Protopasta - Filament Update
Earlier this year, we began working with American filament manufacturer Protopasta to make precisely colored filament to match our most popular tool brands.
Our Filament Needs
We know that our customers prefer to have colors that match their tools. In fact, when offered between black or matching branded colors, our customers choose the colors that match their brand of tools over 90% of the time. Therefore, it is very important for us to use filament that would match the colors as closely as possible.
We have tried dozens of filament manufacturers while we were looking to find close color matches. We realized early on that we would need to make custom colored filament if we wanted to provide the best option for our customers. This is when we began our research and investigated the best filament on the market.
Our Filament Search Criteria
We had three criteria when looking for an exclusive filament partner: Quality, Eco-Friendly and American made.
Quality is extremely important when selecting a filament. If the diameter of the filament is not consistent, then the finish of the product could have some unsightly defects. This could lead to uneven lines, burnt filament, under extrusion or over extrusion. All those scenarios are unacceptable. After testing many manufacturers, Protopasta had the most consistent filament diameter and the most consistent color matching between spool batches.
The next thing we looked for was a manufacturer that was eco-friendly and carried the same values as we do. Most filament manufacturers roll their filament up on a plastic spool that isn't recyclable. We can go through up to 20 rolls of filament per week, which leads to a lot of waste.
Protopasta puts all their filament on cardboard spools which can be recycled and saves a lot of plastic going to the landfill. This is a huge plus and something that should become an industry standard. We primarily print in PLA, but we will also use PETG when necessary. Protopasta uses 75% recycled material in their PETG, which is also a plus for the environment.
The last thing we looked for was an American manufacturer to support other small businesses. Protopasta is based out of Washington and uses American plastics for their filament.
The Result to Our Search
Protopasta checked all the boxes, and we began working on a custom line of filaments to match tools brands. In March, we worked with Protopasta to launch Lootsef Green and Atikam Teal, which are a great match for Festool Green and Makita Teal.
Protopasta is continuing to expand their PLA and PETG filament lines. They have begun adding PETG color options and will continue to add more into 2022. You can read more about their journey into the PETG market with their most recent blog entry. We are looking forward to working with Protopasta to create more tool branded colors that the whole community can enjoy.