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Esun Vs Hatchbox: Which Filament Is Better?

Esun Vs Hatchbox: Which Filament Is Better? | 3D Printing Spot

Updated by

William Stone

/

March 1, 2021

When 3D printing, one of the most vital factors is what filament you choose to use with your printer. Polylactic acid filament, or PLA, is an extremely popular choice. However, there are numerous brands available. Two of the most popular PLA filaments are eSun and Hatchbox, but which is better?

When comparing eSun and Hatchbox PLA filaments, you should consider the following factors:

  • Cost
  • Color Availability
  • Consistency
  • Finish
  • Smell
  • Environmental Footprint

When deciding between eSun and Hatchbox filaments, it is important to explore a variety of aspects. Read on to learn about each of these aspects in detail.

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Table of contents:

Which is the Better Filament Between Esun and Hatchbox?

Both Hatchbox and eSun polylactic acid filaments have pros and cons. Both are excellent for 3D printing. However, depending on which factor–cost, color, consistency, finish, smell, and environmental footprint–matters most to you, one of the two brands will be better suited to your needs.

Since the word of 3D printing is exceptionally vast, the impact of the different factors varies greatly between printer users. The only way to make the determination is to compare the two filaments for yourself.

Cost

The biggest deciding factor for many people is the cost of their 3D printing filament. On Amazon, eSun polylactic acid filament is around $25. Hatchbox PLA ranges from around $20 to $30 on Amazon. If the price of your filament is your top deciding factor, then you should go with the lower-priced Hatchbox options.

When searching for filament for your 3D printer, be sure to double-check the manufacturer. Many sites will recommend different brands than those for which you are actually searching.

When considering the best filament for your use, do not allow price to be the only deciding factor. At times a few dollars more can be the difference between printing projects that turn out just as you desired and those that warp.

A droopy 3D printed object that costs you a little less than a perfect 3D printed object is not going to make you happy that you saved a few dollars. If you are serious about 3D printing, you will have to invest in a filament that does what you need it to do.

Amazon Partner

One reason that Hatchbox’s filament prices may be slightly less expensive than eSun’s is the company has partnered with Amazon. Moreover, Hatchbox only sells its filaments on Amazon, whereas eSun still sells its products on its own website as well.

The benefit is you can find the best prices for Hatchbox products using Amazon. However, this also means that you can not get company-sponsored discounts either.

If you like to shop on Amazon, then Hatchbox filaments are probably the best choice for you. However, if you like to shop for discounts and contact companies for their best prices, then eSun filaments are more likely the best option.

3D Printing Community Support

Many 3D printing enthusiasts believe it is vital that companies that make filaments actually support the 3D printing community. These people tend to choose not to buy from Amazon, which is not dedicated to the community as it sells many more products than the one niche.

If you want to support the printing community, consider buying your filament from resellers such as FilamentOne, PrintedSolid, or MatterHackers. You will have better luck finding eSun products at these resellers’ sites than you will Hatchbox.

Because of this, if supporting the local 3D printing community is important to you, eSun PLA filaments may be a better choice for you than Hatchbox products.

Company Specialties

Some users like to buy filaments from companies that only specialize in 3D printing materials. If this is the case for you, consider purchasing Hatchbox PLA filaments.

Hatchbox is a smaller and newer company compared to eSun, and it only manufactures products for 3D printing. eSun, on the other hand, is a larger company that creates products for other industries besides just 3D printing.

If you want a company that you can easily reach out to on social media and ask a question about 3D printing, then Hatchbox is the better choice for you.

Color Availability

Another factor to consider between eSun and Hatchbox filaments is the color selection available. eSun’s colors consist of red, gray, white, black, and blue, while Hatchbox has red, black, yellow, gold, white, purple, blue, glow in the dark, and many others.

According to sources, eSun is developing more colors that should be on the market soon. However, if you are looking for more color versatility, Hatchbox is your best bet for now.

PLA+

Another type of filament now available on the market is PLA+, which is polylactic acid plus additional ingredients to make it much stronger. Hatchbox does not offer any PLA+, but eSun does. eSun has many more colors of PLA+ filament than its regular polylactic acid filament.

eSun also claims that its PLA+ has better mechanical properties and surface quality. If you are looking for a lot of color choices with the ease of PLA with added strength and quality, then eSun’s PLA+ filament is the best choice for you.

