Are all filaments created equal?

Associate
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Hi all.

Ive just been given a 3d printer from a friend. Its an Ender 3 pro.

Ive had a little play with it and got some successful prints.

I want to get some white filament to make some feet for a my meshlicious case.

First question, are there good brands to go for? Is the cheapest stuff on amazon to be avoided? Or is it all much of a muchness?

Second, is there a filament that i can use which will have a little but of give/flex? It might be nicer than hard rigid feet. Not too rubbery though.

Thanks
 
Soldato
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I bought my printer from a company I cannot name as they sell computer stuff and with it I got 5 x 1kg spools of Sunlu Black PLA for free. This stuff works great and I've had no issues other than ones I've created myself as I'm new to 3D printing. I bought 1 spool of Sunlu Red PLA from Anazon and whilst it prints great the winding on the spool is so bad I have to unwind what I need and use it loose off the spool. I actually wonder if it's counterfeit.

When I bought some other colours, including white PLA and PETG, I bought them from the company I can not name and they are all wound on the spools as they should be.

As I've only used Sunlu filament I can't answer your question conclusively but I do like this sunlu stuff as apart from the red spool issue, I've had no problems so will be buying that unless I want a colour they don't do.
 
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I've printed with a LOT of filament brands and while some do stand out as being better "Prusament" for example which is made and sold by the same company.

However put it like this, there are only so many filament manufacturers so a lot of what you see is made by one company and rebranded.

I would say find a price your happy to pay and look around at what's available. We have a couple of UK based filament sellers as well of course as Amazon so plenty to choose from.

As for flexible filament, while it's possible to print on a Ender 3 pro, with its Bowden setup (a tube from the extruder to the hotend) it takes a bit of trial and error and a big speed decrease.
 
Soldato
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I recently did quite a bit of printing of some structurally critical outdoor parts. I ended up using PETG. It's more compliant than PLA, so might be suitable for what you need.

Was a lot harder to get a decent print, and different colours of the same brand and type printed differently as well.

From what I have gather, moisture makes a big difference to filament. So being able to dry it out greatly improves it print quality.
 
Soldato
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Try reading some of the threads on here, where people have asked exactly the same question
 
Associate
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Printed a lot of stuff with various brands and they all differ slightly. Even between colours of same brand can be slightly different to print. But it’s nothing major and you just put the temperature up or down slightly. Go for PLA+, most spools are actually PLA+ now but just make sure.
In my experience:

- eSun and SunLu do the job, pretty consistent, good price, wound on the spool grand as well.

- prusament is like gold standard. It’s very consistent, perfectly wound and you’ll never get tangled filament. I love printing with it but it’s just soo expensive and I use it on special occasions .

- Filaments with matte and glitter added tend to hide the layer lines and make prints better looking, but in my experience slightly more prone to failures.

- For flexible filaments you need to use TPU, they have different “Shore hardness” scales for measuring how flexible they are. Here’s a web page for it:
 
Associate
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Thanks guys. Ive done some printing of PLA (what came with the printer from my friend) and ive got some good results. He once printed something for me that was very flexible. i'm fairly sure it was TPU, but i'll ask him. I wouldnt want it THAT flexible, so it seems like the printer is capable at least. I'll see if he can advise which stuff he used last time.

I'm still at that "this is so cool" stage when ever i print something :)

Ive printed some feet for the meshlicious, and a panel for the back to mount a displayport socket, in black for a white case, which isnt ideal, but there is a chance a white filament will be a different white anyway... maybe i'll get a fairly hard TPU and see how i go. It does seem that the flexible ones are hygroscopic (or maybe they all are?) but drying them in an oven seems to improve print a lot going by a few videos ive watched.

Ive got a few RC car parts to print, then i'll need some more ideas.
 
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