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agroski

Filament suppliers for UM2 in the USA

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Hey all, I'm new to the UM2 world and was hoping to find out a little about where people order material from. I am located in the USA and am looking around for reasonably priced filament with consistent results. I was interested in Printbl but it seems they are sold out of almost every color. PrintedSolid also looked promising as they sell Colorfabb's stuff here in the US. Wondering if anyone had any further insight or recommendations! I'm specifically interested in PLA and open to the PLA/PHA I keep seeing around. In addition I am in search of a good clear/transparent filament as well.

Thanks everyone!

 

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(Duplicate post)

While I like the DiamondAge PLA, which is monochiral and very hard, I've recently had serious problems due to dirt on the filament in the sealed bags in which I received me coils of white from the US distributor (printbl.com). I've had a series of clogs on my UM2 that are definitely caused by the black specks visible on the white filament inside the sealed bags. (It's not from the extruder - I'm using Robert's, printed in white.)

 

Further, their US distributor, printbl.com, is offal (sic). They sell PLA only, and typically, currently have only five colors in stock of the 19 listed. They offer white and ivory only in coils, although DiamondAge offers several sizes of spool in White/Ivory (and also offers ABS). To top it off, the printbl.com web site hasn't changed a word in almost two years, and the site has been off the air frequently. It is difficult to tell whether they are really still in business.

 

Bottom line is that unless and until DiamondAge finds a new U.S. distributor, I cannot recommend the DiamondAge filament, unless you want to pay double to cover International shipping direct from New Zealand.

 

As supplier of both ABS and PLA, I can enthusiastically recommend Protoparadigm.com. Good service, good prices, and I've never had an issue with their filament. I've also had good experience with ABS from Ultimachine.com - haven't tried their PLA yet.

 

printbl is off my list for good.

 

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I am a noob too, so please forgive my noob posts for the next few .. years..

From what I've ready, UM2 is restricted to 2.85 mm PLA and ABS. Is this correct?

Will no other materials work? Or are no other materials guaranteed by the manufacture?

Thank you!

 

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Lots of materials. It can print Nylon - I've printed "PA6" Nylon. Other's have tried taulman brand nylons (google taulman filament). It can print "flexible pla" and "ninjaflex". The UM2 can also print PLA with various powders mixed in including a "stone like" filament, wood filaments (2 different manufacturers) and bronze powder.

But it must be 2.85mm.

The flexible filaments are the most difficult and my require a drop of oil every 20 meters of filament to allow it to flow through the bowden and also may need to be printed very slowly (10-20mm/sec) for the same reason that it's hard to "push on a string".

 

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I don't even have my UM2 yet, but while I await shipment I am wondering about availability of filament here in the US. Previously I just assumed supplies would be readily available but it seems that true 2.85 mm is not so common; the US retailers I have found that call out any accuracy spec generally state 3.0 mm nominal, rather than 2.85 or 2.9 mm, and most supply only 1.75 mm stock. Just as an unscientific survey of popularity of various sizes, I tried some searches on ebay.com, with these results:

 


0 results found for 2.85mm filament
0 results found for 2.9mm filament
1,788 results for 3.0mm filament
9,215 results for 1.75mm filament

Can anyone speculate if the Ultimaker design will eventually move to the more popular standard size? Is it possible to modify it to use 1.75mm filament?

 

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The Ultimaker 2 will not use 1.75mm, however usually 3mm is not exactly 3mm.

Not with the big popular resellers anyway. It is branded as 3mm, but in practice it is 2.85mm.

And be careful what you buy on e-bay. You need quality input in order to achieve quality output.

 

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I tend to use matterhackers.com -- I've been happy with them. I know nothing about the organization, other than they seem to be well-run in my dealings with them. [EDIT: Ohhhh, they're the MatterControl project!] I also don't have enough experience to compare their filaments to others, though they do seem to be quality, sealed with dessicants, etc.

They have what looks to me like a very good selection of 3mm, including PLA, ABS, HIPS, PVA, TPE, taulman nylon, polycarbonate, t-glase, soft in several colors, laybrick...