Do Not Allow Options to Overwhelm You

If you are a novice 3D printer, you may find the plethora of options available from eSun and Hatchbox overwhelming. Do not let the numerous kinds of filament to scare you from trying 3D printing.

Instead, stick to a basic PLA, which is the easiest of the filaments with which to work. Both Hatchbox and eSun’s polylactic acid filaments are rated as novice-friendly. The filaments behave relatively predictably and do not require extra equipment like a heating pad to cure the final product.

Due to this reason, both eSun and Hatchbox PLA filaments are recommended to novice printers. Regardless of which filament you choose, do not allow yourself to be frightened away before you can truly try your hand at 3D printing. ‘

The process is more about your creativity than getting the end product just perfect. So, be sure that no matter which filament you choose, do not let your fear keep you from tapping into your creativity and creating something from your imagination.

Add Some Color With Paint

Do not think that you are stuck with the colors of PLA filament that eSun and Hatchbox have to offer. Many users suggest printing most things in white or a neutral filament and then using paint to finish the product.

When using paint to add color to your 3D printing projects, you do not have to worry about which company offers the color or colors that you need. Both eSun and Hatchbox have white and/or neutral color PLA filaments available.

Some users suggest that eSun’s white PLA is slightly more consistent than Hatchbox’s, but the difference is not great enough to suggest one manufacturer over the other. So, if you are planning to paint your pieces, do not let color be a deciding factor when choosing between Hatchbox and eSun filaments.

Consistency

For many people who are passionate about 3D printing, consistency is the most important factor when it comes to deciding between eSun and Hatchbox PLA filaments.

For instance, you may find a filament that is within your budget and has the color you need, but if the final product comes out differently with each batch of filament you use, it is not a good option.

Many people who print multiple of the same products find the consistency of the filament to be the deciding factor for them.

A lot of 3D printing devices allow you to store profiles for different products within the machine. When you have a filament that acts consistently, you do not have to tweak the profile every time you have a new batch of filament.

According to user reviews, most people agree that eSun PLA filaments provide a more consistent final product than Hatchbox PLA. So, if consistency matters to you, eSun polylactic acid filament is a better option for you.

Your Experience Level

One thing to consider when rating the consistency quality of PLA filaments is your experience level. Novice 3D printers do not tend to have the most consistent final products–no matter the filament they choose to use.

So, if you are relatively new at 3D printing, do not let the consistency of your filaments be the deciding factor between Hatchbox and eSun filaments. Once you have mastered your craft, then you can use consistency to decide.

However, some users do suggest that working with a consistent filament is vital to people new to 3D printing. These users argue that novices will not be able to tell whether the inconsistencies in their work is due to their skills or their materials.

If this sounds like you, then you may want to consider using eSun’s filaments.

Your Environment

Another factor that affects the consistency of your 3D printed pieces is your local environment. Weather, storing temperature, and even altitude will affect how your final products look.

If you print one piece in one location and then change to another–even just a different room in the same building–do not be surprised if your final products are not as consistent as you would like them to be.

Whether you choose to use eSun or Hatchbox PLA filaments, your local environment will have an impact on your final pieces. Be sure to keep this in mind when judging the consistency of an object you printed compared to another one you made in a different location.

Finish

Once you print your item and it fully cures, how should it look? Should it have a glossy finish or a matte finish? Maybe it should have a specialty finish like metallic, translucent, or even clear? Whatever finish you want, there is a 3D printing filament out there for it.

Most users state that Hatchbox PLA’s finishes vary. Sometimes they come out glossy, and sometimes they come out matte. eSun’s filaments tend to always be consistent. If the filament is supposed to finish glossy, it does, and if it is supposed to finish matte, it does.

Users who want a consistent finish with their products tend to go with eSun polylactic acid filaments. So, if a predictable finish is important to you, then eSun PLA filaments are a better option than Hatchbox filaments.

Do Not Take the Manufacturer’s Word

When rating finishes of eSun and Hatchbox polylactic acid filaments, do not simply take the manufacturers’ word. For instance, just because a brand claims to have a glossy finish, do not assume your finished product will.

Instead, read user reviews on the particular 3D printing filament you are planning on using. Pay special attention to user photos. User photos are often a much better indicator of the final finish for a filament than what it says on the packaging.

