No, you can’t drink the new Aromatic Coffee PLA, but after printing a few 3D models you may want to pour yourself a cup. 3D printing materials manufacturer Proto-pasta has just released a brand new formulation of their next generation high temperature PLA filament that is for some reason scented with coffee. The new filament formulation is virtually odorless, so they figured why not make it smell like coffee. Just go with it, there is no sense to be made here. Humorously, Proto-pasta’s isn’t the first filament that smells like coffee, although at least there is a reason for 3Dom’s to be coffee scented.
The Aromatic Coffee PLA filament is the the first composite material based on their new High Temp PLA formulation that Proto-pasta says has better thermal performance than standard ABS. In addition to the eye-opening smell, anything printed with Coffee PLA will end up with a pearlescent, translucent bronze coloring. The color will then become a deeper brown and more wood-like if it is annealed after printing. And presumably the print will continue to smell like coffee while it is being heated.
“We drink plenty of caffeine as we push as hard as we can to bring you new Proto-pasta materials. After all, it’s a Northwest tradition and caffeine fuels innovation, right? We took that statement literally! You can’t imagine how amazing it is to print with the invigorating aroma of coffee.” gushed the clearly overly caffeinated filament manufacturers.
Here is a brief video of the brainstorming session that resulted in coffee scented filament:
As with all of their high temperature PLA materials the Aromatic Coffee PLA requires no heated bed to print, unlike ABS materials. However they do suggest that anyone printing with it use standard bed preparation, including blue painters tape, a glue stick, or BuildTak. Additionally the material contains no abrasive fillers of any kind, so users don’t need to be worried about any excessive wear on standard 3D printing nozzles.
When you anneal a material like Coffee PLA or Proto-pasta’s other high temperature PLA materials it means that the plastic will continue to harden when exposed to low but consistent heat. Annealing will cause any objects 3D printed from the Coffee PLA to temper, making it significantly less brittle and extremely tough. If done correctly, annealed parts will be resistant to warping, and maintain its original shape and structure. However it may slightly shrink, so Proto-pasta suggests that any critically-sized prints be scaled up slightly by about 2 to 2.5% to make sure it will still fit any adjoining parts.
Proto-pasta recommends that when annealing any Coffee PLA parts that you leave the final prints in a 110C (230F) oven for about thirty minutes. The prints will change from a translucent coloring to a more noticeably opaque color. Any support or rafting materials should be left on the model while in the oven, and the prints should be placed on a heat-stable, non-radiating material like ceramic or glass. Once the material has turned opaque, turn the oven off and allow the print to cool inside of the oven in order to reduce any potential distortion.
As with standard PLA prints, Coffee PLA has a potential Heat Deflection Temperature (HDT) as high as 140C (285F) depending on the method used for post-processing, so users won’t need to worry about any warping if it is exposed to a little sun or on an especially hot day. The Coffee PLA filament is available in either 1.75mm or 2.85mm diameter spools. It is available only for a limited time, in limited quantities, and the kit will include one 500g spool of coffee PLA, a branded mug, and sticker for $35.00.
You can check out all of the great, high quality materials offered by Proto-pasta on their website, including Stainless Steel, Magnetic Iron, Conductive and, Carbon Fiber PLA materials as well as PC-ABS Alloy. And let us know what you think of coffee scented 3d printing materials over on our Proto-pasta’s Aromatic Coffee PLA forum at 3DPB.com.