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thalassa

Best US distributor for UM filaments?

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I am buying our UM3 today (:)), but my closest distributor (US west coast) is out of stock on most of the filaments that I wanted to buy (at least one of everything, basically). Also, their website is not very user friendly, so I found browsing frustrating.

For those of you in the United States, who is you favorite retailer for filaments? I'd like to use UM filaments to start with, but would also be glad for advice regarding other respected distributors of high-quality filament materials.

Many thanks in advance!

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Hi there,

I am Canadian but I buy US sometimes too.

Either fabrc8 or Gr5store (or both) sell filament. And one of them sells Faberdashery (UK) brand, which is really nice high-end stuff.

I have also bought a few spools from MakerGeeks. They are cheap and quite decent quality and US made, if that matters to you.

I have also bought from Proto-Pasta. They have excellent quality and really innovative stuff. They are also US made products, I believe.

Beyond that I generally think it is more about the brand of filament and less about the supplier. So ColorFabb stuff is great, so is FormFutura and I am discovering Innofil is excellent too. People have said good things about eSUN and polymaker too, but I have no experience there.

I generally keep two categories of filament around. 1) Super cheap, maybe-lower-quality, stuff for testing, prototyping etc. That way screw-ups are not so costly. 2) Brand name high(er) end filaments which print fantastically and have really great colour (color ;) ) saturation. This is for final products, special occasions, special people, etc. I guess the third category I keep is specialty materials like wood, polycarbonate, nylon etc.

Oh and speaking of nylon, Taulman is a US company that makes great nylon and PET (T-Glase) filaments. Small spools though.

Oh and I think NinjaFlex/NinjaTek (i.e. Fenner Drives) is US based. They started the whole flexible filament idea and their products are top notch.

I am sure there are other more general distributors, but the above are the specific companies and manufacturers that I have had good experiences with.

Anyway, hope this helps with US sources. Have fun! :)

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For Ultimaker brand filament, I like to support Fabrc8

For my ColorFabb needs, I frequent PrintedSolid   He ships very quickly and somehow, he gets stuff to me in 2 days (and I live in the very far North East of the United States!)

 

Thank you, @LePaul! I'll be sure the check these stores out. I like the idea of quick shipping! ;)

Side note: I spent a summer at the Darling Marine Center in Damariscotta. Beautiful area! [waves from all the way over on the other coast]

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Side note: I spent a summer at the Darling Marine Center in Damariscotta. Beautiful area! [waves from all the way over on the other coast]

 

108 miles (173 KM for our Euro friends) from me! (South....I'm by Bangor)

Happy to help.  I really like the ColorFabb materials.

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For Ultimaker brand filament, I like to support Fabrc8

For my ColorFabb needs, I frequent PrintedSolid   He ships very quickly and somehow, he gets stuff to me in 2 days (and I live in the very far North East of the United States!)

 

Oh yes, of course Ultimaker brand filaments are excellent quality too. Given their printers, you know they would not put their name on crap filament. :D

And I have heard of PrintedSolid. I think the guys at adafruit have mentioned them.

Speaking of adafruit, they also sell filament (and Ultimakers), but I do not know if they carry much 2.85mm. They seem to really prefer the 1.75mm stuff. Still, they are an excellent and pioneering US company for DIY/hobbiest electronics projects, so it might be worth checking out what they have for filament.

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FYI fbrc8.com made your printer - they assemble all the UM2 and UM3 printers sold in USA. They sell spare parts as well (although mine I like to think are better: thegr5store.com). I don't sell filament. Colorfabb is my favorite filament. Their ngen is great also but pla/pha is amazing stuff. printedsolid.com is my favorite seller of this since I know the guy personally.

It's better to get a good quality filament like colorfabb versus cheap brands although even many cheap brands are okay. In particular you have to watch out for diameter as UM only prints up to about 3.00mm (3.1 much to thick!) and 90% of "3mm" filament is actually 2.85 or 2.90 but a few rare manufacturers call it "3mm" and it actually *is* 3mm. Mostly chinese manufacturers.

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Yeah, the cheap stuff can cause more issues. There is just less hassle/tweaking with the branded stuff. Usually it is bed adhesion, more glue. Though I did have some really brittle crap once. Could not even stay in the feeder overnight without snapping. Really pissed me off. Then again, I have had cheap stuff that just worked like magic. So it can be a bit hit or miss. Again, more tweaking to get it right.

