Materials innovations for 3D printing are coming hot and heavy lately. From exotic metal powders to a host of formulations from PEEK to copper, getting the look, strength, and surface finish required of a 3D printed object gets less complex every day.
Now RepRapper Tech Co. Ltd. has launched a new metal blend for common 3D consumables like ABS and PLA, and this time–following the January release of their copper version–it’s aluminum.
RepRapper Tech is a professional 3D printing filament manufacturer which was founded in 2012. The company says they were the first to develop conductive filament and filaments that change color, and that they are the leading company in the world prepared to supply ABS, PLA, HIPS, PC, POM, Nylon, Wood, and Flexible 3D printer filaments. They also offer a fluorescent series of UV-sensitive and glow-in-the-dark materials.
The company says their filaments meet RoHS criteria and have been certificate by SGS. Their production plant has also passed an ISO 9001 audit and received that certification as well.
Aluminum is used in a wide range of industrial applications due to its light weight, durability, corrosion resistance, and low cost. RepRapper says it also includes features which give the material advantages when it comes to 3D printing.
The new RepRapper Aluminum PLA is formulated with approximately 30% aluminum powder which is mixed with pure PLA, and RepRapper says it prints easily on most common 3D printers.
It can be printed at a temperature of around 210°C – which of course depends on the printer you use – but a heated bed is recommended to gain better adhesion and a more accurate finished product.
Aluminum PLA filament comes in two different spool sizes a 250g package best suited to trial orders and a 1 kilogram package for full printing jobs.
It comes in 1.75mm, boasts tolerances of +/-0.04mm, a printing temperature of between 190 and 240°C , comes in a spool size 150mm diameter, 51mm hub, and 41mm height and features excellent heat conductivity.
RepRapper says it solidifies quickly, though it does require supporting material. It’s compatible with MakerBot, UP, Afinia, and Solidoodle 3D printers without a lock key.
Can you think of a project which would benefit from being printed in this new RepRapper Aluminum PLA? If you plan to use it, please send us a photo of how it turned out in the RepRapper Aluminum PLA forum thread on 3DPB.com.