BigRep Solves Their Own Problem and Everyone Else’s Too

By on May 21st, 2017 in materials

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BigRep introduced a new 3D printer filament that could make life much easier for many 3D print operators. 

The new product is “BigRep PRO HT” filament, billed as a “High Temperature Resistant Material”, with that heat resistance measured at 115C. 

Why produce this filament? I believe it’s because BigRep, like many large-format 3D printer manufacturers, faced a materials issue: When printing very large objects the warp effects are amplified. If you think you have challenges printing a 15cm ABS part on a desktop 3D printer, try printing a 600mm ABS part in the open air of a large format 3D printer. It just doesn’t work, even with a heated print surface. 

BigRep is one of the vendors with this issue, and they initially overcame it by focusing on 3D printing with PLA. PLA’s shrink factor is vastly less than ABS, permitting it to be just able to successfully print at large sizes, with BigRep’s heated print surface. 

However, those completed large objects were made in PLA, which is not noted for its heat resistance. In fact, PLA can soften badly if left on the dashboard of your automobile in the summer. That’s not the best characteristics if you happen to be 3D printing lawn furniture, for example. 

 The original plan for an enclosed BigRep 3D printer
The original plan for an enclosed BigRep 3D printer

BigRep’s quest to solve this dilemma took several turns, including the exploration of adding a gigantic enclosure to capture the heat a few years ago. However, this proved too expensive to hit the market. 

Then, according to BigRep CEO Rene Gurka in an interview with us a year ago, they had the idea of solving the problem not with hardware, but with more ingenious materials! That would be a far less expensive option, and it now seems they’ve achieved this goal. 

PRO HT filament solves the heat resistance problem, enabling BigRep operators (or anyone else for that matter) to 3D print very large objects and use them in many more practical situations. 

The new PRO HT filament has some other interesting attributes: it is entirely made from bio-renewable materials and is non-toxic. It’s also considered foodsafe by the European regulators, and is UV resistant as well. 

You can purchase PRO HT directly from BigRep in black, silver and “nature” colors. It’s priced variably, depending on the size of the spool you select – and remember that BigRep sells some very large spools to enable their large format 3D printers to run unattended for longer periods. 

The black PRO HT is available in the 750g, 2.5kg, 4.5kg and 8.0kg sizes with prices ranging from €40 (USD$44) to €420 (USD$460). Note that the 750g version is only available in 1.75mm format, while all other sizes are 2.85mm diameter. The new Silver and Nature colors are similarly priced, but do not offer a 750g version. 

There’s no requirement to be a BigRep customer to use this material, as it should work on any 2.85mm extrusion system, and particularly well on larger systems. 

Once again, materials come to the rescue of the hardware. This won’t be the last time that occurs in this industry. 

Via BigRep

By Kerry Stevenson

Kerry Stevenson, aka "General Fabb" has written over 8,000 stories on 3D printing at Fabbaloo since he launched the venture in 2007, with an intention to promote and grow the incredible technology of 3D printing across the world. So far, it seems to be working!