We have all heard of cheese of the month or fruit of the month clubs, but how about a filament of the month club? A few different companies, are starting up services for users who are interested in receiving shipments of filament to their doors every month. One of the more notable ones is ProtoCrate, who’s first box shipped in February. ProtoCrate will send its subscribers a unique box, which features a 1kg spool of PLA in a different color each month, a sample pack of other filaments, an example print using that months color, and some extra goodies.
I was impressed by the extras in the package which included: a collection of small emery boards for finishing prints, a ToyBuilder Labs branded print lifter, and a keychain of print swatches that hopefully will be included in every shipment to come so subscribers can build a library. The samples of filament were mostly different colors of PLA from multiple vendors. My favorite in this package was Precision 3D Filament’s “Mellow Yellow“, a creamy chartreuse color. The most unusual sample was a UV color changing filament that transitions from white to purple when exposed to sunlight or other UV sources. This would be a great filament for projects with kids. They can have fun leaving “shadows” on their prints by covering areas when exposing the print to sunlight.
A subscription to ProtoCrate is $49.99 a month. While this might not be the most cost-effective way to purchase filament, I think this would make a fantastic gift for an avid 3D printing fan in your life.