PLA from eSUN vs Village Plastics

I wanted to give a review of the Lulzbot PLA from eSUN, since I havent come across any here on the forums yet…

So, I generally buy my plastic from lulzbot, to support them, and they have reasonable prices/shipping times and I have found it to be good quality plastic.

So I have generally stuck with PLA, and since they now have a new supplier eSUN, I figured I would try it out especially since there is a big price difference.

My single roll of Black PLA from eSUN has been a bit of a pain to use. The filament is consistently on the large end of the range of 3 mm filament (about 2.92 mm for this roll on average. Village plastic rolls are more like 2.80-2.85 in my experience). This has caused the filament to slide with a bit too much friction in the feed tube, which causes the filament to unroll sporadically in bursts, rather than continuously as the village plastic rolls do.

Also, there were two places in the roll that the spool tangled on the roll itself as I was printing with it (I also have about 1/4 of the roll left). One time, it led to a print failure (annoying), the other time, I caught it and cut the tangle and reworked the filament into the extruder, (not a big deal, but sort of annoying). I am unsure if these tangles were related to how much friction the filament has while sliding in the tube, they very well might be related, in which case its easy enough to get a bigger tube.

Also, I found the eSUN plastic to be best for a printing temperature about 5 degrees hotter than my typical Village Plastic filament. This is not a big deal at all.

Overall, I think I will be buying Village Plastics PLA from now on, just to be more confident that I wont have any more issues.

I’ll add my .02:

I also bought some eSun PLA from Lulzbot in sky blue. I was very pleased with it. I like my plastics to be exactly 3.00mm, which it was on average. The reason I prefer it this way, is because I normally use Voltivo plastics, which are always spot on 3.00, and very high tolerance. I have never had a friction problem with 3.00, but I also am using an E3D V6 Bowden Hotend with a modified Holly extruder.

The whole roll of eSun PLA printed very well for the price. It wasn’t as “buttery smooth” as Voltivo (I use that term a lot when I refer to Voltivo, because that’s how it extrudes), but at half the price, it was a sweet deal.

I was so pleased with the eSun PLA, I thought I’d try eSun ABS. I ordered the eSun ABS in Black from Amazon. This was an absolute NIGHTMARE. The filament had air-bubbles throughout. At first I though it was moisture, since the filament would pop out of the nozzle every now and again. But, the plastic did come nicely vacuum sealed with desiccant. I broke the filament in several places -> the whole roll was practically hollow! I found more voids than solid cross-sections when breaking it up. Also, I got one successful, very small, low-surface quality print. The second print clogged my nozzle. I cleaned the nozzle by removing it and spinning a piece of nylon filament inside the nozzle with a Dremel. It seemed that there were large chunks of black-mystery that were just impervious to heat. Some of it just wouldn’t melt.

Furthermore, the Black ABS seemed like it had been colored with some type of cheap-dye. I usually keep a piece of painter’s tape right at the origin on my bed. I do this so that my nozzle wipe across it at the start of a print. This was the only plastic I ever used that the color from the plastic left a mark like the tip of the nozzle was a pen! … ???

I loaded up my Black Voltivo again, after a thorough nozzle cleaning. Buttery-smooth extrusion. Fantastic quality prints. Never a clog, ever. And it didn’t leave a pen-stroke mark on my painter’s tape.

In summary, the blue eSun PLA (ordered through Lulzbot) was fantastic, for the price.
The Black eSun ABS from Amazon, I wouldn’t want it if it was free.

Maybe eSun is hit-or-miss?
I would be very interested to hear others’ experiences with it.