We spoke with a regional 3D printer filament provider to find out the latest.
Dov Rivkind is a co-owner and business development manager with Filaments.ca, a Toronto-based provider or materials for desktop 3D printers. Their market is obviously Canada, but recently they seem to have branched out to the US for additional sales.
We spent some time with Rivkind to find out more about the filament business.
Fabbaloo: What exactly is Filaments.ca? How did it get started?
Dov Rivkind: Back in late 2013 and early 2014 when the desktop 3D printing materials industry was really starting to take off in the United States and around the world, with new and unique 3D printing materials and opportunities popping up every day, the few of us here in Canada who actually had a desktop 3D printer couldn't help but feel a little bit left out... so many exciting and inspiring stories heard in the news and social media channels, but how could one get their hands on something like a high strength nylon or a flexible filament for example?
If you had some extra cash laying around, then sure, you could import it from the US or Europe, pay the outrageous shipping fees, taxes, duties and brokerage fees and voilà, you got yourself one expensive roll of filament to play around with... while the rest of us had to be content with the one roll of PLA or ABS plastic we received when we bought our 3D printer.
Filaments.ca is truly a unique concept since we are both a manufacturer and a retailer; We manufacture several lines of materials under our own label and we also import exclusive popular specialty materials from all over the world in order to give Canadians quick and cost effective access to materials manufactured outside of Canada, making us the leading distributor of 3D printing materials in Canada.
The goal of Filaments.ca from the beginning, was to be a truly Canadian source for all your 3D printing materials needs where products are actually stored and shipped from Canada, this means you will get your product in the quickest possible way for the lowest possible price!
Fabbaloo: I presume business is good? You’re still standing, while other providers have faded away.
Dov Rivkind: We provide a good quality service; We Live and breathe 3D printing materials and our loyal clients know it and trust our quality products. Our selection is the largest in Canada and of course, the fair prices makes for a WIN - WIN situation.
Fabbaloo: Your market is primarily Canada, which is perhaps one of the quieter countries in the world when it comes to 3D printing. What changes have you seen in the Canadian market in recent years?
Dov Rivkind: We have seen a steady increase of about 30% in filament sales for the past 2 years with about 40% spike so far this year. Which is indicating to us that the 3D printing industry is still in baby steps mode. We believe that within the next 5-10 years the 3D printing industry will change many traditional and nontraditional industries with significant improvements in conventional materials.
Fabbaloo: Most popular products?
Dov Rivkind: Our in-house filaments,ca Black PLA quality filament for $25CAD.
Fabbaloo: 1.75mm or 2.85mm? Which format is “winning”?
Dov Rivkind: 1.75mm all the way!
Fabbaloo: Has your company encountered low-quality filament from suppliers? What happened and how did your company react?
Dov Rivkind: We conduct a quality inspection and make sure the product is of high quality and standard before we offer it to our trusting clients. but we have had the occasional low-quality filament which we investigate and make sure to go through the rest of the batch to make sure they are all proper.
Fabbaloo: Have you observed a change in customer base, shifting towards business rather than hobbyists?
Dov Rivkind: At this stage the industry is still all over the place. we see daily orders from a very wide verity of clients. from schools, medical professionals, auto makers and hobbyists.
Fabbaloo: What might we see from Filaments.ca in the future?
Dov Rivkind: We are bringing in more new exclusive materials along with new exclusive accessories to help with common moisture issues in filaments and off course our awesome new promos and giveaways. at https://www.facebook.com/3dfilaments