Just recently we reported that Verbatim was entering the 3D printer filament market, offering ABS and PLA filaments. Hot off the presses now is news that they will be introducing PRIMALLOY, a TPE (thermoplastic elastomer) filament to provide further product malleability in 3D printing.
While their product packaging looks superficially familiar, Verbatim has stepped into the newest sector of the replication industry, developing materials for the replication of tangible products, rather than just data or audiodiscs–via 3D printing. With 40 years of industry experience backing them, Verbatim has already developed what is turning into a growing family of innovative 3D printing filaments, with PRIMALLOY due to roll out in Europe this December,
PRIMALLOY will have company in the marketplace though, as there are already competitors in the TPE market, with Filaflex and Ninjaflex, both also offered in 1.75/3mm sizes and a multitude of colors. There have been some issues reported though, such as the filaments being too soft or vulnerable to temperature. With PRIMALLOY, a polyester based thermoplastic elastomer, Verbatim endeavors to solve some of these issues, thanks to:
- Improved flexibility over other TPE products
- Excellent bonding with hard plastics such as ABS, PC and PMMA
- Great heat and oil resistance
These filaments work well for 3D printing applications which include, Miscellaneous goods like pen grips and goggle gaskets, Automotive components, Light electrical components and Modifiers.
With a great deal of excitement surrounding the recent availability on the market of Ninjaflex and Filaflex, Verbatim’s products will have to stand up to the improvements they are promising with enhanced flexibility and elasticity. The rubbery quality is the crucial element in these softer filaments, as the whole idea is to be able to create elastic parts in the 3D printer, however, there are some problems that come with the softer substances.
The test will be to see if Verbatim’s products can resolve some of the TPE dilemmas users have reported in testing, such as being too soft, oozy, messy, and causing issues with sticking and the printers themselves. Criticisms of competing products have been that they don’t work well without spring-loaded extruders, and the soft material can also cause printer jams, creating a potential mess all around.
ABS and PLA are still the filament standards right now as they are inexpensive and popular, but they are not as flexible and can be fragile and vulnerable to temperature changes. Until the recent influx of TPEs arrived to desktop 3D printing, there was not another option.
Verbatim’s parent company, Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation designs performance products and industrial materials. Their latest ventures into 3D printing materials is a direct reflection of their company mission statement which states their promise to continue to advance technology while continually changing and innovating, and contributing to sustainable growth. Taking the stage in producing 3D printing materials is definitely consistent with their promise.
What filaments have you had good success with? What issues have you run into? Discuss your thoughts with us in the Verbatim PRIMALLOY forum thread at 3DPB.com.