Reviews – monthly filament subscription

First off; I have nothing to do with the company called “Rigid ink” they have not asked me to write a review nor have they paid me to write this. While I’m not obligated to share this fact I know that sometimes people are overly suspicious about off-hand positive reviews. The reason I am writing this post is because of a review I wrote about their monthly filament subscription, back in September of last year. And while I was not scathing or nasty, I did feel that they were falling short in some areas. Falling short in the potential of what they offered, but not in the quality of their product. At the time they had delivered another monthly subscription of filament, as usual, they emailed me to tell me that it was on its way. The email then asked for a review and my thoughts on their service. Below is my reply to their invitation for me to review their monthly subscription.
I had high hopes of this being something that I would keep with for a long time. Problem is there’s very little thought put into this. It just seems like a few bits of end roll, cut offs that get sent out every month. I do understand that we are only paying a few £s but come on lads put some effort in. As it is it’s pretty lack lustre. I will be stopping this subscription in the next few days. Only because I could get the same thing only much cheaper by going around my mates and asking him to throw 3 samples into a bag while my back is turned.”

On the same page, they asked how they could make it better.

Well for one, increase the price, and send 6 or 7 different samples. Maybe, have a scheme where if you hang around for a certain amount of time you get money off a full reel of filament.
Start doing 0.5kg reels and make then a little cheaper to subscribers. A special “subscribers” only .stl file with each months subscription. Special offers on hardware. You don’t need to go mad just offer some things like thermistors, heating elements, stickers, the odd T-shirt, Bowden tube, build plate tape. Stuff like that. Get the subscribers to show pictures of the builds they did because of that month’s filament. Get us to vote and send the winner a little prize.
This subscription is shouting out for a proper “3D printer loot box” I’m pretty sure you could make it good enough so that many other makers wanted to be part of it and subscribe.
As it is, the money I pay just isn’t worth the 3 bits of filament that I am sent. No news of your company’s future, no good ideas of things to print with what you have sent. Just a plastic bag with some filament. Such a shame because we really need something like this that offers people the chance to test out new types of filament and have some fun with it too. And most of all we all love the delivery of a loot box, so much love in a loot box ;O)

In their defence, this was their reply.

“Hi Duncan, thank you very much for the time to write your feedback. I’m sorry to hear that our club is not what you expected. I would like address each of your points.
I would like to assure you that our samples are not off-cuts but measured 10m samples of material you subscribed for, which in your case is mix of both PLA and ABS.
Our bag is not just plastic bag, but metallic resealable Mylar bag of exact size for 1kg spool, which keeps your filament fresh. club subscription used to be more expensive, 5 samples every month, beta testing and free shipping for any order. It also used to be in a box.
We’ve changed the subscription based on feedback from hundreds of our subscribers, as we realised that customers were piling up filament, like our bags and not using free shipping option.
As a club member, you still have the opportunity to receive a free sample of every new material and colour we release. Last one was PETG Opaque White with June subscription.
The first month of new subscription was May 2017 and we received very positive feedback from most of our customers. We understand, that this subscription is not for everybody, but we are trying to please as many customers as possible. Regarding your suggestions, we are going to release 300g spools soon, but we do not advertise it as we will at the right time.
We are not planning to sell any hardware any time soon, as we rather focus on widening our range of materials and colours. We are regularly running competition on social media for users and we do plan to release information on what exactly you can print with a sample. I, unfortunately, don’t have a time frame for that just yet. It might be surprising, but we are team of only 6 people in and so every change requires proper planning, organisation and takes some time.
I hope this explains how we set the new club and also some of our future plans.
Thank you for your understanding

January 2018
So, a few days ago, I wanted some filament for a little job I was planning. I just want to say here that even though I had a little moan about one aspect of their service, their filament is always top notch.

Anyway, as I was looking through their selection and choosing my TPU my wandering eye fell upon a most magnificent thing. 300g spools of filament. At last! I don’t have to buy a massive reel that is going to take me ages to use, this can save lots of money and allows me to order more types to try out. That’s one of my gripes out of the way.
Another thing that I noticed was the fact that they offered to add to my monthly subscription (I know I didn’t cancel it, in the end, call me lazy) some Nylon every now and again and some new PETG in Opaque colours. Way to go Rigid ink more than three samples each month. Another subject I moaned about. I also read somewhere of some other things that they were going to be doing in the future which I felt addressed some of my other woes. So, here again they are making it more of a reason to be in the Rigid Ink club.

Now, I am not saying that my review made them look at what they were offering and so decided to change it. My point here is that Rigid ink are at least listening and even if they aren’t listening to me they are not resting on their laurels. They are adding to what they already offer which makes it worth more in terms of value.
I had a moan at them for not doing certain things that I felt would enhance and increase the value of the monthly subscription cost. Now things have changed, I am happy to be part of that club and I felt it was only fair to tell others about what I feel is a pretty good subscription and would definitely tell others to try it themselves.

Well done Rigid ink, I appreciate what you are doing. One tiny little gripe though. I think you should state that you do send out 10m lengths, say on the sticker that’s on each bag. Only because the way you coil it up, it looks about half that amount and your subscribers should know that there is a good amount in there.


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