As I get caught up on my subscription boxes, I am finally up to February 2021 for my MakerBox Everything subscription. The MakerBox Everything consists of the MakerBox easy prints. These are four easy to print filaments from the same manufacturer. The box also contains four MakerBox Explorer filaments. The explorer filament typically has filaments the ordinary 3d printing hobbyist might not purchase. Sometimes the explorer selection can have filament types that come from odd sources.
MakerBox Easy Prints
This month’s MakerBox Easy filament came from Cookiecad. Cookiecad is a site where custom 3d printable cookie cutters can be easily designed. I haven’t tried the site yet, but I know some fellow makers who love creating cookie cutters on this site.
Cookiecad also sells a cool selection of PLA colors in their store. For the MakerBox Easy, Cookiecad provided Mint Green, Coral Lavender, Pale Yellow, and Orange Sorbet. These colors have a very cool retro look to them. Actually, I’m considering making a mini retro R2D2 using some Cookiecad filament.
This filament’s recommended settings were a hotend temp of 215C-235C, bed temp of 0C-60C, printing speed of 20mms-70mms, and 100% cooling. To test these, I printed a temp tower ranging from 215C-235C with a bed temp of 60C.
I also printed the Torture Toaster designed by Clockspring3D. I thought these retro colors would look great as toasters. Plus, I was curious to see how well this PLA would do with the Torture Toaster. Here is a view of the results.
I was pretty pleased with how well this filament printed. I used my Ender 3 Pro with the stock hotend and my Ender 5 Plus with the MicroSwiss all-metal hotend to print these. Both printers had great results.
The Torture Toasters were printed at 60% size. I really do like how they turned out. But, not one of them ended up being functional. Each one had the handle break when I tried to pop the toast. To be fair, though, this was my first time trying the Torture toaster at this size. I’m not sure if I could get any filament to work at 60%.
I love the look of these colors as a toaster. Now I am genuinely convinced I want to make a mini retro R2 using the Mint Green color. Overall I say this is an excellent filament worth checking out.
MakerBox Explorer Prints
This month I only have three explorer prints instead of four. I believe the fourth one must have been something I wanted to print back in February and forgot to log it in my spreadsheet (I have memory issues since going through chemo). But I still have the other three to test out. All three were interesting filaments.
PLA-TPU Blend – Blue
Terrafillum provides the first sample I printed from the Explorer pack. I have to admit I started with this because I wanted to see how a PLA-TPU blend would print. I can’t imagine where or why I would want this blend, but it sounds cool.
The temp tower was set to test from 210C-230C. I set the bed temp to 70C. Since this has TPU in it, I decided to print using my Ender 3v2. I figured the direct drive would help out. It printed the whole way through beautifully.
The Torture Toaster completely failed. I had started the print, then went off to do some yard work. When I came back, I saw a mess going on. It was still somehow printing. I noticed there seemed to be a weird wobble when the z-axis would move up a layer. As it kept printing, I checked out anything I could think of that would cause this. I found that the screws holding in the z-axis stepper motor were loose. After tightening those, the wobble was gone entirely. The rest of the toaster printed quite nicely. After printing the toaster, I printed a test cube, and that printed beautifully.
Overall I’m happy with this filament. I’m still not sure when I would use this type of filament. But at least I know I can print with it (and even fix a print issue while printing with it).
4043D PLA – Tritium Green
Up next is a sample of 4043D PLA from Fusion Filaments. Here is what Fusion has to say about this filament:
This is pure 4043D without additives and fillers, therefore it prints a little different than typical PLA’s. Tuning may be required.https://fusionfilaments.com/collections/standard-pla-refill-spools/products/1kg-pla-filament-tritium-green
I used my Ender 3V2 with the direct drive to test this filament. The temp tower printed from 215C-235C. They recommended 220C. The filament printed beautifully the whole way through. But the top two layers looked slightly off-color. Overall though, the Tritium Green has a very cool look to it.
I thought this would be an excellent filament to test the Maximum Overdrive Goblin Head. I printed the low-poly version designed by Hex3d. I printed it at .2mm at a temp of 220C. The filament printed wonderfully. The picture of the goblin head shows it a little brighter than it is. The gloss on this filament makes it almost seem like a translucent filament, but it isn’t.
I also had enough left over to print a tiny goblin head. That also printed great. I might have to research more about what makes this filament so special that it doesn’t need additives.
Armadillo – Steel
Last but not least, is Armadillo filament from NinjaTek. I’m a big fan of NinjaFlex from NinjaTek, so I came into this print with high hopes. This “high-performing rigid” filament is supposed to have a super-high abrasion resistance. That sounds interesting for droid building, which explains the parts I printed with this sample.
The hotend temp is recommended to be between 220C-230C. I printed this using my Ender 3V2 with the direct drive. The temp tower tested from 215C-235C. The bottom and middle of the temp tower printed great. The two top layers had some bridging issues, however.
I printed some various parts out for droids I keep getting distracted from finishing. Each piece printed beautifully. They also seem to be pretty tough. I might try to find some time to test these parts for durability. This could be a go-to filament for certain droid parts going forward.
Final Thoughts on the MakerBox Explorer
I found all three of my remaining MakerBox Explorer filaments to be quite interesting. I might do some further testing on the Armadillo filament to see if it would be good to make functioning robotics (droid) parts. To me, that was the most promising filament of this bunch.