We got our hands on FilaTech Luminous Yellow FilaTough 3D printer filament to test. It’s designed to be a tough engineering 3D printer filament. How tough? Let’s test!
FilaTech Luminous Yellow FilaTough 3D filament specifications
- Material – FilaTough “an unbreakable Heat Resistant 3D Printing Filament”
- Colour – Luminous yellow
- Diameter – 1.75mm
- Filament weight – 1kg
- Print temperature – 240°C (245°C first layer)
- Bed temperature – 80°C
- Manufacturer: FilaTech
What is FilaTech FilaTough Filament?
FilaTech FilaTough is marketed as “Unbreakable Heat Resistant 3D Printing Filament“. It comes in luminous yellow, which is a brilliant colour and the one we are testing. And also it comes in natural, an uncoloured filament. When you open up the filament it feel a little like TPU. It is relatively flexible, which is probably part of the toughness characteristic they are attempting to create for the filament. It will mean that FilaTough is not brittle after printing.
FilaTech say of FilaTough:
Our goal at FilaTech was to bring the most wanted engineering properties in one material which can be easily printed like PLA and ABS. With no special print setup requirements, such properties like excellent performance in a wide range of temperature up to 130°C. Which is comparable with PC, along with a perfect balance between hardness and flexibility to achieve an unbreakable material for your engineering projects? This all came into one product branded as FilaTough.
FilaTech has lofty goals for FilaTough. The luminous yellow delivers on colour, which is bright and attention grabbing. However, the current colour choice is limited, so if the luminous yellow does not suit your application, then will check out the only other colour: Natural.
FilaTech claim amazing mechanical strength, toughness, flexibility and temperature resistance. In fact, the temperature resistance they quote is up to 130°C, which is phenomenal. Something to consider for any projects requiring high temperatures..
FilaTech’s goal with the luminous yellow FilaTough is to pack all these extreme characteristics into an easy to print package. By their own admission, competitive products to FilaTough “are usually hard to print and in most of the cases they need special setup in your printer like high temperature extruder, high temperature heated bed, environment-controlled printing and remarkably low printing speeds.”
Ready for some luminous yellow? Let’s print some 3d printer filament!
FilaTech says on their website that FilaTough doesn’t need any special setup in your 3D printer or any environment-controlled printing. Also that it does not contain hazardous chemicals like Styrene is in ABS or Bisphenol in PC.
Available for this test we had a Prusa i3 MK3S, and an Ender 3 Pro. Neither printer is within an enclosure, but as this engineering filament does not require one, that’s not a problem, right? Read on…
Temperature Tower of FilaTech FilaTough on texture
First, I printed a temperature tower. The temperature ranges on the spool stated 220 to 240°C. I usually go outside the stated range, so set the tower to printer from 250°C to 210°C. There was was no bed temperature, so I started at 60°C to see what would happen.
I thought I would try a textured build plate for this initial print. Well, it was laziness actually as that was already on my Prusa i3 MK3S. It point blank did not stick. Literally curling up before the first layer completed. So scratch that idea! I tossed the textured sheet to the side and popped the PEI smooth plate on Prusa for a second go.
Luminous Yellow attempted on the PEI smooth plate
So, same temperature tower, now printing on the smooth plate:
Well, it got further, but eventually the tough filament lifted. Pushing on, I printed a calibration cube, choosing a temperature of 230, as it was within the range of temperatures on the spool.
It printed, but the layers delaminated. This engineering filament is not going well…
So at this point we spoke to FilaTech about our issues, and they let us know that the temperature printed on the spool was incorrect. They said the filament was very sensitive to temperature, and we should print on a bed at 80°C, with a first layer of 245 and then remaining layers at 240°C.
Printing FilaTech Luminous Yellow FilaTough with the correct temperatures
With the correct temperatures under our belt, it was time to print something else. FilaTech FilaTough is designed for being tough and unbreakable. Therefore, the next print is a mechanical part. It’s relatively small, measuring 40mm across. But I wanted to try something small before a bigger part in case it warped off the bed.
As you can see, this isn’t rectangular (it should be). So back to 3D print warping problems again. Time to pull out the stops and do what we can do to give this 3D printer filament a chance – given that we did not have access to an enclosure for this test. So, this time some mickey mouse ears and a draught shield.
The 3D print started okay, so I left it to complete and came back to this. Unfortunately, the part had printed again, and even the draught shield had buckled.
How about glass?
The textured plate was not going well, but smooth was working somewhat better. Therefore, I had a go on a glass bed for some ultra smoothness! This was worse than the textured bed.
FilaTech Luminous Yellow FilaTough filament Conclusion
Clearly we had a tough time with this tough filament. Two Inov3D authors tried it. And both failed to get a good print because of warping. FilaTech state you do not need an enclosure, and we didn’t have one for this test. But to get this engineering filament to work, it may need a heated chamber to control cooling.
I feel it would be unfair to rate it. We didn’t put the temperature resistance to the test as we never ended up with a print we could use. But please let us know if you have more luck in the comments below. Tough filament that is tough to print!
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