3D Solutech Filament Review: Fantastic PLA
3D Solutech filament is good quality and their PLA is 100% made in the USA. This company is in the same category as other budget friendly filaments like Hatchbox and eSUN.
- Source: USA
- Return Policy: Full refund of any product that is unsatisfying
- Deals and Perks: Free shipping on orders over $35
3D Solutech embodies the entrepreneurial spirit of the recent boom in the 3D printer filament industry. Run by Luke Zhao out of Seattle, Washington, this self described “group of young enthusiasts who have faith in the future of 3D printing industry” is producing some of the best 3D printer PLA filament in its price range.
They are clearly doing something right. After all, the fan base around 3D Solutech is growing every day.
Many customers are seriously in love with the quality of this PLA filament brand, and the quality is definitely top notch. 3D Solutech also sells other types of filament, such as ABS and Glow in the Dark, but its PLA is the best.
These filaments have very few problems with clogs and their tolerances are superb. Their color range is also very good and you can expect and similar leel of quality from their range of specialty exotic filaments.v
Price, Quality and Colors
Now let’s get into the core reasons that people love 3D Solutech. There are three all-important factors when it comes to producing and selling 3D printer filament: low price, high quality, and color range.
3D Solutech consistently nails one of those factors, and does fairly well on the other two with some room for improvement. We will tell you what they do right and where they could improve below.
3D Solutech’s prices are pretty low. These low cost filaments allow customers to buy multiple rolls at a time and play around with them to see what they like.
That said, the quality is good enough that when you get your 3D printer calibrated, you can stick with this brand for a while and enjoy it.
3D Solutech has pretty good quality, but not across all of the types of filament it sells.
The company’s highest quality filament is its PLA filament, and it is truly great quality. This PLA filament is very satisfying for beginners and it is the reason we recommend trying 3D Solutech at all.
But we can’t say the same for its other filaments. Unfortunately, the other types of filaments offered, such as the ABS, are just not as great quality.
The Black ABS filament from 3D Solutech has some major issues including splotching on surfaces of finished prints, bulges, and inconsistent tolerances.
Therefore, it’s best to avoid 3D Solutech ABS filaments for now. However, this shouldn’t prevent you from trying the flexible TPU, which has gotten positive reviews and is, for many customers, their go-to TPU filament.
In this area, 3D Solutech does well but there is room for improvement. The quality of the colors of 3D filament from 3D Solutech is good, although there are some issues with the color not matching expectations.
For instance, the 3D Solutech Silver Metal PLA filament is sometimes more of an opaque gray than a shiny silver and the 3D Solutech White PLA is more of an off-white than a pure white. For many customers this proves to be a problem because they cannot predict what colors they are actually buying.
However, the colors do translate very well into the prints, with some slight variation in color depending on speed and temperature. PLA colors are especially pleasing.
The metallic filament colors, Skin Tone and Glow In The Dark filaments are fun, and with the addition of clear colors as well as unusual colors, such as Navy Blue and Apple Green, 3D Solutech offers a color range that is wider than the standard ROYGBIV range.
That being said, this color range is not as wide as its competitors’ color ranges. 3D Solutech only has around thirty colors.
While this is not as many as its competitors, such as Hatchbox, which offers dozens of colors, 3D Solutech’s color range is very normal for smaller filament producers.
Materials: PLA, ABS, and Glow in the Dark
In this section, we will go into deeper detail about each of the three major types of printer materials that 3D Solutech offers. It’s important to note that 3D Solutech does offer a few more types of filament than just these three, but the other types are usually subtypes of PLA, so we won’t distinguish between them unless we need to.
For instance, they offer see-through colors of PLA and flexible PLA. These other types of PLA filaments are generally the same quality as the regular PLA so we didn’t devote much space to reviewing them separately, although it is worth mentioning that the flex PLA is really good and much stronger than regular PLA.
The first time you open a box of PLA from 3D Solutech, took off the wrapping, load the spool onto your printer and print your first object, you will know that you have found a good filament. You can literally see the quality in the smooth texture while it is both on the spool and flowing evenly through the extruder.
3D Solutech PLA is also strong and not brittle at all. This is the perfect filament for beginners. It is easy to use and provides consistently good results.
Even for seasoned 3D printers who might be looking for a high quality PLA filament without having to spend more for it, 3D Solutech filaments will definitely satisfy.
There are no issues with the shape of this 1.75mm PLA filament. The tolerance is very good at 1.75mm +/- 0.02mm. The shape of the filament is great, with low ovality and no issues with bulging or bubbles.
The texture is also very smooth and you can feel it right out of the box. The texture translates well into the prints. The prints have a smooth, somewhat glossy finish, which is very much in line with what you would expect from a high-end PLA.
