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The Filabot extruder

The Filabot extruder

Material science is beginning to take shape within the 3D printing space. No longer are we restricted to only 3D printing objects at home using traditional PLA and ABS filaments. We have seen the introduction of several flexible filaments as well as material that changes colors with heat or lack of light (glow-in-the-dark filaments), and now we are beginning to see the emergence of materials that allow for the printing of all sorts of different objects.

Today, we learn that a company called Filabot, has just introduced two new 3D printer filaments to the market, along with three more that will be released later this month. Most of the filament offered by Filabot is made in-house using their Filabot filament extruders.

One of these new filaments is their Graphite Infused ABS, which is a basic ABS material that has been infused with graphite powder. The resulting filament is one that is extremely smooth, providing less friction when rubbed or slid up against other 3D printed parts. “It has a lower coefficient for use when parts have to slide against each other,” Tyler McNaney of Filabot told 3DPrint.com.

filabot-graphite-infused-filament-abs

The Graphite Infused filament prints at normal ABS temperatures (225-235 °C), and comes in either 1.75mm or 3mm diameter, one pound spools. It is priced at only $32.15, and the graphite to ABS ratio is 5%.

Another addition to their line of products, is an all new Multi Walled Carbon Nanotube filament, which is also ABS based. It is infused with 2.5% carbon nanotubes, and provides a much stronger end product than that of traditional ABS.

“We do not have data on the increased strength of the Multi Walled Carbon Nano Tube filament yet, it is being tested in a lab,” McNaney told us. “To create this filament we use our Multi Walled Carbon Nano Tube master batch and mix it with our standard ABS pellets. From there it can simply be extruded in our extruder system into filament.”

filabot-carbon-nanotube-filament-abs

Like that of the Graphite Infused ABS, this is also available in 1.75mm or 3mm diameter, one pound spools, and can be extruded at 225-235 °C. It is priced at $42.10 per spool.

That’s not all though. Filabot told us that they have more to come, later this month. “This month the three new filaments are all ABS based with a few tweaks. ABS Flex is a more flexible ABS filament, capable of more bending while still being a strong plastic, ABS/PC Alloy is a two part plastic that is compounded to make a ridged hard filament, and ABS FR is a flame retardant filament that will self extinguish when flame source is removed.”

Without a doubt, these new filaments will create additional opportunities for 3D printer owners who wish to 3D print objects with a vast array of new physical properties. It should be interesting to see all of the creative uses that people come up with for these new materials, and what Filabot comes up with next.

“Our goal is to expand the types of materials that 3D printers can use,” said McNaney. “Our extruder set up is all automated. It allows us to extrude filament around the clock, with only one day of down time on the weekends.”

If you are interested in making your own filament at home, Filabot also sells their Filabot filament extruders, starting at just $649. What do you think about these new filaments? What do you think people will use them for? Discuss in the new filabot filament forum thread on 3DPB.com.

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