We noticed several rather unusual 3D printing filaments are now available for you to try out.
M3D offers what they call “Chameleon Filament”. Why so? Because it actually changes color! They offer several different Chameleon filaments:
- Blue 15C
- Rose Red 30C
- Green 30C
- Orange 45C
The number indicates the color-changing property:
- 15C changes to blue when its temperature is less than 15C (59F) (However, they say it can become permanently white if exposed to UV light – so don’t put these prints outside!
- 30C changes to black when colder than 30C (86F)
- 45C changes to white when warmer than 45C (113F)
These color-changing filaments could provoke some very interesting models. Imagine a dual extruder able to insert some of this filament into an object – you’d have temperature-sensitive sections, which could be buttons, touch detectors or temperature warning indicators.
Another unusual pair of filaments is now provided by ProtoPasta: Stainless Steel PLA & Magnetic Iron PLA. The stainless steel filament can be polished to a shiny finish, or as they explain, “left unfinished for a cast metal appearance”.
Their Magnetic Iron PLA is truly magnetic when printed, but that’s not all. The iron can oxidize, producing a rusty surface. Thus, this filament offers two unusual properties.
We’re most intrigued with the magnetic property, however. A dual extruder setup could enable printing doors with magnetic clamps to hold them closed. Small amounts of magnetic material could enable easy assembly of multi-part objects. Simple lids would never slip off. The possibilities are wide.
These developments show there’s no end in sight for filament materials. By mixing particles into standard polymers, filament can be produced that has the properties of wood, metal or other substances. You can now choose filament not only from a wide selection of colors, but also filaments with many different properties.