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  1. #1

    Filament recommendations based gloss and opacity?

    Hi guys,

    I've been on the hunt lately for some specific types of filament and I think it would be interesting to have a discussion about this for ourselves as well as anyone searching on this subject in the future.

    I've been looking for glossy finish filament (off the print bed, no treatment) and I've found a few brands from Beaver3D, Suntop, and a Canadian company. I've got a couple orders placed so I'm looking forward to reporting back on these. I seem to find the word "silk" used heavily in describing high gloss filaments but I'm not finding a wide color spectrum to choose from.

    The thing I seem to notice is that the glossier a filament is the less opaque it is. This is based on limited experience as I've only used a few brands. I currently use Matterhackers PRO PLA and it looks pretty good as it is designed to have more colorant in it to increasee opacity. However, this leaves a very low gloss matte finish. Almost a dry look.

    Setting aside any specialty filaments in limited color choices what would you say your shiniest and most opaque filament brand is? Preferably a PLA sold in the US that has a wide color range of choices.

    I try to stock every color and a light and dark of each and having something that is shiny (like wet looking if possible) but not very see-through is very desirable for final finish with as little treatment as possible.

  2. #2
    No particular filament recommendations, but just a general PLA characteristic to note. PLA tends to print either with a gloss or matte finish depending on if you print it at the higher or lower end of its temperature band. I think it was higher temperatures produce a gloss finish and lower temperatures produce a more matte finish, so you could try bump up your temperatures.

  3. #3
    Engineer ralphzoontjens's Avatar
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    I found Faberdashery to have a few very glossy filaments.
    Of course, inherently if you print in layers it takes away some of the gloss.
    But if you are looking for a wide range of color options as well, that is the store to explore.

    The 3DOM Biome3D filament is also great, more silky and smooth with a few great colors.

  4. #4
    Thanks for recommendations. I will look into all of your recommendations. Thanks for the suggestion about temperature. That's one of those things that I know but don't often consider. I normally print my PLA at 205 or 210 anyway but I get concerned about changing anything that could affect print quality even though PLA is fairly easy to dial in.

    Update: I made 2 orders of "silk" filaments. One from a company stateside and one in China. Both well reviewed. The shipping speed has been concerning. I can't blame the one stateside because it's actually FedEx that is taking almost 10 days to get it to me. The Chinese company shipped about 4 days later but they do offer shipment tracking so that's nice. It's just concerning to wait 10+ days for a filament order from anywhere when I consider the tight timetable I usually work under and possible future stock shortages (when you're using a specialty filament and need to restock you have to get that exact one).

    Anyway, both orders should arrive to me today/tomorrow and I plan to report back as soon as I've had a moment to run some parts in them. My entire goal is to have a part coming off the printer that requires as little final finishing processes as possible.

    Also, I purchased some eSun filament off Amazon. Super cheap $20 for a roll. They offer 2 different whites like light bulbs. Cool white and soft white. Just like light bulbs one obviously has a tinge of blue and the other a tinge of yellow. I bought the cool white and it's pretty good looking actually. It's also really opaque which is important to my parts. Worth checking out if you're on the hunt for a good, cheap white. If anyone has a super glossy AND opaque white let me know

  5. #5
    Engineer ralphzoontjens's Avatar
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    Formfutura's Frosty White Premium PLA is a fantastic white and quite glossy.
    The color is comparable to a cloud 9 white

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by ralphzoontjens View Post
    Formfutura's Frosty White Premium PLA is a fantastic white and quite glossy.
    The color is comparable to a cloud 9 white
    Awesome. I'll take a peek at it.

    Update. The "silk" filaments that I bought are pretty awesome. They seem to be the exact same filament from both suppliers just in a slightly different shade. However, they are definitely not an opaque gloss. They are most definitely what I would call pearlescent or opalescent. Very nice but not a high gloss solid color filament like I was looking for.

    The eSun filament came out GREAT. Solid opaque and definitely in the "cool white" color range. I'm very pleased with the results

  7. #7
    I guess that you need clear printed part without no treat. We have trial several type of trans filament, such as natural pla, trans abs, petg, pc, pmma and natural tpu. To be honest, All of them are muddy ins surface. Petg is the best one we have used. PC and PMMA is hard for printing, due to high temperature.
    Below are our post about this:
    https://www.ecoreprap.com/best-clear...te-guide-2018/

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