In September, Fenner Drives announced the creation of NinjaTek, a separate division dedicated to 3D printing materials. The large manufacturing corporation had been a successful provider of parts and materials for the automotive and other industries, so their introduction of a 3D printing filament almost felt like an afterthought. However, the success of the NinjaFlex filament snuck up on them like, well, a ninja, so they created a separate website for the filament before eventually starting NinjaTek to expand their new 3D empire.
The announcement of NinjaTek was accompanied by the promise that new filaments would be introduced at CES 2016. True to their word, today NinjaTek has announced the release of two new materials. Taking their ninja powers into the animal kingdom, NinjaTek presents the Cheetah and Armadillo filaments.
The Cheetah filament, like its namesake, is fast. Very fast. With a print speed of up to 60mm per second, the flexible polyurethane material prints much faster than other flexible materials. It also promises limited retraction, as well as excellent adhesion between print layers. It is suitable for all printers using ABS settings, and NinjaTek describes it as an ideal filament for highly detailed prints such as gaskets, hinges, seals or snap-fit parts. It also printed Corvin Castle, pictured at left, in just 19 hours. It’s not available for purchase yet, but it will be soon: you can order it in late January, so stay tuned.
The Armadillo filament is the first rigid material to be developed by NinjaTek, who have built their success thus far on flexible materials. Like its armor-clad namesake, the Armadillo filament was designed to resist damage from even the most determined attempts at destruction.
“Armadillo filament…can best be described as ‘tough’ and ‘rugged,’” says PR representative Steven Wright-Mark. “It has excellent durability and resistance to grease, oil, and industrial chemicals.”
The filament is also highly resistant to chemicals, including greases and oils, making it an ideal material for industrial applications. It’s said to have excellent printability as well, with virtually no warping and great bridging capabilities. NinjaTek describes it as perfect for tough, functional parts like braces, brackets, gears, protective covers and splints. Armadillo will be available for purchase in early February, just after the Cheetah.
The popularity of NinjaFlex and its follow-up, Semi-Flex, is a pretty good indicator that NinjaTek’s new materials should be met with a lot of enthusiasm from Ninja devotees. While the company describes them as ideal for industrial applications, I expect they’ll go far beyond that, and I also expect that NinjaTek will go far beyond their current collection of filaments as well. NinjaFlex, SemiFlex, Cheetah and Armadillo are only the beginning for a company whose 3D printing success was a pleasant surprise. Have you tested these new filaments out? Let us know in the NinjaTek Cheetah and Armadillo forum thread on 3DPB.com.