Materials

Kickstarter for Cx5: the filament you can sculpt

Adam Beane, renowned master sculptor known for his highly realistic portraits and dynamic poses is revolutionizing 3D printing in a way that will help other fine artists, vfx studios, special make-up effects artists; basically anyone who does extensive fiddly post-processing of their builds. The new filament, Cx5, is a sculptable one for 3D printers, and needs your help on Kickstarter to reach their $75,000 goal to get on the market. They are currently (as of the 12th of Aug) at around 40% of their goal. We covered this early in the year, but now the filament is becoming a reality. This is amazing news guys.

Cx5
From print to sculpt: amazing detail you can create with your hands. Image: Adam Beane

One of the only downsides to 3D printing is the post-processing. Sanding down the edges, trying to manipulate hardened plastic, and smoothing the surfaces takes time, and can also include processes that can be quite toxic. Solvents, epoxy coatings and other methods can be harmful if incorrectly used or used often. Adam Beane wants to change that with Cx5. Imagine you could easily sculpt changes to your object after you’ve printed it, much like you would make in-software changes prior to starting the process.

 

Cx5 filament
Cx5 filament roll. Image: Adam Beane

How does it work?

Cx5 is a temperature sensitive material, so with enough warmth it will be as malleable as clay. When cool it is as hard as plastic. Since it is a sculpting material and not a plastic, it prints at a lower temperature than PLA. It can be used on any FFF printer that you can adjust the temperature on. Once printed, a number of tools can be used to work the materials.

Cx5
Image: Adam Beane

 

Cx5
Add incredible detail printers can’t achieve. Image: Adam Beane

An added bonus is that it doesn’t succumb to the pitfalls of printing with plastic filaments.

  • it won’t have warping issues on the print bed, because it is printing at a lower temperature with next to no shrinkage
  • It does not need a heated bed or any kind of glue or other adhesion tricks. Cx5 adheres well to acrylic, glass or metal build plates, as well as to build plates covered in blue tape or Kapton tape.
  • It won’t absorb moisture, meaning you won’t have to keep it in an airtight container to keep it from going bad, like most sculptable materials.
Cx5
Image: Adam Beane

Artists from all industries are already praising the filament, as being able to instantly add detail to their prints is an incredible asset to their creative process.

“Having the material that comes out of the FDM printer be easily toolable makes an enormous difference. Whether you’re making little pieces or you’re making big stuff, the fact that you can sand a piece or add a little bit to it without having to mix chemicals and coat it and do all that stuff, that cuts out a ton of steps; you don’t have to mold it and recast it and then sand it and all these expensive steps… you can just retool that [Cx5] and mold it once.” said Frank Ippolito from Tested.com.

As an artist I appreciate the tactile nature of making something with your hands, but the ease of 3D printing an object is also fantastic. Combining these two things is a dream come true. Starting the creative process with a fully realized 3D printed model, using all the advantages the software has to offer in terms of sizing, symmetry etc and then being able to add incredible amounts of detail? Sign me up right now.

“To be able to pour your heart into the computer and then be able to print and pour your heart back into the clay… to bring your signature, your life to it, this is a game changer. This is an amazng moment for us sculptors.” said Ryan Kingslien, fine artist and first project manager for ZBrush.

Please head to the Kickstarter page and help them reach the $75,000 goal, contribute to make this incredible filament available to everyone. The online store has also been recently updated, and has Cx5 bars available for purchase.

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