The vibrant filament extrusion 3D printing community in Argentina is growing rapidly, judging by the amount of filament that is being consumed. Buenos Aires based Printalot, a leading filament manufacturer in South America, just distributed 2 metric tons of filament thought a “Compra Comunitaria”, a community purchase operation where a number of 3D printing users acquired the materials directly from the factory.
“This is an absolute record for Argentina and likely one of the largest single operations ever involving filament purchase by a group of final adopters,” said Printalot founder Mariano Scian. “This is the fourth compra comunitaria that has been organized by the community and this time we delivered almost 2,000 Kg of filament. By comparison, in the first one we had sold 100 Kg, which reflects an incredible 2000% growth in demand in just a few months”.
The original idea came from one of Printalot’s customers. Several users can sign up for the community purchase on the dedicated website and select the type of desired filament: this includes ABS, PLA as well as other materials such as FLEX, PC-ABS, HIPS and more. The cost to the end user is much lower and it becomes even lower as different weight milestones (50Kg, 100Kg, 500Kg and so on) are reached. The higher overall quantities mean the operation remains profitable for Printalot as well.
While the operation is driven in part by the local lively maker community, according to Mariano Scian many of those who purchase the filaments are actually using it for part production and their number is also increasing. PLA remains the most requested (and most affordable) material but ABS and PLA MAX are not far behind. Spools are available in various sizes, even extra large for the higher production requirements.
Participants in the compra comunitaria can have the spools shipped to them or they can picked them up in the stores that Printalot opened in the Palermo area of Buenos Aires, or at the Printalot reseller shop in Balvanera. At the rate filament demand has been growing soon there will likely be more.