Same 3D model, same settings, same printer, just different brands of PLA filament.

Same 3D model, same settings, same printer, just different brands of PLA filament. DK Blue is Hatchbox Blue (Pantone Blue 072C) and the LT Blue is MakeShaper Blue (Pantone Blue 285C).

There may not be a huge difference in the print quality between the two but there is a noticeable difference throughout the print.

My wife preferred the Hatchbox kitty to the MakeShaper one based on the overall aesthetics and feel of each print. The gloss and smoothness of the Hatchbox filament was more appealing to her than the matte and rougher feel of the MakeShaper filament.

Overall I prefer the Hatchbox brand filament over MakeShaper’s, however the MakeShaper filament performed fairly well and did make for a decent print.

So if you are concerned about aesthetics then go with the Hatchbox PLA and if not then the MakeShaper will surely suit your needs.

#Hatchbox #MakeShaper #3DPrinting #MakerSelectMini

Seems like Hatchbox is nearly unbeatable. I’ve personally had excellent experience with it, and so has everyone else I’ve ever seen.

@Tom_Nardi - thanks for the reply. I’m glad to hear others are experiencing similar results. I do want to explore other manufacturers in order to find the best filament for the right applications. There is after all no “perfect filament” that meets all needs and requirements. Also I want to start experimenting with new materials. I have not tried the exotics yet.

Some moisture in the light blue filament? (Upper part of paw.)

@Tomas_Vit - shouldn’t be. I keep all my filament in ziplock bags with the desiccant pouches that it shipped with and in a sealed tote with a large desiccant pouch. I believe it’s just a matter of quality control at the manufacturer.

I think you need to give the MakerShape another try, tuning the printer to the filament. Further explanation below…

I have used a lot of Hatchbox, I just am at the end of my first 1kg spool of Solutech filament. I tuned everything for Hatchbox and when I switched I thought the Solutech was junk, it did stuff like that MakeShaper filament, under extrusion was my specific issue after changing.

Measuring the two filaments with micro calipers, hatchbox is larger diameter than Solutech, but Solutech is I think slightly more consistent in diameter.

I Tested heat levels to get good extrusion and extruder steps for 100mm, and had to adjust both. I needed a lot more steps and 5-10c more heat. Now the Solutech prints really well. Point is Filaments from different manufacturers are different at the molecular level from different suppliers of raw pellets and how they are processed. They also differ in physical dimensions from the machinery that produces them being different.

You cannot fairly compare between the two with a printer tuned for one particular filament. I have a roll of Atomic filament to try next. I am very excited to do so, now that I know how to adjust the printer to get the best qualities from any brand.

I like Hatchbox, will be getting more, as well as Solutech. they are different tone and saturation for the same color so I will purchase based on that since I can get both to print equally well with tuning. Might change opinion as I see how UV affects the pigments and the quality of eithers white filament making it yellow over time.

@AlohaMilton - Agreed! Tuning your slicer for the filament you intend to print with is a must to get the best results. I see way to much on boards where people show pictures of their failed or problematic prints and ask “What’s wrong with my print” or “How do I fix this” but don’t tell you what printer, filament, settings, slicer, method of bed adhesion, or anything.

Tuning the slicer is as important as tuning your printer. It all affects the total result.

These prints were the first two prints on the printer right out of the box and the models were in the SD card from the manufacturer and in GCode format. I did nothing to the settings or printer other than the prescribed startup procedures and bed leveling. So basically this was a heads up stock print shoot out.

I need to make sure to load all my different filament settings into this printers slicer to get ready for more testing.

ah roger got it now, that is a resonable test of both machine and filament then. Not complete but it certainly shows some good information on both. Given the Hatchbox is closer to the machine’s settings and giving a surface quality you like, it only makes sense to go with that and tune it to be even better.

@AlohaMilton - I have the Maker Select (rebadged Wanhao i3) and have fairly well dialed in the Hatchbox filament. When I get a new brand I use the Hatchbox profile settings that I created as the “template” and plight in the manufacturers suggestions for heather, nozzle, and print speed if the have it. Sometimes it pays to email them as the test on their own with different printers and they may have noticed that different setups require different print settings. So it doesn’t hurt to ask.

Good test, but the issue is always going to be that there are too many variables that can affect print quality to reliably compare 2 different brands of filament with exactly the same settings, based on print results alone. Things like the colour, composition and quantity of the dye used, and of course the formulation of the PLA (they’re not all the same), plus variations in filament diameter (whether on average or in consistency) mean that you always need to tweak to get the best out of your filament.