It smells fine, and there is no stringing or warping. Finished pieces are also very strong and can withstand significant stress. They tend to be hard and they bounce like chess pieces on a table.
The only thing to watch out for when it comes to PLA is that the white PLA is not pure white. It’s more of an off-white color. Other than that, this PLA is top-notch.
Unfortunately, the 3D Solutech’s ABS filament doesn’t live up to the same standards as its PLA. In fact, the first time some customers tried to print with ABS, it immediately clogged.
The second time they tried to print with it, they caught a huge bulge in the filament before it went into the extruder. They finally gave it a third shot and it printed fine, but the finished product had gray splotches across its surface.
Also, the black PLA, which is called “deep” or “true black” PLA, is not exactly black. In the sun, you can see that it is more of a purple or blue.
On a positive note: the quality might not be great, but it is pretty cheap compared to other 3D Solutech products.
Glow in the Dark
3D Solutech only offers one color of glow in the dark filament: clear. This clear filament gives off a nice green glow. It glows much more than other similar glow in the dark filaments from companies such as Black Magic 3D.
However, for the bright, long-lasting glow that this PLA delivers, the price is worth it. If you are trying to print glow in the dark light switches, figurines or glow sticks, this is a great glow in the dark filament to try.
One side note is that it is a little bit more brittle than other similar PLA glow in the dark filaments, so just be aware that if you are making structures with bridging, you should use a higher percentage infill than you would normally use.
Packaging and Spool Design
3D Solutech has great packaging and spool design. The packaging meets and even exceeds the industry standard by including a surprise gift in every package, which we will reveal below. The spool is also very well-designed and has no reported problems.
This is the sign of a good company with good logistics and an understanding of what the customer really needs in terms of storage and use of its products. It’s surprising how many filament companies don’t package their filaments properly and allow moisture and other debris to compromise the quality of the filaments they sell.
3D Solutech understands what the customer needs and ships the product in such a way as to ensure that it arrives at the customer’s doorstep in pristine condition.
Background Info: Who owns 3D Solutech?
Founded in 2012 by Luke Zhoa, 3D Solutech is a young business with a lot of enthusiasm. The company is registered to a commercial building near the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington.
It manufactures its own filament and distributes it through Amazon as well as through its own website at www.3DSolutech.com.
Where Does 3D Solutech Come From and Where Can I Buy 3D Solutech?
We don’t know the precise location where the filament is made, but 3D Solutech has made it very clear that the filament is made in the USA and not imported from China. It is possible that it is made in the commercial building in Seattle where the business is registered.
Customers can also purchase filaments through the company website. The website itself is very well-designed and informative. However, it’s not clear that you would be able to get the same perks or deals through the website that you would get if you were to make the purchase through Amazon.
3D Solutech offers a generous return policy. The company offers to replace any damaged or defective products free of charge. It will also fully refund your purchase if you are unsatisfied with the product, although there is no explanation of what “unsatisfied” means.
There are a few copywriting mistakes here and there that make it sound as though the person who wrote the content of the website might not be a native English speaker, but this is a small matter considering the fact that many 3D filament companies don’t even have a website to begin with.
Recommended Printer Settings
3D Solutech PLA tends to print at temperatures that are a little bit higher than most other PLA brands. This might be due to additives that may have been included to give the final prints a somewhat lustrous shine.
No matter how you feel about additives, the results from this filament will be great and you will be satisfied. We don’t recommend trying 3D Solutech ABS, and as a result, we are unable to provide accurate printer settings for that.
The following printer settings are for PLA only:
- Extrusion temperature 190 – 230ºC (most printers will have success at the higher end of this range).
- Heated printer bed is optional. Recommended temp. is 50 – 60ºC.
- Fans: ON.
- Bad adhesion materials: blue painter’s tape, extra strong hairspray, glue stick, ABS slurry, sometimes no material is needed.
3D Solutech is a young company with a bright future if it can make a few changes. The company is even beginning to grow a loyal and dedicated customer base around it’s PLA products.
However, the quality of its ABS filaments leave much to be desired and this is really holding the company back from being a major player in the filament industry. The 3D Solutech website is fantastic in terms of its user-friendly qualities as well as the wealth of information it provides about the business, the product, and return policies.
However, the best way to reach the team at 3D Solutech is through their social media pages on Facebook and Twitter. Customer service is also handled mostly through social media.
You should absolutely try 3D Solutech PLA, and when you do, you will receive a small gift in the form of a filament clip.
The packaging is well done and the spool is a standard filament spool. Even though the color range is not very expansive, they do offer some interesting colors, such as metallics and a glow in the dark PLA.
All in all, 3D Solutech PLA is worth trying. Check them out here. It really is a high quality PLA and you will see why for many people it is their number one choice.