When it comes to this, PLA is usually the material of choice for the majority of desktop 3D printer enthusiasts. The material is environmentally friendly (at least when compared to ABS), affordable, versatile and non-toxic and is perfect for many DIY projects. Against this background, there are also disadvantages when using PLA in contrast to other filaments such as ABS or nylon. For one thing, it’s not the hardest material on the market. It can crack easily and isn’t very flexible, which makes it a bad choice for certain projects.
A new company based in Hull, UK called Floreon is looking to change all of that. Floreon has been named an “Innovative Bioplastic Company” and has officially announced the launch of its brand new bio 3D printing filament called Floreon3D. The new filament, a product of 4 years of research with the University of Sheffield, is a PLA / polyester composite that the company claims is four times as tough as a typical PLA filament.
“We wanted to offer a high quality 3D printing filament that is far better than conventional PLA,” explained Dr. Andrew Gill, Floreon Technical Director. “It took us five years, but I’m happy to say the hard work has paid off. We found that the resulting product provides a smooth printing experience with excellent interlayer adhesion and is less likely to break than traditional PLA. In addition, it is four times stronger and with an excellent matte finish, the products it produces look very professional. All of this is achieved without compromising the attractive aspects of PLA such as low odor and low printing temperatures compared to other common plastics for 3D printing. “
According to the company, the main features of this new composite filament include:
- Flexible, extremely tough and stronger than typical PLA (stiffness = 1.9 GPa, tolerance = 0.05 mm)
- Doesn’t degrade when exposed to UV light like typical PLA
- Exceptionally matt finish of printed objects
- Available in six vibrant colors (red, blue, yellow, green, white and black)
- Biodegradable like normal PLA
- Neutral, harmless smell
- Uniform diameter of 1.75 mm
- Stronger with fewer pauses after printing
- No nozzle clogging, less machine downtime and less waste
“We have started producing Floreon3D in commercial quantities and I am pleased to say that it is now available to end users on Amazon,” said Bill Stringer. Floreon Commercial Director. “Currently available in 1.75 mm in diameter in 6 colors – red, blue, yellow, black, white and of course green – we will work on expanding the product range in the coming year.” However, Floreon’s ambitions don’t end there, as Mr Stringer explained. “Now that we move into production, we are working to partner with printer manufacturers to make Floreon3D their recommended high-performance, eco-friendly 3D printing filament, and with distributors and filament manufacturers to incorporate Floreon resin into their products.”
The company says the new material is perfect for a wide variety of uses that aren’t just limited to 3D printing. These uses include plant labels, food packaging, blow molding, and more.
Let us know if you’ve used these new materials either in your 3D printer or for other manufacturing methods. Discuss in the Floreon3D forum thread on 3DPB.com. Check out the video testimonial from Alex Youden from NFIRE LABS.