As for the moisture comments above, while using desiccant is fine for storage, if the filament was manufactured in a more humid environment, it’s still likely to contain more moisture locked inside it that can’t be removed by simple desiccant processes. The only way you might remove it is by heat treating the filament to express the moisture first.

@Stuart_Young - You make some good points. On the point of the humidity possibly being introduced during manufacturing that then becomes a quality issue that the end user cannot control nor anticipate and there is no compensating for other than the heat treating which not everyone is comfortable doing nor should they.

This was not necessarily meant to see how the two filaments stack up against each other but rather to see what the printer can do. With what I see on the Hatchbox kitty the printer is quite capable. I will need to do more testing with each filament in order to get a tuned profile for each filament.

@Norbert_Davis the desiccant it ships with is usually saturated by the time you get the filament. Think about it for a minute – the filament is wrapped in thin plastic. Plastic absorbs moisture, which is why we’re talking about it in the first place. The thin plastic bag the filament ships in is thus PERMEABLE to moisture. So are ziplocks. They do greatly slow down absorption vs free air, but over months of shipping and storage, the bag lets in enough moisture to saturate the desiccant AND the filament.

The best thing you can do is get a polypropylene tub with nice thick walls and sealing lid, and put an indicator desiccant in that so you know when to change it. (PP is very impermeable to moisture compared to other common tub plastics.)

Oh, and even if it doesn’t pick up moisture in transit or storage, the first thing manufactured filament does straight out of the extrusion machine is run through a water bath for cooling and then spool in open air. So it’s likely to be saturated at the factory. If you actually do the math on desiccant capacity, the pouches they include aren’t enough to pull all the water out.

@Ryan_Carlyle - I do have the Ziplok sealed poly totes with an indicating desiccant rechargeable pod. I put the new spools in immediately when I get them and then I put the rolls back right after each use to avoid too much moisture absorption.

@Ryan_Carlyle excuse me, but how about if the filament its already way saturated? Every time i print abs i see little smoke(moisture) coming out of the extruder, and yeah i already use dissecant but it seems its not working properly or i really mess up something, any idea?

I have a lamp and 100w fluorescent lightbulb about 5-6 inches from the top of my polypro large storage bin my working filament is in, it’s not airtight, small slot for filament to feed out the side, but it is well above ambient inside the storage box, with a bunch of desiccant pouches as well. Seems to keep the print quality pretty good. The Poly storage box top is always slightly warm from the lamp. It just happened that way, workbench lamp and new filament storage being in close proximity, but since I noticed the warmth of the storage box I wonder if it’s not helping somewhat to remove moisture slowly and for 12-14 hours a day when the light is on in the work area? It seems to, but that could be projecting what I want not the actual reality :stuck_out_tongue:

@lightshadown if all you use is desiccant and no heat, it takes a long time to dry out (weeks-months maybe) and you’re going to need a lot of desiccant or frequent recharging of the desiccant.

I’m a big fan of all-in-one recharging units like the Eva-Dry 333. Pretty big capacity (enough for a whole tub) and you just plug the unit in to recharge it.

Oh, another note, fresh silica desiccant will pull moisture out of PLA and ABS but not nylon or PC. Those will actually suck water out of the desiccant! And used silica desiccant doesn’t pull moisture out of anything.

well, how about leaving the spool out on mid-sun? i live in a realitive hot area, (38-40 c on summer right now) how about using just plain sun? using a lot of dissecant and 100w light bulb can be overkill isnt?? just guessing in this one

@lightshadown you could try it, but it depends on the humidity. For PLA, anything over maybe 45% RH will cause it to absorb water. If the heat from the sun decreases the humidity, then it should work. But if it’s humid out, any outside exposure is bad.

You’ll also want to make sure the heat outside doesn’t get TOO hot, for example a black asphalt driveway will easily get hot enough to ruin PLA filament.

Oh, and yes, desiccant plus lightbulb is overkill, you only need the lightbulb. Heating indoor air inside the bucket reduces its relative humidity so the air is “dryer” (technically it has the same water, just more capacity to hold water) and thus pulls the moisture out of the filament AND desiccant.

You also probably don’t need 100w, I’d guess 50w is fine, but you’d need to do some experiments for your specific bucket and ambient temp. You just want the filament at maybe 45C.