After a month or so of using the 225g of Black PLA filament included with my printer I was running low. That fact along with the HIPS filament also included with my printer deemed useless for now I wanted to get more 3D Ink. I wanted to know my options for good affordable filament that will perform as well as the M3D PLA did. after a severe amount of research I determined that the M3D filament was overpriced for the amount you get. I was seeing very reasonable options for good prices like these brands online shops. I also considered getting more M3D brand filament but at the time they had no solid way of ordering more filament so I didn't know when I would actually receive it.
I liked the idea of the Inland filament from Microcenter because of the cheap price and in my area there is a store about an hour drive away. I have read that inland makes a quality spool of filament so that attracted me to the brand. I liked Makergeek as well because they had a lot of different colors to choose from and a couple different types of brands. It was a tough decision because I wanted to make sure I would get results at least equal to the M3D PLA. Note that I did not choose to use either of these brands, only considered them based on reviews and recommendations.
I did decide to go with a brand found on Amazon. They are called Hatchbox and have a multitude of colors to choose from. I choose this because a lot of people in the M3D forum were reporting success using it. I am also an amazon prime member and all types from this brand of filament are eligible for prime shipping. This made the decision easy because most people were reporting that the Hatchbox filament out performed the regular M3D PLA and I was guaranteed to get in within 2 business days.
I placed my order on March 31st 2015 and it was delivered on April 2nd 2015. the first thing I noticed was how much larger the Spool itself is compared to the first two spools I had used. I mean I had to expect it because it is more than 4 times as much ink on the spool as the ink on the other spools. The spool was much too large for my spool holder so I had to improvise with the box that my printer came in and a long metal rod to act as a bearing. I attached the threaded rod to the box using washers and bolts. the box kept it elevated so the printer could be fed directly over it or kind of close.
The new filament performed very well overall. At first the plastic seemed to get very stiff, I would say more crisp than the previous filament. I read up on some users putting the temperature down to 200C and even 195C and that seemed to take care of the issue. Also another big difference was the adhesion to the bed was flawless. I did not have to worry about print rafts bending or waving on the bed. In fact I had more trouble getting them off the bed and further getting the printed item off the raft. each print left a residue of plastic shavings from raft sticking. even the pieces of support would stick to the printed item.
A couple of the things I printed among others are this text eyeball that my father modeled out for a his animatronic robot he wants to build. It was mostly a test to see if we could create a model easily and print it. and aside from the scale it was just as he modeled including the ring he made in air that got supported up.
The print I like the most so far of the things I've printed are this T-Rex Skull from thingiverse. It turned out really well apart from the stuck on raft parts and other minor imperfections: rough-inconsistent texture, small hairs of plastic throughout, fragile pieces. Overall I am very happy with how all 4 pieces turned out.
Rawr! Top skull piece in progress on the top and finished print on the bottom.