3D printer material supplier ColorFabb is selling something new: plastic pellets.
Up to now they’ve only sold their plastic on filament spools, usually of 750g weight. Now they offer pellet versions of the same PLA/PHA, XT and WoodFill materials.
The pellets come in jars with natural colors, although ColorFabb offers one item with “pre-colored” pellets. Normally filament is colored by tossing in colorant during the pellet melting process prior to extrusion into filaments.
The idea here is that you’ll be able to use ColorFabb pellets in your home filament extruder, if you have one. There are not many of these machines available and they can be tricky to operate. Nevertheless, ColorFabb wants to address that small but growing market.
The main reason people have interest in making their own filament is cost. Buying bulk plastic pellets can be very inexpensive and makes one wonder why plastic filament costs so much. However, it can be difficult to purchase small quantities of pellets, and that’s what ColorFabb is doing here.
There’s one mystery to us, though. ColorFabb’s pellets are priced at €25 (USD$34) for 1.2kg, or USD$28 per kg. That’s substantially less than ColorFabb’s normal price of USD$48 per kg for the equivalent plastic in filament form.
The mystery to us is why someone with a filament extruder would want to pay ColorFabb’s price for pellets, since the point of having a filament extruder is to reduce plastic cost. It could be that people may be nervous ordering from unknown Asian plastic pellet suppliers, unable to accept a huge bulk purchase of pellets or they’re simply seeking ColorFabb’s notably good plastic formula. We’ll see how this proceeds; it’s a good experiment by ColorFabb.