3D Printing FilamentsMaterialsThermoplastic Polymers

Fortis3D brings to market 3D printing filaments with enhanced properties

The Canadian company develops filament formulas in-house

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It takes something special to stand out in the busy world of 3D printing filament developers and suppliers these days, so it says a lot that Fortis3D has managed to. The Canadian startup, based out of Brantford in Southwest Ontario, develops high-quality filament formulations for the hobbyist, consumer, automotive and appliance markets.

Run by a small but dedicated team of polymer engineering specialists, Fortis3D is progressing on its mission to improve the quality and performance of thermoplastic 3D printing materials. In fact, quality is the guiding principle for the company: not only is Fortis3D developing new filament formulations with enhanced properties, it also has a stringent quality control system in place to ensure that every single spool it ships meets and even exceeds standards.

As the company states on its website: “Our manufacturing facility is GMP [Good Manufacturing Practice] certified and registered under the ISO 9001:2015 standard which ensures industry leading level of consistency in diameter, ovality and colors batch to batch.”

The Fortis3D portfolio

The filament maker currently has eight materials in its portfolio, which is divided into three subcategories: Essential, Advanced and Industrial. In its Essential line, which is ideal for hobbyist use and for functional prototypes, you’ll find a good selection of PLA-based filaments, including BioDuro PLA, a food-safe biomaterial with enhanced properties; BioDuro Metallic PLA, which is characterized by an eye-catching metallic finish; Pilates PLA, a soft touch filament with rubberlike properties; and Lignum PLA, which is composed of 25% recycled pine wood fibers for a wood-like finish.

Fortis3D

In the Advanced category are three high-strength filaments suitable for functional applications. They are: SnapPrint PA, a low-warp Nylon copolymer characterized by high strength and elasticity; Ignis PLA, a temperature resistant PLA formula; and SnapPrint PP, a lightweight and chemical resistant polypropylene. Last but not least, is the Industrial filament, Nylon 6, a highly ductile and strong PA6 suitable for applications in the electronics, appliance and automotive sectors.

We should add that there are eight filaments available—for now. Fortis3D is continually developing and working on new materials to expand its range and meet the needs of various industries and applications.

To better understand how Fortis3D’s materials measure up to other filaments on the market, we’re taking a closeup look at two of its filaments, BioDuro PLA and SnapPrint PA. Fortis3D conducted a number of competitive analyses, which demonstrate how their filaments compare to other filament brands.

BioDuro PLA delivers on toughness

First, let’s look at BioDuro PLA. From the company’s Essential range, BioDuro PLA combines PLA’s main characteristics—like good printability and mechanical strength—with heightened toughness. Manufactured in a GMP certified facility, the filament is also FDA approved for food contact and has been engineered for UV resistance.

The PLA filament differs from other PLA, PLA+ and Tough PLA filaments on the market in a couple of key ways. For one, while most PLA filaments are made using neat resin, Fortis3D has developed a proprietary compound for its BioDuro PLA. This formulation increases toughness and flexibility. “It has the best balance between toughness and strength, along with one of the highest elongation at break on the market,” the company says.

Fortis3D filament

BioDuro PLA does have a lower tensile strength than other premium PLAs, but as Fortis3D adds, it makes up for this dip in toughness. Specifically, BioDuro PLA has 10% lower tensile strength but nearly triple the elongation. By comparison, other premium PLA filaments the company tested demonstrated a high tensile strength but low elongation, resulting in brittle 3D printed parts.

Like most filaments, BioDuro PLA’s real potential is unlocked with the right print parameters. Fortis3D has found that the best toughness and elongation could be achieved when printing at an elevated temperature higher than 240°C. In a sample component printed with a nozzle temperature of 250°C, the material demonstrated the ability to stretch over 20 times more than competing filaments before breaking.

Fortis3D’s BioDuro PLA filament comes in a wide variety of colors and is available in 1 kg spools for $35.

SnapPrint PA reduces risk of warping

Next up is SnapPrint PA, Fortis3D’s nylon copolymer with high strength and elasticity. The material, which is suitable for a range of tooling and functional applications, such as gears and bearings, is also known for its resistance to warping on the print bed. Like many of Fortis3D’s other filaments, SnapPrint PA is FDA approved for food contact and has good UV resistance.

In comparing SnapPrint PA to other nylon filaments, Fortis3D puts a particular emphasis on the filament’s excellent strength and ductility. In fact, the company asserts that its nylon has “the best balance between strength and ductility,” while still maintaining good printability. Other nylon filaments, by contrast, either demonstrated higher tensile strengths at yield and significantly lower tensile strengths at break (as well as lower elongation at break), or significantly lower tensile strength and yield and higher elongation at break.

Fortis3D SnapPrint PA

SnapPrint PA struck the best balance with 49.5 Mpa for tensile strength at yield, 41.1 Mpa for tensile strength at break and 275% elongation at break. In other words, the Fortis3D test print not only maintains its strength better before breaking, it also takes longer to break. We can take a closer look at the comparison in the table below.

SnapPrint PA

Competitor Nylon 1

Competitor Nylon 2

Competitor Nylon 3

Tensile Strength at Yield (Mpa)

49.5

51

45

52

Tensile Strength at Break (Mpa)

41.1

31

33

29.4

Elongation at Break (%)

275

78

200

140

*Sample parts 3D printed on Raise3D Pro 2 Plus at 270°C with 100% infill, rectilinear, 2 shells, 0.2mm layer height.

In addition to its good strength and ductility, SnapPrint PA demonstrates a low coefficient of friction and high wear resistance, as well as a HDT/B rating of 125°C. SnapPrint PA is available in natural and black colors for $55 per 0.75 kg spool. Ultimately, the material and the other filaments in the SnapPrint series were developed with the goal of improving the printability of traditionally hard-to-print materials.

Fortis3D now serving US and Canadian markets

At present, Fortis3D’s advanced thermoplastic filaments are available to customers across the United States and Canada—though special requests can be made for large international orders. With a view to international growth, Fortis3D is looking to partner with resellers in North America and Europe who can bring its unique filaments to more customers. The company also offers custom color services for substantial filament orders.

Again, this is just the beginning for Fortis3D. The young company was founded in 2020 and has already made an impact with its unique, proprietary compounds. Be sure to watch this space and follow the company for additional filament formulations.

This article was published in collaboration with:

Research 2022
Polymer AM Market Opportunities and Trends

741 unique polymer AM companies individually surveyed and studied. Core polymer AM market generated $4.6 billion...

Tess Boissonneault

Tess Boissonneault is a Montreal-based content writer and editor with five years of experience covering the additive manufacturing world. She has a particular interest in amplifying the voices of women working within the industry and is an avid follower of the ever-evolving AM sector. Tess holds a master's degree in Media Studies from the University of Amsterdam.

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