There is a way to make Good Quality Low Cost 3D Printer filament. So we are going to go ahead and do it. Sign up if you want updates along the way
So we have interacted with this problem for years.
The filament supply chain is 1 step up from the injection molding supply chain. That is, filament is just injection molding beads that be been pushed through a hot tube, an extruder.
This process should not add much cost. But it somehow makes material that originally sold for less than a few dollars per lb to $25 per kilogram. (Sorry to mix units)
But we get it. Most 3D Printer filament is made for consumer use. Someone in the garage does not care that thier hobby costs 20-100 per month in raw materials. And filament manufacturers have every right to do that.
We also understand that those same manufacturers should not have to completely readjust to large print farms like our own. They are making way more margin on the consumer side and the demand so far has been consistent.
But that doesn't work for us or the long term needs of the industry.
3D Printing will replace all other types of manfuacturing as the dominant format. This is not an if but when. It is a better process.
FDM is the best process to lead this because it is able to take advantage of the existing supply chains.
But currently those supply chains are a bit jacked up by consumer product demand.
We have addressed this for years by making our own material. This has allowed our raw material costs to decrease in many areas.
But our machines are not run continuously. Which is an manufacturing inefficiency (Something that we hunt and kill every day). We would like to use our extrusion machinery more.
So we have decided to start producing consumer filament. Good quality affordable consumer filament.
The goal is to lead the supply chain in reducing the cost of the material. So that print farms can scale up production of 3D Printed parts.
Here is our advantage. We don't have to make money on the sale of the filament. We are going to. But it does not have to be the same as anyone else.
We are a 3D Printed parts manufacturer. That is our job. We can improve our margins by taking more control of the supply chain there. So if selling filament are nearly cost allows us to scale up our core production operations there is no reason to do it. And frankly that cuts about $5 off the cost of a spool right there.
We have done the math for consumer material. And we think that it is possible to get to $10 Filament fairly quickly. But not right away.
We will need to ramp to get to that. And we will need to stumble a couple of times. Consumer materials are very different than production materials. But we will get there.
We have already released our first batch and sold out in 43 Minutes. So we will take the next step.
We hope that this will pull the industry along. Help up improve our offerings to our clients. And increase the adoption of mass production 3D Printing as a whole.
If you would like to sign up for notifications of when we re-release filament please complete this form.