Two-Year-Old Proto-pasta Celebrates with a Pine-Scented Filament, a Holiday Gift Guide and More

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laserwood_grandeWho doesn’t love that piney Christmas tree smell around this time of year? Now you can fill your 3D printing studio with the aroma, even if you’re nowhere near pine trees. Proto-pasta, which manufactures all sorts of fun filaments, is introducing a new Aromatic Pine PLA, their first wood filament.

Aromatic Pine, which prints like standard PLA and does not require a heated bed, is made from ground Balsam Fir needles and gives off a lovely pine fragrance when heated. It has a wood-like appearance, too; prints made with the filament are a pale, translucent brown with flecks of wood.

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Aromatic Pine is Proto-pasta’s second scented filament, following the release of their coffee-scented filament a few months ago. The pine filament is being offered as limited-edition package.

For $44.99, you will receive a 500g 8″ diameter spool of 1.75 or 3mm filament along with a laser-cut ornament. In case you’re feeling guilty about the trees that were sacrificed in the making of your filament, Proto-pasta will also donate $5.00 from every purchase to conservation organization Friends of Trees.

Speaking of the holidays, Proto-pasta has released a holiday shopping guide for those looking to buy gifts for the 3D printing enthusiasts in their lives. The company has compiled a list of the best printers, accessories, filaments, services and models, although they add a disclaimer that their suggestions “are made in good fun & based on our still limited experience in an ever-growing/changing industry,” lest you think their filament recommendations may be a bit biased.

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Proto-pasta does have a lot to celebrate this holiday season. On November 24, the young company hit their second anniversary, with its inaugural Kickstarter campaign successfully funded in 2013. Started by Dustin Cram, Alex Dick and Aaron Cram from the engineering firm ProtoPlant, the business remains a three-person operation, but the Vancouver company’s small size hasn’t affected their global reach. Their products are sold as far away as Australia and South Africa, and they are continuing to expand their facility and build more of their ProtoPlant extrusion machinery. Stay tuned for an upcoming podcast in which the founders will discuss their first two years.

IMG_0639_grandeIf you were one of the supporters of Proto-pasta’s initial Kickstarter campaign, you were likely drawn in by their carbon fiber PLA, which was the first of its kind. Now you can buy the carbon filament for the lowered price of $29.99 for a 500mg or $179.95 for a 3kg spool. If you’re unfamiliar with the filament, it’s pretty cool: it prints like standard PLA and can be used with most PLA-compatible printers, but creates more rigid prints with a glossy black finish. In filament form, it’s slightly more brittle and abrasive than standard PLA, so handle with care and be prepared to replace your nozzle a bit more frequently if you use the filament a lot.

All in all, it’s been a good first two years for Proto-pasta, and it looks like they can expect several more, if they continue to come up with novel ideas like conductive and magnetic filament, or just purely fun ideas like their scented filaments. I look forward to seeing what’s coming next.  Discuss in the Pine Scented Filament Forum on 3DPB.com.

 

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