Friday, 26 June 2015

Filament Review #1 - RepRapper Tech Galaxy Blue ABS

RepRapper Tech Ltd 1.75mm Galaxy Blue ABS

Filament was purchased from 3dfilaprint.com, link to the filaments page here.


This is the first ABS filament I have purchased and used, as both my printers were supplied with PLA samples however I required some ABS filament for a project I had in mind and came across this while browsing 3D Filaprint's web store.

The filament is supplied on a ECO spool (more on this later) and is 1Kg in weight, it has a nice appearance with specks of silver throughout the filament, it does look like the milky way on a clear night hence the name Galaxy Blue however I would say the colour is nearer the purple side of the colour spectrum than the blue but it is still a nice colour filament.

So let's see what it looks like I hear you cry, well first let talk and see what we get when we purchase the filament. First off it comes in a RepRapper Tech branded box, vacuum packed in clear plastic but one thing I like is the included resealable bag and silica sachet.






Next to talk about is the spool itself, this is refereed to as an ECO spool and measures 250mm x 45mm, with a 35mm filament gap and a spinal hole size of 52mm. I'm not sure what the ECO refers to here as the spool is bigger is some sense to other spool I have seen and I would prefer to see a standard size/shape spool from all manufactures. It may refer to the spool being made from recycled material?



So as you can see, this spool size may cause problems with your current spool holder if you attach your filament externally or if your printer uses a filament spool recess you may not even be able to use this spool design. I was lucky because I mount my filament on top of my printer with an adjustable spool holder.

OK so now lets take a look at the advertised Galaxy Blue colour, as you can see from my pictures it does have a more purple tint to it, than blue but it's still a nice deep and unique colour.



  




As you can see I've printed the popular 3DBenchy be CreativeTools and this will be constant with all my reviews to better show the differences in filaments and also printer settings. Speaking of which the settings used for the RepRapper Tech Ltd 1.75mm Galaxy Blue ABS were as follows.

Nozzle size: 0.4mm
Extruder temp: 230°C
Bed temp: 70°C (Blue printers tape)
Layer height: 0.1984mm
Shell Thickness: 0.8mm
Top/Bottom layers: 3
Infill: 10%
Print speeds: 
  • Print: 45mm/s
  • Bottom layer: 35mm/s
  • Top/Bottom: 40mm/s
  • Travel: 70mm/s
These are the setting listed on 3dbenchy.com and again will be consistent throughout my reviews with some except, where the reviewed filament requires changes.

For my first print in ABS I'm reasonably happy, I think with a few tweaks to my setting I could get a better finish on the print. Infill for example, 10% seems to little and as such there are gaps in the top layers perhaps changing that to 15-20% would be better?

I'm also unsure on the extruder temp, this seems to be a hit and miss variable and I am unsure how best to dial this in?

To end this review I'm going to look at the pros and cons of the filament,

Pros


  • Price, at the time of writing this review a 1kg spool of Galaxy Blue ABS is only £15.
  • Colour, while it might not be as blue as the name suggests the colour of this filament is deep, unique and consistent throughout.

Cons

  • Spool, the size and shape of this spool could cause you some trouble if your printer use a recess to house the filament or if you use a spool holder that can't close up small enough.
  • Headed bed, ABS requires the use of a heated bed because as I understand it, ABS shrinks when it cools and if your print a large print this could cause the print to pop off an unheated bed. However I have read of people having success with cold beds?
  • Odour, ABS does have strong odour when used and this should be noted if your printer is sat next to you like mine is. If your printer has an enclosure or is not sat on your desk this might not be a problem for you, however I found myself needing to open a few windows to clear the air.
So overall I'm going to give the RepRapper Tech Ltd 1.75mm Galaxy Blue ABS a 6/10 rating.

Thanks for reading and until next time, keep printing.

James.




If any of my readers have some suggestions on ways to achieve better results with prints or on the format of my review please comment below, I'll gladly try out your suggestions.