The only thing I wouldn't buy from them is the laywood-d3, and that's only because the grains in it are too coarse for a stock UM2 nozzle. For that I wound up getting colorfabb woodfill fine from printedsolid.com.

Speaking of which, printedsolid.com is the other place I've been buying filament from. I've been happy with them as well. Good selection, fast turnaround, pretty much everything I said about matterhackers applies to printedsolid. I think their 3mm selection is much smaller than matterhackers, but it could be I'm missing something on their web site. (If Matthew or anyone else from printedsolid is reading this: The cascading pulldown menus preclude the eye-candy effect of seeing pages full of product images as users drill down in the category tree. As it is right now, a user might drill down three menu levels with careful mouse maneuvering, then may be rewarded with only one product image as a result. Makes technical sense, but I think it might be hurting sales.)

 

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Thanks Gothampixel and SteveGT. We do ensure that all of our materials at printedsolid.com are compatible with the Ultimaker as we test them ourselves and only work with suppliers who understand the requirement of Bowden feed. We're located in Newark,DE, so we can provide extremely fast shipment to the Northeast and are always willing to meet up if people want to pick up material locally.

 

Steve, Thanks for the feedback. The cascading menu, ironically enough, is intended to provide relatively easy navigation to what is in stock right now. Our quick visual overview of all of the things we carry is here: http://www.printedsolid.com/the-full-catalog/

I'm not able to spend nearly as much time on this forum as I would like, but feel free to DM me any questions.

By the way, regarding standard PLA/ABS in the US, my recommendations? I've personally had excellent experience with protoparadigm (on sale now by the way) and toybuilders. I've heard great things about Ultimachine, but haven't used them.

edit by gr5: fixed link.

 

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Thanks for the recommendations!

Coming from an engineering background, I feel a little frustrated with this:

http://toybuilderlabs.com/abs-300/natural-abs-filament-300mm-1kgroll

"... 3.00 mm nominal diameter ..."

I have been told that I shouldn't take marketing material that mentions "3mm filament" at face value, because the quality filament vendors always deliver "3 mm" filament which is actually 3.0 mm maximum, with average diameter held to something less than that.

But if your specification is "3.00 mm nominal diameter" I understand that to mean the filament has an average intended diameter of 3.00 mm with some inevitable tolerance on either side. That in turn means (if other posts here are correct) that it is not suitable for use in Ultimaker, because when a section that is slightly over 3.00 mm passes through the machine it will jam.

Yet if people have tried it and found this vendor's filament to work well, it suggests either that "3.00 mm nominal" is wrong, or the Ultimaker tolerances are looser than that.

 

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I just received a reply to my question from the CEO of toybuilderlabs.com:

Our factory spec is 2.95 +/- 0.05 mm. We have had a number of other customers with Ultimakers that have used our product and have generally been fine. We recently did get some spools of PLA that have been more brittle than usual, resulting in the PLA fracturing in the bowden tube, especially when the filament has been left to sit unused in the printer for a few days. We've found that more the filament is straightened as it comes off the spool, the more likely this becomes an issue.

 

I hope this helps.

 

Taj

Taj Chiu | CEO/Co-Founder

toybuilderlabs.com

 

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But if your specification is "3.00 mm nominal diameter" I understand that to mean the filament has an average intended diameter of 3.00 mm with some inevitable tolerance on either side. That in turn means (if other posts here are correct) that it is not suitable for use in Ultimaker, because when a section that is slightly over 3.00 mm passes through the machine it will jam.

That's if you assume a bilateral tolerance :p

Just kidding. They do advertise it as being nominally 3mm w+/- 0.05mm, so something is a little off somewhere. That tolerance works fine on the Ultimaker as long as they actually hold it.

Other less reputable vendors call out 3mm and might vary significantly higher. That is where you run into problem.

The reason that this whole issue is confusing is that 1.75mm filament typically means 1.75 with a bilateral tolerance, but 3mm typically means it is centered below 3. For a consumer, it's really difficult to tell what will work on a 3mm machine. The magic 2.85 nominal dimension just means that the vendor has specifically taken 3mm bowden into account and not only stays below 3mm, but does so with a comfortable margin.

 

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