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Filament Brands

I've had good luck with a decent number of filaments that I can recommend without reservation:

  • Prusament PLA/PETG. Pricey, but excellent quality.
  • Jessie PLA. I've only used the PLA, but the quality is outstanding and the price is excellent..
  • Polymaker. I've mostly used the PolyLite PLA Pro and PolyTerra PLA. I do love (!) their material comparison site, and more manufacturers should do this. Their silks are lovely, and starlight mercury is pretty much hands-down favorite color.
  • Elegoo. Boring PLA. But also reliable and very inexpensive. It's made up a lot of the bulk printing for things like black.
  • Hatchbox. I've used their matte and transparent filaments.
  • Protopasta. My home for fun and bizarre filaments. I have some of their conductive and their metal-filled. Their prices aren't the cheapest, but the quality is there.
  • Overture. Just a general low-price quality filament.
  • Sainsmart TPU. TPU is a flexible filament, and this has been a reasonably successful one for a Bowden-tube loving 3d printer.
  • eSun cleaning filament. I only use their cleaning filament, but it's top notch.

Filament Drying and Storage

A lot of filaments are hygroscopic, meaning they'll absorb water over time. This can lead to a lot of problems with printing, and you can sometimes hear the crackle of the water boiling away in the heater. Because of this, I take a two-pronged strategy:

  • Storage of filament in a dry box.
  • Usage of a heater when printing.

Dry Box Design

For storage, I use some 60qt storage box. They are a nice size, easy to maneuver, and have foam gaskets to help reduce air infiltration. Inside of that I've 3d printed a pair of 75mm containers for desiccant (print the funnel and plug trust me), and filled it with color-changing silica desiccant. So far, this has managed to keep the RH somewhere between 20-30%. I monitor the boxes with an inexpensive ThermoPro TP49 temperature and humidity monitor.

Filament Heater

When printing, I move the filament into a SunLu filament dryer v2. I've had some issues with it getting pulled towards the printer, and even tipping over, but I've mostly resolved that by 1) feeding the filament from the bottom, not the top (think toilet paper roll); 2) adding some wheel weights to give it some more heft.

Comments or Questions?

If you have any comments, questions, or topics you'd like to see covered, please feel free to either reach out to me on Mastodon (link below) or open an issue on Github.