Additive Manufacturing Strategies

Helian Polymers Teams with Eastman Chemical Co. for colorFabb XT-Copolyester Filament

ST Medical Devices

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If you own a 3D printer, you are probably familiar colorFabb filaments. They offer a vast range of material options such as the wood-like woodFill, metal feeling and looking bronzeFill, and the glow-in-the-dark glowFill.  In addition to this, they offer a large range of other PLA colors, as well as pellets for those who have their own filament extruders at home.

Back in July, we reported on a partnership between the makers of colorFabb, Helian Polymers, and Eastman Chemical Company for the creation of yet another innovative new filament option. Today, the new colorFabb XT-Copolyester filament with Eastman Amphora™, has launched just in time for 3D Printshow London.

The new XT-Copolyester filament focuses on bringing more functionality, strength, processing, aesthetics and workability to consumer level FDM 3D printers. At the same time, the new filament gives off a very low odor, when compared to traditional ABS filaments. It also complies with certain FDA regulations for food contact applications. XT-Copolyester is Styrene-free, and it also generates fewer ‘ultra-fine’ particulates than traditional PLA or ABS filaments. This means you don’t have to worry so much about the air quality in the vicinity around your 3D printer.

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On top of this, parts that come off of the 3D printer, are much more temperature resistant than with traditional filaments. XT-Copolyester also will provide strong layer bonding, so that when objects are done printing, they can be further processed with less worries of the individual layers coming apart. It also provides for a nicer looking finished product. Lastly, it is more chemical resistant than most other filaments, meaning that over time parts should hold up better.

“Although fast-growing, extrusion based desktop printing has yet to see a solution for functional parts,” explained Alex Dudal, market development representative, Eastman Chemical Company. “Our collaboration with Helian has allowed us to go beyond prototypes. With Eastman Amphora™ 3D polymers, parts can be printed with a dimensional ability and functionality for industries such as manufacturing, healthcare, technology, education and retail.”

Currently the new filament is available in 10 colors: XT (clear), White, Red, Purple, Pink, Orange, Light Green, Dark Green, Black and Yellow. However, Eastman is considering adding more options for additional colors and even new textures in the future. The plain XT is priced at €34.95/spool, while the White is €39.95, and the colors are €44.95 each. For a limited time (until Sept 7), colorFabb is offering a 10% off coupon code for purchases of this new filament. Just enter coupon code: “3dps2014” at checkout.

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“The number of advancements we’ve been able to make in a relatively short amount of time is a testimony to the potential of our relationship with Eastman,” said Ruud Rouleaux, managing director, Helian Polymers. “Taking advantage of new, better-performing materials is the advancement the 3D printing industry needs to venture out of laboratories and into small businesses, schools and homes.”

It should be interesting to see if this new material becomes as popular as other colorFabb filaments. bronzeFill has been a fan favorite on the 3DPB forums, and Helian Polymers are hard to keep in stock. What do you think about this new XT Copolyester filament? Discuss in the XT Copolyester forum thread on 3DPB.com.

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