California-based 3D printer manufacturer Type A Machines is releasing a new 3D printing polymer filament specifically formulated to produce lightweight, smooth and workable prints with a matte finish. ProMatte is the result of a collaboration with 3D printing materials developer Polymaker to provide industrial designers, artists and engineers with a PLA alternative that is lightweight and workable and will produce a sleek finish with little to no post production. In addition to the smooth printed surface, parts made with ProMatte are about 30% lighter than standard PLA and resistant to breaks, cracks and damage.
According to Type A Machines, ProMatte is the ideal material for prototyping and can even produce objects that are usable as final production parts. Co-developer Polymaker refined a unique manufacturing process that resulted in a material that is exceptionally smooth with a surface finish that shows minimal visual layering or striation. That means right off the printing bed ProMatte will have a production-quality finish that is completely unattainable with existing filaments. While the printed parts don’t really need much post-processing, they can be sanded, carved or even placed in a tumbler to remove any stray artifacts without sustaining damage.
“With a revolutionary material like ProMatte, we answer the question of how to improve quality in a way no-one else has done before. ProMatte changes the way people think about 3D printing,” said Type A Machines’ Founder and CTO Andrew Rutter.
Another benefit is the huge weight differential between ProMatte and standard PLA filaments. The polymer used to develop the material and provide the smoother surface area also produces parts that are up to 30% lighter. Final printed parts are also considerably more malleable than standard PLA and will bend or flex long before they break or crack. Additionally, the material won’t lose any of the typical strength to weight ratio of PLA materials so it would be an ideal option for 3D printing projects that require a lighter, less rigid material like the frame of a small drone or quadcopter.
Type A Machines produces a series of high end, industrial quality FFF 3D printers that were designed to be robust and easy to use in a light manufacturing setting. Their printers include the compact and dependable Series 1 and the advanced Series 1 Pro. They have also developed the scalable Print Pod, a centrally-managed, ready to go printer farm that can control up to sixty individual Series 1 3D printers, widely considered a viable alternative to injection molding for low volume manufacturing.
ProMatte isn’t the first advanced polymer 3D printing material developed by New York’s Polymaker. The materials developer offers a wide range of advanced filament options, including PC-Plus, PolyMax, PolyPlus, PolySupport, PolyFlex, and PolyWood. In addition to their primary distribution hub located in New York, Polymaker also operates a manufacturing plant in China and an operation and distribution center in the Netherlands.
The new polymer material is now available in Type A Machines’ online store and is currently available in two colors, Black Matte and Ivory White Matte. Because the ProMatte filament is considerably lighter than standard PLA materials it is sold by both length and material weight. Each 500g/230 meter spool retails for $58. You can find out more about ProMatte over on Type A Machines’ website, and you can see all of Polymaker’s advanced materials in their online store.
Here is close-up video of a un-processed 3D printed part made with ProMatte:
Here is some video below of a part being 3D printed using ProMatte filament. Discuss in the ProMatte 3D printing filament forum over at 3DPB.com.