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MatterHackers Pro Series PLA Filament Review

MatterHackers is a company based in the USA that specializes in manufacturing technologies, particularly 3D printing. They offer a wide range of filaments and resins for industrial use or common household tinkerers. One of my favorite products MatterHackers offers is their 64 colors of Pro Series PLA Filament, which we will be looking at today.

Examples of the MatterHackers Pro Series colour range:

Red PRO Series PLA Filament – 1.75mm (1kg) $42
Blue PRO Series PLA Filament – 1.75mm (1kg) $42
Ecto Green PRO Series PLA Filament – 1.75mm (1kg) $35
Glow in the Dark PRO Series PLA Filament – 2.85mm (1kg) $46
Grapefruit Pink Pro Series PLA Filament – 1.75mm (1kg) $42
Lemon Yellow PRO Series PLA Filament – 1.75mm (1kg) $42
Burnt Orange PRO Series PLA Filament – 1.75mm (1kg) $42
Chocolate Brown PRO Series PLA Filament – 1.75mm (1kg) $42

Pro Series PLA Technical Specifications

  • Recommended Extrusion Temperatures: 205±15°C
  • Spool Dimensions (Approx.): 240mm Total Diameter x 52.5mm Inner Hole Diameter x 72mm Height x 5mm Flange Thickness
  • Diameter: 1.75mm or 2.85mm
  • Dimensional Accuracy: ±0.02mm
  • Density: 1.25 g/cm³
  • Volume: 0.80 L
  • Length: 332.6m (1.75mm) or 125.4m (2.85mm)

MatterHacker’s Filament Packaging And Spool

The Pro Series PLA filament ships in a plain cardboard box taped closed with custom MatterHackers tape. MatterHackers packed the filament in a vacuum-sealed bag with desiccant. The spool is a generic plastic spool, nothing special there. The PLA spool has four pairs of two holes on each side of the plastic spool to tuck the end of the filament in and keep it from unwinding. To see how much filament is remaining, the spool has two notches going down the side.

It only has one label telling you the name of the filament, it’s color, the lot number, and the company’s name. It is strange that they don’t have the printing temperature for the nozzle or hot bed. However, after a little browsing on their website, I found the printing temperatures.

How Easy Is It To 3D Print With MatterHacker’s Filament?

Everything I printed with this filament was done on MatterHacker’s Pulse XE FDM 3D printer which you can find on their website with a 0.04mm nozzle, two perimeter shells, three top solid layers, and three bottom solid layers. The basic 3D printing settings. MatterHacker’s suggested print temperature is 205±15°C on the nozzle. However, there is no suggested bed temperature, therefore I printed at 60°C.

The first 3D print was a failure. The failure consisted of under extrusion and slight layer shifts every couple of layers. In order to get a successful 3D print, it was necessary to change the temperature to 240°C. After the little temperature debacle, everything went smoothly the 3D prints were amazing. As a result, I could walk away from the Pulse XE 3D Printer without watching the first layer. When using MatterHacker’s PRO Series PLA Filament paired with their Pulse XE 3D printer, I got a perfect first layer every time. In addition, I experienced no jams and no slippage in the extruder with this PLA filament, and got great FDM print results. Let’s go check them out.

Where To Get The 3D Models

Anycubic Photon Vat Lid From ThingiverseHeadphone Parts from MyMiniFactoryJoy Con Grip from ThingiverseTool Holder from Thingiverse

Strength And Precision Of PRO Series PLA

Learn how the Pros at MatterHackers measure the data for radar graphs here.

Diameter And Ovality

Diameter and ovality may not seem like that big of a deal. However, having accurate diameter and ovality is critical to print quality. For example, when you slice a file you are telling the printer that you are feeding a certain amount of filament through the hotend at a certain rate. If the diameter is off, even a little you will be under extruding or over extruding, creating inconsistencies in your FDM 3D print. When buying MatterHackers Pro Series PLA, you can be assured that you are getting the highest quality filament. The industry-leading ±0.02mm diameter tolerance of the Pro Series PLA out performs all of its competitors.

MatterHackers laser gauge Testing precision 3Dprinter filament

Tensile Strength

Tensile strength is how resistant a material is to being pulled apart or the layers delaminating. in other words, It’s a measure of how much force an object can take before breaking or deforming. MatterHackers show their tensile strengths on a 6 point radar graph along with other properties of the filament. The tensile strength of MaterHacker’s Pro Series PLA is a four. Therefore, it is in the 60-79th percentile. However, it’s not as strong as nylon, but that is to be expected considering nylon is in the 80-99th percentile.

MatterHackers Radar Graph tensile strength printability

“Measurement: They tested samples to ISO 527-2 standard. A minimum of 7 samples are tested. However, High and low values are discarded.”

1 = Average in 0-19th percentile

2 = Average in 20-39th percentile

3 = Average in 40-59th percentile

4 = Average in 60-79th percentile

5 = Average in 80-99th percentile

How do MatterHackers Test Their Filaments

How do MatterHackers ensure you are getting the best possible filament? Well, it all comes down to testing. All MatterHackers products are checked using in house testing equipment. Including a Universal Testing System and a Melt Flow Indexer. This is a highly specialized machine used to measure tensile strength and flexibility, as well as the flow index. This ensures the dependability and printability of all pro series filaments.

MatterHackers testing 3dprinter filament tensile strength

Where To Buy MatterHacker’s Pro Series PLA

MatterHacker’s Pro Series PLA is priced at $42, which doesn’t include shipping. This 3D printer filament is almost double the price of the average 3D printing filament. Is it worth buying? Yes, it is worth buying. Compared to other filaments I have, this PLA is far superior with exceptional quality and ease of use.

The filament is great for a part that is going to take some abuse. It is nice to have a spool of this lying around to use on prints that require more strength. Another thing to note is the availability of the filament at the time of writing this article out of the 64 colors they have available. Only 25 of them are in stock.

PRO Series PLA Filament Conclusion

This Pro series PLA is of outstanding quality and is really reliable. Everything about this filament is great other than the price. For example, if you are printing mechanical prototypes that need to withstand abuse and high stresses then it’s definitely the 3D printing filament for you. But if you are printing some shelf decoration or little trinkets that don’t get abused or used a lot, then I would recommend finding a cheaper option. Looking at MatterHacker’s build series PLA coming in much cheaper at $18 a roll.

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