It’s incredible what a difference a few years can make. Back when I initially was turned on to FDM/FFF 3D printing there were very few choices when it came to materials. Our choices were mainly PLA or ABS, along with a handful of colors. Fast forward a few years and it’s no wonder why the materials market for 3D printing is predicted to become a multi-million dollar industry all by its own.
It just takes a quick glance at a site like GlobalFSD, which sells filament samples, to see just how many different companies, and how many innovative new filament options, pop up almost daily.
Some of the most popular filaments on the market today are the PLA composites. Companies like ColorFabb have been releasing PLA-based filaments which consist of a great deal of of non-thermoplastic materials such as wood, copper, bronze, etc. This has been a trend within the materials space, one that even 3D printing powerhouse MakerBot has jumped onto, unveiling several PLA composite materials which will be released later this year. New companies are emerging as well. Take for instance Macau-based ColiDo.
ColiDo today has unveiled a new PLA and ABS composite material which consists of a mixture of wood particles, putting it in direct competition with ColorFabb’s woodFill. Pricing details have yet to be announced.
“End-users can print 3D objects that look and smell like wood,” explained the company. “This revolutionary new material gives your 3D print-out a wooden-like appearance. A tree’s growth ring effect also comes in on the surface of the 3D print-out.”
The company envisions this new filament being perfect for those within the interior design field, as prototypes and models of items such as wood furniture can more accurately be represented. By offering the wood material in both ABS and PLA, the company is catering to a wider audience.
ColiDo is clearly a brand new company, as their website is currently under construction. We are told that this will not be the case for long, and that multiple filament options, in addition to their Print-Rite 3D printer, will be made available for purchase at ColiDo3D.com shortly.
It’s very interesting to watch as new companies are formed solely around filament for FFF/FDM machines. As printers drop in price and the market grows, surely we will continue to see further innovation within the materials space along with affordability as competition drives prices down even further.
Let us know if you have managed to try this new ColiDo wooden filament out. How does it compare to other composite materials that you have tried? Discuss in the ColiDo Wooden Filament forum thread on 3DPB.com.