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2016-01-22-hemp-300b-600x338It seems like every day a presidential candidate is declaring that they will make America great again. But what does that really mean? What really made America great? Well, one of the things that made America great was hemp. That’s right, hemp, the much maligned cousin of marijuana. According to the North American Industrial Hemp Council (NAIHC), both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson grew hemp. Benjamin Franklin used hemp in one of his mills, and Jefferson even drafted the Declaration of Independence on hemp paper. It doesn’t get more American than that.

Hemp was used to create everything from paper to rope to sails and clothing to fuel, and has been used as a construction material. 3D printing innovators have been experimenting with producing hemp filament. As previously reported, the Italian company Kanesis has been experimenting with a hemp bioplastic filament, as has Brooklyn-based Matter Lab. Today there’s some great news for hemp aficionados: 3Dom has just announced their newest offering, a hemp filament called Entwined.

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Entwined hemp filament has an almost iridescent quality to it.

3Dom has made some news lately with their Wound Up coffee filament and Buzzed beer filament. Like their previous bioplastic offerings, Entwined was created through a partnership with c2renew. 3Dom’s new hemp-based filament has some unique properties. It doesn’t contain dyes, it’s naturally brown and shows an interesting variation of hues. It prints like standard PLA and doesn’t require a heated bed for printing. Any 3D printer capable of printing in PLA should be able to print Entwined. 3Dom recommends printing between 180° and 210° C, or typically 10° cooler than you normally print PLA. If you want to use a heated bed, it should be set at 45° C.

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Entwined is available in 1Kg  spools in both 1.75mm and 3mm diameters. Sample sizes are also available. The hemp filament comes on Eco-Spools, a 100% bio-based plastic spool that is also eco-friendly and biodegradable. All in all, a very sustainable alternative to traditional 3D printing materials. In fact, hemp is a much better alternatively to the typical corn-based PLA for the ecologically minded. Corn is an agricultural product that requires fertilizer, herbicides and pesticides. Hemp on the other hand is a hardy product that does not require that kind of care in its cultivation and grows more densely than corn, so it requires less land to farm.

3Dom is not finished releasing eco friendly materials: they plan on releasing a biomass filament soon. I’ll be on the lookout for that. For now I’m very happy to experiment with their hemp-based filament, and I’m sure a lot of other designers will be, too.

Below is a video on Entwined hemp filament:

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