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As I get caught up in my new shop, I’m printing out the last few months’ worths of Makerbox Everything subscription boxes. Each month the Makerbox Everything contains four easy-to-print filaments along with four more advanced filament types. This post will look at my test results from the sample filaments.
Makerbox Easy Prints
3D-Fuel provided the samples for this month’s Makerbox Easy. Their Standard PLA is said to be easy to print and easier on the environment according to 3D-Fuel. On the 3D-Fuel website, it does mention that their Standard PLA does ideally print 5-10C higher than average because they don’t use fillers. If the filament prints consistently, I don’t see a problem printing it a little hotter than usual.
The four colors included in this pack were: Lulzbot Green, Warm Bisque, Metallic Copper, and Grape Purple. All of these are great colors. However, metallic Copper is probably my favorite out of the bunch just by looking at the raw filament.
The sheet that came with the filament had the following print recommendations:
- Hotend Temp: 185-215
- Bed Temp: 0-60C
- Speed: 40-100mm/s
I printed all four temp towers between 190C – 210C in 5-degree increments. I set the bed temp to 60C. These were all printed either on an Ender 3 Pro or Ender 3 V2 with stock hotends. All four filament samples printed great. Below is a look at the test prints.
I thought Lulzbot Green would be a good color for printing the Dogecoin by ChaosCoreTech. So I printed it at a layer height of .16mm and had supports for under the chin. The print came out great.
Up next is Warm Bisque. I kind of like this color. It would be perfect for printing some classic busts, which is why I chose to print Venus by JGMaker. I printed the model at a layer height of .12 and included tree supports. I also increased the size to 150%. The model turned out beautiful. The detail available with this filament was superb. The layer lines seen in this picture are from my printer. This was printed on one of my new Ender 3 printers, and I have yet to fully calibrate it.
Metallic Copper was my next print. I chose to print a Bitcoin modeled by 3DDesigner. This is a model that probably should be printed in resin. But I wanted to see how well the filament did handling the little details at .12mm. It did great. As expected, the bottom didn’t turn out well (it should be done in resin). But the details on top of the coin were tremendous, and all of the little circuitry pops out sharply from the coin.
Grape Purple was the final filament in this series. To test this model, I chose to print an Ebony Maw bust designed by Hex3D. I printed this with a layer height of .16mm. Again, it handled the print without problems. Even the chin turned out good, where the tree support came up from the build plate.
Overall I was pleased with my experience printing the Standard PLA from 3D-Fuel. Plus, they have some nice colors available for those who don’t like to paint their prints.
Makerbox Explorer Prints
Each moth the Makerbox Everything subscritpion includes four harder “explorer” filaments. Here is my experience with this.
PEI 9085 from Push Plastic
This filament from Push Plastic was a no-go for me, at least for now. PEI 9085s recommended hotend temp is 350C+ and the recommended bed temp is 150C+. I don’t have a printer that can print at those temps currently. But I do have plans to buy something soon that can hopefully. So, I’ll keep this filament and print it when and if I get the machine I’m researching. I want to use filament such as this in the future for outdoor electronics projects.
Orange PolyTerra PLA from Polymaker
Up first is Orange PolyTerra PLA from Polymaker. One cool thing about this particular filament, other than it is easy to print, is that one tree is planted for every spool produced. I’ve printed Blue PolyTerra previously using an Alien3D sample. I was happy with the results then and can say I’m still impressed with this PLA.
I printed a temp tower in a range between 200-220C and a bed temp of 60. Before using the filament, I did dry it in my dehydrator for a couple of hours at 45C. I’m not sure that drying it was necessary, but the note recommended doing so. The pic below shows the tower printed perfectly. There were two tiny strings on the backside of the tower near the top. But otherwise, it was a flawless tower. It also is a lovely shade of orange.
The picture above shows a low poly car designed by jacobletson4. I chose this model because I wanted to see how the filament would handle tree supports under the car’s chassis. I have this filament in mind for a future project and need to ensure it is what I want. The filament handled it perfectly.
