Chroma Strand Labs INOVA-2008 Filament
Additional Notes: Although I have no official affiliation to Chroma Strand Labs, There was a offer before this review was conducted for anyone who purchased and reviewed the new product to get a free roll of INOVA-2008 after the review was written from IT-Works. This in no way impacted my review and testing of the filament.
The General Information
Printer: Lulzbot Taz 5 with V2.1 Single Extruder
Color: Hammer Grey
Filament Type: PETg
Print Temp: 230c-240c
Bed Temp: 70c-80c
Where to buy it
A Brief Summary
The Chroma Strand Labs new filament the INOVA-2008 is a PETg filament that is said to be easy to print with, have very little smell and a very nice finish. In the past, I have used Colorfabb’s PETg equivalent (XT), Esun, Taulman(T-Glase) and Orb Polymer. For those who don’t know what PETg is a copolyester that is a modified version of PET (one of the most commonly used plastics in the world). PETg was created to be more durable, more heat resistant and impact resistant. If printed correctly, this is one of the few food safe filaments because it can be sterilized. PETg is similar to ABS but easier to print and has little to no emissions (smell).
Color Quality: 5/5
Chroma Strand Labs has brought out a PETg that haves 13 colors to choose from and they are all simply beautiful. There are 4 translucent colors (Red, Blue, Orange and clear) and the rest are opaque (Orange, Yellow, Green, Grey, Black, Blue, Red, White and Lulzbot Green). When you look at the spool and the color of the print, it is a perfect match. I have found that most PETg filaments are very limited in color and they are mostly translucent. Although Colorfabb has as many options as Chroma Strands, Chroma has better pricing and can be bought and delivered quicker (If you are in the US). The Orb Polymer brand also has a similar product for a little less ($36.75) and free delivery when you purchase 3 or more rolls in the US, but as from personal experience, lead times can sometimes cause the product to not be shipped out until weeks after you place the order.
This may seem like a ridicules category, but I have experienced in the past several brands of filament that when I received the roll, I would be required to unroll and completely reroll the filament, and let me tell you, it puts a bad taste in your mouth when this happens. Chroma Strand Labs doesn’t let down. I went through the roll and didn’t hit a single snag or issue. The Spool itself is a pretty generic spool and nothing to write home about.
Physical Quality (is it brittle?) 5/5
The physical quality of the Chroma Strand Labs Inova-2008 is fantastic. It is smooth and has consistent measurement to the physical size of the filament. I measured the filament in several random places as I printed and worked with it and found it to always stay right at 2.87mm. I have also found that I haven’t had any clogging from the filament and it prints perfectly smooth. The filament itself is somewhat flexible and will bend before it breaks. It has proven to be impact resistant and when the printer is setup right, the prints come out shiny and beautiful on any layer height setting.
Print Quality: 4/5
The print quality of this filament is pretty good. It is from the makers of the Inova -1800 filament and is just as high of quality. The biggest issue I had with this filament is that it could be picky about its settings and I went through a lot of trial and error before I could get it to print like I wanted. Now I know that every filament can be like that, but the other brands I’ve used I could use the standard settings I use as a base (the profiles Lulzbot offers) and then make temperature tweaks and they print out beautifully. The Inova-2008 gave me some grief and was difficult at first, but once I found the perfect settings it printed like a dream.
The prince for the Inova-2008 is honestly a fantastic price. You can find cheaper PETg filaments with as high as a quality as the Inova but with much fewer options. The Inova is also greatly priced because it can be found on Amazon with free shipping (even if you’re not a prime member).
Final Score: 23/25
Overall, the filament is a great value with a small price tag (especially compared to its older brother the Inova-1800) but the same quality and attention as the much more expensive filaments. I would highly recommend buying and using the Chroma Strand Labs Inova-1800 if you have a need for a strong and beautiful PETg filament.
In the photos, The grey is the Inova-1800. The White/Clear is Colorfabb XT. Printed models can be found here:
Longhuo the Eastern Dragon: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:305752
Calibration Cube: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1278865
3D Benchy: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:763622
Infill Test: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:968213