Jump to content
Ultimaker Community of 3D Printing Experts
penguin_k

How much filament do I need to buy for an Ultimaker 3 Extended?

Recommended Posts

Hi there, I've bought an Ultimaker 3 Extended and it's going to arrive soon. I was wondering how much filament I need to buy and what types I should look for. How much filament will I get through in a month, for example? It will be used maybe once or twice a week for an object about 20cm cubed. I will need to use a build material and a water soluble one together.

Thanks for your help

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well you could slice a few things in cura which is free and you will need it anyway to use your UM3. That will tell you how much filament you need - typically in meters but I think it's possible to get it in weight. Filament is sold by the weight. For example UM sells .75kg spools. Some companies sell 1kg or 2.2kg spools.

I recommend you try faberdashery filaments - I've never tried them but hear great things and they are in the UK. Also I recommend UM for the PVA as their formulation doesn't absorb water quite as fast (keep PVA very very dry).

I also recommend you start out with prints that take less than 3 hours - start small! You will learn more faster. It took me about 100 prints before I really understood all the main issues and was getting perfect prints every time. This will come much slower if you are doing 20cm multi day prints.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well you could slice a few things in cura which is free and you will need it anyway to use your UM3. That will tell you how much filament you need - typically in meters but I think it's possible to get it in weight. Filament is sold by the weight. For example UM sells .75kg spools. Some companies sell 1kg or 2.2kg spools.

I recommend you try faberdashery filaments - I've never tried them but hear great things and they are in the UK. Also I recommend UM for the PVA as their formulation doesn't absorb water quite as fast (keep PVA very very dry).

I also recommend you start out with prints that take less than 3 hours - start small! You will learn more faster. It took me about 100 prints before I really understood all the main issues and was getting perfect prints every time. This will come much slower if you are doing 20cm multi day prints.

Thanks for your reply! This will be really helpful to me.

So, to check that I've understood the basics:

- Buy non-PVA filaments from faberdashery (I just checked it out and it looks perfect!)

- Buy PVA support filament from Ultimaker themselves (or at least from a reseller)

- Start small

Also, which diameter filament do I need? Faberdashery offer 1.75mm or 3mm and the Ultimaker website says it needs 2.85mm :/

Edited by Guest

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would stay away from faber. They haven’t improved their formula since the start, their filament size consistency is ok but color shifts from pack to pack. Also they never solved the issue of micro dust particles inside the filaments, and sounds silly but affects more than what you expect, specially for pastel colors.

For precision get smartmaterials (spain, super quality) fillamentum and for a safe bet colorfabb.

Also try to buy pva boxes (easy to diy) to keep pva dry. If you planto get nylon or much pva, there are food dryers that can recover a spool overnight They are quite cheap (compared to what UM charges for a pva kilo)

So. Tupperwares, desiccant, plastic zip bagges also help to pack filament after use (many big ones for food with zip are cheap on amazon).

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Echoing the above, start small and work your way up, you will find a lot of things to print, that you need to print to test the machine.

  • Overhang tests
  • Cubes...yes cubes to practice with different things and easy to check reliability
  • Things that need PVA and things that do not

If you start out like I did, you will burn through a lot of plastic just making the basic things to get adjusted to the process, like what you see in your slicer (an approximation of what it will print) and what will actually print, difference between layer height qualities for certain objects (Steep curves vs. Shallow curves), different infills and different wall thicknesses.

It may seem crazy, but a lot of 30 minute prints beat the heck out of hours or even day long prints for fine tuning your process. Also, you have to figure in failed prints, which will happen from time to time. It lessens as you gain experience, but, it is tech. And, tech will fail at the weirdest times. "Murphy's Law" was named for a reason. :p

Also, above, you can see that filaments are just like anything else: People will have varying favourites. But, starting with Ultimaker filaments are not a bad place to start and check a different brand every now and then.

The Ultimaker filaments are what is coded for in the base Cura Setups and much easier to mess with when learning.

But, I have used Faberdashery and ColorFabb.

I like Faberdashery, but the fact that it is not on a spool really sucks for me. I also prefer the Colorfabb PLA/PHA stuff as it seems the most consistent from spool to spool and colour to colour.

Do not be afraid of off brands like Matterhackers. They are not too bad and I use the heck out of their PVA.

You will also start out with one idea and it will morph over time into different things as you gain experience. For instance, I started out with the idea that colour made no difference. That is because I started out using a model making sensibility: Piece it, glue it, sand it, paint it, finish it. But as soon as I discovered how to make translucent objects to use in lighting, I gots boatloads of colours in the transparents and translucents, and in PLA, PETG and whatnot to see which ones work well.

And, finally, have a ball!! Have fun!! And, stick around...there is so much to learn and I keep learning just by reading almost everything in every thread to find and draw parallels. Even though I am on a UM3E, I find great info from any printer and response as it is still all the same basic philosophy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are two standard sizes of filament: 1.75 and "3mm". UM uses 3mm but it's not really 3mm. In fact you have to make sure the filament is smaller than 3mm because if it's truly 3mm it will get stuck in the bowden.

