Is There Such A Thing As Museum-Quality 3D Printer Filament?

 3D printed artistic pieces [Source: Graft Milk]
3D printed artistic pieces [Source: Graft Milk]

I’m looking at an unusual 3D printer material, PLAm, said to be “museum quality”.

The “Art Filament” product is produced by Manhattan-base Graft Milk, who recently concluded a Kickstarter campaign for their new line of museum-quality PLA filaments. The campaign appears to be successful, at least from a financial point of view, as they raised more than their modest US$10K funding goal.

Color 3D Printer Materials

In a world overflowing with PLA filament options, what makes Graft Milk’s offerings unique? Clearly they are catering to the art crowd, even naming a category for their product as “Art Filament”. There seems to be a few key features to this product line:

The chemistry of the filament material is apparently able to reproduce fine details often required in 3D printing sculptures and artwork. They explain:

“Months of testing and experimenting behind the scenes at Graft Milk led us to this Art Filament – the first filament designed specifically to capture the most minute details for fine artwork printing. It mimics natural materials and offer the best matte finish available.”

3D Printing Color Theory

That’s not all. It seems the the more interesting aspect of Graft Milk’s filament line is its colors. Their founder, Doug Larsen, explains:

“My education and depth of experience is in the applied art of interiors design. I have studied the fine arts and applied arts all my life.

I find that the best things in life combine the nuance of both theory and practicality. The applied art of 3D printing is one of those such things. The field has been saturated in practicality for most of its existence. We wanted to tip the scales and bring more of the theory and beauty of art and design into 3D printing.

I have had a long career of designing spaces, furniture and products, but my highest passion is color. Creating vision for colors is my speciality and favorite activity. Color is everything we see – without color there is nothing. As humans, we navigate and negotiate our way in this world through the colors we come into contact with. We at Graft Milk believe in making the colors we create with the most enjoyable.”

Scientific 3D Printing Colors

To that end, Graft Milk has a very scientific approach to choosing their color scheme. Here we see a chart of the theory behind their color choices:

 Graft Milk artistic 3D printer material color goals [Source: Graft Milk]
Graft Milk artistic 3D printer material color goals [Source: Graft Milk]

And another way of looking at it:

 Graft Milk 3D printer material color chart [Source: Graft Milk]
Graft Milk 3D printer material color chart [Source: Graft Milk]

Visually, here are the colors in their set:

 Graft Milk artistic 3D printer material colors [Source: Graft Milk]
Graft Milk artistic 3D printer material colors [Source: Graft Milk]

I think you’ll agree, these are fantastically better colors than you’d see from your typical PLA filament vendor. These colors actually fit together. They are nice to look at. They would each pull out details on 3D printed objects.

I would like to print in these colors!

Graft Milk has opened my eyes to the color choices we 3D printer operators are unfortunately forced to use. The next time I am presented with a list of color filaments, I will be a bit more skeptical of using them, after seeing the engineered color scheme of Graft Milk.

And maybe you will, too.

Via Graft Milk

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