Just the other day we did a story on a new filament called ProtoFlux, which provided magnetic properties to whatever it was used to fabricate. It seemed to be something completely new to the FDM/FFF 3D printing world, something that could conceivably open the door to many new ways of utilizing the technology. Today comes news of something which might be even more incredible.
Proto-pasta, a company that specializes in 3D printer filament, today has informed 3DPrint.com that they are unveiling two new exotic filaments to their line of 3D printing materials. These filaments are unlike anything most of you have seen before.
The first is a Stanless Steel PLA filament which can be polished or brushed for a brilliant metallic finish, or left unfinished for a cast metal look. The other is an extremely unique Magnetic Iron PLA. This has many of the same properties that traditional iron does, including the ability to attract magnets. On top of this, the iron may be oxidized, resulting in a unique rusty patina as a finish.
“They print as easily as PLA, but feel like metal,” Sara Shepherd, Community Outreach and Marketing Coordinator for Proto-pasta tells 3DPrint.com. “Both materials are twice as dense as normal PLA, resulting in amazing, heavy prints that do not feel like plastic. Both materials will be available for pre-order on the Proto-pasta website on Friday, November 28th and will be released in early 2015.”
It seems as though just over a year ago, we were pretty much limited to 3D printing with two types of plastic — ABS and PLA. Now there are many different options available which increase the possibilities of designs that can now be fabricated on an FFF/FDM 3D printer. The idea of being able to 3D print metal-like objects with an affordable desktop 3D printer means the designers are now provided with even more options to choose from when coming up with new unique 3D printed ideas.
Proto-pasta remains one of the companies at the forefront of material innovation within the 3D printing space, and this latest addition is certainly a significant one.
“Proto-pasta celebrated it’s one year anniversary on Tuesday, and we are grateful for the continued support of the 3D printing community,” said Shepherd.
The company is currently hosting an art contest, which asks contestants to design the spool for their new Stainless Steel PLA. The contest winner will be the first person to receive the new filament, and will have their artwork shared all around the world.
What types of things do you think these new filament could be used to 3D print? Discuss in the Stainless Steel & Magnetic Iron PLA forum thread on 3DPB.com. Check out the video and photos below: