When it comes to 3D printing, there’s a lot of focus on new printer models, or on new applications for the technology as a whole, such as creating 3D printed bones. There’s less focus on another no less vital area, though – filament.
All the printing technology in the world won’t help you if you don’t have the right material. And, while there have been advancements in filament technology and formulation, there’s still room for improvement.
That’s the onus behind the recent optimization of the n-vent filament.
What You Should Know
First, there are several well-known names involved in the optimization process here. They include taulman3D, Eastman and LulzBot.
The filament is n-vent, a new option designed to work with Aleph Object’s LulzBot printers. What does the new filament offer and how has it been optimized?
N-vent relies on Eastman’s Amphora™ 3D polymer, and it offers “a seamless combination of toughness, ease of processing and smooth printability.”
According to Eastman Chemical Company, “Collaborations like the one between taulman3D and Aleph Objects are why Eastman is involved in the 3D printing market. These two companies are key leaders in the market from a hardware and filament perspective, and collaborating with them allows us to bring Eastman Amphora™ to a broader audience in the right way.”
Including Amphora in the mix allows the filament to be used for creating a broad range of items, including those designed for aesthetic appeal, rather than being limited to strictly functional items. However, it also delivers strength, resilience and low odor, which makes it an ideal option for prototyping operations, as well as in advanced product design, development and manufacturing.
Because of its high heat resistance and low shrinkage, n-vent slots in between ABS and PLA on the market, giving everyone one involved, from business owners to hobbyists, a new solution or creating the highest quality prints possible.
“Eastman provides quality materials and their technical and engineering expertise round out a set of features that is ideal for 3D printing material development,” said the owner of taulman3D. “Because of trends in smaller designs, we’re expecting an increase in multipart designs that need to fit together properly.
The reduced shrinkage of this material, along with its bonding abilities, will ensure multipart designs accomplish the desired goal.”
For those excited to get their hands on the new filament, you’ll have to wait a bit. It is slated for full market release sometime during the summer of 2015. It is being showcased at the RAPID event at the end of May, though.
Pricing has yet to be announced, but hopefully it will be priced similarly to most ABS and PLA filaments.