HomeBlog Maker Box delivers 3D filaments samples directly to your doorstep

Maker Box delivers 3D filaments samples directly to your doorstep


INTRODUCTION TO THE MAKER BOX SERVICE

MakerBox.me is a subscription box company aimed at the 3d printing filament market. They offer 4 kinds of curated packages delivered monthly, to your door: 4 samples for $17, 3 for $14, 6 for $28 and 8 samples for $34. Each sample is made of roughly 50 grams of material (approx 15-20 meters).

Working with filament producers both large and small allows MakerBox to distribute a wide variety of materials. Our package arrived via post in a box the size of a standard filament roll containing four resealable bags, each with a different material, silica gel and corresponding printing instructions.

Here’s the list of the 3D printing filament samples included in the package we received:

 

3D PRINTING SETUP FOR TESTING THE MAKER BOX FILAMENT SAMPLES

All test prints were produced using a Flashforge Creator Pro on an aluminium bed with a well-seasoned BuildTak print surface. This 3D printer uses 1.75 mm 3D filaments. All the test prints were produced at a resolution of 300 microns unless otherwise noted.

Our Flashforge Creator Pro setup for testing the Maker Box service

Our Flashforge Creator Pro setup for testing the Maker Box service.

The 3D Benchy is sort of the “standard 3D model” used to benchmark 3D printers and evaluate several parameters (surfaces, level of details, overhangs, ….). It can be downloaded for free on almost every 3D printing STL platforms.

 

3D PRINT RESULTS

  • 3D Fuel Hemp 1.75 mm

3D printing extrusion temperature: 200°C
3D printing bed temperature: 45°C
Extrusion speed: 50mm/s
3D printing infill: 30%

Benchy 3D printed on a Flashforge Creator Pro with 3D Fuel Hemp 1.75 mm

Benchy 3D printed on a Flashforge Creator Pro with 3D Fuel Hemp 1.75 mm.

The only bad thing about this filament can be attributed to jokes made about “3D printed joints” and questions if it smelled like burning cannabis. Otherwise, it is an excellent filament with good first layer adhesion, very uniform deposition and minimal stringing.

The 3D Fuel Hemp filament turns out in a very natural looking, fairly translucent, brown. Our 3D Benchy model turned out strong and solid.

 

  • Algix 3D Alga Green Black 1.75 mm

3D printing extrusion temperature: 200°C
3D printing bed temperature: 45°C
Extrusion speed: 60mm/s
3D printing infill: 30%

Benchy 3D printed on a Flashforge Creator Pro with Algix 3D Alga Green Black 1.75 mm

Benchy 3D printed on a Flashforge Creator Pro with Algix 3D Alga Green Black 1.75 mm.

“From Pond To Printer”, our sample of ‘Swamp Black’ Alga 3D printed well, with a nice matte finish. But this 3D filament has a tendency to string, so you should take care of adjusting the retraction as needed.

Algix 3D approach is unique in their use of algae as a key component of the filament. This material would work well for sustainability oriented projects and as an alternative sensitive to purely synthetic filaments.

 

  • MadeSolid PET+ White 1.75 mm

3D printing extrusion temperature: 245°C
3D printing bed temperature: 80°C
Extrusion speed: 45mm/s
3D printing infill: 30%

Benchy 3D printed on a Flashforge Creator Pro with MadeSolid PET+ White 1.75 mm

Benchy 3D printed on a Flashforge Creator Pro with MadeSolid PET+ White 1.75 mm.

Made Solid’s sample of white PET+ was not perfect, but good enough with a little tweaking. While first layer adhesion was wholly adequate, our 3D Benchy was prone to delamination until we adjusted our temperature to 245°C, which fixed the issue. Structurally, the model was completed with negligible droop in overhangs. Overall an acceptable, smell-free alternative to ABS.

 

  • Colorfabb BrassFill 1.75 mm

3D printing extrusion temperature: 240°C
3D printing bed temperature: Ambiant
Extrusion speed: 45mm/s
3D printing infill: 30%

Benchy hull 3D printed on a Flashforge Creator Pro with Colorfabb BrassFill 1.75 mm.

Benchy hull 3D printed on a Flashforge Creator Pro with Colorfabb BrassFill 1.75 mm.

Maybe we had a bad length of filament, but in between having to consult with tech support and conflicting advice from friends and colleagues alike, Colorfabb’s BrassFill proved to be too much for our Flashforge, by repeatedly clogging the nozzle and numerous lost prints until settings were just right.

The best results were obtained with 165 micron layers 3D printed at a speed of 45mm/s. However, we did not succeed in printing an entire Benchy and had to settle with the hull. This was very unfortunate as the finishing potential with this filament is high, which we discovered with some 230 grit sandpaper and a bit of “Brasso” polishing compound. Please note that this 3D filament gave very good results when tested with a bq Witbox 2.

 

CONCLUSION OF OUR MAKER BOX SERVICE REVIEW

The Maker Box filament subscription service is a convenient way of trying a wide variety of materials without having to do a lot of legwork yourself.

While not economical outside of the United States, due to enormous shipping costs and fluctuating currencies, this service can find its niche among boutique printing outfits and smaller production facilities. It also must be noted that 3D filaments samples tend to give worse results than regular spools due to packaging.

Added value of the Maker Box service includes substantial discounts on full rolls from participating vendors and other offers. Definitely a “Nice to Have” as opposed to a “Must Have”.

About this author

Pierre-Antoine Arrighi

Pierre-Antoine Arrighi is Aniwaa’s Technical Advisor and co-founder. Based in Paris, France, he is involved with the most important decisions in regards to the company’s overall strategy. He is also the team’s technical expert for all things related to 3D printing and scanning, as well as for virtual and augmented reality. He is also a Senior Consultant for French consulting firm kxiop.