Maker Geeks Filament Review: You’ll Either Love It Or Hate It
As a one man show, Maker Geeks used to be known for its personal touch. Recently, however, that reputation has been called into question. Across the internet, there is growing discontent with Maker Geeks and the services they provide.
That has made Maker Geeks a brand that you either love or hate. It seems like those who have had good experiences are die-hard fans and those who have not have a virulent hatred of Maker Geeks, even calling for the company to shut down entirely.
Will this trend continue? That is unclear, but if it does, Maker Geeks might lose a lot of it’s current fan base.
Still, it’s filaments are good quality and well worth checking out. Here are a few that are worth considering:
Maker Geeks is a leading US producer of 3D printer filament. It is known for low prices and a wide range of specialty colors that are hard to find elsewhere, such as army green and khaki.
Maker Geeks makes high quality filament and has historically offered great customer service, but that might be changing.
Maker Geeks is a somewhat controversial company in that it’s owner Joshua B Smith is a devout Christian and openly runs his business as a Christian business. As a self described man of God, he says his principles carry forward into how he treats his customers and business contacts.
And for the most part that has been true. In the past, whether or not you were a Christian or however you may have felt about religion in general, Joshua had your back.
If you weren’t happy with your order for some reason, whether it be a shipping charge that you weren’t aware of or a mix up in the order, Joshua was happy to refund you and send you free samples of any filament you would like.
Moreover, being a US producer, Maker Geeks was able to meet customer expectations on shipping times.
However, in the last year or so, this impeccable customer centered business practice has begun to falter. Orders have getting mixed up, refunds have not been processed and customers are not happy. The result was an “F” rating by the Better Business Bureau recently, which shocked many long time fans.
It’s not clear what is happening, but Maker Geeks needs to get it’s act together quickly.
Thankfully, the quality of the filament that Maker Geeks produces hasn’t changed. After having sold over 10,000 rolls of filament, Maker Geeks filament is still highly rated and well tested.
It sells a wide range of colors in many of the most popular materials such as PLA and ABS as well as many colors for other specialty materials (for a slightly higher price). Overall Maker Geeks could be compared to Hatchbox in terms of quality and range of products.
However, being a US producer as well as a family-owned and operated business, the fact that Maker Geeks can compete with Hatchbox so closely speaks to the care that Joshua puts into his business. Hopefully, he is able to turn this brand around and continue making great filament for everyone.
The Filament: Quality, and Color Range
Maker Geeks filament is some of the best value-for-money filament available at the moment. Maker Geeks filament is high quality and compares favorably with other leading filament producers.
Also, you can find many smart deals through the Maker Geeks eCommerce website including their famous filament grab bag. Through the grab-bag you can get filament for as cheap as $16 per roll after tax.
On top of this, Maker Geeks offers a superb color range, including many different tones and specialty colors. If you go for the grab bag you will see that they are serious about providing the best filament and the best customer experience possible at the lowest price.
Maker Geeks has one of the widest range of colors of all medium-sized filament producers on the market. With colors such as ‘Phil’a Mint Green’ (get it?), Soulful Blue, Sun Punch Yellow and Rose Quartz, Maker Geeks offers some of the most innovative colors available.
Beyond these interesting colors, Maker Geeks offers several shades of blue, white and Gray, as well as silver and other metallic colors. Maker Geeks even offers several shades of pink and green.
With such a wide range of colors to choose from, it is hard to decide which one to start with. If you don’t know which color to try first, Maker Geeks offers a sampler pack with several of their unique colors included.
Quality and Materials
Maker Geeks offers high quality filament and a range of materials. Maker Geeks PLA, PETG and ABS filaments are comparable to eSUN in terms of quality for the price.
The filaments are also 100% USA made as opposed to imported from China. Filabot is also similar to Maker Geeks in this way, but Maker Geeks is a bit more consistent in terms of quality and diameter.
Just keep in mind that Maker Geeks is not in the same league as ColorFabb or Faberdashery. So if you become a repeat customer of Maker Geeks and are buying dozens of rolls from them, you might have one or two dud rolls here and there.
However some of this variation in quality may be due to poor packaging. The filament itself is rarely bad quality.
Maker Geeks produces a very nice quality PLA. It prints well and is has good strength. You can make a lot of nice pieces with fine details and designs.
The one unusual thing about Maker Geeks PLA is the print temperature. Maker Geeks PLA print temperature is around 230ºC, according to the label on the spool.
Now, the official recommended temperature on the MakeGeeks website is 210ºC. So which temperature should you print with?
Well, at 230ºC some Maker Geeks PLA filaments will string, so if that happens you should definitely drop the temperature a little bit.
In fact, it is probably a good idea to trust what it says on the spool and start with 230ºC and decrease the temperature to 220ºC or 210ºC from there.
The reason is that the website might not be updated often, but the label on the spool comes straight from the latest batch of PLA from the manufacturer.
QUICK NOTE: While a very small number of customers have reported stringing, clogging and otherwise uneven flow while using Maker Geeks filament no matter what temperature they tried.
That is probably due to user error since flow issues are usually caused by the printer or printer setting being incorrect, but it something to keep in mind.
