A1 Filament discusses aspirations following Kickstarter launch

We asked A1 Filament’s Bennett Little about the company’s plans for the future having launched its kickstarter for superior 3D printing filaments. The North American materials company gives more details about their 6 year journey to make a better 3D printing filament and how the company intend to scale up production.

You can back the A1 Filament Kickstarter here.

You refer to a large factory in your video. Do you really have a 90,000 sq. ft. building and, if so, why do you need such a big building? 

We most certainly do and I invite anyone to look on our web-site, where we have actually posted pictures. Certainly, we do not intend to operate in the full area in the beginning but, given the huge advances in the viability of 3D printing represented by the quality of our products, plus the huge benefit of our BIO+ vis-à-vis its compostability vs all others that are only bio-degradable, we hope and expect to be very quickly in a position to be utilizing the full space.

A1 FIlament's proposed site. Image via A1 FIlament on Kickstarter.
A1 Filament’s proposed site, real signs coming soon! Image via A1 FIlament on Kickstarter.

What makes A1 Filament’s ABS & PLA materials “superior” to current products on the market?

Believe it or not, that’s actually very easy to explain (what isn’t so easy to explain is how we make them that way which, for obvious reasons, I cannot reveal). So let me briefly explain – first of all, there is the huge issue of median deviation in posted diameters.

Diameter deviation

Simply put, filaments deviate from stated diameter – unfortunately for the user, the deviations are currently not controlled by manufacturers during production with the result that substantial variances frequently occur which in turn result in the user encountering clogged nozzles and blotched printing. No end user wants that or can accept that.

Fortunately, after 6 years of effort, we have, through a combination of proprietary software and hardware, determined how to prevent extreme variances in diameters and can thus assure the user of a constant smooth flow of filament – no more stoppages and no more blotches!

Smoother prints

Secondly, the controlled consistency and constancy of our filaments result in a far smoother and professional-looking printed product and eliminate completely the current market experiences of DD (dimension deterioration) in jobs requiring multiple prints of the same item.

Consistent color

Finally, as a fortunate offshoot of our research into diameter deviation, we also discovered how to maintain exact color constancy without any deviation in Pantone shade. You will note that in our site we took the unprecedented step in the 3D market of stating our exact Pantone shade reference of each color – order it today, order it next year, or order it 10 years from now, the color shade will be exactly the same – that means that professionals can plan on sales presentations without embarrassing deviations of colors; it means that artists can rely on accurate presentation of their visions.

Spool of A1 Filament.
Spool of A1 Filament.

You keep referring to“bio-compostable” but not “biodegradable,” why is that?

That is a key question – people are using the 2 words interchangeably, some because they don’t know the difference and others because they want to mislead those who don’t know. Putting it simply, everything degrades over time, even steel and radioactive waste – but consider the increasing popularity of 3D and the fact that, within only a few years more, every child in primary grades worldwide will be making multiple models a year. This will result in tens of thousands of tons of additional plastic waste every year!

Dumps everywhere are getting increasingly choked already, without this added factor – there is already a sea of plastic waste floating in the Pacific. Anyone can see that currently plastic isn’t observably degrading, much less composting. Our BIO+ filament is designed to be bio-compostable – as our video shows, bury it and, in about a year, it’s all gone!

The range of colors offered. Photo via A1 Filament.
The range of colors offered. Photo via A1 Filament.

On the promise of shares in the company for every $250 of support, what made you do that?

It’s a very good question with a very simple answer – just like we stated in the video, “it’s going to be a great ride”. We think that this industry is going to boom and our company along with it and we want to share the excitement and the results with those who believed in us from the outset and enabled us to fulfill our dreams and their expectations. Let’s face it, at the end of the day all those great gifts that we’re offering are going to be used and eventually superseded in the supporter’s viewspace by something else – but a share, well that lasts.

You can back the A1 Filament Kickstarter here.

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Featured image shows A1 Filament’s planned factory base. Image via A1 Filament on Kickstarter.