Going Pro

Making It Down Under

Australian made filament & 3D printers

Aurimas Karosas

Issue 32, March 2020

What started as a hobby reselling 3D printer filament soon turned into a manufacturing business to service makers, educational institutions and local businesses with high quality 3D printers and filament.

The DIYODE team consumes many kilograms of printer filament each month, and are always considering different colours in their builds. In our search for various exotic filaments, we discovered Aurarum, an Australian based manufacturer of filament. We ordered a few rolls and were pleasantly surprised by the quality so we just had to get in touch with Aurarum to find out more about their story.

We caught up with Aurimus, the founder of Aurarum, who kindly took time out of his busy schedule to answer many of our questions.

Congratulations on successfully setting up a local manufacturing business. Can you tell us what motivated you to start the business?

Aurarum was established in 2014 as a family business. As with many businesses, it started from a hobby. The business started off as a reseller of the 3d printer filament from overseas, but then it was realised that you don’t always get what you buy from overseas. The quality varied, the materials were not the same all the time, etc. So the decision was made to start making the filament locally.

We assume the time to receive your order wouldn’t have helped as well. What products and services does Aurarum provide now?

Since the start, our products have changed a fair bit. We no longer make and sell just the filament. We design and build Wombot 3d printers. We have few printers in our range and they range from 250x250x350mm to 800x500x1000mm build volume. All locally designed and built.

Apart from the 3d printers and the filament we have a range of the 3d printer parts. We are official resellers of the BLtouch, Duet3d and Creality 3D printers. A wide range of the products that suit a whole range of the customers.

We are so impressed. We’ll ask you more about your printers in a moment, but first, where are you located? Do you have a retail shop front or showroom or strictly online?

We are located in 13/103 Lewis Road Knoxfield, VIC. We have an online store and also a retail shop at our factory.

We notice that you sell nationally and internationally. Do you manufacture all of your filament in Australia?

We manufacture 3d Printers and 3d printer filament locally. Most of our filament is made by us with some exceptions.

Those exceptions can be either some colours or material types that we do not make.

What makes your filament different to the off the shelf filament you can buy in the electronics retailers?

First of all, by buying from us you are supporting local business. From our experience we know that some of the overseas manufacturers are taking shortcuts and use cheaper plastic products instead of virgin materials. We do not use plastic fillers and/or recycled materials in our products. All made from the virgin materials.

We are an Australian manufacturer and take pride in what we do, thus if anyone has any issues with the products we are always happy to help and respond asap. We know all about filament and printers, unlike some staff in electronics stores that lack the knowledge and are not always able to help the customer. With regards to price, we try and keep our prices very competitive compared to imported filament, even though our labour costs are much higher than overseas.

Obviously, using poor quality filament results in annoying 3D print failures, clogged print heads, etc. It would be worthwhile to invest in higher quality filament like yours to avoid those disappointments. Do you make custom filament if your customer has a particular requirement? And if so, what are some of the most unusual requests you have had?

We do make custom filament. As part of our service we can try and colour match your desired colour – be it matching a component or maybe corporate colours. Also we can make larger spools than normal. Prints are getting bigger and longer and thus we can offer 1, 3, 5kg or even bigger filament spools.

That’s a great service! What filament materials do you handle?

Some materials that we work with includes PVC, PE and PP plastics.

What would be some of your most popular exotic filament and why?

That probably would be TPU that is as a matter of fact made out of locally produced raw materials. It is a little stiffer and stronger than other competitors and yet still very flexible.

Local manufacturing using local materials, awesome! We’ll have to get some of that and put it through its paces. Do you have any advice for our readers about storing their filament?

The most troublesome filament is Nylon and after it is open there is nothing can be done to stop moisture being absorbed. If the filament is going to be kept and used over longer period of time it could be beneficial to keep it in the zip lock bag with some desiccant.

Great advice. You mentioned you also manufacture your own printers. What is the story behind those?

Our Wombot 3D printers were born by our customer requests. They kept asking “You got the filament, when are you making your own printer?”. That’s the story, to be honest. All of the printers are designed and made in Australia. Parts that can be ordered and made locally, we order locally.

The printers started as an open frame Prusa style printers. A couple of years later we have moved away from that form factor purely because the market was saturated with smaller size printers from overseas. Now we make only fully enclosed printers. Enclosed printers have a lot of benefits – temperature control, safety, etc. They also allow printing in more variety of plastics and not just PLA and PETG.

