Filament Outlet Review: A Good Back-Up Filament For Your 3D Filament Collection

Filament Outlet serves as a good back up filament for those times when you simply can’t get your hands on a spool of your preferred brand of filament. Filament Outlet filaments are OK in terms of quality and price. They will print relatively fine at slightly higher temperatures than other brands, but don’t rely on them long term. Just keep one or two rolls in reserve for printing unimportant pieces or emergencies when you run out of filament.

Introduction

Filament Outlet is a mediocre brand of filament but it does the job. This brand of filament is about as low effort as you can get while still producing something that people will buy. It’s filaments are basic quality and are inconsistent from one spool to the next.

But as a value brand, sometimes this kind of filament is all you need. You can get Filament Outlet filaments only on amazon.com. They do have a website but don’t sell anything  there. The website itself is very basic and could do with a nice redesign to bring it out of the ‘09s. Also the color range is pretty limited, at only a dozen colors for PLA and ABS. But there are some filaments worth looking at, such as these:

Filament Outlet Black ABS 1.75mm 3D Printer Filament 1kg (2.2lbs) spool USA
Filament Outlet White PLA 1.75mm 3D Printer Filament 1kg (2.2lbs) spool USA
Filament Outlet Green PLA 1.75mm 3D Printer Filament 1kg (2.2lbs) spool USA
Filament Outlet Orange PLA 1.75mm 3D Printer Filament 1kg (2.2lbs) spool USA
Filament Outlet Black Recycled ABS 1.75mm 3D Printer Filament 1kg (2.2lbs) spool USA

The one thing that Filament Outlet offers that other filament companies don’t is bulk pricing. If you are looking to buy a few hundred spools of filament, then Filament Outlet can sell you batches of 250 spools with an average spool price of round $18 per spool.

One other thing that’s nice about Filming Outlet is that they are made in the USA. This is an unusual fact for cheaper filament company. Most other value filaments are imported from China. In general, if other brands aren’t available, Filament Outlet is an acceptable secondary choice.

Who Owns Filament Outlet?

Filament Outlet is a US brand. There is no information on the website about exactly who owns it. The website has no about page or company information. Given the fact that Filament Outlet only sells its filaments on amazon.com, it seems to be most likely an Amazon based seller with a stand-alone website to establish a more professional web presence.

Where is Filament Outlet 3D Filament From? Where Can I Buy Filament Outlet?

Filament Outlet filament is made in the USA. It sources the raw plastic materials that are used to produce filament from Nicholson Extrusion. In fact, it may even source its extruded filament straight from Nicholson Extrusion and simply repackage it. You can buy Filament Outlet products only on amazon.com. It’s website does not have an e-commerce store.

The Filament: Price, Quality, and Color Range

The price of Filament Outlet filaments is pretty good at around $22 per roll. Unfortunately, the quality doesn’t compare well with other value filaments in this price range such as Hatchbox and SainSmart. As a result of the quality, this filament probably should be priced closer to between $15 and $18.

The color range is also not the greatest at around 12 colors per type of filament. Most of these colors are your typical primary colors and secondary Earth Tones as well as black, gray, white and a translucent gold. Overall, the price to Quality ratio is not that great and the color range is also not very impressive.

Price

Filament Outlet sells 3D printer filament spools for around $21 – $22 for a 1 k.g. spool. This is a OK price for filament from an OK company. The one problem with it is that quality is not quite in line with other mid-range general filament providers like Hatchbox and SainSmart.

However, Filament Outlet produces all of its filaments in the US. That makes filament Outlets pricing unique given the fact that the other brands in this league are sourcing they’re filament from China. On Amazon you can even find a roll of black recycled ABS from Filament Outlet for around $10. This is the cheapest ABS from a mid-range supplier available on the market. Filament Outlet also offers bulk pricing for large orders. You can buy an order of 250 rolls of filament for an average price of around $18 per spool.

Color Range

Filament Outlet has a mediocre range of colors. They offer around 12 colors for ABS and PLA filament. These colors include black, blue, green, red, purple, pink, and some specialty colors such as gold, translucent yellow, and grey. But overall, Filament Outlet only offers the most popular colors. This is probably due to the fact that it is a small company and don’t have the demand to produce more than just the most popular colors. If you are looking for other shades of the primary colors, check out similar filaments from hatchbox and SainSmart.

Prints: Settings, Strength and Texture

Filament Outlet PLA and ABS both print decently well. Most printers will have no issues with this filament. Every once in awhile there will be minor problems given the fact that this is a cheap filament brand. For instance sometimes there are tangles on the spool or extrusion rates will vary. But overall, Filament Outlet filaments are very easy to print with.

Filament Outlet is a good filament for beginners who are just looking to get used to using ABS and PLA filament and don’t want to spend too much money yet. The PLA filaments are medium strength. The ABS is hard but will occasionally bend under a lot of pressure.

Sometimes these filaments will have to be printed at a slightly higher temperature than other PLA and ABS filaments.  If you are experiencing any clogs or problems extruding this filament try upping the degrees by upping the temperature by 5 degrees. But you should find that the printer settings are usually within 10 degrees of the normal range.

The finish is a matte finish and there are very few irregularities or bubbles. Overall very good quality texture.

Quality and Materials

Filament Outlet filaments have good tolerances. The diameters of these filaments are within the acceptable +/- 0.05 millimeter range. Generally the quality is not bad but not great. Many Filament Outlet spools are perfectly fine and the filament itself is very basic quality filament.

