Amsterdam-based 3D printer filament provider Formfutura has developed a new filament based on PET plastic.
The new product, called “HDGlass” is described as “heavy duty”, as explained by spokesperson Arnold Medenblik:
HDglass™ is our new amorphous , high strength & performance and ultra-transparent modified PETG compounded 3D printer filament range. HD is short for “Heavy Duty”, as HDglass™ has excellent properties when it comes to strength, toughness and temperature resistance for same like materials. Next to being heavy duty, HDglass™ has a very impressive transparency as it is an amorphous filament, which lets 90% of the visible light pass through its fibre and has less than 1% haze. With HDglass™ you are now able to get the closest approximate to glass-like results for 3D printed objects.
Formfutura says this product should be “very easy to print” due to its thermal stability and flow behavior.
PET is a very interesting material, but it has not been widely used in the 3D printing community due to price and the requirement for heated print surfaces. However, beyond the normal PET advantages of strength, flexibility and a very attractive shiny finish, HDGlass offers more:
- Extremely transparent (90% light pass thru with 1% haze)
- Odourless processing/printing
- Excellent first- and interlayer adhesion
- Nearly warp-free
- No heat bed required
- Excellent thermal stability
- FDA food and drink contact approved
A point about the FDA approval. This relates to the plastic only and not the objects printed in the plastic. It’s quite possible that a layered print, even if made with foodsafe materials, could harbor bad stuff in crevices, making the object not foodsafe.
What’s really exciting to us is the prospects of low-warping, no heat bed and odor free printing. These three factors combined mean the product could potentially be used safely in home 3D printers, many of which do not have heated print beds or proper ventilation for noxious fumes. HDGlass doesn’t require a high temperature, either, with only 215-225C required at the hotend.
It seems that Formfutura has developed a new product specifically focusing on issues encountered when 3D printing with typical filaments. This is a very good idea and should be followed by other filament manufacturers.
At launch Formfutura will offer HDGlass in five see through colors in either 1.75mm or 2.85mm formats: Red, Green, Blue, Black and “Clear”. Non-clear colors are priced at €35 (USD$37) per 750g, while clear goes for €33 (USD$35).
This definitely needs checking out.