Companies like ALGIX 3D put a lot of pressure on the competition today. And as a recent study regarding toxicity and 3D printing began a huge conversation in the community, with many beginning to look accusingly at their spools of ABS, those offering superior products—and especially PLA materials—really do have a leg up.
We’ve been following this Mississippi-based group, which recently they released their algae-based, biodegradable PLA 3D printing materials. While attending and exhibiting at CES 2016 in Las Vegas, where they were voted ‘Best in Show’ by one group, feedback from customers was the catalyst for the new name branding, and subsequently, the grouping of all their facilities together. While ALGIX, a global bioplastics company, had been developing and manufacturing premium filament product lines for 3D Fuel, they are now both offering all of the same resources to the ALGIX 3D brand featuring the algae and advanced PLA filaments.
“Having all of our departments for ALGIX 3D housed under one roof in our Meridian, Mississippi facility allows us to more quickly address market needs for the creation of new and innovative products, as well as commercializing these products and getting them to market. We are strong believers in applying Lean Six Sigma principles to our operations for manufacturing filament products that are of the highest quality and consistency found on the market,” explained CTO Ryan Hunt.
- In-house polymer research and development labs
- Extensive global logistics capabilities
- Compounding, filament extrusion, and quality control labs
- 3D printer labs
- Marketing and sales
Already having shown themselves to be a dynamic and quickly evolving company focused equally on their users and the environment, there’s more to come, and the ALGIX 3D showing at CES was a big tipoff as they not only impressed and educated event goers with their patented ALGAE filament line, but also gave a preview of new material lines that will coming out sometime this quarter.
“We are excited to launch our non-toxic and sustainable substitute for ABS, called DURA. This filament outperforms ABS in many areas, including toughness and elongation, and does not require a heated plate or heated chamber,” said Director of Research and Development for ALGIX, Ashton Zeller. “We are also going to be launching a biodegradable flexible filament that can be used in any printer without having to change out print heads. We think that both of these filaments will have a large impact on the market, considering recent controversy surrounding ABS and other toxic materials.”
The controversy Zeller refers to is that of the recent study we followed from researchers at the University of Texas. In their study, they basically give PLA the green light with absolutely no hazards present in terms of fumes or any other dangers, as opposed to ABS, known to emit a carcinogen, styrene, in fairly large amounts, and thereby requiring caution—and ventilation.
“Results from a screening analysis of potential exposure to these products in a typical small office environment suggest caution should be used when operating many of the printer and filament combinations in poorly ventilated spaces or without the aid of combined gas and particle filtration systems,” stated the researchers in their paper, regarding filaments such as ABS.
While the end-note of the study really suggests ventilation, moderation, and common-sense, it’s also heavily implied that more research needs to be done, while stressing that little worry needs to be relegated to the area of PLA. Not so good if you are manufacturing ABS; however, this is obviously very good if you are manufacturing PLA, and especially coming from a company as environmentally centered as ALGIX 3D.
“At ALGIX, we are very excited about the potential of the 3D industry as well as this opportunity to bring our superior products to the market,” says COO John Matthews. “We’re working with several 3D printer manufacturers to provide filament they will certify through their individual warranty programs. ALGIX is a biotech company that’s heavily focused on science and engineering, which permeates all our divisions and products. It’s the reason our filament is the preferred choice in the marketplace and the reason our filament is truly ‘Engineered to Perform.’
ALGIX will continue to manufacture filaments for other companies, and ALGIX 3D is also working with a number of large distributors for reselling their filament.
“Be on the lookout for the ALGIX 3D brand to be popping up throughout the industry,” states the company in their most recent press release, highlighting their new lineup.
Discuss in the ALGIX 3D Filament forum over at 3DPB.com.