At a glance 1 min

3D printers: plastics mimic nature

3D printers: plastics mimic nature
3D printers: plastics mimic nature

American 3D printer manufacturer 3D MakerBot announced the arrival of new filament spools in 2015. These composite filaments will include a metal, wood or rock powder for the purpose of creating objects whose texture mimics these materials.

People with only a passing interest still perceive 3D printing as a technology that uses red polymer filament spools. This is a grave mistake as other colours have been used for a while.

The manufacturer showcased a new type of polymer able to imitate natural materials such as wood, rock, iron and bronze at the 2015 CES in Las Vegas. The spools of this new generation of polymer filaments are comprised of a portion of the materials they seek to mimic, in the form of a powder: the printer will thus be able to reproduce the colour of the basic material and even certain properties. MakerBot has not revealed which properties exactly, but hopeful minds are already envisaging wood grain, limestone, cold or oxidation on metal.
According to MakerBot, these filaments should be available by year-end 2015

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