Among fans of open source 3D printing, one of the most popular companies is Aleph Objects, manufacturer of LulzBot 3D printers. Aleph Objects was founded in 2011 and is based in Loveland, Colorado. It is an official Free Software, Libre Innovation, and Open Source Hardware company.The company has maintained its open source values long past the time that other formerly open source companies went closed source, such as MakerBot. If Aleph Objects and LulzBot ever closed off their intellectual property, it would cause devastation among the 3D printing industry – that’s how trusted and beloved they have become among those who value sharing and co-creating as part of 3D printing. A huge community has formed around LulzBot, and an abandonment of its open source ideals would seem a betrayal.
Thankfully, Aleph Objects has given no indication that it ever plans to stop being a fully open source company, and last year it took things a step further when it partnered up with IC3D to develop the very first open source filament. The material, an ABS filament from IC3D, was opened up in May of last year, to much fanfare. Until then, filament manufacturing was a very closed, secretive area of an industry that has thrived on openness and collaboration. The release of the open ABS material was accompanied by a 16-page white paper that offered details on the manufacturing process, parameters, material grades, etc. It was an opportunity for 3D printing fans to learn what went into the development of a common material, and it came with a promise that more open materials would follow.
Today, Aleph Objects and IC3D have delivered on that promise with the release of IC3D PETg, the second certified open source filament in the industry. IC3D PETg offers a combination of strength, ductility, dimensional accuracy, and high chemical resistance, and is well-suited to robotics applications, mechanical parts, medical braces, and bottles, just to name a few. It also has a rich color and sheen, which makes it a nice material for decorative objects such as jewelry and vases. Its low shrink rate makes it a good choice for large prints, as well.
“IC3D’s commitment to Open Source Hardware filament and to delivering premium quality products pairs perfectly with LulzBot 3D Printers,” Aleph Objects Product Specialist Adam Straight said. “We are excited to support IC3D PETg as a new addition to our expanding ecosystem of reliability and innovation.”
Aleph Objects offers more than 30 filaments for sale on the LulzBot site. Each material features custom-developed print profiles in Cura LE. The new IC3D PETg filament can be used with the LulzBot Mini 2, LulzBot Mini 1, LulzBot TAZ 6, LulzBot TAZ/Mini Aerostruder v2 Micro, LulzBot TAZ/Mini Aerostruder, LulzBot Hexagon, LulzBot TAZ 6 Hexagon and LulzBot TAZ 5 Hexagon. A 1kg spool of the filament costs $45.00.
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