Let’s start with the WHY. Changeover spools, can not only look cool (AND be completely unique), but they help us with our commitment to #ZeroWaste. Put simply, a changeover spool is created when we switch from one colour to the next. This changeover takes around 2-3kg of filament, so depending on the exact point at which the colour runs out, you end up with either a roll that tapers off in colour, completely changes to a different colour or ‘almost’ looks as good as a production unit.
Different manufacturers and filament brands make different choices when it comes to changeover spools, for example:
- Individually itemise each changeover spool and charge a premium for their ‘uniqueness’
- Discard 😢
- Use up in-house for development or print service
- Chop back up and make into new filament with a homogenised colour, then market as recycled 😡
- Sell for a discounted rate
For 3DTomorrow, we give our changeover spools an extra eco-boost and re-use products that may otherwise have gone straight to waste. For example, our changeover spools (stock permitting) are on re-used spools from our own in house production or spool return program, they’ve also allowed us to use up development cardboard boxes, development stock spools and even resealable vacuum bags that didn’t quite hit the mark for our production spools. It’s no secret we’re quite a new brand, because of this, we’ve had to do a lot of research and development. R&D can be a very wasteful process, but thanks in part to our approach to changeover spools, we’re on the road to using up everything made in our development stage.
We also like to take the approach of selling for a discounted rate, while broadly categorising the different styles of changeover spool we offer. This categorisation allows users to chose a changeover spool that contains at least some of the different ranges we offer (UK PLA / Astro / Silk / Geo / BioPro). This choice is our compromise to filament samples, as although we choose not to offer these, we do understand some people like to test before they commit to a full roll.
The categorisation for our changeover spools is as follows:
- Standard – The filament will transition between two colours (or natural), from our UK PLA colour range.
- ‘Almost’ – The filament will be for the most part the same as our actual production filament.
- With Astro – At least one of the transition colours will be from the Astro PLA colour range.
- With Geo – At least one of the transition colours will be from the Geo PLA colour range.
- With Silk – At least one of the transition colours will be from the Silk PLA colour range.
- With BioPro – At least one of the transition colours will be from the BioPro filament range.
So I hope you’ll agree, all in all, Changeover spools are a great product for many reasons.