Also, consider your machine. Try to find reviews that use similar 3D printers to what you are using. Each filament reacts a little differently in each type of machine.

Finally, make sure to note the temperature levels that the users used to get the product in the pictures. Filament reactions vary depending on the temperature used. Whether you decide to go with Hatchbox or eSun PLA filaments, all of the above factors will affect your final product.

Storage

Another factor that affects the final finish of a filament is how it is stored. Hatchbox filaments come in a plastic bag that is not resealable. You will need to find an alternative storage method for your Hatchbox filaments once you open the PLA.

eSun actually has designed a storage container specifically for its filaments. This container will keep the PLA pliable and just like new, which means the finish will be more consistent than filaments stored in other manners.

If the finish of your pieces is an important factor for you, consider trying eSun’s PLA filaments and the company’s specially designed storage container.

Smell

Another deciding factor for choosing between Hatchbox and eSun polylactic acid filaments is the smell. When you first print something using PLA, the hot filament will have a smell until the printed object cures.

Reviews of eSun PLA filament describe the smell of it as burning plastic. Many users state that the smell is not really pleasant. To counteract this, eSun has released a few new odorless filament options, but not many people have tried this yet.

Reviews of Hatchbox filaments describe the smell like pancakes. Many users say that the sweet smell of Hatchbox is one of the most enjoyable aspects of using this filament.  If the smell of your filaments is a considerable factor for you, then Hatchbox filaments are the better PLA option for you.

Wear Proper Safety Equipment

One thing to note when discussing the smell of eSun and Hatchbox filaments is proper safety equipment. Though the fumes of PLA filaments, in general, are less dangerous than other types of 3D printing filaments, they are still not healthy for you.

Ensure you are wearing goggles and a good mask when you are 3D printing. There are some masks designed specifically for 3D printing that will help to block the smell. These masks may help you decide between eSun and Hatchbox PLA by removing the smell as a deciding factor.

Environmental Footprint

Many 3D printing enthusiasts also consider how their 3D printing habit affects the environment. eSun’s PLA filaments are not strictly environmentally friendly. However, eSun has released a new bio-filament that is biodegradable.

Hatchbox polylactic acid is made from renewable resources like corn instead of oil. These filaments also biodegrade.

Hatchbox’s PLA is used to make toys that are safe for children, implants for medical needs, and much more. As a bonus, you also do not have to worry about the fumes of this PLA when printing. If the environmental impact of your 3D printing is a deciding factor, then Hatchbox’s filaments are a better choice than eSun’s for you.

Covid-19 Help

An additional factor related to environmental impact is how the companies have helped during the pandemic. One of the greatest benefits of 3D printing, in general, is the fast turn around for creating complex items.

During the Covid-19 crisis, Hatchbox has donated rolls of filament to people who are using 3D printing to make various personal protective equipment (PPE), such as face shields, mask ear saver tabs, and more.

Though according to Hatchbox’s website, the company has only donated 500 spools of filament to help counteract the crisis, this is still 500 more spools than eSun has donated.

For many people, choosing a company that gives back to its community and looks out for the greater good is a deciding factor. If this is true for you, then Hatchbox filaments are a better choice.

Location

Some people who do 3D printing also consider the location of the company a vital factor when deciding on which filament to use.

Hatchbox is located in Los Angeles, California while eSun is located in Shenzhen, China. If buying products that are made in the United States of America is important to you, then Hatchbox filaments are a better choice.

Getting customer support from a company in the United States may be easier for those users located within the United States, as well.

Conclusion

If you are new to 3D printing, consider trying both Hatchbox and eSun brands until you find a filament that performs best for what you are making.

When in doubt, be sure to double-check user reviews on particular filament mixes, colors, and dimensions. Each filament varies slightly and your best best for choosing one that provides you with the results you are looking for is viewing other users’ pictures and reviews.

About THE AUTHOR

William Stone

William Stone

William has spent 20 plus years in the custom manufacturing industry as a COO, CEO and Owner of various custom product businesses. His experience has exposed him to all types of manufacturing from die cast, die struck, injection molding, CNC machining, laser etching, engraving and of course 3D printing.

Learn more about William Stone

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Esun Vs Hatchbox: Which Filament Is Better?

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