New bio-3D printing filament is four times tougher than PLA
July 2, 2015
A new bioplastic 3D printing filament, Floreon3D, which is four times tougher than conventional polylactic acid (PLA) has been developed by Floreon, an innovative UK bioplastics company. The new filament uses a novel polyester-based polymer blend with a standard PLA, which is not only tougher than PLA, but also combines better processing with a smoother printing experience.
While conventional PLA has a lower carbon footprint and non-renewable energy usage than any mineral-based thermoplastic, when used in 3D printing filaments it is renowned for its poor toughness. While it delivers clean low temperature printing it has limited performance, and some strand breaks have been reported with lower quality PLA filaments.
Floreon3D addresses the need for a sustainable 3D printing filament that matches the performance of conventional filaments – but without the unpleasant smell during processing. It is tough, flexible, and gives an excellent matt finish, which improves the appearance and durability of finished items and keeps the printer nozzles clean.
Floreon has been working with 3D printing bloggers and printer makers to perfect the final product. Watch a quick 3D printing video
As the use of 3D printing accelerates in applications such as prototyping, proof of concept and production of customised products users demand robust output with high quality and fine detail. At the same time, as its uptake in schools, business and the home takes off, environmentalists are keen to make sure 3D printing goes green.
Key features of Floreon3D
- Consistent filament diameter
- Fewer breakages than PLA
- No nozzle clogging – less machine downtime and less waste
- Low smell during processing
- Tough, flexible and strong
- Excellent matt finish
- 6 colours, which stay as vibrant as on the spool
Dr Andrew Gill, Floreon Technical Director, explained the advantages of Floreon3D. “We wanted to offer a high quality 3D printing filament that is far better than conventional PLA. It has taken us five years but I’m pleased to say all the hard work has paid off and we have found the resulting product gives a smooth printing experience with excellent interlayer adhesion and is less likely to break than conventional PLA. In addition it is four times stronger and, with an excellent matt finish, the items it produces look very professional. All this is achieved without compromising the attractive aspects of PLA such as low odour and low print temperatures compared to other popular plastics used in 3D printing.
Bill Stringer, Floreon Commercial Director, confirmed the availability of Floreon3D. “We have begun to produce Floreon3D in commercial quantities and I am delighted to say that it is now available for end users to purchase on Amazon. Currently available in 1.75mm diameter in 6 colours - red, blue, yellow, black, white and of course green - we will be working to extend the range of products over the coming year.” However Floreon's ambitions do not end there as Mr Stringer explained. “Now that we have moved into production, we are working to form partnerships with printer manufacturers, to make Floreon3D their recommended high performance, environmentally friendly 3D printing filament, and with distributors and filament producers to incorporate Floreon resin into their products.”
UK based Floreon has invented a novel bioplastic technology that boosts the performance of standard PLA. Not only does Floreon have better toughness, higher strength and durability but also it is recyclable and biodegradable and requires far less energy to process compared to rival products. The company has built up strong research partnerships with Sheffield, Bradford and Hull Universities and plans to develop a range of exciting new products with lower environmental impact than existing alternatives. http://floreon.com