Wombot Skeletus 3D Printing System with 400mm x 400mm x 500mm build volume.

Skeletus is our most popular model. It is large scale - 400x400x500 printer with a price tag below $4,000.

Well done for being able to make and sell your printers locally. We see you have a few different models and also notice you make custom size 3D printers as well?

Not everyone can use the same printer for all the purposes. Different customers need different size/specifications of the printer. Some want simple customization with the extruder or hot end and some want different size build volume. So we try to accommodate everyone.

We had a customer that prints Yacht hulls, thus he needed 1.5m height. We had another customer that wanted even larger build volume – thus we built 1.2 x 1.2 x 2.4m, yes metres, build volume printer.

If you need something specific we can build it. All our printers have auto bed levelling option that reduces the hassles of setting up the printers.

Wow! That’s huge. We can only imagine the amount of filament they consume, and explains why you sell 5kg rolls of filament. We see you also stock other reputable branded printers, such as Creality and Flashforge?

We can source and supply any printers. Creality 3d printers is pretty widely known 3D printer thus we have them in stock. They are a cheap alternative for someone embarking on the 3D printing journey until they realise that they really want an enclosed printer, and then they come back and buy Wombot 3d printer from us.

We all need to start somewhere and usually limited by what we can afford. Are most of your customers’ hobbyists or does your business come from corporate or education?

We do work and support schools. Our kids future education is very important. We accept purchase orders from schools and organisations.

Industry is probably the largest portion of our customers. Organisations are getting smarter these days and utilize the 3D printers for prototyping more and more since it saves a lot of time and money compared to older prototyping methods.

Rapid prototyping must be a great benefit for industry to speed up development time. Do you do provide any printer servicing services for your customers?

We do offer service – both onsite and offsite. Right now it is only in Melbourne. We currently charge around $90/hr for the regular service and if it is urgent onsite service is about $125/hr door to door.

After sales support is another great offering that people should consider before investing in a printer. Do you offer any printer training as well?

Right now we mainly offer in house 3D printer training for commercial users. We go through the process of familiarization with the printer, setting up the printer – like levelling, changing filament, cleaning nozzles and etc, and also depending on the requirements we can give some tips on the designs. We can offer the same service to our hobbyists as well if there would be a group of participants.

That’s great! You really make a compelling case of why serious hobbyists and businesses should use your products and services. For our readers who are yet to invest in a printer, do you offer any printing services?

We do offer 3D printing service. No job is too small. We have a number of printers and we can offer either one off or batch printing service. It is difficult to provide a price for printing because it would depend on the material type, nozzle size, layer resolution, complexity of the design and etc. The best is to send us the design and we would get back to customers with the quote. In most of the cases it is time based printing service.

We’re so impressed by the products and services you offer! Is there anything you would like to tell our readers about which we have not already covered?

Some of the customers use us as one stop shop and task us to supply the parts and or other gadgets as required. Like for instance schools find it easy to send us a purchase order for products that we do not stock and we simply supply them – no need to spend numerous hours looking for the products.

Customer's R2D2 printed using Aurarum PETG.

Also even though we do not do it ourselves we can outsource and supply CNC service.

If you need designing help – we are ready to help you out. Our comprehensive 3d parts designing knowledge can save you time and money.

Finally, we constantly do R&D to improve our products and services. We are always testing out the latest hardware that become available, like duet, Bondtech, Dyze, etc.

What is the best way our readers can get in contact with you if they are interested in your products or services?

The best is to visit our website www.aurarum.com.au or send us an email sales@aurarum.com.au. You can try to call us, but we are pretty busy and sometimes cannot answer or spend time with consumers.

Huge 650mm tall Eiffel Tower printed inhouse.

We aim to service customers quickly, even if some of our filament we make is out of stock. It’s usually made and in stock within a week, unlike many other resellers that may run out of stock for a month as they import their filament.

Thank you for giving us and our readers a good understanding of your business and why we should all consider buying locally. We wish you all the best for the future.

See the range of filament and 3D printers here:

  • Aurarum: www.aurarum.com.au
  • Wombot: www.wombot.com.au
  • 43cm alien printed on Wombot Skeletus