If you are used to printing with a higher-end filament, then you are going to notice a definite difference in quality. But if you are looking for just a basic value for money filament, then Filament Outlet will do the job. Consistency from one spool to the next varies a little bit in terms of quality but overall you will have a fine printing experience.

QUICK NOTE:  Because these filaments print at a higher temperature than other similar brands of filament, you may have concerns that these plastics have lower purity levels than other filaments. These concerns are also supported by the fact that some spools from Filament Outlet have been known to clog extruders, warp, and stick to printer beds. Higher quality filaments don’t generally have these issues to the same degree as this brand.

PLA

The diameter of the PLA is completely within the acceptable range of plus or minus 0.05 millimeters. Despite this, sometimes filament extrusion rates will vary a little bit with this stuff. Just be aware that sometimes the 1.75 millimeter filaments will vary to as low as 1.71 millimeters and as high as 1.77 millimeters at different points along with the spool. As a result you may get slight extrusion rate variation. But it will still print well.

The quality of Filament Outlet PLAs is good. Just make sure that you try printing at higher temperatures if you are getting any clogs or nozzle jams. This filament has been known to print best at temperatures upwards of 210 or 215 degrees Celsius. There are also sometimes issues with warping slightly so make sure that you have a good bed adhesion material and print with a heated printer bed.

ABS

Filament Outlet offers a fairly basic ABS. It prints consistently well and has slightly glossy finish. The finish is more matte than other ABS filaments but it is still glossy enough that you can see a shine on the surface.

Every once in awhile this ABS will give you some trouble with printing. After all, it’s a relatively cheap basic ABS that’s not trying to impress too much. For the most part, Filament Outlet ABS prints pretty well. Make sure you use a heated printer bed as you would with any ABS, otherwise you will get a lot of warping.

QUICK NOTE: Filament Outlet offers a recycled Black ABS filament that is NOT up to speed with other filaments. The price is really good at around $10 per spool. But the quality is just not consistent. It usually warps no matter what temperature you print at. If you are looking for recycled filament, go somewhere else.

HIPS

Filament Outlet provides an HIPS that is ok but not that great. Most people buy HIPS in order to print support material for an ABS project. This HIPS is somewhat difficult to use as a support material. It has trouble binding with ABS and often won’t stick to anything else either. It also doesn’t always dissolve as well as other hips is due in D-Limonene lemon oil. It is still worth trying though.

But due to the fact that it doesn’t bind as well to ABS, any supports you do print will break off very easily. Sometimes too easily. But the fact that it is super easy to remove also makes it more attractive as a support material. Give this material a shot if you are looking for a decent HIPS and don’t need higher-end stuff.

Website, Packaging, and Spool Design

The website and packaging is about as simple as it gets. There isn’t much information about Filament Outlet on the website and the spools only have a small sticker on them. Read on for more details.

Website

The website design is very basic but gets the job done. It has 6 to 10 pages, 3 of which list all of their products for sale on Amazon. The design itself is somewhat outdated and could use a good update. But it is effective as a company listing.  

Have you ever wondered what the exact tensile strength of your PLA is? Well, you can find technical data sheets for all of the filaments that Filament Outlet sells on the website. You can also find their email and contact them easily.

At the same time, Filament Outlet has no about page. Filament Outlet also has no Facebook or social media pages. This can make it hard to contact them if you’re not interested in using their email address or telephone number.

Packaging and Spool Design

Filament Outlet packaging is super basic. Spools come in an unmarked cardboard box with basic packaging tape to keep it closed. The box has a small sticker on the side that has basic information about the filament and a barcode for scanning. Inside, the spool is shrink-wrapped with a desiccant included to prevent any humidity from building up and contaminating the quality of the spool.

The spool itself is made of the typical standard black plastic that most spools are made of spool. It has a very small label on the side with basic information about the color and type of filament on the spool.

Very little effort has been put into the packaging and labeling of the filament. This makes Filament Outlet spools much harder to distinguish from other spools in your collection. It also gives the impression that Filament Outlet is simply not interested in quality or customer experience.

QUICK TIP: The empty spool weight for this filament is around 300 grams. If you set this filament up on a scale before you print, then you will be able to use the empty spool weight to measure how far through the roll of filament you are at any given time. Basically subtract the empty spool weight from the current weight of the spool at any given time while printing, and you will know approximately how much filament you have left.

Recommended Printer Settings

Exact printer settings will vary from one printer to the next. But you should expect Filament Outlet filaments to print at a slightly higher temperature than other filaments. They tend to print closer to 210 degrees Celsius and ABS will print between 220 and 235 degrees Celsius.

Also make sure that you print with a heated printer bed. Some of these filaments have been known to warp terribly without heated printer beds and strong adhesion material. Just keep in mind that these filaments are a little bit more finicky than others.

The Take-Away

Filament Outlet is the kind of brand that would be best described as a back up brand. These filaments are cheap and they get the job done. The quality is not that great, but again, in a pinch Filament Outlet filaments will do just fine.

For instance, a spool of PLA will cost around $22, which is similar to Hatchbox prices. The difference is that Filament Outlet quality is lower than Hatchbox. But if you can’t get your hands on a roll of Hatchbox for some reason, Filament Outlet will serve as an OK alternative.

You can only find all Filament Outlet filaments on Amazon, so head over there and read some reviews.

Similar Filament Brands You Should Try

  • SainSmart
  • Hatchbox
  • 3D Solutech
  • eSun
  • MakerGeeks

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