I also printed a small Chomp Pumpkin designed by ChaosCoreTech. I printed this at 30% size and .12mm height. Again, the filament was up to the task.
Since Polymaker has a color I need for an upcoming project, I believe a whole roll of PolyTerra is in my near future.
Plutonic Purple ABS2.0 from Fusion Filaments
Next up is Plutonic Purple ABS2.0 from Fusion Filaments. I’m always looking for new brands of ABS to print. Fusion Filaments claims this is a no warp filament with no smells. Even with using an enclosed printer, I like the idea of little or no smells from ABS.
To print the temp tower, I chose the ABS profile in Cura. The tower was printed between 241-249C in 2C degree increments. The bed was set to 100C, and I chose no cooling. I printed this in my enclosed Ender 3 V2 with a MicroSwiss all-metal direct drive mod.
I decided not to print a temp tower. Instead, I went right to printing functional parts. I used the ABS profile in Cura. The hotend temp was set to 249C, and the bed set to 200C with no cooling. I printed the test prints with my Ender 3V2 with a MicroSwiss all-metal hotend and direct drive. The printer is also enclosed.
The model shown is a hinge designed by airald. All of these pieces printed beautifully. They also seem to be quite strong. I will be using the printed hinges in an upcoming project. I could see purchasing a whole roll of this filament if it holds up as well as I hope it does.
Wound Up PLA from 3D-Fuel
I saved my favorite of this month’s Makerbox for last. 3D-Fuel (remember them from the easy filaments earlier in this post) has various renewable filaments. One of these filament lines is called Wound Up. The idea behind this is so excellent that I’ll let 3D-Fuels own words speak about the product:
Wound Up™ is a coffee filled 3D printing filament made using waste byproducts from coffee. Wound Up™ uses those coffee left-overs to create a special 3D printing material with visibly unique print finishes. The filament produces products with a rich brown color and a noticeable natural grain. Now a cup printed with Wound Up™ is a true “coffee cup.”3dfuel.com
Of course, they go on to say PLA is NOT food or heat safe. But this stuff is just a fantastic idea. Plus, it has a very cool wooden look to it.
The recommended hotend temp for Wound Up is 180-210C with a bed temp of 0-45C. I printed the temp tower from 190-210C in 5-degree increments. The bed temp was at 60C, mostly because I forgot to change the default temp in Cura. As you can see from the picture below, it printed out very nicely with a deep dark wooden color. There was some stringing along the back on the top two layers of the tower. There was also some very slight stringing on the back along some of the other spans. But overall, the tower printed great, and I was pretty pleased with the results. By playing with retractions, I probably could have gotten rid of all of the strings.
The picture above shows the color of the temp tower pretty accurately. But the Chewie Tiki (Hex3D) I put in the light to establish whether the filament can handle fine detail. So rest assured, the tiki is also a dark brown.
I printed at a temp of 195C and layer height of .16mm. Please ignore the fact the print didn’t finish, as I miscalculated how much of a sample was included. When looking closely at the picture above, the wood grain features of the tiki design printed great. I’m thinking of ordering a roll of this filament to do tiki prints. The color is excellent, and the filament handles the fine details with no problems. This filament will help me print great-looking wood-like prints without having to worry about post-processing.
If you’ve read the above post as a whole, I’m sure it is no surprise that I find the Wound Up PLA from 3D-Fuel to be the clear winner. But all of these filament samples were fun to print. I’m even happy with the filament I couldn’t print because I’ll have it ready as soon as I get the printer I’m sure to order. Makerbox put together a great sampling of filament for May 2021. Hopefully, next month is just as good!
Song of the Day: Cigarettes and Coffee
Wound Up being made from coffee brought this Otis Redding track to mind. I actually used to own this album on 8-Track…
Bonus Song: Trees
Because the Wound Up filament looks like wood, this classic song from Rush came to mind.