We have mentioned it several times in the past, FDM based 3D printing is currently limited more by the lack of material options available than by the printers themselves. Materials are what make up virtually 100% of the objects that we desire to print, so why hasn’t there been more of an emphasis on developing new materials that can push this technology to new heights?
Well, for one company, Formfutura, this is their sole purpose. They specialize in creating unique, one-of-a-kind, innovative new 3D printing materials for FDM printers.
The company is launching several new 3D printing filaments, all of which will expand the horizons for those looking to 3D print new, creative designs. The new POROLAY line of filaments by inventor Kai Parthy, include Lay-Felt, Lay-Fomm, Gel-Layy and Lay-Tekkks.
“This new revolutionary line consists of foamy, felty filaments with a porous structure,” explained the team at Formfutura. “With this filament you can build porous flexible objects.”
While some of these materials are still in development, the company says that they will provide for all sorts of different textures, feels and flexibility options, including felty (hard or soft), foamy (microfoam), rubber-like, and jelly-like. Currently POROLAY Gellay (jelly-like filament), and POROLAY Layfomm (foamy) filaments are available to purchase for for €28.95 via Formfutura’s website. The Layfomm is available in two different hardness levels, either 40 or 60.
The other lines of POROLAY should be available soon.
This isn’t all though, Formfutura, who already had been offering a high quality wood filament, now has added yet another very creative product to their wood options. Their new EasyWood Coconut filament is now available, and it is as unique of a filament as you will ever see. This new material is made up of 40% ground coconut particles. These particles are combined with modified and proven easy-to-print binding polymers to come up with a new material that looks, feels, and smells like real wood. When printed with, you are provided with objects that have a rough surface, with a noticeable wood-like feel.
“Being filled with a significant amount of grinded coconut particles gives EasyWood Coconut some major advantages above other wood-filled filaments. First of all, coconut wood is a tropical hardwood which is a perfect substitute for traditional tropical hardwood and with that it does not affect the world’s rainforests,” explains Formfutura. “The wood from the actual coconut is very resistant to (salt) water, and because of its extremely low water absorption the wood from the coconut is hardly influenced by weather- and other nature conditions. This unique characteristic makes our EasyWood Coconut filament significantly less sensitive to moisture than other wood-filled filaments. “
This new Wood filament is also virtually warp-free, thus it will not change shape or size when cooled. It can be printed with or without a heated print bed, and should work on most FDM 3D printers.
It is great to see companies like Formfutura advancing the 3D printing space through the introduction of new materials. I am waiting for the day when virtually any material we can possibly imagine can be fed into a 3D printer and printed out in the form of our 3D modeled designs.
What do you think about these new filaments from Formfutura? What possible uses can you imagine? Discuss in the FormFutura New Filaments forum thread on 3DPB.com. Check out the video showing off the properties of some of the new POROLAY filaments below.