I have come onto the 3D printing scene late in the party. However one of the problems that seemed to befall most ‘fabbers’ was the availability of filament to print with. When I first got my machine finding the 1.75mm filament within the UK was not easy. Not long after I got my eMaker Huxley (I shall review that at a later date) a company called “Faberdashery” started.
New way of buying
It seems traditionally you purchase the filament you need as a weight on a spool. Of course this has benefits, you can buy loads at a lower cost per unit. This is great if you are printing lots of items or larger products. If, like me, you only print a handful of items every now and then you can end up with tons of plastic sitting around. The problem with that is that unless it is stored carefully, it absorbs moisture from the air which can affect print quality – the moisture boils in the print head and causes the extrusion to pop and splutter.
Step in Faberdashery (FD). Two things set FD apart from most of the competition. Firstly you buy the material in 1 meter lengths or 100m coils. Second you have a massive choice of colours, which is always expanding.
Weight or length
So why would you want to buy your material by length? Most slicing software used to process 3D models ready for printing can report the amount of filament used. Knowing this will mean you can order from FD the exact amount you need to print. No more excess filament sitting around needing to be stored carefully. Not to mention you are only paying for what you actually need and use.
Print the rainbow
Colours, we all have our favorite one (mines purple BTW!). FD has colours in the bucket load. From your expected white, grey and black, to the off white “Architect’s Stone” or the new “Pearly White”. But also other colours, red, blues, pink, yellow, orange, greens and many more. There are also metallic like grey and gold, and a glittery “Galaxy Blue”. What ever you are printing FD will most likely have a colour to go with it.
Another big thing to consider when purchasing filament is the quality of it. This can be summed up in two ways, diameter consistency and filament malleability. You need the diameter to be really consistent, otherwise it could jam in your printer – this is really important for those with a Bowden tube. The filament needs to be able to bend to a degree, it has to come off of the spool/reel, bend up round the printer and into the printing head. Some of the cheaper filaments are brittle and can snap – reports are that all is not lost, there are some reports that leaving it in a oven at a low temperature for a while can help that out.
To this day I have not had an issue with the products from FB. It will bend to your hearts content – within reason of course! Neither have I had it snap on me.
The price to pay
Of course all this choice, flexibility in purchasing and quality comes at a price – literally. Weight for weight FD’s filament is more expensive then most out there. You will have to weigh (sorry no pun intended!) that up against being able to purchase only what you need, in the colour you want and know that the filament will go through the machine.
But in the end
Should you buy from Faberdashery? Like many things in life, it really depends on what you are looking for. For larger items or bulk prints it may be worth looking at some of the cheaper options – although I believe FD do offer bulk purchasing so could be worth an email. For the rest of us printing out little bits-and-bobs FD offers a wide selection and choice of quantity all wrapped up in a consistent quality package.
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