In addition to plastics and nonwovens, Ingeo PLA fibre is rapidly establishing a position as the raw material of choice for 3D printing.
3DOM Filament is a newly-formed independent company based in County Donegal, Ireland, on a mission to supply Ingeo filament to the additive manufacturing market.
“With Ingeo, 3DOM Filament will help to ensure the availability of a PLA monofilament that meets quality standards and reduces filament-related problems with 3D printing,” said NatureWorks new business chief Dan Sawyer. “While the 3Dom company is new, the team behind it has more than a decade of experience with Ingeo PLA. 3Dom is also actively involved in the research and development of Ingeo blends and additives, bringing new performance enhancements to the 3D printing community. NatureWorks is meanwhile collaborating with customer compounders and additive suppliers, and we intend to develop further strategic relationships around the world to support the growing global 3D printing market.”
The higher the quality of the printer monofilament in terms of roundness, diameter and consistency, the better the results of the 3D printing experience. While the rush to satisfy the emerging 3D market demand for a performance alternative to ABS substrates has spawned numerous products and suppliers, NatureWorks is concerned that some companies may not have the Ingeo materials and processing expertise of 3DOM, or its cquality control equipment such as continuous online laser scanning. Without the deep technical knowledge specific to this polymer substrate, new grades of filament that could advance the industry may never reach manufacturers or end users.
“With Ingeo, 3DOM gives people the freedom to create without the hurdles and frustrations of markedly inferior monofilaments,” said 3DOM director Ciaran McMenamin. “We’ve spent a year developing a process for converting Ingeo into a consistently high quality filament portfolio. We have all the primary colours and will be working on others.”
He added that because 3DOM is intimately familiar with the entire portfolio of available Ingeo grades, the company can tailor Ingeo monofilament properties such as stiffness or finished part impact resistance and dimensional stability to best suit the end product requirements.