FAQ

Order with purchase order (company or institution)

My organization requires me to get a quote, generate a purchase order, and then pay by invoice. I can't use a credit card. Can I buy from KiwiFil that way?

Yes, absolutely! We know that many schools and companies have complicated purchased processes. We are happy to provide whatever you need to buy from us. Contact us to get it all sorted. :-) Your organization may also already have one of our retailers on your approved supplier list.

Shipping for large order

I want to order 100 spools for my school, but your webstore shipping options are only for up to 17 spools. What do I do?

Contact us and we will tell you the best shipping options! NZ Post doesn't handle packages over 25 kg; that's why there aren't any options for larger orders in the store.

Bulk spools

I have a large 3D printer and prints a lot, can you provide filament on larger spools?

Yes, we can! Contact us to discuss your needs. The filament is extruded onto ~20 kg bulk spools, and we would be happy to sell you one of those as well.

Colours

Are you planning to add more colours?

Yes, absolutely! We are actively developing more fun and useful colours, and will add them to the collection as soon as they are ready. Come back soon, as make sure to follow us on instagram.com/KiwiFil and you will know immediately when we have new colours in stock!

How consistent are your colours? If I buy another spool of a colour I bought before, will it be identical?

We are working very hard to keep our colours consistent. However, just like with other pigmented products such as paint and fabric, there can be a slightly difference between different batches. It may sound surprising, but grey is actually the most difficult colour to keep consistent. Grey is a mixture of white and black pigments, and the amount of black is very, very, very small. A tiny bit too much, and the filament becomes too dark. We have improved our pigmenting process, but some "Light Grey" filaments made in early 2021 might have a slightly different shade than later manufacturing. We apologize for that.

If you received a spool that doesn't look like you expected, please let us know. We are happy to either send you another spool, or refund you.

Strength of the material

How strong and heat tolerant are parts printed with the KiwiFil PLA filament?

PLA is a strong and relatively tough material and works great for functional items used indoors. However, you need to remember that the softening temperature is around 60-70 degrees Celsius for all types and brands of PLA. If you leave your prints in a hot car in the summer, they may deform.

The manufacturer of the PLA plastic we use specifies that the tensile strength is about 45 MPa. However, we have measured the strength in the X-Y direction of finished prints to be around 55-60 MPa. The tensile modulus according to the manufacturer is 3500 MPa, and the elongation at break is about 5 %. You can find the full specifications for the raw material here.

What is the softening temperature of PLA pro? Can I use it for a coffee cup?

The softening temperature is around 60-70°C for all types and brands of PLA. If you leave your prints in a hot car in the summer, they may deform. Because water boils at 100°C, you cannot make a usable coffee cup from PLA. Also, in general, you shouldn't use 3D printed material in applications that get in contact with (wet) food. The printed part has pores in the surface where bacteria can grow, and because of the low softening temperature of PLA it cannot be sterilized. 

Size tolerance

What is the tolerance in the KiwiFil filament?

The KiwiFil 1.75 mm filament has a maximum variation of ±0.05 mm. That means that no filament leaves our factory that is smaller than 1.70 mm or larger than 1.80 mm in diameter. However, the tolerance is typically even better than that; most of our filament is 1.75 mm ±0.02 mm. This ensures that it will never jam in your printer.

Even if we try our very best to make filament that is perfect, every printer is a bit different. If your print is coming out too “dry” (it doesn’t look like enough plastic is being extruded), you can increase the flow either in the slicer (such as Cura) or in the menu directly on your printer.

I print a tight-tolerance product and I need filament that has a maximum tolerance of ±0.02 mm instead of the normal ±0.05 mm, can you deliver that?

Yes, we can select our absolutely best filament for you and provide that data showing the tolerance for the specific spools you receive. There will be an extra charge for this service. Please contact us to discuss your needs.

2.85 mm filament

Do you sell 2.85 mm filament?

Yes, we do! However, we only stock certain colours because of the low demand. If we don't have your colour in stock on the website, please contact us. For an order of at least 10 kg, we can make any of our standard colours. We can also make custom colours of 1.75 mm and 2.85 mm - please see more below.

