A Kickstarter project hopes to launch not one, but three new filaments with properties we’ve never seen before.
Polymakr hopes to make a big splash in the generic filament market by producing filaments that seem to overcome the negative properties in existing plastics.
While PLA has become a very popular material due to its excellent warp resistance, eco-friendly origin, beautiful colors and delicious aroma, it has a fault that prevents its use in some applications: it’s just not very strong. PLA is a brittle substance that easily cracks under stress. While you could print mechanical gears in PLA, but they won’t last very long in a machine.
Enter Polymakr’s new PolyMax PLA, a “Completely re-engineered PLA with superb mechanical strength”. Polymakr claims it has eight (8!) times the impact strength of normal PLA. It’s apparently stronger than ABS by 20%!
Otherwise PolyMax PLA operates in the same manner as regular PLA, so you can theoretically use it in any 3D printer capable of accepting generic filament. No warping!
The second filament is PolyFlex, a (yes) flexible filament. This product is said to have vastly increased reliability and consistency over different machines, unlike current flexible filament that typically works only on single machines. Polymakr has extensively tested PolyFlex on numerous machines. They’ve also engineered the material to print at reasonable speed and require no heated build plate.
There’s more. The third filament is PolyWood, a “wood-like printing material”. While other wood filaments simply include wood powder in a binder, PolyWood prints in a foam-like microstructure, yielding a print with similar feel to real wood. The surface is rough - like wood. Surprisingly, there are NO actual wood particles in this filament. The “wood feel” is derived solely from the foam-like extrusion.
Polymakr’s project offers a variety of filament combinations for purchase, ranging from USD$24 for one pound of PLA to USD$280 for 10 spools of PolyMax to USD$350 for 10 spools of PolyWood or PolyFlex. That’s USD$28 per pound for some pretty amazing PLA!