Alchement Filament Review: Cheap Specialty Filament For Most Of Your Printing Needs
Alchement is a general filament distributor. Alchement sells cheap filament imported from China. The quality of this filament is OK but lacks consistency from one spool to the next. But Alchement also sells a wide range of specialty filaments in a variety of colors. If you are looking for specialty filaments, Alchement is worth considering.
Alchement is a general filament brand that imports filament from China and sells filaments at lower prices than many similar brands. Their products are not bad quality but not great quality either. As a brand, the most interesting thing about Alchement is its spool design which. The spools are actually quite beautiful and at first give the appearance that the Alchement really cares.
The main problem with Alchement is that the quality of their filaments is not very consistent. Some spools will print just fine and satisfy most of the printing requirements that customers might have. But every once in awhile, a spool of filament will arrive that is just terrible quality. It happens often enough that you should make sure you are ready to accept the fact that these filaments might not be top quality before you buy a brand new spool of filament from Alchement.
That being said, Althement does have some unique offerings for a cheap chinese filament seller. For instance, Alchement sells a wide range of specialty filaments in different colors. It sells everything from metal, wood and polycarbonate, to flame retardant and carbon fiber filament. However, the most popular filament from this brand remains to the flexible TPU. While this TPU is not as strong as ninjaflex, it still gets the job done. Once you figure out the printer settings appropriate for printing with it you can make many interesting parts that are very useful as well.
In general Alchement filament compares well with other cheap chinese imports such as Dockwell. However, due to consistency issues and problems with clogging, customers should consider other options before buying this filament.
Who Owns Alchement?
Alchement filament is a secretive brand. It seems to be a typical dropship filament company that imports filament from China. The Alchement Facebook page is registered to the New York City area and posts on the Facebook page seem very personal, as if the Facebook page doubles as a personal profile for its owner. However, without an official about page on the Alchement website, it’s hard to say exactly who the owners are or who is operating the company.
Where is Alchement 3D Filament From? Where Can I Buy Alchement?
Alchement filament is probably come from China. While the exact location isn’t known for sure, there are clues. The somewhat poor quality control and lack diameter consistency is similar to many other cheap filaments from China. Also some aspects of Alchement’s overall branding, as well as their website and several other aspects of the filament are very similar to other Chinese filament brands.
You can buy Alchement filaments through the Alchement website on amazon.com and on eBay. Check there frequently for deals, especially on The Alchemist website. An example of a deal you might see is “5% off of orders over $99.”
The Filament: Price, Quality, and Color Range
Alchement is an OK mid-range filament brand. It sells some filaments for under $20 per spool, and those filaments are worth buying if you are interested in cheaper PLA and ABS. Just beware that the quality will vary with these price-friendly filaments. You get what you pay for. But the higher priced filaments that Alchement sells are not necessarily that much better. So you are definitely taking a bit of a gamble with Alchement filaments.
That being said, Alchement offers some awesome specialty filaments that are as good quality as other high end brands but for cheaper prices. For instance, Alchement sells a conductive ABS that is on par with conductive filaments from specialists like Black Magic 3D. So Alchement is definitely worth taking a look at for it’s diversity of products.
Alchement offers filaments at a range of prices from as low as around $15 per spool to as high as $30 per spool. The price of each filament is dependent on the type of filament. The more common types of filament, such as ABS and PLA, are priced under $20, which makes Alchement an attractive option if you’re looking for a cheap spool. More specialized types of filament such as PETG, polycarbonate, flexible PLAs and glow in the dark filaments are priced between $25 and $30. You can find deals on their website, such as 5% off orders of $99 or more and 10% off orders of $149 or more.
Alchement has a has a pretty good color range for a general filament provider. Alchement offers around two dozen colors for PLA and ABS as well as several specialty colors. Some of the more interesting colors include tungsten filled PLA, filaments that change color with temperature, and various shades of pink, blue, red, brown, and green. Alchement also offers multiple colors of PETG and other popular types of specialty filament. This is unique in that many other brands of specialty filament only offer black or white. Alchement offers several.
Prints: Strength and Texture
Alchement filament is a bit hit-or-miss when it comes to printing ease and outcome. Sometimes it prints fantastically. Many users have a very positive experience with this filament no matter which type they are using.
But the consistency of the quality of Alchement filaments from one spool to the next is not very good. Alchement PLA prints well but it is sometimes a little bit brittle. Alchement ABS is similarly good quality but somewhat inconsistent and will sometimes clog extruders. Printed pieces generally are not very smooth in texture. Sometimes the filament will have a slightly inconsistent diameter leading to irregular clumps coming out of the extruder and droplets or blobs of filament extruding onto the surface of prints.
