UK 3D printing filament brand, Filamentive, launched the new PLA Tough filament – an industrial-grade material offering the impact strength of ABS, whilst retaining the sustainability and printability of PLA.
“Whilst ABS and other engineering-grade polymers certainly have their place within 3D printing, the launch of PLA Tough meets the demand for an industrial-grade material that is easy to 3D-print but also bio-based – enabling industrial 3D printing to be more sustainable, without compromising performance,” said Ravi Toor, Founder & Managing Director of Filamentive.
According to a recent report from BASF-owned 3D printing service provider Sculpteo, 72% of users named strength as the most important material property, clearly showing that 3D printing is moving beyond prototyping, as the technology is increasingly used for the production of manufacturing aids such as tooling, as well as end-use parts. When asked what the 3D printing industry needs to grow, 47% of users said sustainable materials/technologies – demonstrating increasing awareness of environmental impact.
Meeting the market demand for both strength and sustainability, PLA Tough filament has been specially formulated to provide impact resistance akin to ABS, whilst retaining the printability and sustainability of the bio-based PLA.
According to Filamentive, PLA Tough exhibits superior Charpy Impact (Kj/m2) – a high strain-rate test as per ISO 179 – versus other strong PLA / PLA+ / PLA filaments on the market. In real terms, PLA Tough offers more than 750% impact resistance than regular PLA (29.8 kJ/m² versus 3.4 kJ/m²).
To reduce environmental impact, all materials sold are spooled onto 100% recyclable cardboard reels, reducing waste and eliminating hard-to-recycle plastic reels. Furthermore, PLA Tough is inherently more hard-wearing and resistant than conventional PLA, enabling long-term applications – extending product life cycles and thus reducing the associated material input, energy use and wastage. Carbon offset is another sustainability initiative – Filamentive’s partnership with Ecologi ensures carbon emissions arising from production, transport and employee activity are now offset.
Beyond tooling and manufacturing aids, Filamentive foresees PLA Tough disrupting 3D printing applications such as jigs/fixtures, functional prototypes and end-use parts – replacing oil-based polymers with a bio-based alternative. As of launch, PLA Tough is available in 5 colors: black, white, grey, blue, red – in both 1.75mm and 2.85mm diameter (1 kg and 750 g reel weights, respectively).