Archive for the ‘Filaments’ Category

PEEK Awareness

Posted by Editor On May - 15 - 2018

PEEK Awareness

Find out more about one of 3D printing industry’s toughest materials

PEEK, otherwise known as polyetheretherketone, is one of the most useful plastics ever created. With an extremely high printing temperature and a strong crystallinity to its composition, PEEK provides a wide range of useful, even lifesaving, products.

PEEK is insoluble in common solvents. It is also biocompatible, and due to its extreme heat tolerances, is perfect for sterilization in medical applications.  A perfect case in point is the use of PEEK to provide a 7-year-old child a new lease on life by being used to replace a portion of his damaged skull.

The medical industry is not the only one to benefit from PEEK’s unique qualities. Automotive and aerospace industries are also making practical use of this material.

Thanks to, a complete explanation of PEEK’s characteristics and tested structural parameters is available on their Omnexus division of their site. To find out more about PEEK and its applications and qualities, please see

The Big 3D Printer Secret Behind SprintRay

Posted by Editor On November - 30 - 2017

The Big 3D Printer Secret Behind SprintRay

SprintRay, located in Highland Park, California, makes top-of-the-line DLP 3D printers. Unfortunately, the demand for their product exceeds their current output. This, they say, is “a good problem.”

Founded with a Kickstarter campaign, the company began to deliver their printers several years back. While other DLP machines held the market share of the makerspacers, SprintRay went in a different direction. With the MoonRay’s resolution higher than most hobby printers may need, and faster at that, it has gained the appreciation by a group of people who truly need these assets.

Some would say SprintRay found a gold mine in people’s mouths.

Yes, their secret is in dentistry. SprintRay sells almost exclusively to dental clients, providing both mold creation and end-use applications for the specific resins dentists require in their trade. That resin would be NextDent by 3D Systems, which is biocompatible and CE-certified to be used in dental work and human implantation.

The MoonRay does all that and more. Because of their resolution and print speed, the company has gained an underground reputation among the gamer and character modeling crowd. Owen Bradbury, marketing director for SprintRay, explained that while the team spends nearly all its time marketing to the dental trade, the company makes the time to respond to its comic book fan base, as in its attendance to the recent ZBrush conference held by Pixologic in October.

“We were recently picked up with Patterson Dental to provide them with our devices,” said Bradbury, “So right now, we have a good problem.”

For more on the MoonRay 3D printer, visit

Toyota Signs Deal for 3D Printing Materials

Posted by Editor On November - 11 - 2017

Toyota Signs Deal for 3D Printing Materials

In an another much publicized event, Toyota provides the German Polizei with Priuses

According to a recent report by Royal DSM, a global science-based company active in health, nutrition and materials, they have signed a “One DSM” framework technology partnership agreement with Toyota Motorsport GmbH (TMG), a 100% subsidiary of the Toyota Motor Corporation. The agreement involves all DSM businesses active in supplying materials and technology to the automotive sector — Engineering Plastics, Dyneema® (ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene fiber), and 3D Printing including Somos for stereolithography (SLA), and other technologies like Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF).

TMG is a high performance development, testing and manufacturing company, offering a wide range of technical services as well as its involvement in various motorsport disciplines. One of its specialty areas is in the manufacture of products by additive manufacturing (often referred to as 3D printing), both for motorsport use and for external customers.

Under the non-exclusive agreement, DSM will have the opportunity to act as TMG’s preferred material and product provider. TMG will develop and pilot new engineering solutions using DSM’s high performance materials and products for potential application in the automotive industry. TMG will also test and evaluate DSM products and act as a test user for defined projects.

“We are very excited about this new agreement,” said Golnar Motahari Pour, President of DSM Dyneema. “DSM offers an array of materials that are ideally suited to high performance applications in the automotive arena, and we believe that working together with TMG we will be able to expand our horizons even further. Everybody at DSM is looking forward to being able to work with such a front-runner in automotive engineering from the initial design phase onwards.”

“DSM thermoplastics like Stanyl®, ForTii® and Akulon® already have an important place in automotive, especially under the hood”, Motahari Pour points out, “but we are also moving quickly into thermoset composites. Last year, for example, we introduced Dyneema Carbon, which we believe represent a leap in the evolution of carbon. Dyneema® the world’s strongest fiber™ significantly improves the performance of pure carbon composites and makes further lightweighting and durability possible.”

Visit here the rest of the text of the story.