Quality and Materials
Alchement sells many different types of filament. For a mid-range general filament brand, the selection of specialty filaments is nice. They sell everything from polycarbonate to ABS, conductive filament and even flame-retardant filament. Here is the complete lineup:
- ABS Conductive
- FSK (Food safety filaments)
- Glow in Dark
- Nylon (PA)
- PC (Polycarbonate)
- PLA Gradient
- PLA – Change by Light
- PLA Soft
- PLA – Change by Temperature
- TPU (Flexible)
- Flame Retardant
- PP (Polypropylene)
- Tungsten filled
Alkaline PLA prints at a higher temperature than other PLA. This PLA tends to print at around 210 to 215 degrees Celsius. Otherwise, it’s a perfectly good filament when it flows well. Sometimes there are tolerance issues and the diameter is not consistent. But mostly the tolerance is fine and the odor is not too strong. The PLA has good strength compared to some other PLAs, but it is not as strong as PLAs made with 3D850 PLA grade filament pellets. You can find stronger PLA filaments from other budget friendly filament companies like Filabot.
Alchement sells a great PET-G filament. The one thing to watch out for with this PET is the layer bonding. Sometimes the surface layers will start to come apart after a little bit of wear and tear. If this happens, consider upping the extrusion temperature a few degrees. Otherwise, this is a great PET filament and well worth the price.
Alchement ABS has a nice shiny surface quality to it. It doesn’t have such a strong smell and it prints easily although sometimes there are clogging issues. For a really cheap chinese ABS filament, the Alchement ABS will do just fine.
Alchement wood filament is similar to the Alchement PLA filament in that it prints at around 215 degrees Fahrenheit. It takes a little bit of getting used to and you have to play around with some of the settings. Alchement wood has also been known to clog due to large particles of wood in the filament becoming lodged in the printer nozzle. So just watch out for that and print with a 4 or 5 millimeter nozzle if possible.
Otherwise, filament smells like wood when it prints and it’s strong and flexible. It sticks well to clean glass with fans on so you don’t necessarily need to use any bed adhesion materials. And it’s stains well. It looks and feels like wood and should be a good material for most wood pieces.
Alchement flexible filaments print easily, although you may have to play around with your printer settings before you get it to print well. Alchement flexible filament is a bit finicky in the beginning and has been known to string and clog. It is not as strong as ninjaflex but you can still use it to make useful flexible items.
Make sure you have a completely level printing bed otherwise the filament will tend to drag and smush different layers together resulting in an uneven thickness across the print. Bridging can also be a problem with Alchement flexible filament. But in general, this is a good flexible filament and you will be really happy with its performance.
NOTE: Alchement metal filaments don’t actually have any metal in them. Some customers might be misled by the fact that these filaments are called metalfill. But the reality is there isn’t much metal in them at all, if any. This is true of all metal filaments in general.
Website, Packaging, and Spool Design
Alchement has done a good job marketing themselves. For a cheap chinese filament brand, their website and spool design are impressive. You can search their website easily to find whatever color or type of filament you are looking for. And their spools have a really nice hexagonal logo on them that makes you feel like you have just bought a high end filament.
The Alchemist website is very basic but also effective. There are product listings by type of filament offered. You can browse each type by color. And Alchement offers many different types of filament, so it’s nice to be able to see them all listed out in a drop-down menu.
There isn’t too much information about the company itself or where they source their materials. Almost every filament listing also says that the filament is “by Star”. But there is no information about what star mean or what start is.
One of the nice things about the website that is somewhat innovative is the fact that you can also browse filaments by color. One of the menu options shows a grid of 30 45 colors in no particular order. You can click each color and see which types of filament are offered in that color. That is very useful if color is your top priority.
Alchement spools come in a square cardboard box. The Alchement logo and slogan “create what you imagine” is prominently displayed on the front. Inside, the spools are vacuum sealed and a desiccant packet is included to remove any humidity. The packaging is pretty standard and does the job of keeping the spool intact during transportation. In summary, there’s nothing really that special about it.
The spool from Alchement is surprisingly well-designed and gives the impression that the company really cares. The logo is beautiful and the design is top notch. On the front of the spool the logo includes many different little designs and gives the spool an interesting look. There’s a hexagonal shape on the label and the company’s name and website is prominently displayed.
However one problem with this spool is that the label does not include much information about the spool itself. There’s no information about the spool weight, the color of the filament or recommended printer temperatures.
The spool itself is made of hard black plastic. The center hole is also an adequate size around to .2 inches wide. But the spool only has 2 holes on one side for securing filament when you’re done printing. This is inconvenient if you are finished printing and the amount of filament you have left doesn’t reach the two holes. This is a small thing but adds to the feeling that beyond the beautiful logo, Alchement spools could be better designed. Of course, you can print a filament clip to attach to the side of the spool to avoid this problem.
Alchement is an OK cheap filament company. The filament is imported from China and the quality varies from one spool to the next. Sometimes the tolerance varies too much to be useful, but most of the time, Alchement filaments are just fine.
Alchement offers a unique range of specialty filaments. This is where Alchement really shines. If you are looking for a budget friendly TPU or color changing filament, this is a good brand to consider.
Also check out their nice spool logo and well designed website. For a cheap chinese imported filament brand, Alchement has done a good job of selling their product. Check out Alchement filaments on Amazon or on their website where you can find some good deals.
Similar Filament Brands You Should Try
- 3D Black Magic