Should you buy samples? - Yes, samples can not always be given out for free by manufacturers, so it's a good idea to buy them if you can find any - one big problem is that samples are not usually made, manufacturers often prefer you to just buy a full roll. Samples allow you to test out the material on your machine, and play with some settings before you buy a full roll.
How much do you need as a sample? -
This is a good discussion point, but in general I always want 20m of a filament material as a sample if I am going to invest time and effort in making a profile and perform a few small print tests.
I have been handed coils of ~5m lengths at shows, I tend to give them back. I have also been sent 6 inch 'samples' they are totally useless.Should samples be loose, or on a small roll? -
I actually prefer all sample filaments to be loose coils. And that's mostly how they usually come.
I do have a few 250g rolls of filament, that's fine, but if the reel is a silly size and I have no way to mount it, it tends to sit on a shelf rather than being tested.
Ideally they should be vacuum packed. I generally get loose / bagged samples, but some manufacturers (Polymaker, Proto-Pasta and Rigid Ink for example) supply samples in vacuum sealed bags with desiccant.
Polymaker mini 250g spool (with a true 50mm spool mount, great job)
Proto-Pasta vacuum packed sample :)
Rigid.ink Samples - also vacuum packed
Also look out fro samples that have a reasonable diameter. I try to get coils with a minimum 120mm diameter. Tighter coils often seem to cause all sorts of problems when testing a loose coil.
One of my all time favourite sample packs is still the Faberdashery 10 x 10m colour packs
- very large and easy to use coils, perfect for injecting a little colour - Like I did for the Day 4 lollipop!
ColorFabb also do great samples
when you want to experiment.How much should you pay -
That probably depends on you. How much time it will save you? Do you want to try out something new? Do you already know what settings to use? Will you / would you probably buy a roll anyway?
I often buy 2 or three of the same sample, just to have a spare in case you need to use that material in the future.
Why don't more manufacturers make sample packs / multi-packs etc. -
It takes a lot of effort and does not seem to be a thing manufacturers really want to do. - I hope that changes in the future.
Make sure you tell 3D Printing filament manufacturers that you want samples (20m+) and that it's worth paying for them. Maybe then if we all let them know, it'll start to happen more often.
More multi-colour / multi-material selection packs, are also something I'm sure more people would buy. It can cost hundreds of $£e to get every colour of a filament range, but a sample multi-pack could be the cost of one single reel.
There must be a market for sample packs / monthly boxes etc? -
Yes, some suppliers offer a sample service, like GlobalFSD
, supply samples of many types. Ridig.Ink offer a sample filament club (for £10 per month
) and you may want to check out Makerbox
, but I have not yet used their service.
And now for something
completely different (Python)...
Sorry now for an update on Day 11 -rusting of the Potjie (cooking pot)
Superglue together before rusting (see below).
After rusting - looks like it's 100 years old.
Ready to cook up a warm winter stew.
It was dipped in vinegar, sale and oxi-action solution, damp paper towel in a glass ramekin.
Leave to rust for a few days.
Day #15 is completed. I now have my very own severed foot :)