That said, the I find the MakerGeeks stuff quite inexpensive and also very usable. (Funny story though, I ordered a spool of PLA from them once and I got a spool of PETG, but it was labeled PLA. Man that led to frustrations until I realized what happened!) :D

What I did while I was first learning was to use brand names mostly. But I would pick up a cheap roll just to try out. If it was a ball of headaches, lesson learned and I would not buy that kind again. If it was a joy or good enough, then I noted the supplier and picked up a couple more.

But when things go wrong, or get tricky, or I just don't want hassles, I go brand name. And ColorFabb is my go to. Like Gr5 said, PLA/PHA is awesome! :)

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My experience with MakerGeeks: Ordered a spool of "grey matter grey" pla january 4.th. Inquired after a week where it was, got told it was out of stock and would be sent in 5 days. A week later the order had not arrived and it turned out it got automatically cancelled after a period.

So I reorder and it finally arrives, it's semintransparent, no mention on their website. So I ask costumer service about another color and get confirmation it's opaque. I order a spool and guess what, same thing happens, no tracking info after a week, email them, its out of stock, will be sent after 5-7 business days. I complain about it and in return, without further notice, they cancel my order, which I never asked for. At the same time they refunded the semi transparent. Cant help feeling I got kicked out of the shop...

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My experience with MakerGeeks: Ordered a spool of "grey matter grey" pla january 4.th. Inquired after a week where it was, got told it was out of stock and would be sent in 5 days. A week later the order had not arrived and it turned out it got automatically cancelled after a period. ... Cant help feeling I got kicked out of the shop...

 

Thank you, @ClausJ - also helpful to know who to AVOID.

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My experience with MakerGeeks: Ordered a spool of "grey matter grey" pla january 4.th. Inquired after a week where it was, got told it was out of stock and would be sent in 5 days. A week later the order had not arrived and it turned out it got automatically cancelled after a period.

 

What a terrible experience (twice!) Noted on my mental list of 'whom to avoid'.

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I have got to say that I did not have any bad experience with MakerGeeks, other than a mislabelled spool. Though I have only bought from them once.

And I am reasonably happy with their stuff so far. Their Raptor Series stuff is actually quite impressive.

Still, I can understand your experience souring you to them.

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Back your original question of where to buy UM brand filaments in the US, I've bought things from both Dynamism and 3DUniverse.  The 3DUniverse brand PLA seems comparable to the Ultimaker brand and is a bit cheaper.

I've also had good luck with ProSpec PLA from ProtoParadigm out of Oregon.  They don't have a huge selection, but the pricing is great and they have some interesting colors.  It prints well for me and does not look cheap at all.

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Back your original question of where to buy UM brand filaments in the US, I've bought things from both Dynamism and 3DUniverse.  The 3DUniverse brand PLA seems comparable to the Ultimaker brand and is a bit cheaper.

I've also had good luck with ProSpec PLA from ProtoParadigm out of Oregon.  They don't have a huge selection, but the pricing is great and they have some interesting colors.  It prints well for me and does not look cheap at all.

Thank you, @rowiac! Much appreciated.

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After my experience with Makergeek I ordered a spool from atomicfilament. Arrived fast, accept Apple Pay, prints great with a nice matte finish. In addition they have a dark grey color that I prefer. As an industrial designer I am amazed how difficult it is to find a neutral grey. For reviewing a shape I don't want a color and black hides the details, white show the imperfections of the print, metallic is too reflective. Alas a matte clay color is ideal.

Claus

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I find carbon fiber to be more matte, but it is black and harder to print (nozzle wear) and more brittle than standard PLA. It looks super sexy though! :D

And of course, colder printing can make for matte-er results. But weaker layer bonding.

Oh, and I have found the FormFutura PLA to be matte-er than other PLAs (e.g. ColorFabb). At least it used to be, I have not bought from them in a long time. And even then, I only bought yellow, so who knows. But still it was more matte and really nice quality.

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I am in the process of checking out filaments and have found out that some of the 'off brands' are good for a variety of things. Not everything has to be high end and is a waste of money for certain projects.

i.e.

Sometimes better to use pewter than full on silver but it has its own quality as well.

So, in my own weird way, I am agreeing with Krys above.

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