PLA filament offers plenty of benefits – it’s biodegradable, it’s non-toxic and can be made to be food-safe, it’s easy to print, and it’s a favorite of many makers for its smooth, polished appearance. In terms of industrial applications, though, it’s pretty much useless. It can’t handle high temperatures without melting and warping, for one thing, plus it tends to be brittle and is a poor thermal and electrical conductor.
Hungarian filament manufacturer Philament is an environmentally conscious company with a commitment to producing biodegradable materials – i.e. PLA, and they’re not willing to accept the limitations of the material. They’ve developed a line of composite filaments that offer the benefits of PLA without the drawbacks. Safe and easy to work with, the composites are tough and resilient enough for industrial applications, with several formulations customized for specific industries.
“More and more industries are taking advantage of 3D printing. As the technology is widely used, the users are becoming more creative and want to explore new areas where 3D printing could support their work,” said Dr. Zsolt Bodnar, CEO of Philament. “Because of the limitations of the filaments they haven’t been able to do this.”
Philament’s products not only circumvent those limitations but are specially tailored to specific industrial applications. According to the company, their most popular filaments at the moment include:
- Philament Model: as its name suggests, this material is designed for the creation of 3D models. Probably the most maker-oriented of Philament’s materials, Philament Model can be easily cut, sanded and polished when either dry or wet. It can also be used as an easily removable support material.
- Philament ESD: specifically designed for the electronics industry, this conductive filament produces objects without an electrical charge, improving safety
- Philament Heat Resistant: a PLA designed to withstand high temperatures of up to 170°C without warping or melting.
Other specialty filaments include Philament Antibacterial, a PLA with incorporated metal ions that inhibit the growth of bacteria; Philament Gypsum; and Philament Wood, all PLA-based.
“In the course of the development process we kept in mind that the new composite filaments should be as easily handled as normal PLA,” said Dr. Bodnar.
Philament also offers standard PLA in multiple colors, as well as ABS in blue, white, black and gray. Basic PLA and ABS filament is priced at €26 for a 1kg spool, while specialty materials range in cost from €32 to €54.
Formed from a team of professionals from the chemical and polymer industries, Philament boasts expert material knowledge as well as an environmentally conscientious philosophy. Their eco-friendly, biopolymer-based materials meet European compostability standards, and the company advocates sustainability in 3D printing. While their products are mainly used in the electronics and automotive industries, they’re also gaining popularity in architecture, and the company is looking to spread their business elsewhere in the European Union. If you’re interested in being a distributor, you can contact Philament at firstname.lastname@example.org. Discuss further in the Philament New 3D Printing Filament forum over at the 3DPB.com.