Magigoo seems to have expanded a great deal since we last took a look at them, and a new partnership shows where they are headed.
Magigoo is a line of specialty 3D printer adhesive products made by Malta-based Thought3D. We first encountered them in 2016, about a year after they got started with this type of product. At the time, they offered only a single adhesive solution.
Why 3D Printers Need Adhesives
FFF 3D printers almost always require an adhesive solution of some kind. The adhesive ensures the print sticks to the print bed during 3D printing. If the print were to come loose, it would cause the print job to fail, and possibly damage the machine as well.
Early desktop 3D printers were often quite problematic as they had only rudimentary — or even no — adhesive solutions. Print surfaces at the time were borosilicate glass, plain acrylic or sometimes just metal. Print adhesion was certainly not guaranteed and often 3D printer operators resorted to homemade approaches such as “blue painter’s tape”, “a type of hairspray you cannot easily find” or even something called “ABS juice”.
These solutions sometimes even worked, but all were messy and inconvenient. Anything you do repeatedly should be as easy as possible, so it must have driven manufacturers crazy to subject new clients to these practices. Fortunately, several better solutions arrived.
One was the PEI plate approach, where the print surface is coated with a material that can work well with PLA, ABS and PETG, the most common 3D print materials. However, many 3D printer vendors still sell machines that are equipped with glass plates that require adhesive solutions.
This problem has been aggravated recently with the arrival of many new and exotic types of engineering materials like PP, PA and others that 3D printer operators want to use. These unusual materials often require adhesive solutions that are different from the typical PEI plate approach, and that’s another reason why some 3D printer manufacturers persist in selling glass-plate devices.
Magigoo Adhesive Solution
Magigoo’s original product worked with several common 3D printing materials and was packaged in a “glue stick” format. You’d simply “paint” the print surface with the stick and it would be ready to go. Their chemical formulation smartly would hold the print fast when heated, but release it when cooled.
This is an ideal property, as some poor adhesive solutions would keep the print sticking, but would have big trouble releasing it when done. There’s many a print bed that has been destroyed by overly-powerful adhesive solutions.
Today if you look at the Magigoo site you’ll see quite a variety of products available. They have designed them specifically for use with different types of 3D printing materials. Their product line includes:
- Magigoo Original
- Magigoo Pro Metal
- Magigoo Pro PC
- Magigoo Pro PA
- Magigoo Pro PP
- Magigoo Pro PPGF
- Magigoo Pro Flex
- Magigoo Pro HT
So you can see they address quite a few different materials beyond the usual PLA, ABS and PETG.
What’s most interesting to me is they seem to be taking steps into a different world: the professional 3D printing world. While 3D printer hobbyists mostly use the common materials, the professionals increasingly use more exotic materials, and thus require specialized adhesive solutions.
Thought3D has been partnering with a number of companies to bundle Magigoo products with 3D printers, and that strategy seems quite successful.
Today I saw an announcement that cemented this concept for me. They announced a partnership with Essentium, a maker of high-speed production 3D printing equipment. They say:
“Essentium, Inc., a leading innovator of industrial additive manufacturing (AM) solutions, today launched all-in-one 3D printing adhesives specifically tailored for Essentium’s portfolio of materials and the Essentium High Speed Extrusion (HSETM) 3D Printing Platform, providing manufacturers with a reliable adhesion solution for industrial-scale 3D printing. Essentium worked with Magigoo, a leading provider of 3D printing bed adhesive solutions, to improve the bed-adhesion of different engineering-grade polymers.”
At first I thought this was just like many of their other partnerships, but then Essentium said:
“Essentium is introducing a large sized – 120ml – adhesive to meet the growing demand for industrial 3D printed parts that are transforming today’s factory floors.”
Aha! This suggests that Magigoo could become a standard for use on manufacturing floors for higher-volume production. That might mean plenty of new sales for Magigoo as Essentium and similar companies make their way into production environments.
I suspect the folks at Thought3D are pretty happy these days.