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Low Price, High Quality

Matterhackers MH Build Series PLA 3D Printer Filament Review

Picture of Emmett Grames
by Emmett Grames
Jul 18, 2019
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With many budget filament options lacking in quality, MatterHackers Build Series PLA seems like a good choice for the majority of 3D printer users. The question is, how good is it really? Let's find out!

Matterhackers MH Build Series PLA 3D Printer Filament Review What's Special

Our collection of test models, spool in rear.
Our collection of test models, spool in rear. Source: Emmett Grames / All3DP

MatterHackers, the American company based in Southern California, sells a vast variety of high-quality filaments, printers, tools and parts to makers around the globe.

Their MH Build series PLA has a dimensional accuracy of ±0.05mm and is created to balance quality with price. Marketed to makers on a budget, this filament is said to have “all the best aspects of PLA”, but in a more affordable package.

A 1-Kg spool of MatterHackers Build Series PLA will cost $19.99 (with free shipping in the USA). It is available as both 1.75mm and 3.0mm diameters and comes in a large variety of colors, from which we chose a spool in red for our review.

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Matterhackers MH Build Series PLA 3D Printer Filament Review Verdict

Our 3DBenchy in MH Build Red PLA
Our 3DBenchy in MH Build Red PLA Source: Emmett Grames / All3DP

This filament is a joy to print with. Details come out very nicely, and there were almost no problems to speak of throughout our entire testing process.

The MH Build series PLA came well packaged in a plastic vacuum-sealed bag with a desiccant pouch. We received ours along with some other filaments from MatterHackers, we were happy to find that the filaments do not have individual boxes, resulting in less overall waste. Unfortunately the bag was not resealable, so the filament must be kept in a dry box for storage in humid climates.

We tested our spool using an Original Prusa i3 MK3S in stock configuration. The color of our prints was uniform and vibrant, and the finish was very glossy and smooth.

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Matterhackers MH Build Series PLA 3D Printer Filament Review Test #1: 3DBenchy

A Close-Up of the 3DBenchy's cabin
A Close-Up of the 3DBenchy's cabin Source: Emmett Grames / All3DP

Our first test, as usual, is the famed 3DBenchy jolly tugboat torture test. The print completed without issue on the first try and came out with an amazingly smooth finish.

A close-up photo reveals exceedingly clean layers with great adhesion, lending to the glossy sheen of the overall print.

The only issue was the slight stringing on some areas of the print. Otherwise, it was impeccable.

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Matterhackers MH Build Series PLA 3D Printer Filament Review Test #2: Iron Man Bust

The details of tis bust are stunning and sharp.
The details of tis bust are stunning and sharp. Source: Emmett Grames / All3DP

Our second print was an Iron Man bust by Jason Atkins. This print used supports, which snapped off cleanly and easily with very little effort.

Due to an issue with the model, the neck portion did not slice properly, leaving the connections between the head and chest of the bust very thin. To our surprise, the MH Build PLA printed these without any issue, and the finished print is surprisingly strong and robust, everything considered.

In other matters, the details all turned out exceptionally well, again there were no issues aside from the slight stringing.

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Matterhackers MH Build Series PLA 3D Printer Filament Review Test #3: Fire Hydrant Container

A neat storage solution for emergency supplies, perhaps?
A neat storage solution for emergency supplies, perhaps? Source: Emmett Grames / All3DP

Our third and final test print was the Fire Hydrant container by waldamore. Like the other two models, this print finished without any issues.

We printed this part with custom supports using the Support Enforcer settings in PrusaSlicer 2.0. These snapped off very cleanly, leaving only slight marks on the surface of the prints. All of the details are clean and well-defined, and the color is the perfect, vibrant fire hydrant red to suit the model.

Both parts fit together well, and the stringing between the parts on the print bed was minimal.

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Matterhackers MH Build Series PLA 3D Printer Filament Review Final Thoughts

Even the thinnest details printed very well.
Even the thinnest details printed very well. Source: Emmett Grames / All3DP

All in all, we really enjoyed the hassle-free experience that this filament offered us.

Considering its price point in the $20 to $30 range, this material should be a no-brainer for anyone looking to get their hands on an excellent material that will print exceptionally well without any issues.

Compared to the AmazonBasics and other Hatchbox PLAs we have reviewed so far, the MH Build PLA sports a glossier texture and has fewer issues overall. The only notable downside compared to the others is slightly increased stringing.

So if you were hesitant before, rest assured that this filament is some of the best we’ve ever tested, and has our glowing recommendation. So who is it for? Answer: Anyone and everyone!

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Matterhackers MH Build Series PLA 3D Printer Filament Review Specs & Settings

With no issues while printing, these models turned out exceptionally well.
With no issues while printing, these models turned out exceptionally well. Source: Emmett Grames / All3DP

We tested our MH Build series PLA on an Original Prusa i3 MK3S in stock configuration with PrusaSlicer.

We used the “0.15mm Quality MK3” and “Generic PLA” profiles, with the following changes:

  • Extruder Temperature: 205 °C
  • Bed Temperature: 40 °C

The manufacturer’s recommended settings are as follows:

  • Extruder Temperature: 190-220 °C
  • Bed Temperature (not required): 25-55 °C
  • Filament Diameter: 1.75 mm or 3 mm (±0.05 mm)
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Matterhackers MH Build Series PLA 3D Printer Filament Review How We Review

This vibrant red color is sure to solve any issues with frost.
This vibrant red color is sure to solve any issues with frost. Source: Emmett Grames / All3DP

For those curious about how we got to our conclusion, we review filaments using the following guidelines:

Each and every spool is brand-new and unopened.

Our first print is always a 3DBenchy. We use this to check for any inconsistencies in quality, color, and finish. After that, we print a few other models, the results of which we present to you. We slice the model using the latest version of PrusaSlicer. We do not post-process the prints in any manner; we simply remove them from the bed and cut off any support materials.

We start with the manufacturer’s recommended settings (where available). When the manufacturer offers a range of values, we go for the arithmetic mean. Therefore, if we are given a printing temperature range of 200–220 ºC, we would print at 210 ºC (unless noted otherwise).

For this review, we used an Original Prusa i3 MK3S in stock configuration. Statements regarding print quality are based on the printer’s ability and reputation to successfully print a wide variety of other filaments and models.

We would like to mention that every spool of filament can be slightly different, and filaments often vary greatly even within a small range. Simply fiddling with a single setting like retraction can have huge effects in print quality. This can make the difference between a disastrous fail and a wondrous success.

So, if you own a spool of this filament, we invite you to contribute in the comments below! Did you manage to get your prints to turn out? Did you have an interesting or strange experience? Let us know – we’d love to hear from you!

License: The text of "Matterhackers MH Build Series PLA 3D Printer Filament Review" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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