By: Shayne Circe at Filabot
As you all know here at Filabot we are always on the lookout for new filaments and materials that can be used with FDM style 3-D Printers like our own we use in house. As we stand the expansion of new printing materials has been slowing down over the last couple of years, but not to German inventor extraordinaire Kai Parthy. Kai has been in the business of creating new revolutionary, not only plastics, but just about anything else you could think of for over 20 years now. Kai jumped in the 3-D printing market in 2011 when he came across a booth at the Euromold Fair in Germany that specified on 3-D printing. He bought one of their machines on the spot and began playing and experimenting with 3D printing and plastics. He said he quickly noticed the inconsistencies and warping had with most ABS filaments on the market at the time and that’s what pushed him to begin mixing and creating new compounds of plastic, to try and find a more stable mixture that wouldn’t warp.
Over the next couple of years he developed a line of filaments that he named POROLOAY. In this line there is Lay-Felt, Lay-Fomm 40, and 60, and Gellay. He named them this because if you zoom in on the surfaces of the objects they are porous. They achieve this trough a dissolving process after printing. You submerge the printed part in water for up to 24-hrs and some of the material will dissolve away leaving the now flexible, porous structure behind. The different kinds of Porolay filaments each have their own textures and strength properties as well. On top of the Porolay line, Kai also has released a Lay-Wood filament that had zero warping during printing, and even better, with varying the temperature you can achieve a “tree ring” effect making some layers darker and others lighter. And lastly a Lay-Brick filament that is partly infused with ceramic, and also has zero warping during printing, even without a heated bed.
Since we have all of these awesome filaments in here at Filabot, we’re going to be testing and releasing them in a series of blog posts about them over the next month and a half. Every 2 weeks we will be releasing a post about 2 of the filaments and will be doing a test print to see how they print on our printer. They will then get tested for the foamy, felty, gelly, flexible, and other properties they possess. So stay tuned and get ready to stock up on some great new filaments!