Like most 3D printing hobbyists, my go-to filament of choice is PLA. It’s economical (both in price and usage) and comes in more colours than you could shake a stick at. There are a LOT of manufacturers offering PLA filament at competitive prices and many pros and cons of each. During this review of the GiantArm PLA filament, I’ll hopefully make it easier to help you make an informed decision.
I use a lot of white PLA filament. It’s my colour of choice because it is easy to see defects when printing and being a great base for painting. I also occasionally print lithophanes as gifts for my family and friends, and these come out best in white. My usual brand of white PLA filament is usually the Geeetech PLA. I’ve been using the Geeetech one for about 2 years now. I now treat the Geeetech PLA as my reference material when comparing different filaments.
Packaging of GiantArm PLA Filament
The GiantArm PLA filament arrives in a nondescript economy brown box, only slightly bigger than the roll of filament. Inside is a fairly standard vacuum-sealed roll of white filament. Occasionally, with other filaments, I’ve sometimes found that the vacuum bag isn’t airtight. Thankfully, this was not the case, and this was sealed nicely with the little silica baggy inside. Strangely, there wasn’t any marketing literature or information about the company or product, just the vacuum-packed roll.
With other manufacturers, I’ve seen some pleasant touches. Amazon Basic PLA includes some basic user guidance, and an appropriately sized zip bag to protect it from humidity. In this respect, the GiantArm PLA Filament is very basic, and this probably helps to keep their costs down. The GiantArm PLA filament is averagely priced at about £23.
GiantArm PLA Filament Quality
Like 99% of rolls, the GiantArm PLA filament comes on a nondescript black reel. Unlike 99% of rolls, unfortunately, the reel DOES NOT have any temperature guides for hotend or a heated bed. This can be frustrating for a new user to the world of 3D printing as it is handy to know the manufacturer’s guide for their material. The reel has 2 stickers on it. One for the make, batch and colour of the filament and the 2nd being a yellow guidance sticker. This is an obvious but handy tip to remind users to put the end of the filament into the little holes on the edge to keep it neat.
One thing I have to say is in all the filaments I have ever used. This was probably the neatest and best wound roll. It’s a common complaint that some rolls of filament are very untidy, and this can cause issues with twisting and jamming. I’ve experienced this 5 hrs into a 6 hr print and have had to start again.
They advertise this as a standard white roll of filament with a diameter of 1.75mm. Measuring with calibrated digital calipers along a 3m length, I found that the filament differed with each point. My measurements varied between 1.71mm – 1.78mm, so well within the industry gold standard of +/- 0.05mm. My Creality CR10s Pro V2 comes with a Capricorn Bowden setup and even within the tight tolerances, had no issue in feeding the GiantArm PLA filament. Another delicate touch (albeit minor) was that the end of the filament was already cut at an angle, meaning feeding it into the extruder was as simple as you could get.
Example Prints of GiantArm PLA
20mm Calibration Cube
My first print as will all filaments I use was the standard 20mm calibration cube using my standard 0.4mm layer height profile. This is a commonly used calibration model available from Thingiverse, this particular one from iDig3dPrinting. This took approximately 40 minutes to print and came out flawlessly.
Next up someone had asked me to create a cake topper for a friend and they wanted it done in white. I designed the cake topper in a few different apps including Tinkercad and then ran it through Cura at a high-quality setting and left it to print for about 12 hours. On the initial print, I ended up getting a little lifting on the cake spike. I restarted the print and adjusted the z- offset by 0.02mm and this one came out really well.
My third print to see the quality of the white filament was a lithograph of our new puppy. I created this using the great lithophane creator at 3DP Rocks. Lithophanes need to have a good quality filament to transmit light through the varying thicknesses of plastic to give the photo effect. I wanted this to be high quality so ran this at 0.1mm layer height of 100% infill and Cura estimated this to be approximately 24 hours. As you can see, this came out really well.
New York City
One last test that I’ve had no genuine success because of stringing was this 3D map of New York City. Again, this outstanding map is available on thingiverse and is created by federico8. In pretty much most cases, this thing would be string central. I waited for this to come off the bed with no changes to my standard profile that I use on the CR10. There was ZERO stringing and no post-production work required.
GiantArm PLA White Conclusion
This is a great filament. The white is a very stark white and so is not an off-white like some brands out there. This filament handles very well and out of the box is easy to use. It would have been great for new users to have the recommended manufacturers guide on hotend and bed temperature. However, this does not diminish from the quality of the PLA in this roll. Also, that the reel was nicely wound is a massive bonus.
I’m hoping that more companies like GiantArm, Geeetech, Sunlu etc do things like Amazon Basic. Including add ONS such as usage guides and ziplock bags, these just make the experience even better. If you are after a quality white PLA, that’s easy to use out of the box and adheres well to the bed. Then I recommend giving GiantArm PLA Filament a go.
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