After I got some ACE A+ help over on the TAZ specific forum I thought maybe my filament questions could get answered on the forums as well.
I’m a public librarian working on a shoestring budget. I’m fairly savvy with tech and have repaired and maintained my systems’ 3 Minis and Taz 5 as well as a uPrint Dimension(I’m aware this machine is proprietary and won’t be getting anything other than uPrint PLA) in it’s sunset days. I’m looking to market our services to the college and university students as well as hobby groups in town so I’d like to look into more than just brightly colored PLA. I have a grudge against ABS and am really not interested in that material but would gladly accept any recommendations for brands and/or types of filament that might be popular with these crowds.
Currently we get a lot of folks who are doing home/machine repairs (just printed a downspout piece today) or doing decorative/art-y type printing. We have several D&D groups around town, a thriving innovator and maker community and a growing LARP/cosplay community.
With that in mind, what materials/finishes etc would be worth investing in?
Sounds like your looking for fine detail nozzles
The only filaments that regularly can be found around $10/kg on sale (limited colors, of course) are ABS and PLA.
ASA is one you may want to look into. $20-30/kg, almost all of the benefits of ABS without the stink and less warping.
PETG is a decent choice as well, but any that you get for $15 or less are likely to be more prone to stringing. At work I use Matterhackers Pro PETG, and stringing is almost nonexistant.
For the artsy folks, let them get their fancy PLA rolls. For home repairs - downspout for example, ASA is the only “outdoor” filament I’d recommend.
If your budget is insufficient, you can consider recycled pla filament, which is cheaper than regular pla, but you may not be able to guarantee your printing effect.
1.75 mm filament I like is from Zyltech, if any of your machines take that.
2.85 mm brands I like are ColorFabb PLA Economy (bigger spool) and the Matterhacker in house brands are quite good too. PLA is fine for most things but for moving parts/assemblies or some higher heat tolerance, PETG is a good choice.