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Filament Reviews

jhitesma

Some guy in the desert
Mentor
#42
Just want to give an update on Maker Geeks along with a strong warning to stay away from them :(

I had canceled my monthly subscription some time back - it was just more filament than I needed in colors I wasn't all that happy with. Then had to go back and forth with them in e-mail 3 times to get refunded for the months they didn't actually ship but I had paid. (Not that they skipped any months - just the way they bill vs. when they shipped I wound up with 3 payments but no boxes.) They did eventually refund the money and I figured I was done with them as I was tired of the jamming issues with their filament and the bad job they do rolling it on their spools.

I mean just compare - MakerGeeks on the left, Prusa PLA on the right:
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That prusa spool is a thing of beauty - perfectly rolled. The maker geeks...that's how it looked out of the box, just a messy wind that sure looks like it's got a great chance of tangling at some point :(

Also - their packaging has gone downhill. They used to ship in reclosable ziplock bags, but they've switched to cheaper plain bags. And they no longer seem to bother even trying to vacuum them - the last few spools I've got from them had no attempt to vacuum out the air from the bags before shipping.

But the big issue is they just aren't shipping orders reliably anymore. Back in September they advertised a big surprise in the next geek box in honor of the 2nd anniversary of starting the geek box. They repeatedly said it would be "over $100 worth of filament" so I figured what the heck...I'll risk the $30 and just cancel my subscription again after a month (which can now be done through the site - before I had to e-mail them back and forth 3 times to get it canceled.)

Well, I got the September box and it turned out to be a $100 gift card for them. The "over $100" was because they encouraged using it with their other sales to get more than $100 worth of filament. Except the only thing they actually seem to stock regularly is their grab bags :(

So - before I remembered to cancel the subscription I was charged again - and got another box. The roll of purple pictured above and a roll of "natural" PLA. They're printing ok but I'm not blown away by them. I was then charged for 2 more boxes before I finally remembered to cancel.

Except...those next two boxes never shipped.

Then they ran a 50% off sale for Black Friday encouraging the use of the $100 gift cards in conjunction with it. Ok, I'll try and take advantage of that. Except trying to find anything listed as in stock on their site was getting frustrated. So I wound up ordering almost $200 worth of grab bags. Why not...$200 worth of filament (10 rolls) for $30 I can live with whatever random colors they send. In fact with 10 rolls on order and 2 more geek boxes "coming" for a total of 12 rolls supposedly on their way I decided I better up my printing game...and splurged on another black friday deal to snag a Prusa Mk3 with MMU2.0 and free shipping so I could burn through all that filament easier. (FWIW I got my mk3 and am loving it...my MMU will ship sometime in February so still waiting on that.)

I wasn't in a hurry so didn't rush. But nothing seemed to be happening with these 3 open orders (2 monthly boxes and the big order.) Then on Dec 11th I saw that they updated to "Fulfilled" on my account page. Cool, should have a bunch of filament soon! But no shipping details...oh well I'm still not in any hurry.

But when nothing had arrived by Christmas I started to get nervous. And by yesterday more than 2 weeks since my orders were marked as fulfilled....I decided to contact them.

They'd been bragging about how much better their customer service has gotten and talking up an on-line chat option...which now seems to be gone. And their only customer service contact is an e-mail address that's buried on their support page and only mentioned as an option for people having issues placing orders not issues with orders. Still...I sent them a polite message with my order numbers and dates and asking what was up with the 3 marked as fulfilled on 12/11.

I got back the same canned response a lot of people have been reporting from them lately:

Good morning and of course, thank you again and we'll get all these canceled/ refunded for you right away. One of the downsides to making everything from the Spools to the Filament all in house is that when things go wrong... we have no one to blame but ourselves. It looks like this order was marked as fulfilled by mistake... this hasn't shipped yet.