Custom colours

Can you make custom colours?

Yes, we can make almost any colour you want, and we would love to do it! Creating new colours is one of the best things with being a filament manufacturer. Minimum order for custom colours is 30 kg, and the delivery time could be several weeks, depending on how difficult the colour is to create. Please contact us to discuss.

Re-selling

Can I become a KiwiFil re-seller?

Absolutely! Just contact us.

Origin of the materials

Where is the filament made?

KiwiFil is not a typical influencer business where you buy cheap stuff on AliExpress and retail it. Instead, we manufacture our own filament here in Auckland, New Zealand. The machine we use is an old drinking straw machine that we have converted. As a matter of fact, a lot of the parts on the machine are actually 3D printed! You can read the story how an old machine got a new life here.

Where is the PLA coming from? Are you making the PLA yourself?

The PLA plastic we use is made in Thailand by Total Corbion. It is made from European sugar beets and Thai sugar cane, which is GMO-free. Making PLA from sugar cane and beets is a complicated process that requires a large processing factory. We buy the PLA as small pellets. The pellets are transported by sea to New Zealand, which is a very efficient way of transport. In New Zealand, we melt the pellets, add colour, and extrude the 3D printing filament. We have calculated the emissions from all these steps, and you can read all about it here.

The boxes are printed and die cut in New Zealand from cardboard that is also made in New Zealand. The cardboard contains a total of 78 % recycled fibers. The flutes on the inside of the cardboard is all recycled, while the "skin" on the cardboard is FSC certified new fibers. The new fibers on the outside are necessary to make the box strong enough for shipping. The spools contain a mix of recycled and new fibers, which may vary with the supplier to our sub-contractors that make the spool core and the spool sides. You can read about our all-paper spools here.

Environment

Is PLA a sustainable material?

PLA is made from plants instead of petroleum, which is a great start. However, everything we do affects our planet and no plastic material is really "sustainable". Because environment is truly important to us, we have dedicated a whole page to environmental aspects of 3D printing - click here to get to it.

Is PLA compostable?

PLA is considered compostable, and our PLA is certified "industrial compostable" according to EN13432 and ASTM D6400. However, a normal household compost may not have the right conditions for PLA to breakdown quickly. Instead, you can return your discarded 3D prints to us for recycling. If you run a maker space or other place that generates a lot of 3D printing waste, please contact us and we will send you a nifty 3D print recycling bin to put in the space. When it is full, just return it (or at least it contents) to us for recycling into new 3D printing filament. Note - it is really important to separate different materials! We currently accept PLA and PETG for recycling.

Is PLA recyclable?

All thermoplastics is "recyclable". However, PLA is not being recycled in the regular recycling streams. Your discarded 3D prints should not be placed in the recycling bin, as they can contaminate the recycling of other plastics.

We have successfully recycled 3D prints into new filament, and are hoping to have it for sale soon. We are trying to figure out a system to collect discarded prints for recycling. If you have discarded prints you want to get rid of, you can send them back to us for recycling. Please contact us and we will send you the shipping address.

Even if plastics can be recycled, it is still important to not use more material then you need. Minimize your plastics use by making sure you print the correct file, only use support when needed, and use settings for infill and wall thickness to minimize the material use. Less material often also mean less printing time. Also, keep your 3D printer well maintained and calibrated to ensure your prints don't fail.

ROHS compliant

Are the KiwiFil filaments RoHS compliant?

Yes, our filament is RoHS compliant.

 

Prints are failing

Help - my prints are failing. Could the KiwiFil filament be clogging my nozzle?

If you prints fail, you should first check that you are printing at the correct temperature. You can find the recommended print settings for KiwiFil filament here.

Secondly you should consult the manual or the support page for your 3D printer. It is rare that the filament is the problem. We have a thorough quality control and do our very best to prevent contaminants to get into the filament. However, at very rare occasions, particles that don't belong in the filament make it into the filament. If you think this is the problem in your case, please contact us, and we will send you a new spool free of charge. We might want you to cut off the bad section of the filament and mail it to us, so we can investigate what has happened and make sure it doesn't happen again.