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29 May Are improved PLA and ABS filaments truly better?
3D Matter, a 3D printing consulting firm with a keen interest in 3D printing material, has taken the task of testing new and improved PLA and ABS filaments. Their goal was to answer the question that’s be on everyone’s mind, By changing the chemistry at the base level, can the modified filaments improve both the aesthetical and mechanical properties of a printed 3D model?
To assess the market, 3D Matter took a range of modified filaments, both PLA and ABS based, across a wide spectrum of the market. Using a variety of industry standard tests, 3D Matter focused on the materials mechanical properties without losing sight of it’s printability and user friendliness. These tests can be split up into two categories, Scientific and subjective. The scientific tests included:
- Tensile strength
- Elongation at break
- Impact resistance
The subjective tests took into account the quality of the prints and ease of process while using them, scoring points for;
- Surface finish
- Feature detail accuracy
- Ease of feed into printer
- Convenience of spool
- Frequency of entanglement
- Adhesion issues
- Post processing requirements
Their study showed that it is in fact very possible to improve said characteristics, however there is usually a tradeoff between certain parameters. While some of the tested filaments remained on par with the industry benchmark. 3D Matter’s study revealed that Polymaker’s PolyMax PLA emerged as one of the better balanced materials on the market amongst both PLA and ABS competitors with 3D Matter found quoting..
“Polymaker provides a great, balanced modified PLA with PolyMax: it keeps a tensile strength close to regular PLA and provides great visual quality, but at the same time it has the high impact resistance of an ABS. The processability is also very good.”
Above you can see one of the comparative studies conducted by 3D matter where tensile strength and impact strength was the key properties being measured. PolyMax PLA score one of the two only materials making it into the stronger materials category, while below you can see PolyMax come out still one of the best for still providing increased dimensional accuracy, less warping and dramatically improved printability, making PolyMax a true all-rounder.
Our engineers at Polymaker took a more balanced approach when optimising our PLA. The chemical compounding that makes up PolyMax is what sets it apart from not only other materials but also really set PolyMax as an industrial standard when looking for a material that has improved properties and strengths without having to compromise on print quality or it’s printability. By the end of the study 3D Matter was quoted saying..
“PolyMax was found to have a, nicely balanced performance and great quality, yet easy to print: an excellent filament”
Michael Molitch-Hou, Chief Editor, who also wrote up a nice article up on the study was found saying
“What 3D Matter found was that PolyMax from Polymaker and ABS pro from FormFutura actually did have improved performance and visual quality”