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Notes On Color Part 1 – New vs. Old Suppliers

How do I write about the trials and tribulations of quality control, customer satisfaction and warranty service without making things sound like the sky is about to fall.  Well.  The truth is I don’t believe you always can.  I’m going to try and do it anyway.  When reading the notes below I would like you to keep one thing in mind.  Our across the board warranty service claims account for less than .5% of all items we have ever printed and shipped.  Thats 1 part in every 200.  Or 5 parts in every 1000.  We have parts in the field that are approaching 3 years old.  My own personal samples are approaching 4 years old.  The sky is not falling.  But we can always do better.

We make it a point of pride to offer our products printed in the highest quality USA made materials we can get.  Until recently that has meant sourcing all the colors we had on offer from a single supplier.  Printing in PLA comes with a few important considerations for the end user to keep in mind.  In general PLA offers many advantages over other materials from a 3d printing and environmental standpoint, but it has always been known to be susceptible to issues of excessive heat, humidity, and flexibility.  In the early days of PLA’s rise, getting good color options was also a problem.

The plastic we are sourcing from our new supplier boasts some claims of slightly higher heat deflection and flexibility.  We have had very few of these type of issues come through our warranty service, but it is always something we (and everyone else printing in PLA) would like to improve on.  To that end we started testing their product as soon as we could get our hands on it.  Only time will tell if there is any noticeable difference between the 2 suppliers when it comes to performance, but these new options should go a long way toward eliminating this concern in the future.  Better does not necessarily mean immune, however we do expect to see less issues going forward with more of this material in the mix.  To be clear.  The concern is for those of us here at NarrowBase.  We offer a very good warranty, work hard on customer service and do everything in our power to let the work speak for itself.

So what does this mean?  We are about to make some important back of house changes to the choices we have on offer that will ensure we can continue to provide consistent quality and durability.  We will be adding some new colors to the line from our new supplier.  We will also be directly replacing some colors from the line with ones from the new supplier.  While at the same time we are going to drop some duds.  Finally some of the more popular and trouble free colors from the original supplier will be staying in the line up.

There will be no price difference between colors from either supplier.  Both are still high quality USA made.  We will offer the same warranty across all colors.  Bottom line.  Continue to buy what you like.  Let us know if you have any questions.