So make sure it is 2.85mm or 2.9mm filament before buying it. This is rarely a problem - there used to be some chinese cheap filaments that were 3mm but I think all the companies that are more than a year old know now to make it a bit smaller (typically 2.85mm). So they may say "3mm" but if you look closely at the specs it will be 2.85mm+/-.05 or something similar.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh - and i've never bought faberdashery (I'm in USA) so I didn't realize it wasn't on spools. It's more convenient on spools. Colorfabb is great filament. Get their pla/pha. Lots of great filmants out there. Listen to neotko - he prints more than I do and cares more about surface quality than I do.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/10/2017 at 8:17 PM, neotko said:

I would stay away from faber. They haven’t improved their formula since the start, their filament size consistency is ok but color shifts from pack to pack. Also they never solved the issue of micro dust particles inside the filaments, and sounds silly but affects more than what you expect, specially for pastel colors.

 

Woow! I never had one but I thinked that Faberdashery was a super/ high quality filament... living and learning heheee. By the way I like the brand appoach to sell by meters, it's an interesting solution for local consumer to try new colours and materials or to use a colour just for an specificly job... but without spools is a downside for sure and it's pricey!

 

On 11/10/2017 at 8:17 PM, neotko said:

For precision get smartmaterials (spain, super quality) fillamentum and for a safe bet colorfabb.

Nice, I will try Fillamentum because it's easier to find around and I heard some positive reviews like yours... any advice by color or type?

 

I made a "tour" in Smart Materials website and their products looks cool! Which one did you tried? I was curious about this Boun because it is a semi-flexible with a nice touch and finish... interesting. I don't know if it's easy to print in a bowden setup and if the layers bond well but I will keep seaching about it... even because I've got some upgrades that will deal better with semi-flexible materials (slippery bowden tube, meduza's feeder and 3dSolex block and nozzles) it's time to give it a try. I just want the easier to print with good finish hahahaha. Ninja semi-flex has an advantage because lots of people in UM community give it a try.

 

PLA/PHA

Colorfabb PLA/PHA is one of my favorites, very consistent, fast, nice colours, easy to print (bigger temperature window) and has a slightly higher temperature resistance (about 5 degrees more, am I correct?) than the conventional PLAs as Innofil and Ultimaker. At least they resists at summer in Rio de Janeiro/ Brazil without bend like pure PLAs. Inside a closed car at sun, for exemple, temperatures can reach 50°C easily.

 

XT and Ngen

I had some problems with XT making multiple prints at once, lots of stringing and if you cool down temperature it cogs (at least with my old and burned PTFE coupler). Just got some Ngen and I will test soon and see if they improved something here, it seems to print cooler.

 

Bronzefill is an outstanding material in my opinion, much heavier, for me this material is out of class. It's tricky at beginning: complicated to adhere on bed, difficult to find the right temperature, lots of work sanding to make it shine but looks good even straight out of the bed for decorative propose... it seems like a heavy dark clay without sand 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Honestly. it simply depends on how much you get into printing and goals. When I print for painting the piece, I will use any material color as color does not matter. If I am doing certain things that have transparency, I just order what I want to use. It also takes a while to find a filament you would like to use for specific purposes. And, that can be personal based on end result as well as local factors and of course, budget and availability of brands.

 

All suggestions are good above. Experiment and just have fun 🙂

 

That is what it is all about, yes?

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would say: buy a few colors that you like in PLA, one spool each. Further, maybe buy one spool of NGEN or PET too. And experiment with these until you are used to it. Don't buy huge amounts. Some colors of the same brand and base-material (polymer) do print better than other colors. Not sure why, maybe due to additives such as the pigments?

 

ColorFabb sells samples. I don't know if Ultimaker has samples of its colors?

 

Note that "transparent" filament does not stay transparent after printing it: it becomes translucent like frosted glass, due to the air entrapped inbetween the sausages. If you need translucency this is fine of course. But otherwise opaque materials will usually be more beautiful. At least, according to my taste. But feel free to see things differently.  :)

 

Don't buy excess PLA rolls: after sitting for one year, PLA gets harder and more brittle in my experience.

 

Avoid special particle-filled materials (wood-fill, metal-fill, carbon-fill,...), avoid ABS (poor layer bonding, poor bed bonding, poisonous smell), avoid high-temp and soft materials (difficult to print), etc..., until you are well familiar with the process. So start with a gentle learning curve, that will be steep enough.

 

Also: buy a few big storage boxes in PE or PP, and buy big sacks of dessiccant (you can find that in car shops to dehumidify car interiors), and store all filament in these boxes to keep it dry.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/10/2018 at 12:47 AM, BairdB said:

MakerShaper makes som FANRASTIC PLA and TPU for a great price if you are looking for quality affordable filament. 

https://www.makeshaper.com/

Oh man, thanks for that! They are from North Carolina, US, it's accessible for me. 

Have you ever messure the diameter of this filament? I mean, they have a real tolerance of +or- 0.05mm? Did you use the 2.85mm in a Ultimaker machine? 

 

By the way I just order a PLA Extrafill roll (Cobalt Blue) from Fillamentum today and I also order samples of Flexfill 98A Signal Red (SEMI-FLEX) and ASA Traffic White. 

In the end of July they will arrive for me... can't wait for that! ☺️

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Our picks

    • Taking Advantage of DfAM
      This is a statement that’s often made about AM/3DP. I'll focus on the way DfAM can take advantage of some of the unique capabilities that AM and 3DP have to offer. I personally think that the use of AM/3DP for light-weighting is one of it’s most exciting possibilities and one that could play a key part in the sustainability of design and manufacturing in the future.
        • Like
      • 3 replies
×

Important Information

Welcome to the Ultimaker Community of 3D printing experts. Visit the following links to read more about our Terms of Use or our Privacy Policy. Thank you!