We got a closer look at ProtoPasta’s unusual filaments at CES.
The small Vancouver, Washington-based company has been producing high-quality speciality 3D printer filaments. They’re driven by user needs, so their close association with personal 3D printer operators has provided them with the knowledge to proceed developing a rather unique set of filament offerings.
One very interesting filament is their Carbon-Fiber product. In the image at top, we see a large partial print of a gnome of some kind. What shocked us was the incredible strength of this printed object. The carbon-fiber is startlingly strong.
They’ve also developed a conductive filament, which can be used to print electrical traces. If you happen to have a dual extruder machine, one extruder can print the body of a model, while the second extruder can embed electrical traces (wiring, essentially) within the model’s body. As you can see here, this is a near-complete component that requires only electronic chips.
The company says they endeavor to ensure all their products are entirely non-toxic, which is something not all filament manufacturers can claim.
Quality control is managed by laser measurements performed as the filament is extruded at their plant, with a special wheel mechanism to log the diameter continuously.
Can you use these filaments? More than likely you can, as ProtoPasta ensures all of their filaments can be printed at PLA-level temperatures. However, you may need a heated build plate to reduce warping of some materials. There’s one exception, though: their flexible filament does require different temperatures.
If you have an interest in trying out unusual 3D print materials, you may want to check out ProtoPasta’s offerings.