzi, or something fun looking for movie prop close ups.

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Yeah I had some success at 215, but I switched back to the ultimaker silver that came with my umo for a print, then the makergeeks wouldn't print again when I tried to switch back. I tried all sorts of temperatures, 220, 225, I think I tried 260 in an attempt to keep it flowing, nothing worked. It would clog every time.

 

That sucks. I have two more suggestions.

Have you taken about the print head to look at the condition of your PTFE coupler?

Have you cleaned off the outside surface of the nozzle? I felt like the MakerGeek filament was sticking to the outside of the nozzle more...

I assume you are doing Atomic Pulls to clean out the nozzle.

Good luck

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Wow - thanks, everyone, for the awesome help! 22 replies already! Ok, so what I'm hearing is to get Faberdashery, Ultimaker, ColorFabb, or 3D Universe. I've had fantastic results with the standard Ultimaker filament, and I've heard great things about ColorFabb. I think I'll try some ColorFabb PLA/PHA and post the results. Hopefully, after a while, I'll be able to test out all of these filaments and compare them here. For now, I'm going for a roll of green from Fabb and see if that does any good. Fingers crossed!

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Okay - apparently I'm doing something wrong.  I went to all four websites (Faberdashery, Ultimaker, ColorFabb, and 3D Universe) and all the shipping is insane.  First of all, Faberdashery is outta here - their filament comes in a pack instead of a spool.  No good.  Secondly, buying direct from Ultimaker costs an extra thirty bucks.  Also no good.  ColorFabb and 3D Universe aren't much better, either. Does anyone know of any reliable (preferably with free shipping) resellers based in the U.S.?  I'm in California, so the closer to there, the better.  I'll start looking.

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