3D printing with new materials


At the EUROMOLD 2013 we got a few test pieces different materials in 3mm filament. Also we had some new biopolymer named Arboblend V2 sitting in our stash of test pieces. Now it was overdue to test this materials on our 3d printers. As our new full metal hotend was coping without problems with PLA and ABS, we wanted to test it with polycarbonate, some metal infused ABS and the Arboblend V2.

The first tests with Arboblend looked promising:

Image of a printed part with arboblend

The printing temperature was between 190°C and  210°C. It feels like a good mixture between ABS and PLA. And the finish looks a bit like nacre.

As this worked so nicely, we printed a more complex object, a tux:

Image of a tux printed in arboblend V2

The result was usable, but the optimal print settings still need to be determined. The individual layers stay soft for a long time, even with a fan blowing onto it. Which means overhangs, like the beak of the tux didn't look too good.

The next test was done with polycarbonate:

image of a tux printed in polycarbonate

Many 3D printers use polycarbonate plates as print beds. It is cheap and ABS and PLA stick to it very well without using any tape or other adhesives. So it was pretty surprising that the printed result looks so good and prints very nicely. It has very low shrinkage and is similar in the printing properties to PLA. Only the optimal printing temperature is a bit higher (230°C minimum).

Inspired by the nice results, we tried the metal infused ABS. Due to the metal infusion the material should be slightly conductive, or so we were told. The print was working without problems. We first had concerns that the metal parts might block the nozzle, but nothing happened.  It seems the metal particles didn't change the printing properties.

print test with metal infused ABS

To test it for conductivity, we printed a 5cm long piece with some depressions on either side to get good contact to the electrodes of the measurement device. After the print was finished, we unfortunately could not measure any conductivity. We measured at the printed depressions, directly on the printed part, on some extruded filament strings, but there wasn't any measureably conductivity. Our multimeter goes up to 200MOhms, but it still coudn't measure anything. 

Image of the measuring of the metal infused ABS.

The new full metal hotend coped with this materials without any problems. Even the material changes where very easy and without any problems. With this we now know that this hotend works very nicely, and only one hotend is needed for many different materials. Our new full metal hotend.

We are now working on the series production of this hotend and expect the first available hotends in our shop at the end of this month.


The 2PrintBeta Team