We have had some equipment issues and are running behind and are about a week or so out before we are back on track and caught up with production. We are working hard to move to a full inventory system that will ONLY allow orders for items that are in house and in stock direct from our plant here in town to you.

Thank you and have a Happy New Years!!
Note - they claimed over a year ago when they updated their website that the big update was so that they could implement a proper inventory system and only allow orders for items in stock...which they're now claiming they hope to achieve in the future?!

Also note - people have been getting this reply about being "a week or so out" for over a month.

Following that I got three more e-mails saying that at my request they were canceling my orders. I never asked them to cancel my orders only asked what the status was on them since they said "fulfilled" but nothing had apparently been shipped. We'll see if the $60 for the 2 monthly boxes actually shows back up on my card.

I don't see any way to confirm the $97 refunded to my gift card is actually available. And since the 50% off sale is over I can't re-order the same thing for the same price now.

Meanwhile they've apparently still been shipping out orders to new customers based on what I'm seeing on social media. It's just existing customers they've decided to stop shipping orders for.

There have also been quite a few people posting major issues with their MG filament. Bubbles in it, major thickness variations (some big enough to be visible!) and the spooling issues I've had with them in the past, the poor packaging....it's just become a nightmare.

There's a reason the BBB gives them an F. I've used a lot of their PLA and PETG but at this point I'm strongly warning anyone and everyone I can to stay the heck away. At some point I'll probably still place one last order with that $100 gift card...but I'm pretty much resigned that the $30 I paid for it was money wasted and I'll never see any filament for it.
 

jaredstrees

Well-known member
#43
That sucks, but thanks for the warning. I'm honestly still using the AIO stuff because I like the smaller roll size and it prints well enough for me.
 

jhitesma

Some guy in the desert
Mentor
#45
Just a quick follow up confirming that the funds from the two refunds MakerGeeks processed for the two monthly boxes that never arrived did hit my account. So at least they were on the ball about giving me back my money. Still not holding my breath for anything actually showing up if I try to use the $100 gift certificate again....
 

jhitesma

Some guy in the desert
Mentor
#46
And another follow up on the dumpster fire that is maker geeks. I saw some reports that they're actually shipping product again so thought I'd see if I could use that $100 coupon I had left from their 2nd anniversary geekbox sale.

Only to find that they've deleted my account. Not only do my login and password no longer work but attempting to reset my password now says "no such e-mail address in our system".

So looks like the $100 coupon is gone and the $30 I spent on that months subscription was a total waste.

A quick search of reddit/twitter/BBB reports shows this is far from an isolated incident. Stay far away from these scammers.
 

jhitesma

Some guy in the desert
Mentor
#47
Just a heads up. It seems makergeeks website is down. They gave a sob story about google blocking them for supposedly hosting malware, but some people have dug up a court injunction against them from one of their resin suppliers and it looks like they're trying to weazel around it by rebranding under a new name.

So watch out for filamentgeeks now. It's just makergeeks under a new name but with the same deceptive business practices and a hot new PR firm to try and make them look good.

BTW - I contacted them about my account being deleted. I got an almost instant reply with a story about it being due to changing to a new store platform...and that they'd fix it soon. Then a few minutes later got another reply apologizing for the first reply and saying that they had already refunded me for the $30 (not true, the refunded the other months but not the one where I got the coupon since I had actually gotten "something") but that they'd still be sending me a new login and coupon. That was a day or two before their site went dark...so...yeah...I don't put much stock in anything they say but at least I got refunds for all but that one $30 payment.
 
