On today’s Ask Us Anything, Tom and Tracy Hazzard share their insights on their preferred filament for their MakerBot, addressing a question from Helene in Montreal. Explaining why they consider PLA or Polylactic Acid as their ideal 3D printer filament, they also share the pros of using it. Listen to this episode for more tips about the right filament to use for your 3D printer.
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What’s Your Favorite Filament?
This segment is Ask Us Anything.
We’ve invited people to ask us questions via our website.
You can go to www.HazzDesign.com. Click on the Ask Us tab and below you will see a little button that says, “Ask us a question.” As long as your computer has a microphone, click it and it will record your question a minute or so. Don’t forget to leave us your name and if you want us to be able to contact you like an email, whatever you’re comfortable leaving. Ask your question and we’ll be happy to answer it in future episodes.
Our question comes from Ellen from Montreal. She asked us what filament we use. What filament haven’t we used? That might be a better question.
We work in a home office and we have two 3D printers. It’s our office but it’s also our home environment. We use PLA-based filaments exclusively.
I don’t like the smell of the others. I don’t want that near my kids. I don’t want that in my office. We don’t do that. We also don’t have a need because I don’t love the look of the shiny cheap plastic look that ABS tends to have. The PLA for our purposes has this nice matte look and the bioplastic is appealing for things. It’s fine.
In terms of properties, we’ve never had any problems with it. We have a MakerBot printer which only allows you to use PLA. You can’t set it for a lot of different requirements that other filaments have, and then we have a Leapfrog Creatr HS which will let us use any filament that’s out there.
We’ve tried some support materials. We’ve done that.
We also use PVA, which is Polyvinyl Alcohol. That also is a friendly material to our interior environment.
It’s like a glue stick.
It’s exactly what it is. It’s the same type of material and it dissolves in water. It’s easy enough when you print a part with support material. When you’re done, you can fill your bathroom sink with water and plug it and drop it in there in an hour or two.
We also have HIPS but we haven’t tried it yet. We have some Lay-Felt and a couple of Laywoods.
The soft PLA materials. The more rubbery ones are PLA-based.
Everything is PLA-based. We’re going to be trying a bunch. It took us a while to get our Leapfrog up and running so that we would have the dual extruder so we can do two materials and two temperatures. It hasn’t been running enough for that testing, but we’re going to be doing that. We’re indiscriminate about it. We’ll buy filament from anyone if you have the right color. That’s the key right there. Everybody here is the same color. All things being equal, we may have one we prefer. White is my biggest complaint about it. The white is different from manufacturer to manufacturer. We always buy our white from the same company because we want to make sure that’s the same, and then when they changed it, it pissed me off.
At the same time, white is not just white. There’s milky white, opaque white, shiny white and matte-finish white. White is all over.
I don’t love the MakerBot white. It’s an off white. It’s not pure white. That’s what I don’t like about it. We tried the RioRand and that one is milky but it prints great.
I love how that one performs. We’re continually exploring and testing new materials as long as they’re not too toxic to our interior air environment. This is a question we’re going to have to revisit several times in future episodes. There will always be new filaments we are experimenting with using.
We’ll always be updating you on what we’re trying, what we like and what worked. I visited two factories that are making filaments to see how it’s made, what their consistency is and quality. That’s going to be in upcoming episodes as well.
Thanks for your question.
Ask us again. Anyone else, ask us anything.
We look forward to speaking with you next time.
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