A filament is the most important material used for 3D printing objects. It can be made from different materials. For example, Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS), Polylactic Acid (PLA), Polyvinyl Alcohol (PVA), PolyEthylene Terephthalate (PET), PETG, PolyEthylene coTrimethylene Terephthalate (PETT), High Impact Polystyrene (HIPS), Polyamide (Nylon), Wood, Sandstone, Metal, Magnetic Iron, Conductive PLA, Carbon Fibre, Thermoplastic Elastomers (TPE), etc. Different materials have different functionalities and benefits.
However, there are a lot of things to consider when you wish to buy a filament refill for your 3D printing process.
Do A Little Research
Before you finalize a filament refill for your 3D printing work, do a little bit of research. Know about the market trends, different types of filaments available, their functions, drawbacks, etc. Check online reviews with pictures at various forums, sites, and message boards. This will help you decide better and you would select the best fit for your printing project.
Moreover, it is always recommended to check for reviews of the suppliers that deal with these filaments. Shortlist a few that look reasonably good with the product and services.
Do not purchase many filament spools at one go. Before committing to large spools, ask the short-listed companies for samples, that shouldn’t be a problem for them. Once the samples arrive, a small test on them is recommended. It will give you an idea if the product is meant for your purpose or not.
Test Your Samples
It is very important to test the filament before you make the purchase. The process of testing may vary depending on the materials but the following few steps work for all.
- Bend the filament completely. See if it breaks and how easy it was to break it. If PLA breaks, it is not of good quality or probably old. ABS in such situations is possibly high in filler. The point is, a good filament should bend itself backward 180°C at least once without breaking.
- Using the sample filament, print a small piece of object. It should print easily if you follow the recommended guidelines from the supplier.
- The filament should be dry. That will print a good quality object with no popping or steam from the nozzle while printing.
- Check for no dust particles on the filaments
- Measure the diameter of the filament. If not, ask the supplier to replace the spool. A little variation in the tolerance isn’t a concern, however, they can cause an impact on the print quality. Therefore, make sure you get what is specified for your printing requirement.
When it comes to 3D printing, precision is very important. Get a consistent filament diameter. Too thin or too thick can spoil the print quality. Tolerance of a material is usually based on various in-house tests. Make sure you select the filament that has been tested and claimed reasonably tolerable.
Packaging is important as filaments are considered to be delicate substances. Moreover, it is essential that they come in sealed, air-tight bags. This avoids exposure to moisture that can damage the filaments. Make sure you avoid storing them in damp places. Use vacuum bags instead to keep the material dry.
Check With The Price
Quality is the most important aspect while purchasing a filament refill but you cannot ignore the pricing as well. Know your budget, understand the price range of different materials, and then ask for samples. For example, PLA is an experience filament.
Let us also check a few most popular filaments in the market.
PLA – Econofil PLA refills are available in various colors.
PLA is by far considered to be one of the most popular filaments for 3D printing. It is easy-to-use and available in different colors and styles.
It is a biodegradable thermoplastic that is obtained from potato starch, corn starch, sugar cane, etc. These resources are renewable, therefore, PLA is considered to be more eco-friendly than any other filaments. Moreover, it does not produce any toxic odor during printing.
ABS – Econofil ABS filament refills are known for impact-resistant.
A good quality ABS material is sturdy and collision-resistant. Therefore, it is widely used for various applications. Its robust and little flexible characteristics make it one of the best choices for 3D printing. Moreover, it is easy to use.
ABS filament has great mechanical properties with excellent printing results. For wear and tear prints, it is the best choice as it can withstand more pressure, heat, and stress as compared to other filaments.
PETG – Econofil PETG filament refills are available in different colors
PETG is PET with the added benefit of glycol for extra durability. It is a strong filament that is nearly unbreakable. It does not have any warp or thick layer of adhesion, hence, it is easy to use.
It is impact-resistant and is said to have the functionality of both PLA and ABS. Moreover, this material can be recycled.
If you are looking for filament refill, we can help. We carry a wide selection of products, including, ABS and PLA refill coils, EconoFil PLA and PET/G refills, and more at great prices. Browse through our lineup and shop online with us now!