While many today may be engaged in the pursuit of material things, taking the form of innumerable items from cars to houses to jewelry, if you have become impassioned about 3D printing, that’s probably turned around as you are bit obsessed now instead just with actual materials and the fulfillment of actually making things. Much better. And what’s next? That’s always a good question too for materials manufacturer Formfutura.
There are numerous companies within the 3D printing industry just doing their job in providing the basics for consumers, offering up traditional, affordable materials that are reliable and durable. That’s absolutely necessary, but they don’t dish out half the excitement that the Netherlands-headquartered filament producer does. Consistently offering alternatives for the maker, Formfutura does more than just supply food for your 3D printer: they inspire. Just one look at all they’ve released in recent months will have your designer’s mind spinning with great ideas.
Experimenting is one thing, but if you are working on a specific project, we all know the material is key. A simple ABS or PLA may not fill the bill for what you’ve got in mind. In that case, what you may want to amp it up to printing with bronze and copper. Or higher-performance thermoplastics with engineering projects in mind. We’ve even seen wood filaments from Formfutura that offer an authentic smell and texture.
Now, Formfutura is announcing the release of their newest material with EasyCork. Another PLA-based material, their new filament is based on 30 percent cork fibers, offering an incredibly high volumetric filling. And if you’ve been thinking about trying a new and more alternative material that is versatile and eco-friendly, cork should probably be at the top of your list. It offers a warm look, is impermeable to liquid (yes, think wine—but not too much ’cause we’re still working here!) and is, of course, very lightweight.
“The natural cork fillers in EasyCork will give your printed object a ‘living’ appearance with very subtle natural linings and shades which can be reinforced by playing around with extrusion temperature variations during your 3D print,” said the Formfutura team.
Based on the Formfutura EasyFil PLA compound, EasyCork has been enhanced with cork fibers, binding agents, and modifiers—all of which allow you to start innovating with ‘cork-like’ aesthetics. Not only is this a super lightweight material, it also of course allows for impact resistance due to its natural texture and qualities. You won’t experience any warping, due to the cork fibers, and can also look forward to ‘excellent filament flowing behavior.’ This allows you to fabricate a range of cork-like 3D printed models, including different geometric shapes, at high printing speeds, with perfect first-and inter-layer adhesion. EasyCork also offers an authentic cork smell, as well as feel.
This is a material that seems to slowly be gaining steam as a more popular alternative. While we haven’t seen an outpouring of innovations with cork yet, it has been involved in the design for functional items like 3D printed cork eyewear. New users should look forward to ease in creating figurines, small household items, and far more.
This new filament is available in both light and natural dark colors, and can be ordered in either 1.75 mm or 2.85 mm spools. Formfutura also offers samples if you’d like to check out a smaller quantity of EasyCork. Other specs are as follows, and you can download the technical data sheet here.
|Filament Net Weight:||± 0.5 Kg|
|Spool Size (D x h):||200 mm x 55 mm|
|Spool Hub Diameter:||52 mm|
|Carton Box Size (L x W x H):||200 mm x 200 mm x 60 mm|
|Packaged weight||1 Kg|
Dedicated to the ‘life changing technology of 3D printing,’ Formfutura has certainly stuck to their mission in offering their fellow makers a wide array of materials to work with—and affordably so. Always focused on the idea that there is a maker inside of everyone, they see their materials as the foundation and building blocks for innovation, acutely aware that what you choose to print with is going to play a major part in the outcome of your project. Are you interested in using cork? Discuss over in the EasyCork 3D Printed Filament forum over at 3DPB.com.