Filamex Filament Review: Cheap, OK Quality Filament When It Is Available
Filmex is a Mexican filament brand. They offer low-to-medium quality filament for between $16 and $30 per spool. In the past, the main problem with Filamex filaments was bad tolerances. But recently the diameter consistencies have improved. While most of their filaments are often unavailable for sale you can find some of them on Amazon.com.
Filamex has one of the worst websites of any filament company out there. The site is just a static image of their bulk pricing options. But from the small amount of information on the site, you can gather that Filamex is from Mexico and owned by the plastic importer Zip Tech. Many of their filaments are actually not always available for sale. But when they are available, Filamex filament costs from about $16 to over $30 per spool.
Filamex filaments are fairly low quality even though they’re priced so high. First of all, the diameters of these filaments have varied wildly from 1.75 millimeters. This has led to many clogs and renders the filament unusable in some cases. The diameters have improved recently, but it is still a concern.
That being said, there are some good things about the brand, such as its color range. Filamex offers the standard range of primary colors and a few interesting specialty colors. So it’s not all bad. If Filamex can continue to improve the quality standards which it seems like and reason recently they have done so then this brand will become good substitute for other cheap brands such as Hatchbox and eSUN.
Who Owns Filamex?
Filamex is owned by ZipTech sa de CV in Mexico. ZipTech is a Mexican exporter of plastic products like filament from Mexico.
Where is Filamex 3D Filament From? Where Can I Buy Filamex?
Filamex filaments are only available on Amazon.com. Even there, many of their filaments are sometimes unavailable. Unfortunately, you can’t buy them anywhere else including their website. Also, there are no deals or perks available.
The Filament: Price, Quality, and Color Range
Filamex prices range from as low as around $16 to as high as around $30 per spool. Most of their filaments are currently unavailable on amazon.com so prices are not listed. But for the filaments that are available, the difference in price seems to be correlated with the color and type of PLA.
For instance regular PLAs with primary colors are priced at the lower end of the range: around $16 to $20 per spool. More specialized colors of PLA are price higher at between $20 and $30. Multi-color PLA which is priced around $36 per spool.
But, in general, these prices are arbitrary. They have nothing to do with the cost of production or quality. And due to the quality and diameter issues the prices aren’t really worth the risk. For instance, why spend around $36 on an iffy spool when you could get a really nice role of ColorFabb or Ultimaker PLA for less? For around $22 dollars per roll, you could at least get a spool of Hatchbox PLA that will have near perfect tolerance measurements.
The color range that Filamex offers is actually quite decent for a mid-range filament producer. On Amazon, you can see that they offer around 25 different colors of PLA filament. That’s not bad! When they are available, you can purchase interesting colors such as See green dark wine red and clear violet. Filamex also offers a similar range of colors for its ABS filament. You can buy various Earth tones and metallic Filaments as well, like gold and silver. The color range is actually one of the best things about this brand.
Prints: Strength and Texture
Overall, Filamex filament have medium strength. Sometimes the PLAs can be a bit brittle but usually there are no problems with the strength. ABS filaments from Filamex have a good strength but are not particularly strong compared to other ABS filament. Textures are nice and smooth with some shininess to it. The PLA has a matte finish. Very standard stuff.
Quality and Materials
PLA from Filamex is definitely not the best quality available. For around $20 a spool, you would expect the diameters to be at least within the acceptable +/- 0.05 millimeter range. But Filamex diameters have been way off in the past. The diameters have often been as high as .86 millimeters and as low as .71 millimeters within the same spool. Crazy right? What is this, 2013?
They are getting better though. The diameter issues are improving and nowadays, there’s nothing terribly wrong with them. But they’re still not as good as high-end filament producers like ColorFabb. The prices also put them in the same price range as better brands such as Hatchbox and SainSmart. But Filamex PLAs don’t have nearly the same quality and consistency as these brands.
Filamex ABS is just basic quality ABS. There’s nothing terribly wrong with it, although they are a bit finicky and require higher temperatures to print with. They do have some warping and the diameters have been known to be outside of the standard range sometimes. But in general, Filamex ABS filaments are worth trying out. There definitely are better brands out there, such as HatchBox and SainSmart. But if you are looking for a second choice, then this is a brand to consider.
Website, Packaging, and Spool Design
The Filamex website is kind of strange. First of all, the website is just a static image. It is similar to so many sites from the 1990s. Second of all, it’s in Spanish which makes it very difficult for English-speaking customers to read. Of course, the website doesn’t necessarily need be in English. But the company is targeting the US market where the dominant language is English. So it might be a good idea to have English on the site.
The website also contains detailed tables for ordering in bulk. You can find a telephone number and email contact information. The only other information available is a small statement saying that Filamex is a trademark of ZipTech. There is also a note saying that the prices in the table displayed are valid through November 2016. This means that as now, the table obsolete. Finally, in case you were hoping to catch this company on social media, forget about it. Filamex has no social media presence.
Packaging and Spool Design
Filamex packaging is very basic. Each spool arrives in a cardboard box with a small label. The label contains basic information about the color, net weight, and type of filament, as well as the diameter of the filament inside the Box. The box also has a little window cut into it so that you can see straight through to the filament itself. The spool made of black plastic and is shrink-wrapped with a desiccant included. The spool also has the Filamex logo on the side.
If you are looking for a second choice to another brand, consider trying Filamex. The company offers a good color range at decent prices, as long as you don’t go for the higher priced stuff. Just stick with the basic filaments and you will be fine.
In the past, Filamex has had a few problems with quality control. The diameters were super inconsistent and often fell outside the usable range. But the quality of the filament has improved a lot recently, so give it a try. Check out Filamex on Amazon.com.
Similar Filament Brands You Should Try
- 3D Solutech