Maker Geeks sells tons of different specialty filaments. They specialize in producing a highly varied range of filaments that will fill most of your filament needs.
For a medium sized producer the sheer number of specialty filaments Maker Geeks produces is impressive. From reclaimed 3D filament and other “green” environmentally friendly filaments, conductive filament, as well as nylon, carbon fiber, translucent, ninjaflex PLA etc., Maker Geeks sells it all.
And the specialty filaments they make or sell are usually priced lower than their competitors. For instance, conductive PLA at diameters of 1.7 millimeters and 2.857 millimeters costs around $16 for a 125 gram role.
That’s fantastic and competes directly with other conductive filament from producers like Black Magic 3D and ColorFabb.
Website, Packaging, and Spool Design
The Maker Geeks website is ok, but leaves something to be desired. The website, while a good eCommerce storefront, is actually not very easy to navigate through.
It’s not intuitively clear how to find specific filaments that you are looking for especially given the extensive and complex menu lists that are the main way to move around the site. There are too many menus and not enough clarity.
Packaging is also an issue from Maker Geeks. In general, packaging is good but there are some reports of packages arriving without being fully sealed and without being fully wrapped.
This has resulted in many issues with printing and general feeling that Maker Geeks quality is not as high as it should be. But if the packaging is problematic, then reports that the filament itself is poor quality may in fact be related to packaging, not the production quality of the filament.
On the Maker Geeks about page, Joshua boasted that he was named the top 40 e-commerce CEO by Ink magazine. He sold an eCommerce brand to a large retail company after a few years and set off to found Maker Geeks.
But despite this success, the Maker Geeks website is a bit behind the times. While his website used to be much worse, it has actually gotten slightly better recently.
Itt still suffers from a complicated and burdensome system of drop-down menus. These menus don’t have the sorts of helpful descriptions that would allow customers to navigate them easily.
Instead, you have to guess whether the color you’re looking for or the type of filament you want will be under uninformative brand names and product line descriptions.
For instance, if you are looking for regular black PLA filament, will it be under the Maker Series, Raptor series, or Crystal series polar filaments? They are all different and yet the customer will have no idea how they are different or what these filaments are until they click on the menu item.
So if you are looking for just a regular PLA filament, where do you go? Small improvements in navigation would greatly enhance the website the web browsing experience.
Packaging And Spools
Maker Geeks has great packaging except for the rare occasions when spools arrive in unsealed packages. This results in the possibility of air entering the filament and corrupting its quality.
While all packages do seem to include a desiccant and most packages don’t suffer from the issue of being unsealed or improperly sealed, it is worth being aware that the lack of consistent packaging could affect your prints if you buy from Maker Geeks.
Maker Geeks spools are perfectly suited for almost every type of 3D printer available on the market. The spools are made of a black plastic and are well labeled.
The center hole is also the regular two inches in diameter that most 3D printers are equipped to handle. That means you don’t have to print a new spool holder in order to print with Maker Geeks filament.
Who Owns Maker Geeks?
Maker Geeks is owned by Joshua B Smith, a former oil rig worker and Missouri native. After working on oil fields in Alaska’s Prudhoe Bay for many years Joshua started building eCommerce websites.
After selling his first eCommerce website he started Maker Geeks as a “Christian and Christ-centered Company.” He states on his website that he wishes to give 90% of his earnings someday to his church.
Where Does Maker Geeks 3D Filament Come From? Where Can I Buy It?
Maker Geeks 3D filament is based out of Springfield Missouri. Maker Geeks is a USA produced filament owned and operated in the U.S.
As a small-to-medium scale producer, Maker Geeks serves customers and small businesses across the country. While the company itself does not sell many of it’s filaments on Amazon, it has an e-commerce website complete with all of the information you would need to find the exact product you’re looking for.
Of course, if you’re not in the US, then international shipping fees will apply. But Maker Geeks is constantly offering great deals on some of their best filaments through their website.
For instance, one recent deal offered on the Maker Geeks.com website was for four 1kg. spools of filament for just $15 per spool. Also, the Maker Geeks filament grab bag allows you to purchase a random assortment of any two or more filaments for around $30.
With free shipping this means that in total you can get Maker Geeks filament for around $16 after tax.
Maker Geeks is a fantastic small-to-medium sized producer of regular and specialty 3D printer filament. Produced completely in the United States of America by a devout Christian, Maker Geeks is known for customer service, although this has been less true recently.
Joshua B Smith, the owner of Maker Geeks, brings a passion to the company that few larger filament producers are able to replicate.
There are some minor drawbacks to Maker Geeks, such as the fact that customers have had issues with printing and packaging in the past. Also, the Maker Geeks website could also be improved in terms of its navigability and intuitive structure.
However the quality of their filaments is top notch. You can also expect to find a lot of discounts and deals on the Maker Geeks website.
All of these factors combine to make Maker Geeks a good, small, American filament producer and seller. It remains to be seen whether or not Maker Geeks improves on the downsides mentioned.
Similar Filament Brands You Should Try
- 3D Black Magic
- 3D Solutech