Bargain filament: GST3D filament review

Intro

So for the last few months my social media adverts have been filled with offers from a company I had never heard of. The company called GST3D are selling cheap no frills PLA filament with heavy discounts if buying in bulk. Their prices were so cheap I wrote them off as a scam until I started seeing Facebook posts where people had used the filament. Anyway drunk Christmas me ordered 10kg for £79.99 from ww.GST3d.com and it arrived this week!

UPDATE:
Since posting this review (literally in the space of a few hours) I have received lots of messages about terrible filament quality. This is NOT a paid review and the content below represents my experience so far. If people wish to send me photos of inclusions and other quality issues please go ahead I will look to incorporate a community feedback section. That being said I had a positive printing experience with quite a few kg of this material and whilst I cannot comment on the quality control for every batch. I was happy with the product I received and reviewed as such.

Delivery and Packaging

The delivery should have been much faster than it was, and for many people online the delivery seems to be within a week. They had a period between Christmas and New year where they swapped systems and a whole bunch of orders dropped off their system. Mine was one of those orders. Their customer service is somewhat (very) lacking and it took quite a lot of chasing via email to work out why mine hadn’t shown up. When I did get a response the filament was shipped the next day and arrived the day after.

The filament came in 2 large boxes holding 5kg of pla in each. Inside was your typical filament boxes and shrink wrapped spools within those.

I took all 10 spools out their boxes to inspect them. They were all sealed well which is good however the machine they use to do the sealing is doing it too close to the spool and 7 out of the 10 spools had deformed edges of the spool. In addition 2 of those 7 had very minor burn marks on the filament around that location. These marks partially wiped off but not entirely. At least none of the filament was fused together.

Inside the provided silica gel pouch is tiny compared to most other brands I’ve used (middle one in the photo below, next to those revived in other spools I’ve got recently). Thankfully PLA isn’t overly hydroscopic so I wasn’t too worried by this.

Winding Quality

The winding is outright messy. There isn’t really any other way to describe it. It weaves back and forth and visually seems to dip under each other. However when I manually un-spooled some it didn’t seem to cath at all and did feed OK. At least enough to give me confidence to put it on the printer and see what happened. Measurements of the filament diameter were pretty consistent on the spool I’ve used a lot of.

I was feeling lazy so I dived right in and started off with a benchy and too my surprise it came out very nice. Some minor issues on the bow but these were cooling related (print time for the benchy was 45mins). I have been using the default PLA profile for the VCore3 with the extrusion multiplier turned up just a tad from the default 0.89. Happy with these result I proceeded without any other calibration work.

Inspired by this I started printing some parts for my T-Rex model (1:10 scale) and a fixture for some parts at work. As you can see prints came out very well. For these models I’ve used a mix of brim and no brim depending on the footprint. For example the benchy printed absolutely fine without a brim but I found the adhesion i required to stop the tall dinosaur ribs from falling over simply required a brim on the PEI sheet I am using.

I had seen a lot of mixed reviews about the filament online with some saying it was un-printable. These types of comments typically don’t worry me because you get it with every reliable brand I’ve used as well. What does worry me is the images where people have bits of metal or other inclusions in the filament. Thankfully so far I haven’t been able to see any from inspecting the outside of the spools or noticed any on the spool I did completely finish.

Not all my prints went quite so well… But unfortunately inspection of the failed parts showed some significant warping which likely caught the nozzle and caused them to be knocked over. I can’t blame the filament here just my reluctance to use supports for obviously overhanging geometry! I also got a bit of a jam when it came to time to swap the filament over. This is probably my fault as when I took my extruder assembly apart there was a small blob of filament at the end that had been pulled up from the hot end (not fast enough) and had solidified preventing me pulling it through the tube.

To try and rule out the likelihood that I got a randomly good spool these next prints were done with 2 other spools picked at random from the boxes. I had no issues printing with either of the other spools using the same settings as before. I was actually very impressed with the consistency between spools here as the parts came out perfect.

Conclusion

Honestly I am quite shocked that although they clearly cut corners and have issues with their customer service and packaging methods the filament printed great. If I had another personal/hobby big print project coming up in PLA I would definitely look into using them again. Stay tuned for my big print segment in a few weeks – I’m doing a T-Rex at 1:10 scale! I should note that on the white filament it’s not really pure white but the colour seems to be consistent between the 10 spools I have (although this is to be expected as it’s highly likely they are from the same batch)

Join the discord to keep up to date and get involved in the upcoming projects! https://discord.gg/mH3kMArY

7 thoughts on “Bargain filament: GST3D filament review

  1. I been using this filament for months now, since getting adds on Facebook about it .
    I have used nearly 20 rolls of filament, different colors with great results. I only noticed the silver having issues and that was random diameter issues where it had enlarged bulges that did not fit in my extruder causing a jam.
    I have used multiple brands, expensive and cheap and from my experience it’s mostly user error that people have bad experiences and few times it is quality control.
    My experience with this company is positive, 1 bad spool out of 20.

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    1. I’ve gone through a fair bit now of this white colour with no issues as well. The tangles I believe as user error. The stuff people are finding in their filament however is a genuine concern. So far I’ve only noticed dust on bits of the spool no large chunks.

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  2. I purchased my first 3d printer in early 2020 and found GST3D about 6 months later. I have gone through about 15 rolls since without any issues. I have been recommending them to all my 3d printing friends without any complaints.

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  3. I would highly recommend using a filament dryer, the facility in the US is in Miami and humidity is high down there (I’m in Florida)

    I found better results when using dried filament. I honestly have stopped buying it as I’ve statues buying 5kg rolls for other reasons

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    1. Mine came from the EU plant 🙂 the spools have all been dry and fine when removed from the sealed packaging so far so can’t really complain! Still working my through the 10kg as I don’t do that much pla printing!

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