Early-Bird Registration Now Open for Pacific Design and Manufacturing Expo

The Pacific Design and Manufacturing Expo is the largest of its kind in the western U.S. Teamed along with the Medical Design and Manufacturing West Show at the Anaheim Convention Center on Feb. 6-8, the show promises to be a worthwhile investment of time for people of interest in nearly every manufacturing sector.

Companies from all over will be on hand with impressive displays and trade booths offering the latest in robotics and automation, CNC tools, scanners, new materials, and, of course, 3D printing.

Registration is now open for the show and the expo is free for early registration. Plan your calendar dates now to be in Anaheim on February 6-8 and be prepared to be marveled by new innovations and fantastic networking opportunities with peers in a variety of trades.

Sign-up is at

Early Bird Registration for Inside 3D Printing Ends This Week

Sign up today for this must-see SoCal event

The deadline to save with early bird prices to Inside 3D Printing San Diego, Dec. 4-5 is this Friday, Oct. 20 Registrants can save up to $400 on on-site prices of the show’s seminars and attendee events. Registration to visit the expo show itself is free, but must be done in advance.

The 2016 Inside 3D Printing Show was a stellar event, and a must for 3D printrs in the greater Southern California area. Companies ranging in notoriety in every vertical will be there to provide new developments to consumers and retailers alike and NASA will be on deck with a rocket nozzle demonstration.

Seminar topics include the “The Future of 3D Printing” keynote address featuring Terry Wohlers of Wohlers Associates; “Agility in Motion: Advantaged 3D Printing Innovation;” “A Road Map to 1 Million Unique Bio-Mechanically Enhanced Products;” “Getting Started with 3D Printing in Orthopaedic Surgery;” “Build with Life—Living Structures from 3D Bioprinters” and many more.

Sign up today at

Using 3D Printing to Create Industrial Quality Molds

Posted by Editor On August - 7 - 2017

Using 3D Printing to Create Industrial Quality Molds

Superior strength and chemical property durability comes to desktop 3D printing

By Fred Kaplan

While the history of mold making goes back to the Bronze Age, injection molding was patented in 1872 by John Wesley Hyatt, four years after he patented the first celluloid plastic that was used as an ivory substitute in billiard balls. The injection molding market is expected to reach $162 billion dollars by 2020.

Among the disadvantage of additive manufacturing has been the high cost of proprietary materials. While the return on investment for open-source 3D-printing materials is better, it can’t compete with the return on investment of printing molds and casting urethanes or the wide variety of other materials.

3D printing could be a great way to create high quality molds faster, but 3D-printing high-quality molds require high-end 3D printers with specialized materials which made it impossible to get a reasonably return on investment until now.

Avante Technologies has introduced FilaOne gray injection molding filament for desktop printers. FilaOne is a proprietary, composite material formulated for high mechanical performance, resilience, water and chemical resistance, and is safe for easy printing on FDM 3D printers.

A true “engineering grade” material, FilaOne offers a unique combination of mechanical and chemical processing attributes. It provides a higher strength-to-weight ratio than other 3D printer materials attributed with an engineering grade reputation. FilaOne Gray is easier-to-print than polycarbonate, nylon, and ABS.

FilaOne key attributes include:
• Ultralight weight: 0.86 grams per cubic centimeter when printed with 100% solid infill.
• Flexural strength 48% higher than ABS.
• Resilient: FilaOne bends and recovers with minimal crazing.
• Hydrophobic: repels water, resists salt-water, and is not affected by humidity.
• Chemically resistant to acids, bases, solvents and selected gases.
For more on the specifics of its properties, see the Avante Technologies website for additional information.

Using 3D Printing to Create Industrial Quality Molds

FilaOne contains proprietary carbon nanotubes that reinforce the material like microscopic support rods to add strength and resilience to injection molds. To that extent, FilaOne has been tested on AirWolf, Roboze, and German RepRap 3D printers with notable results.

FilaOne prints at 225-230 degrees celsius but the print bed must be heated to 95C. It also requires high-torque stepper motors for feeding filament. For complete set of print settings see this report.

Fred Kaplan is a 3D-printing material specialist, who is currently working with UnionTech. He has worked with SLA, SLS, FDM, ColorJet, ADAM, DLP, LOM, FFF, MultiJet, Polyjet, and SDL 3D printers. Specializing in matching the best technology to a particular 3D printing application, he has also worked with many brands of 3D scanners and many CAD packages.

Prior to his work in additive manufacturing, Fred received a Los Angeles-area Emmy and other awards for documentary filmmaking.

The Daily 3D Detail: How safe are 3D printer plastics?

Posted by Editor On August - 4 - 2017

How Safe are 3D Printer Plastics?

VOCs produced by melting ABS, PLA, nylon and PET.

