eSUN Filament Review: The Cheapest Filament From A Reliable Source
We recommend eSUN PLA filament because it is hands down the best value for money filament out there. It is cheap, easy to work with, and strong enough to be used in many functional parts.
Here are a few highlights:
- Low price and wide availability
- Good quality: Prints come out as expected
- Wide range of colors
- Good spool and packaging
The only other filament brand that comes close to the quality, price, popularity and availability of eSUN is Hatchbox, and they do compete directly. But Hatchbox filaments are sometimes a dollar or two more expensive than eSUN.
eSUN is a major Chinese filament distributor and has developed a strong following online. If you go to almost any forum on the internet and search for eSUN reviews you will see nothing but praise for the brand and mostly high scores for important filament qualities such as strength, color, dimensional accuracy and reliability.
There are hundreds of positive customer reviews for eSUN products on major marketplaces where they are sold. Particularly, customers have found that eSUN produces great quality ABS with less warping than other brands.
eSUN also produces PLA with some of the best dimensional accuracy available among the brands that sell cheap filament.
The Filament: Quality, and Color Range
For a few years eSUN has been the go-to filament supplier for many third-party filament brands in the US and internationally. eSUN quality is good enough and cheap enough that many of these brands have been able to undercut the filament market based completely on price.
Also, eSUN is a company that both produces cheap filament and is also devoted to research and development of new plastics, which is rare. Cheap filament producers don’t usually have the interest or capital to invest in R&D.
The fact that eSUN does both means that the company is constantly producing new types of materials and improving on old version of its products. This allows it to stay on the cutting edge of the filament industry by constantly expanding its range of more specialized materials such as PETG, PLA+ and ABS+.
The eSUN wood filament is particularly good. It is cheap, but fantastic quality, and will deliver good results no matter what printer you are using once you find the right settings. If you are interested in printing with wood filaments, this is definitely one to check out:
eSUN color range is just about as wide as it gets. They offer every color you could want including many specialty colors and specialty materials.
eSUN might not offer all of the colors it produces through its in-house eSUN brand but you will be able to find almost all of the colors through its third party distributors such as Inland and Toybuilder Labs.
Of course, eSUN specializes in the most popular colors and produces them on mass scales. eSUN also offers a limited color range for certain products such as the PLA+ and ABS+ filaments.
However, eSUN will be expanding its color offerings for these specialty products soon.
Quality and Materials
eSUN is very reliable and will give you good prints over and over again. That being said, over the course of printing with dozens of rolls, you will sometime see more hiccups in filament quality and consistency than with other more expensive 3D filament brands.
However, unless you are ordering filament by the pallet, eSUN will be a perfect low-cost alternative to some of the more expensive filaments available.
So if you are looking to explore a new color or just add to your filament arsenal, head over to Microcenter and pick up an Inland spool for just $15.
SURPRISE GIFT!: eSUN spools arrive in the mail with a free sample of a different filament. This gives you a chance to try one of their other filaments, like wood or PETG. Cool right? 🙂
eSUN PLA is known for its fantastic adhesion properties. It also has excellent opaqueness, good color tone and excellent variance.
Some spools of eSUN PLA filament have been known to have a variance of less than +/- .01 millimeters. It doesn’t get much better than that!
Although it might take a few tries to calibrate the temperature and settings of your printer, once you do you will be very happy. This PLA seems to work best when printed at a temperature of 210ºC for the first layer and dropping it from there to about 200 – 205ºC.
Every once in a while a spool of eSUN will be a dud and cause some problems such as clogging. But this is not the norm for eSUN and you can simply return it and get a new spool if that happens.
Each distributor has a different quality control contract with eSUN, so make sure you find the brand that works best for you. For the most part eSUN PLA is good quality no matter which brand you get it from.
ABS from eSUN is a consistently good quality plastic filament. eSUN ABS has good diameter, good strength and seems to print well in a relatively wide temperature range from 215ºC to 245ºC without problems.
It rarely clogs printer nozzles and doesn’t leave any residue behind inside extruders. This is a great filament to start with for new 3D printers learning to print with ABS.
And, judging by all of the positive reviews this filament gets, eSUN ABS is the ABS filament brand of choice for many seasoned 3D printer enthusiasts as well.
eSUN wood filament is hands down one of the best wood filaments available anywhere. It prints well and you can get different colors with different print temperatures.
It looks very much like wood and with a little bit of post-processing with sandpaper, objects printed with this filament will look convincingly like wooden carved objects.
The only downside to this filament besides the slightly higher price is that it is a bit delicate. But since it is a wood filament, some lack of strength is to be expected and will probably be fine for most projects.
QUICK TIP: Like all PLA, wood filament isn’t very heavy, so to really convince someone that it is wood, you might want to wait your pieces internally. You can do this by drilling a little hole in the bottom of the piece and inserting small weights.
PETG filaments are quickly replacing PLA and ABS as the go-to filaments of choice for many 3D printer owners. That’s because PETG has all of the best qualities of both PLA and ABS, plus it is food safe and FDA approved.
eSUN PETG filament is no exception. Judging from the dozens of positive reviews it gets, this filament is one of the most popular PETG brands available.
It has the strength and resilience you expect from ABS without the smell. It warps much less than either ABS or PLA.
With normal settings you can get a nice glossy finish on your prints and by dropping the temperature a few degrees you can get a more satin finish. For many 3D printing enthusiasts, this filament is the only filament they use.
As one customer put it: there is no need to use any filament other than the PETG from eSUN.