#48
Printing Atomic Filament red PETG right now. I love it. Layer adhesion is spectacular, and filament diameter is super consistent.
Printing at 230/65. Prints are beautiful.
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Keno

Well-known member
#49
Read over most of above posts and tks for a lot of info on purchasing filament and quality. I have purchased some that printed great and therefore purchased more and wish I had not. Hatchbox has been the most consistent in quality so I has petty much settled on this as my first choice. I have printed and fly a 3dLabPrint QTrainer, as it is my goto. I am now printing the Piper Pawnee (Dusty) and all is going fine. A couple of things I can pass on that work for me is a good scraper and filler when needed. For the scraper I make it from a utility knife blade by putting the blade in a vice and use a smooth hardened steal object with pressure applied rubbing the sharp edge over a little bit. I have found if you need a filler for unwanted cracks or other areas you can use Loctite Power Grab with a some acrylic paint mixed in to match color. Apply it with a art spatula and smooth leaving little excess as possible. Let dry completely. The scraper come in handy at this time. I works for me, happy printing.
 
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Turbojoe

Well-known member
#50
My very first roll was purchased from Amazon. Dikale PLA. That roll was flawless. Zero complaints. I ordered a second roll. I'm now 1/3 into the 2nd roll and it's so poorly wound that I have to keep constant watch on it or the filament will bind on the roll and ruin the print! Hard to believe such quality difference between rolls. I can't wait to finish off this roll so I can try the HatchBox replacement roll. I hope it's rolled better........

Joe
 

Turbojoe

Well-known member
#51
I used up that unbelievably crappy 2nd roll of Dikale white PLA as fast as possible having to check every 3-5 minutes to make sure the roll wasn't bound up and ruining a print. It's hard to believe one roll can be so poorly wound from another from the SAME supplier. I'll likely NOT buy Dikale again. The Hatchbox black PLA however has been flawless so far. Now I see that (preferred colors of) Hatchbox are out of stock almost everywhere. It seems Hatchbox has stopped selling to wholesalers so I guess the price is going to skyrocket?

I really like the Hatchbox PLA so far but I'm not willing to pay an obscene premium for it. Any suggestions for other really good PLA suppliers in case Hatchbox decides to price gouge? Preferably Amazon sellers as I'm a Prime member and retired on fixed income Social Security.........

Joe
 

SquirrelTail

Well-known member
#52
I used up that unbelievably crappy 2nd roll of Dikale white PLA as fast as possible having to check every 3-5 minutes to make sure the roll wasn't bound up and ruining a print. It's hard to believe one roll can be so poorly wound from another from the SAME supplier. I'll likely NOT buy Dikale again. The Hatchbox black PLA however has been flawless so far. Now I see that (preferred colors of) Hatchbox are out of stock almost everywhere. It seems Hatchbox has stopped selling to wholesalers so I guess the price is going to skyrocket?

I really like the Hatchbox PLA so far but I'm not willing to pay an obscene premium for it. Any suggestions for other really good PLA suppliers in case Hatchbox decides to price gouge? Preferably Amazon sellers as I'm a Prime member and retired on fixed income Social Security.........

Joe
Hatchbox was forced to have their factory close due to COVID. I love their filament as well!
 

Turbojoe

Well-known member
#53
Hatchbox was forced to have their factory close due to COVID. I love their filament as well!
Yep, everybody is closing down for Covid-19. The only Hatchbox info I've found though is that they've stopped selling to wholesalers. Even Amazon is down to only the Hatchbox colors that nobody wants. Good thing this roll I have is new and I should be good for a few weeks. Maybe availability will improve by then...

Joe
 

Keno

Well-known member
#54
You might try HQA sold on Amazon, it seems to be as good as Hatchbox and has US origins and is produced in EU. I am a bit tired of China if I can avoid it.
 

Turbojoe

Well-known member
#55
You might try HQA sold on Amazon, it seems to be as good as Hatchbox and has US origins and is produced in EU. I am a bit tired of China if I can avoid it.
My post was a few months back but thanks. Always good to have suggestions for alternatives. I took a chance and got a roll of Geeetech white filament from Amazon. About two bucks more than Hatchbox but I honestly like it better than the Hatchbox. Zero print problems and the roll couldn't possibly be wound any better! No more kinks like I kept having with the Dikale that I don't think they even carry anymore.

Joe