According to a recent privately-funded study conducted in Poland on the dangers of heated thermoplastics ABS, PLA, PET, and nylon, the risk to human health is nominal, and even in the case of ABS, is well under the prescribed exposure limitations of work safety organizations. (Above image courtesy of The Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene.)

According to the authors of the study, Szymon Wojtyła, Piotr Klama, and Tomasz Baran:

“The conducted study has shown that ABS is significantly more toxic than PLA. The emission of volatile organic compounds (VOC) has been in the range of 0.50 µmol/h. Styrene has accounted for more than 30% of total VOC emitted from ABS, while for PLA, methyl methacrylate has been detected as the predominant compound (44% of total VOCs emission).

According to the World Health Organization, a report on the danger of inhaled plastic gasses, toxicity occurs at higher temperatures and in environments without adequate ventilation. The report outlines specific data on methyl methacrylate (MMA), the most prominent Volatile organic compounds (VOC) in PLA:

“The acute toxicity of methyl methacrylate is low. Irritation of the skin, eye, and nasal cavity has been observed in rodents and rabbits exposed to relatively high concentrations of methyl methacrylate. The chemical is a mild skin sensitizer in animals. The effect observed most frequently at lowest concentration after repeated inhalation exposure to methyl methacrylate is irritation of the nasal cavity. Effects on the kidney and liver at higher concentrations have also been reported. The lowest reported effect level for inhalation was 410 mg/m3 in rats exposed to methyl methacrylate for 2 years (based upon inflammatory degeneration of the nasal epithelium); the no-observed-effect level (NOEL) in this investigation was approximately 100 mg/m3.”

While the recent study recommends implementation of better filtering systems into future desktop FDM 3D printers for added safety, the results clearly indicate that under normal print operations, the exposure danger to operators fall well below any danger levels.

For more on the story, see this article at

Print with Multiple Filaments with Palette+

A simple method of multicolor prints is now available

Type A Machines has introduced a new way of printing in multiple filaments with an add-on device called Palette+. The device, produced by Canadian company Mosaic Manufacturing Ltd, sits aside conventional FDM 3D printers and fuses multiple filaments together through a rotary cutting method. This method than allows not only multiple colors in one print, but a mix of material combinations including PLA with a soluble support material, PLA with flexible TPU, and PLA with PETG.

Print with Multiple Filaments with Palette+

The new and improved slicing method, referred to by Mosaic as closed splicing, allows for a more even distribution of heat across the bound surfaces of filaments. This process is complemented with its own software, Chroma 2.0, which incorporates a functionality enhancement called Raft, a new G-code processing engine that supports slicing programs like Cura.

For more on the development of Palette+, visit Type A Machines.

The Daily 3D Detail: Making 3D printed parts stronger

Posted by Franka Schoening On July - 24 - 2017

Brandon Sweeney and Blake Tiepel in action

Brandon Sweeney, a Doctoral Student in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Texas A&M University and his advisor Dr. Micah Green, discovered a new technique to increase the durability of 3D printed parts. The process welds the layers together with the use of microwaves, increasing the pieces’ adaptability to real life manufacturing demands.

3D printers create objects by layering filament in the desired shape. These thin layers increase the possibility of fractures, limiting the applicability of some objects in the real world. While working on a different project, Sweeney was inspired to use carbon nanotubes and microwaves to weld the layers into one solid, more stable, part.

By adding the carbon nanotube to the outside of the filament, the composite gets embedded in the part during the printing process. A monitored heat source bonds the layers together, without melting the entire object.

In cooperation with Essentium Materials, the team hopes to integrate the electromagnetic welding process into the actual 3D printers. Find the article and video on


The Daily 3D Detail: 3D printer vs. childhood obesity

Posted by Franka Schoening On July - 24 - 2017

Vegetables in their natural state – often rejected by children

Obesity is on the rise worldwide. Enabled by fatty fast food and sugary drinks that are constantly available, flavorful and advertised to children at a young age. Getting kids to eat their veggies can be a constant battle for parents. Professor Carla Severini, and her team at the University of Foggia, are here to facilitate sneaking veggies into your family’s dinner. Using a 3D printer, the study turned blended banana, white beans, mushrooms and milk into octopus-shaped treats. Treats that are not only fun to eat, but also nutrient-rich. The team is furthermore experimenting with fish, cauliflower and insects, a source of protein commonly rejected in Western cultures. Allowing children to experiment with food, will hopefully transform them into vegetable lovers from an early age on. Read the whole article here.

Is this how we will ensure that our children eat a healthy diet? What do you think?