If you’re a Kickstarter fan, especially one who follows 3D printing, you’ll remember the record-shattering Kickstarter campaign by M3D. The campaign, designed around the innovative Micro 3D printer, reached its $50,000 goal within minutes, and raised an unbelievable $3.4 million by the end of the month, essentially assuring that the company would never need to turn to crowdfunding ever again. Although, if they did, their track record would suggest that they would have nothing to worry about in terms of meeting their goals.
One of the reasons for M3D’s success is their commitment to simplicity and practicality. Besides their Micro 3D printer, the company also offers a small filament line that just got a little bigger with the introduction of two new filaments. M3D seems to operate on the principle of “How can we fix this?” – taking ordinary materials and tweaking them just enough to eliminate the most common problems associated with them. Such is the case with the company’s Tough 3D Ink and ABS-R filaments, which were introduced today at CES 2016.
M3D’s original 3D Ink is a PLA filament that was followed up by the color-changing Chameleon 3D Ink. Tough 3D Ink takes the issues associated with traditional PLA and neatly does away with them. It doesn’t warp, and it holds up just fine when subjected to boiling water or weights of several hundred pounds. It bonds seamlessly at full strength and can be as rigid or flexible as you want it to be, depending on your chosen software settings. It’s also very fast; according to M3D, Tough 3D Ink can increase print speed by up to 400% when used with the Micro 3D Printer.
Tough 3D Ink comes in 1.75mm diameter, available in 0.25 micro spools for $18 each. It currently comes in 12 colors, and while it’s not shipping yet, you can pre-order it here.
ABS-R is M3D’s answer to traditional ABS filament. ABS can be tricky to print with due to its poor bonding ability and tendency to warp, particularly with larger objects. ABS-R bonds better, warps less, and doesn’t require a heated print bed. Oh, and it doesn’t smell, which is a nice perk, especially if you have a high level of olfactory sensitivity. (Tough 3D Ink is odorless as well.) Otherwise, the filament has the same advantages as standard ABS, producing rigid objects with a softer feel than PLA. It’s not available for pre-order yet, but it’s listed as “coming soon” on M3D’s website.
“Often hyped within the context of the digital revolution, people are buying 3D printers to explore this new technology and its creative applications, but they can run into limitations with today’s ABS and PLA as the standard printing material,” said M3D CEO Michael Armani. “Seeing all the benefits of Tough 3D Ink in our test groups suggests that it will be favored over traditional materials across nearly all applications, and ABS-R is set to become a mainstream alternative to traditional ABS filaments. That’s why we’re supporting both materials in early 2016 as our new core filaments for the Micro so that our users can find truly lasting applications.”
M3D is set up at CES in Booth #73110 at Sands Expo; samples of their new filaments will be on display if you’d like to drop by and take a look. Have you tested these new materials? Let us know in the M3D Tough 3D Ink and ABS-R forum on 3DPB.com.