Polar Printer is down

Sorry, but I accidentally broke the build plate… I will repair it this evening. Please do not try to use Jame’s machine or plate… they are different sizes and are not interchangeable.


It was a shock and vibration testing for the NASA? :slight_smile:


The printer is fixed now… but we are out of filament until we get a resupply.

1.75mm PLA only please.


Filament ranges around 25 dollars for 1.75mm PLA for 1kg (a roll). Amazon seem to have great prices for good product.

On a side note: If you have personal stock of filament please notate that it’s private. There was 2 rolls behind the polar printer that had no markings of personal supply and could have been used by any one of many members, who did not know they were personal stock, by mistake. We have a lot of filament and it could have been an easy mistake.

The side of each roll clearly indicated who owned them. :wink:

One says “James’” and the other says “Ryan’s”

Beaware… the filament that Microscenter is selling for $20 is junk… it doesn’t not hold up due to it’s brittleness. I’ve found that Sainsmart PLA works great as well as the vendor of the previous filament I bought (can’t remember the name, but it’s still on the spools on the Gigabot.)

It is about $22-$25 per roll on eBay depending on how you bundle it. Makerbot filament always works great… but it’s a lot more expensive.

Thinks to think about, however, is that this stuff by itself isn’t inexpensive… so if you use the printer, please resupply the stock. As of right now, I know of three people who have… but many more who are using it extensively are not. Just a thought.


Apparently not that clearly. If I am not the only one who missed it. :wink:

Are you suggesting we go to a pay to use item? That’s how it sounds to me. I completely disagree with this idea. Now having a donation box may be a good idea.

The reviews I got from amazon is a company called hatchbox. It is $23.42 a spool with prime shipping for basic colors. I found gold bronze filament for 26.49 with free shipping (both 3mm and 1.75mm). Hatchbox gold at $26.

I suggest we talk at the meeting Tuesday on how filament costs should be handled and possibly vote on an expense for purchasing some rolls.

Easy way to make things whole again this time around… Buy more filament to replace private stashes accidentally used.

Long term, I think that making filament available to members would be a great way to use up some of that surplus we have. Until such time as it becomes a financial burden worthy of reconsideration. While I will likely not be joining you for discussion Tuesday, I think this is a great topic for more discussion.


Dave I don’t believe any way used. I wanted to make note that if they aren’t marked it can easily happen. But it appeared to be twisted into 2 specific private rolls used as examples.

The way we were talking about doing it and probably how it will be is that there will be no hive provided filament and people buy their own materials. That is how every other tool has been (laser cutter, wood working, etc) and the only way that makes sense to me.

It would be a good idea for the hive to have a small collection of filament types and colors for people to buy at the hive. I think this would be a pretty good solution.


Jon was the voted in? If not then I’d like to make it a discussion for a meeting.

No, there was no plan set forth, but the idea was that materials is not generally something the Hive provides. There are certain things, like a few nuts and bolts, screws, etc that are available to use, but they are not meant to cover an entire projects worth of material which is how the filament is being used now. All of the unmarked filament that people have been using up until now has been donated the same exact way as the scrap people use for the laser cutter, metal working, etc. The Hive has not provided any of it. I do not believe this is something the Hive should do any differently in this situation.

I am more than happy to talk about this, but I don’t know if it is something that should be fully discussed AT to keep the meetings shorter. Let’s bring it up at the meeting and then discuss it immediately afterwards with those who want to?

I like the system of buy/bring your own filament. Right now we still have a bunch kindly donated by Bill, personally I think that should stay free for general use.

On a related note…there is a check from Mr. Dennis Manley in the donation box for the filament I used to print battleships for him.


Here is a link to VERY cheap filament, i just bought some and it prints fine without any issues.


