As Makers keep searching and tweaking the perfect 3D printing environment, one primary concern that pops up on a recurring basis how to make 3D printing more environmentally friendly. After all, these machines work by burning plastic. Without proper ventilation, the fumes can be harmful over time. Manufacturing PLA and ABS isn’t exactly an ideal operation for reducing the global carbon footprint. In steps 3D Fuel, who have recently released two interesting new filaments. While their new high heat grade advanced PLA filament seeks to shift the industry away from petroleum, the other, called Algae-Fuel, is an algae infused filament with the environment in mind.
The goal of the High Heat PLA is to create less expensive filament with the material properties of an ABS filament, which include higher print detail and resolution, good first layer adhesion and adhesion between layers, and reduced warping, curling, and failed prints. Unlike ABS, however, the PLA does not give off the same toxic odor.
And, for a more sustainable option, the Algae-Fuel filament shows promise because it is a combination of PLA (the lesser of two evils when it comes to ABS vs PLA) and wild harvested algae. But, why an algae-based filament? Algae has high protein levels, which supposedly helps it replicate the structural properties of conventional plastic. Perhaps substituting algae for other more harmful ingredients generally used in the manufacturing of bioplastic helps reduce the use of farmland, which produces crops like corn, and is required in the production of bioplastics like PLA. To create both the High Heat PLA and Algae-Fuel, 3D Fuel partnered with Solaplast, the bioplastics division of clean tech company ALGIX.
”We are extremely excited to be bringing these revolutionary new filaments to the 3D printing market,” said Matt Stegall, a Co-founder of 3D Fuel. “We believe that these products can truly disrupt the filament market and greatly increase the adoption of more sustainable filaments because the user doesn’t have to compromise on performance or quality.”
Ryan Hunt, COO of 3D Fuel said, “3D Fuel is in a great position within the 3D filament market because we are able to rapidly innovate and take ideas to end products in a short period of time. By being vertically integrated under one roof with Solaplast, we have in house: polymer science expertise, biomass processing, bioplastics compounding, filament extrusion, a quality control and 3D printing test lab, logistics and many strategic partnerships. This enables us to ensure high quality and consistent products for our customers.”
“There is often the thought that more sustainable plastics will not perform as well as traditional petroleum-based plastics. As more and more 3D printers try 3D Fuel products, that myth will be debunked,” according to Barbara Zeller, Marketing and Communications Manager of ALGIX and 3D Fuel.
Mike Van Drunen, CEO of 3D Fuel, adds, “This is our mission at 3D Fuel, to provide the highest quality materials to our customers. We want to help them fuel their creativity today, without compromising our needs of tomorrow.”
If you are interested in placing bulk orders or becoming a distributor for 3D Fuel, call 657-3DFUEL1 (657-333-8351) for more information. Also, check out this contest to win filament: