Even yet we know full well – thanks to one of the most stable charts in 3D Hubs’ monthly trend updates – that at quite least 50% of all computer desktop FFF 3D printing is done either in black ABS (for technical parts, where color does not matter) or white (if you are going to apply a finish to a decorative piece), leaving a sizeable percentage of quite fragmented user preferences. As the awareness of the future for new materials becomes clearer, those other users are seeking various materials to test out and work with. So, the issue becomes that of finding the right materials in a 3D printing hardware market that is becoming additional – not less – specialized.
To do that, you can turn to websites such as Global FSD, that let you test tiny samples of materials. But preceding you head there, you can want to check out the new Filament Directory made by Gauthier De Valensart, set to commence additional or less at the same time as you are reading this.
As a passionate Maker, he began collecting information on filaments in 2014 and he has now created, probably, the most achieve – non-commercial – collection of filament information. This comes with data on specific colors, properties, and diameter, up to 12 parameters, listing all of the products of all of the sizeablest global filament manufacturers (that is of 20 various companies).
Gauthier in addition conducted a survey and has analysed the data collected so far to find additional in-depth information on what remains a quite mysterious and unrecorded industry. For example, information on where 3D printing device owners buy filaments, how frequently, and that types of filaments they appear for.
“We wanted to know 3D printing device users, their habits, their needs, and how we can assist them,” Gauthier said. “Our market research showed that 3D printing device owners are regularly appearing for filaments with, not only specific properties, but in addition ‘superpowers’. For instance, they showed excellent interest in filament flexibility, the most appreciated one of these exotic qualities.”
Gauthier in addition found that 75% of 3D printing device users want to find filaments that are the same color as objects surrounding them and that is why Filament.directory showcases an high end functionality for color matching. The user only has to take a picture of a particular color and automatically get a list of all the filaments presenting much like coloring.
There is much additional information that can be gathered of the reported material consumption and preferences. They are all listed in the infographic at the bottom of this article. Some of the elements that stand out include sex and age data, revealing that women manufacture up only 1% of respondents at this time and that most users (83%) 3D print at home and for their own consumption.
The favourite brand at this time (but this was preceding the new update that added several other brands) is colorFabb, followed by taulman3D and eSUN. In addition, apart of flexibility, users appear for transparent filament (good luck with that) and carbon-reinforced materials. In my own experience, that is precisely what folks ask for the most: flexibility, transparency, and durablity.
In a filament market that is only going to get infinitely sizeabler and additional varied in the next year, the Filament.directory is going to be a necessary tool to support oneself in this wild – and awe-inspiring – filament jungle.