There’s really no shortage of 3D printing filaments out there, from conventional options like PLA to less conventional ones like real wood.
What there is a shortage of, though, is affordable filament types that combine high quality with a low price point.
Netherlands-based Cyrus might just have an answer to that – a new 3D printer filament with a lower price point than other options, but doesn’t sacrifice quality in the name of affordability.
A Look At Cyrus’ Cheaper Filament
First, understand that Cyrus’ new filament isn’t technically a new material – it will be sold in both ABS and PLA varieties.
It will also be available in 25 different colors, running the gamut from red, to neon green, to purple, and everything in between.
Currently, the company will only offer 1.75 mm filament, but plans to expand their lineup to include 3 mm down the road.
According to Cyrus, the filament tolerance is comparable to Colorfabb, at 0.05 mm, which is the most important breakthrough here. Cheap 3D printer filament generally has a much higher tolerance, on the order of 0.1 mm to 0.25 mm.
The lower tolerance is a key consideration in creating higher resolution 3D prints. Higher resistances generally result in low resolution designs that just don’t have the right aesthetics.
While likely fine for prototyping and situations where a polished, cohesive appearance isn’t needed, it’s problematic in any situation where 3D printing is needed to create a finished product.
The company experimented with a wide range of commercially available 3D printer filaments and noticed a distinct trend. The lower the price, the lower the quality and the higher the resistance.
The higher the quality and lower the resistance, the higher the price climbed. They specifically designed the new line of filaments to be high performance and capable of producing very high resolution pieces, but at a price point that’s feasible for even small operations and individual printers.
Cyrus’ Aim With Their New Affordable Filament
While Cyrus might be best known for their 3D printers, the company’s goal with the new filament line is to create “open spool technology” that can be utilized by anyone in the industry, whether they’re using a Cyrus printer or one of the many other options.
Customers will find the new filament available in basic colors, but there are also glow in the dark options, as well as PVA and flexible formats available at a slightly higher price point (due to the additional labor and costs involved with manufacturing).
The company is also experimenting with materials other than plastic for 3D printing filaments, including PEEK and Teflon to name just two.
Overall, this is not only an exciting development for business owners, schools, entrepreneurs and others unable to afford high-priced, low-resistance filament, but it’s an exciting thing for the industry as a whole.
With most filament developers focusing solely on plastics in the last few years, innovation in other materials has been lacking. The company’s drive to create all-new filament types is one that should be lauded and held as an example of what to do as an innovative business.