Friday, July 31, 2020

The Filamentals of 3D Printing

Filamentals, like fundamentals? I got asked recently about filaments so I figured that it should be a blog post.

The main filament I use is PLA which stands for polylactic acid. It's made from biological sources like corn and is relatively easy to work with. It usually melts at relatively low temperatures, 180-215°C or 350-410°F which is low compared to the temperatures that other plastics melt at. It gives off minimal amounts of fumes or odors when heated so the printer does not need to be ventilated. It is susceptible to damage from moisture and should be kept in a airtight dry box filled with silica desiccant.

PLA is also usually an affordable filament although with the pandemic, prices have skyrocketed, with most brands doubling their prices. Ouch!

Some great places to find filament are amazon and matterhackers

Also note that I'm not getting paid for this nor do any of these links make me money, this is just a list of all the stuff I've used and links to get to it if ya want some.

Filament Rankings



1. Hatchbox (tied)




Pros

  • Affordable at ~20 to 23 for a 1 kg spool
  • Minimum defects in spool, good print quality
Cons
  • Price varies per color
  • Out of a lot of colors
1. Overture (tied)

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07VBGWXM8/ref=twister_B07PJ3CSHG?_encoding=UTF8&th=1



Pros

  • Affordable at ~27 for a 1 kg spool
  • Minimum defects in spool, good print quality
  • Comes with a free adhesive build surface and ruler
Cons

Pros

  • Sold in a 3 pack of 0.5kg rolls
  • Minimum defects in spool, good print quality
  • Lots of shiny filaments to chose from
  • Color changing filaments too
Neutral
  • $40 for 1.5 kg of filament is a bit high but you get 3 colors. 3 colors of 1 kg spools would be over $60-70. Good for just dabbling in 3D printing or if you want a lot of colors right off the bat.
Cons
  • Non-standard spool size
  • A little pricey for normal filament, but not bad for effect filaments


3. Amazon Basics




Pros

  • Affordable at ~23 for a 1 kg spool
  • Minimum defects in spool, good print quality
  • In stock in most colors
Cons
  • Non-standard spool size (doesn't always fit in spool holders)
  • Amazon's undercutting other sellers as per usual
  • Neon orange is actually transparent which was not apparent from the picture or the description and purple looks weird


4. KODAK
*NOTE: I've only tried the PLA+

( I can't believe they make more than photos either)

Pros

  • Pantone colors 
  • Only place I could get teal in the pandemic
  • PLA+ is supposed to be a more durable filament like ABS but without the toxic fumes
Cons
  • Non-standard spool size (doesn't always fit in spool holders)
  • Needs higher temperatures
  • Brittle and will brake and then jam in the printer





2 comments:

  1. Thank you for answering! I ( My brother) recently got a 3D printer and I was wondering what kind of filament you use.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope this helped! I checked out your blog, it's really cool so I've added it to my reading list. :)

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Done moving, still unpacking