Feb.4, 2015 | By Simon

It seems like only a few years ago, the only things that were delivered to your mailbox from a subscription membership were magazines, books, movies and the occasional fruit basket or other “food of the month” items.  These days, if it exists, there’s a good chance that you can receive it monthly in your mailbox for a set monthly fee.  Already we’ve seen everything from shaving razors to wellness packages and dress shirts to baby diapers.  Now, you can add 3D printing filament to that list, too.  

Aiming to be your all-in-one solution for both never running out of filament as well as experimenting with different filament materials, Proto Crate is a new startup that is offering to send you a different 1 KG spool of filament each month as a part of their subscription service business model.  

For the $49.99 monthly cost of subscribing, users of Proto Crate will automatically receive a new type of filament each month in their mailbox with shipping included.  Depending on what type of 3D printer a user has (1.75 mm or 3.00 mm), Proto Crate will send that exact filament diameter each month - ensuring that they will always work with your specified 3D printer.

As for what’s included in your $49.99 monthly delivery?  Proto Crate will also create a theme around each box that will include additional resources for projects that can be done with that month’s material as well as a sample 3D print using that month’s material.  In total, they estimate that the retail value of each $49.99 delivery will be closer to $60 worth of goods based on their projections.  

Among the brands that Proto Crate plans to include in their boxes over the coming months are filaments from MakerBot, NinjaFles, Form Futura, Proto-Pasta, colorFabb, polymakr, with more coming.  The Proto Crate team also plans to include more unique filament materials including Bronzefill and Laywood.  When considering that MakerBot is about to launch an entirely new line of filament materials, this might be a great opportunity for 3D printing enthusiasts to break away from their usual habits and start to experiment with something they wouldn’t have otherwise purchased if they had a choice.  

When considering that a large amount of materials already cost nearly $50 for a spool, the $49.99 price isn’t so bad for those who plan on using their 3D printer regularly.  Additionally, subscribers will be able to be the first to experience new products and resources that Proto Crate hopes to offer over the near future through collaborations with designers, engineers and manufacturers.    

For generous Makers, Proto Crate is also offering a gift subscription service to help get your 3D printing buddies started on their own subscriptions.  If nothing else, it’s a great way to expand your collection of filaments?    



Posted in 3D Printing Materials


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