It just makes sense: if you love experimenting with 3D printing, you cannot possibly buy 750g or 1 Kg spools of every filament on the market. Especially considering the fact that new ones come out almost weekly. What you need is a service like the one now provided worldwide by Global Filament Sample Depot (GlobalFSD), a venture that UK filament distributor 3DFilaPrint established specifically to distribute small quantities (5 and 10 meters) of exotic filament
GlobalFSD’s service allows you to just select the currency (dollars, pounds, or euro) you would like to pay and start adding filament to your shopping cart. Most filaments start at just €2, with the most expensive, such as colorFabb’s CopperFill and bronzFill, for example, running less than €6 for a five-meter sample.
The site really is a bit of a wonderland for anyone passionate about desktop 3D printing, which includes both professionals in the design and jewelry sector, and those just wanting to have fun trying new materials on their 3D printer. The selection is really enormous and gives us a scope of what the filament (and resin too!) market is shaping up to be: colorFabb, FormFutura, polymer, Recreus, Fillamentum MadeSolid, Oo-Kuma, FilaCycle, 3DXTech, Taulman, twoBears. The list goes on. Just imagine how many different materials all of these companies have developed combined: BronzeFill, CopperFill, super-elastic, magnetic and super-conductive plastics, nylons, water-solubles, biomaterials.
GlobalFSD’s stated objective is to offer the global 3D printing community specialty filaments by working closely with manufacturers, and to support a constantly evolving industry. “We have all had that overwhelming feeling of delight when a new filament has been developed and is ready for pre-order,” says Tim Kay, Co-founder of GlobalFSD.com. “Here at Global Filament Sample Depot, we have that same sense of excitement every single working day, when we are packing and dispatching these amazing filaments to all those enthusiastic 3D printer users around the world.”
“Putting together boxes of all these wonderful specialty filaments ready for dispatch,” Kay continues, “is like preparing our own presents… We truly believe in GlobalFSD as a service rather than a business and take pride in ensuring that the samples you order are well packed and quickly dispatched, arriving at its destination, wrapped and cared for, smiling and content in the knowledge of knowing the enjoyment that those filaments will bring to the customer.”
In fact GlobalGSM also offers a service to both established and niche filament producers that want to increase their products’ visibility and get it into the hands of users fast. Taulman 3D has recently chosen GlobalFSD as a lunch partner for their new “PLAtinum” industrial PLA, as well as the ”BluPrint” CO-BPE, “Tech G” PETG, BIO-G and the much awaited Nylon 680 FDA.
Taulman3D’s Tom Martial praised the GlobalFSD’s service and described it as a “new tool to the designer, inventor and artist […] some designs,” he added, “may need to be tested with a short list of materials that fit a certain need, like durability with color capability. GlobalFSD allows the end user to select and procure several similar materials and make design decisions based on testing without the investment of a large quantity. We support GloablFSD and commend their dedication to bringing such a huge selection of specialty filaments to the community at large.”
His words were echoed by Arnold Medemblik of Formfutura, for whom GLobalFSD has been a great place to promote filaments and test their reception within the 3D printing community. “We would recommend them to any filament manufacturer who have a new line that they would like to promote using a global platform.” And the fact that filament manufacturers like to help each other out, co-existing peacefully in the same marketplace – rather then see each other as dangerous competitors – is one of the best examples of the new industrial spirit which GlobalFSD embodies.