Archive for the ‘3D Printer Filament’ Category

ninjaflex-semiflex-3d-filament-colors

Fenner Drives, the maker of NinjaFlex a flexible 3D printer filament has announced a new variant of the NinjaFlex family, the SemiFlex 3D printer filament. Like the original NinjaFlex 3D Filament, SemiFlex material boasts flexibility, strength and reliability for your 3D printing projects, and is slightly more rigid to expand your printing possibilities. For the moment the new SemiFlex 3D printer filament is available in just 4 colors: Black, White, Blue and Red with the spool price for the standard more flexible NinjaFlex and the less flexible SemiFlex filaments being the same.

The new SemiFlex 3D filament features a consistent diameter and material properties providing reliable, high quality prints like the original NinjaFlex. It uses a patent pending technology for smooth feeding with a low friction exterior that allows smooth feed through filament guides. The filament provides high elasticity and excellent abrasion resistance, excellent build platform adhesion and bonding between layers and comes with a filament hardness of approximately 98A (50D) for SemiFlex as opposed to 85A for the NinjaFlex. The new SemiFlex 3D filament is available in both 1.75mm filament spool 0.50 kg weight and 3.00mm filament spool with a weight of 0.75 kg.

ninjaflex-comparison-chart

SemiFlex is best for the following types of projects:
– High level of detail
– Contain intricate parts
– High resolution text
– Unsupported vertical printing
– Shock-absorption needed
– Requires less flexibility than NinjaFlex Original 3D Filament

The SemiFlex 3D Filament Processing Guidelines recommend extruder temperature of between 210-225°C with no heated bed required for printing, though if you have and use one you might want to keep the temperature below 50°C. The recommended Print Speed is 30 mm/s, just like for printing with the original NinjaFlex filament, so prints using this material might require more time than what you would need as compared to when using standard PLA filament for example.

makerbot-composite-pla-filaments

MakerBot has announced that they are going to be releasing multiple new PLA-based composite filaments are made with composites of real Metal, Stone and Wood that should provide beautiful, realistic looking results from your 3D prints. Apparently MakerBot has designed these new materials for 3D printing on their fifth-generation MakerBot Replicator 3D printers that use the new easily swappable Smart Extruder. The company says that it is developing new smart extruders designed especially for the new composite PLA materials, though we expect that the new 3D printer filaments will be compatible with other 3D printers and standard extruders as well.

The new filaments are going to be grouped in the three main categories of Metal, Stone and Wood, but there are going to be multiple options for different materials in each of these categories apparently. The MakerBot PLA Composite Filaments that are being shown on CES 2015 include Bronze, Iron, Limestone and Maple. The new 3D printing materials are designed to provide the look and feel of metal, stone and wood materials while they should remain easy to be used as standard PLA filament is. The new MakerBot PLA Composite Filaments are supposed to be available in Late 2015 according to the company’s website and there is still no information about the expected prices.

Meanwhile there are already similar materials available from other companies that are designed to be compatible with various 3D printers, especially wood and stone-like with metal ones also soon to be available from various filament manufacturers. So if MakerBot ends up with Late 2015 availability, high prices and compatibility with only their Smart Extruder-based 3D printers things may not be that great for them. Especially if their composite PLA filaments are not significantly better that what is already available or is going to be available soon and if you have to buy a special version of the Smart Extruder for your MakerBot 3D printer to be able to use a specific filament.

polymakr-polymax-pla-3d-filament

The Polymakr PolyMax PLA 3D printing filament is an interesting alternative to standard PLA filaments that offers some features that are similar to ABS while remaining as easy to print with as traditional PLA. The most significant advantage that the PolyMax PLA 3D printing filament has according to the makers of the filament is that it has mechanical properties similar to ABS – high toughness and strength with the impact strength of parts printed using PolyMax PLA is supposed to be 8-9 times that of regular PLA-printed parts and 20% higher than ABS-printed parts. So if you are not able to use ABS on your 3D printer, but need to print parts that will be similar in strength to ABS you might want to try put PolyMax PLA. This PLA filament does not require a heated build platform, but can work with one as well, it is designed to be printed with setting similar as of normal PLA filament. The recommended printing temperature range is 190-230 degrees Celsius and printing speed of 60-90 mm/s, or at least these are the numbers written on the short 15m PolyMax PLA filament sample. The official website does have a slightly larger range than these, but we tested using the numbers printed on the label of the filament we’ve got as a part of our order.

polymakr-polymax-pla-3d-filament-test

We have tested the Polymakr PolyMax PLA filament on our MakerBot Replicator 2 3D printer using 90 mm/s extrusion speed and printing temperature of 190, 200, 210, 220 and 230 degrees Celsius to see the difference in the resulting print quality. We had no trouble having the PolyMax PLA 3D filament sticking to the build plate covered with 3M ScotchBlue painters tape, we have not observed any warping of the printed parts and the print quality was very good. You can see from the sample prints that lower temperatures around 200 degrees Celsius we are getting smoother prints and as we increase the temperature up to 230 the print surface gets a rougher look, though the print quality remains good and there are no problems with layer adhesion at higher or lower temperatures. If using a heated build platform lower printing temperatures are recommended, but since we do not have a device with heated build plate we cannot test that. Our overall experience with the Polymakr PolyMax PLA 3D printing filament is very good and it really offers better mechanical properties than standard PLA. It is easy to work with and the resulting quality is good, so it might be a really good alternative in some cases to ABS. Do note however that the thermal stability of the PolyMax PLA filament is similar to that of normal PLA, although it is probably slightly higher, but not close to what ABS offers, so not a complete replacement of ABS if you are going to be exposing the PolyMax PLA printed parts to higher temperatures of about 60-70 degrees Celsius or more.


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