My vote would also to have the Hive supply a basic stock of filament for the 3d printers, my reasons are several fold:

  • If each member has to supply their own filament, we are going to end up with a large supply of redundant filament just sitting on the shelves at the hive taking up space.
  • We have a couple different 3d printers and they use different sized filament. Will each member have to supply their own filament for each printer? That doubles the amount of redundant filament.
  • What if we change the gigabot to use a smaller filament? Then each member who has bought the larger filament will have a supply of useless filament.
  • We do not make people bring in their own solder, blades for the tablesaw, blades for the bandsaw, drill bits, wires, or common electrical components. These are all consumables that I would expect my membership dues to cover.
  • We currently are saving much more money each month than we are spending. Buying several rolls of filament is not that incredibly expensive. We could just have a standing supply of at least 2 rolls for each machine (to throw out a number). If the supply drops below 2, then we resupply back up to 4 rolls or whatever it takes.
  • If a person does not like the Hive’s ‘stock’ filament color or type, it would be up that user to buy their own filament.
    The group in general has long had a “Don’t be a dick” mentality. If you notice someone doing something inefficient (taking up long hours on the machine and printing solid blocks of plastic just to present a random example) then it seems reasonable to take that one person aside and ask them if the blocks really need to be solid and point out that their prints will go much faster and be much less wasteful if they instead use a lower infill.

If we find that someone is using up an extraordinary amount of time on the machine, then we could setup some kind of system where people need to reserve time on the machine via a shared calendar. This could be as simple as a whiteboard next the machine or as complex as a shared google calendar.

Paul that is an excellent and well articulated statement and I whole heartedly agree.

Just thought of a couple other reasons why I think the hive should have a shared supply of filament:

  • Forcing each member to buy their own filament greatly increases the barrier of entry into learning to use the 3d printers.
  • I am sure I am not alone in this, I rarely use the 3d printers but I like having them as a tool I can use. I don’t think I would be able to work my way through an entire 1 KG spool of filament, let alone the two that I would need to buy just to use the machines at the hive.

There are many good points here, and from my experience I would suggest we do both.

Assuming all filament currently present (and un-labled) at the Hive is genuinely donated, it’s great that we have a supply for members to jump right in, learn, and create. However there are also those of us (and I hope we know who we are!) that consume filament beyond casual experimentation. For myself and other heavy users I would suggest that we have some rules of thumb for when we need to consider supplying our own filament.

For example, You should consider buying your own filament if:

  • You are spending more than 2-5 hours per week on a printer… (2-5 hours is my guess, hours per week might be an easy rule of thumb)
  • Your project is largely structured around 3D printing…
  • Your project has specific filament properties/color requirements…

Last night after chatting with Bill, I went ahead and bought filament from him… I’m not sure if the 1.75 white was personal property or not, but I bought a 250 grams as I probably used about 100g of the other roll. I also bought a roll for my personal use, I always work in white, and expect to be using it in the future.

Finally, beyond marking and stowing personal filament, I hope we can resolve any perceived wrong-doings. I’ve been 3D printing since April, and I’ve always been unsure about filament consumption, worse there seems to be a disconnect between filament and the encouraged donations. Correct me if this is wrong but, donations don’t fund the purchase of new filament, which was disheartening to learn.

Just to keep the printers available while we discuss these topics, I’ve also placed an order for a 1KG spool of white 1.75mm (Polar 3D) filament. This will be donated to the Hive for general use.

    - Ry

Ryan you are awesome.

BTW, in addition to the filament at the hive… I still have ~150 lbs of ABS available in 3mm… if we can get the Gigabot to use it in addition to the PLA, we’re set for a very very long time. (I have a variety of colors too, red, black, white, blue, green, natural I think.) I think taking some of our funds and getting that heated bed option will really open it up to some cool use and get this stuff out of my hair in the process!

Also, BuildTak just introduced a build surface for the Gigabot that is only $60. I’m going to do some tests on it to see if the ABS will stick without curling… might be a rather inexpensive option instead of the heated bed… but having both would be killer!

Ivan and Ryan, your filament will be at the Hive shortly. I’m also bringing a few other rolls down.