The eSUN cleaning filament is HDPE Polyethylene, the same stuff that milk jugs are made of. It’s super cheap and works really well.
This cleaning filament works best by running it through extruder twice, first at a high temperature around 240ºC and then a second time pulling it through gently at around 100-110ºC.
The first time through the extruder will get a lot of the gunk out of your extruder. But the second pass is where the deep cleaning will happen.
Basically, if you are looking for a cheap cleaning filament, then look no further. Even if you think your extruder is clean, give it a try. You will be surprised how much gunk this stuff will get out of your extruder.
Website, Packaging, and Spool Design
eSUN offers great customer service through its website as well as world class distribution services. The eSUN website in particular is very informative and well-designed with the customer in mind. Packaging is also good and spool design is excellent.
There are really no downsides to any of these aspects of the eSUN business operations. The fact that these details are so well thought through goes to show you just how much attention eSUN pays to its customers.
Website and Social Media
The eSUN website is a very good quality website for a mass producer of cheap filament plastics. You can find information about the company, how to contact them and the products they sell.
Strangely you can’t actually place orders on the company website, even though at first glance their product pages look like eCommerce store listings. However, in almost every other respect the website is very professional and fully functional.
eSUN also has some social media presence on Facebook through Intservo, and is very active on Twitter.
Packaging and Spool Design
eSUN spools come with standard packaging. They are they are shrink-wrapped to keep air out and a desiccant packet is included inside to absorb any humidity.
The box is well labelled and easily identifiable. This is true also of eSUN is distinctive spools. each spool is made of a hard clear plastic that only eSUN brand uses.
Each spool is labeled with filament tape net weight color and recommended print temperature. The spools also have a normally sized center hole which allows you to print with it on any printer without having to print a new spool holder.
Sometimes the spools are packed to the brim so that a few loops of filament fall off when you take the spool out of the package for the first time. But eSUN spools are wound very well and there are rarely ever any tangles.
Who Owns eSUN?
Shenzhen eSUN Industrial Co. is a 3D printer filament distributor and plastics manufacturer located in the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone in China. The company makes several other products related to various industries from computer parts and accessories to advanced plastic body armor.
eSUN also runs a stand alone print service allowing customers with large orders but limited printing capability to outsource their printing needs. Beyond 3D printer filament, eSUN also offers pellets and pigments that customers can use to explore making new colors to suit their needs.
- Business Type: Manufacturer, distributor, Amazon FBA Program
- Location: Shenzhen Special Economic Zone in China
- Founding Date: 2002
- Source: China
- Shipping: varies by brand
- Return Policy: varies by brand
- Deals and Perks: varies by brand
- Customer Service: varies by brand
- Website: each brand has a website. eSUN has a good website also.
- Press/Media: widely praise in the media
- Most Popular Product: PETG and PLA
Where Can I Buy It?
eSUN produces filament and distributes through several leading filament brands such as Inland, Intservo and ToyBuilder Labs. Every brand is different (we will explain why in moment).
However by far the most popular place to buy me some filamentous through Amazon.com. On Amazon you will find the full range of eSUN filaments offered as well as several bonus colors and products that aren’t available anywhere else.
However, you can’t buy eSUN products directly from the Shenzhen eSUN Industrial company website. Why? We’re not sure.
But we suspect that it has something to do with eSUN’s business model, which relies heavily on filling large orders from third-party sellers.
You should know that not all rebranded eSUN filament from third party distributors is the same and the quality of eSUN filament could vary substantially from one supplier to the next.
The reason for this is that each supplier has a separate contract with eSUN and these contracts have different quality control standards built in. This means that one brand may or may not perform quality control checks as thoroughly as the next brand.
Just beware of this difference.
Here is a quick run down of the major eSUN brands:
Microcenter / Inland
- For a cheap filament, the diameter of Microcenter filament is surprisingly consistent.
- Some warping on overhangs but easily fixed with fans.
- Not as strong as more expensive PLA products.
- Great filament for dual extrusion, large prints and adding to your filament collection.
- Intservo is simply the amazon seller for eSUN filaments, so there you could use it as a benchmark to compare eSUN filaments to other brands.
- Not as cheap as Microcenter filament.
- Amazon shipping and deals.
Recommended Printer Settings
Printer settings for eSUN products tend to be similar to all other PLA ABS and PETG filament from other brands. That being said, they do print that slightly higher temperatures and are generally more forgiving.
Since recommended temperature for most products tend to fall between 200ºC and 220ºC it’s safe to say that these filaments require a little bit more attention when calibrating your printer. However, once calibrated these filaments will print well for you almost every time.
- Print PLA = 200-210ºC
- Print ABS = 215-245ºC
- Print wood filament at = 210ºC
- Print PETG filament at = 230-250ºC
- Heated printer bed = necessary
- Fan = ON
- Adhesion materials = All common adhesion materials work well.
eSUN filaments are some of the best value for money available on the market today. And their quality isn’t bad either.
Cheaper filaments in the past have had a stigma when it comes to quality. Sometimes, cheaper filaments will have a tendency to break while during long prints.
But this is not true of eSun. That makes eSUN one of the most attractive brands for beginners who are just learning how to use their printer as well as more experienced printers who are looking to fill in the gaps in their filament collection.
eSUN has gained a reputation for being the go-to filament when price is the most important factor for customers. And customers have almost entirely positive things to say about eSUN.
Just look at the hundreds of positive customer reviews.
Hopefully this review was informative. Let us know in the comments if we missed anything or if you disagree with our assessment.
Similar Filament Brands You Should Try
- 3D Solutech