FDM missing materials??


Earlier, in another thread an issue about materials not showing up for the customer was brought up. It was suggested by @Filemon to create a specific thread for the issue. The point of this thread: to bring awareness and hopefully resolve the issue. The issue: for FDM hubs now, there is actually an issue with the system, in which the customer can only see two materials, ABS and PLA unless they specifically search otherwise. If you’re confused as to what we mean by this, check below for some pictures! Thanks again everyone for the collaboration, give this post a one up if you’ve noticed similar issues or if you too want to raise awareness!


Hey @PepCo_Parker I think I know what you’re talking about. For my Hub it’s even worse, my two materials shown in the Hub listing are PLA and Rigid Ink PLA. So, just PLA then. The displayed materials should really be a formed line separated by commas showing all the ones you’ve listed (within reason).


I dont see that issue when I searched. I clicked the 3D Print button in corner of screen, put a file in, then under my hub in listings clicked either prototyping plastic or other materials. I then get a pop up that shows all my materials in a drop down box


HI guys, checkin in on this here as well.

If I understand well, the issue you’re describing is not new. With the ‘old’ material carousel, whenever a customer would select a group, only materials in that group would show.

For example, General Purpose Plastics / Prototyping plastics will give ABS, PLA, ColorFabb XT and 1 or 2 more. These groups have never included the more ‘exotic’ materials. So nothing changed there.

What has changed, it that in one of the new checkout variations we ask a customer to select a material group first, before going to Hub selection. This does mean it becomes somewhat harder for a customer to select more ‘exotic’ FDM materials. The customer would need to specifically search in order to find those.

Does this answer the question?


@Filemon I think that describes what is happening perfectly. This is because the selected group is for Prototyping Plastics and doesn’t include exotics and specials. Now if the group was FDM or a word to better describe them (I’ll say it again “General Purpose Plastics” tee hee) it could include all materials used on FDM and give the customer more choice. Actually it might give the customer more ideas such as the Model Railway enthusiast that spotted PolyWood for fence panels etc a while ago. He didn’t even know it existed.


@keebie81 As Filemon said, it depends which version of the checkout you can see. One of the new checkout variations forces the customer to select a material group before going to select a hub.


I think that’s part of the issue, the ordering of that. To me and to other people who have used the site have stated that it’s misleading when placing an order, the site almost seemingly forces you to choose a material before looking at hubs. I think this should be made more clear. That if the customer knows exactly what material they want they can specify it, but if not then maybe they can place an inquiry with a hub asking about exactly what material should suit them best. This is what 3d printing is supposed to be about after all, insuring the customer gets exactly what they need, even if they don’t know what that is, and insuring it is at the best and most fair prices. Forcing them to select the material without understanding it is like forcing someone to pick a model of car before they find the one they actually want. It doesn’t work


Yes, I tend to agree.

That’s part of why we’re planning a very big overhaul on our material database in Q2 where you would be able to choose technology first (e.g. “FDM”) and material second (e.g. “Wood-Fill”). That would solve this issue.


Sounds good


Which begets the question, none of us have any clue which variation our potential customers are seeing.

I know I see the same variant every single time and it is the one that does NOT allow you to select a hub without choosing a material first, so there is literally no way to order BronzeFill from my hub.


You are probably logged in, and looking at it from your own perspective and not seeing it as a outside facing customer sees it Kirby.

Here are two screenshots. The first, is from the Open Orders screen, I just opened the website, uploaded a model, selected a material, and used your city to find your hub. Lucky for you ‘Other Materials’ actually shows up in your listing. Let’s take a look. That’s what shows up in the first pic. You have seven (7) options.

The second pic is what I can see by going directly to your hub first (by linking off your profile here) then getting a quote. As you can see there, all of sudden you now have seventeen (17) options.

How many first time, random customers are going to go directly into your hub first just to see your options?


Does not answer the question at all.

My hub does NOT show ‘Other Materials’. Just not there at all. See first screenshot. If customer then selects my hub, those materials do NOT show up on the next screen to place the order either, so they are never presented.

Only by going directly to my hub first, and only then requesting a quote, then magically they show up. Second screenshot.

But this seems completely random, as another hub near me, and Kirby (mentioned below in this thread) have a tiny little link to ‘See all materials’ at least listed. Small, almost invisible gray on white (really?), but at least it’s there. I don’t even have that. Screenshot three.

Do you see that there is a problem?


@Filemon Same here - all my exotic filaments are missing from my list. I’ve received a few pricey orders from them so we’re both losing out!


Looking into it!


Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) provides an alternative method for producing investment casting patterns that can provide dramatic time and cost savings. FDM technology is an additive manufacturing process that builds plastic parts layer by layer, using data from CAD files. FDM makes it possible for the foundry to produce a pattern that can also serve as a prototype for form and fit evaluation. In one day, the foundry can provide the customer with a prototype that provides a perfect match to the casting that would be produced if it becomes the pattern. The strength of the materials used in the FDM process makes it possible to put the FDM component into an assembly and perform testing. If any problems are discovered, the foundry can usually make the changes requested by the customer and build a new pattern in about 24 hours.

As soon as the customer approves the prototype, the foundry can move into production by using the FDM parts as patterns for investment casting. Since FDM is an additive process, the pattern can be as complex as needed without any impact on cost. (With injection molding increasing pattern complexity often requires a more complex and more expensive tool).

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I had the same issue, but after asking to the support it appears that when you select Prototyping, only ABS or PLA are available. To see other material, customers have to choose the material, so for me 3dhubs is restricting FDM because this not so financiarly interesting as SLA or other which are more expensive and so give more money to 3dhub…