While the improvements in desktop extrusion-based 3D printing hardware have been incremental over the past four to five years the advancements in the available materials have been significant. While some hobbyists have been playing around with materials that look and feel good, the liked of woodfill, bronzefill etc. There have been other companies like Taulman who have been specialising in bringing certifiable materials to the desktop.
Dutch startup Tiamet3D, are aiming to take the materials available in desktop 3D printing to a whole new level.
The Tiamet3D team claim that their material that they’ve tested at Delft University may be the strongest desktop 3D printing filament in the world – strong enough to compete with materials used on printers that cost hundreds of thousands of pounds.
Whereas the MarkForged 3D printer embeds Kevlar, carbon fibre and fibreglass into matrix materials to make the prints stronger, Tiament3D’s filament will be made available for a host of 3D printers that can print in the 210-400ºC range. The material is a proprietary composite material that contains nano-particles to makes the material stronger, stiffer and more heat resistant.
If the material is proven to be as reliable as Tiament3D claim then this could open up doors to a host of SMEs, particularly those interested in the burgeoning drone trends, to produce aerospace grade parts on machines at a fraction of the price.
A drone base plate prototype printed during the test stage
The young team is three strong at the moment with Tico Morales, Reid Larson who studied together at Webster University and Jeffrey Karasawa who the pair met during college studies in the Netherlands. The team recently spoke to Dutch Newspaper Financial Daily about the venture with Reid stating: "I bought a 3D printer and quickly ran up against the limits of technology. There had to be better."
Their ‘Ultra’ material isn’t cheap, coming in at around about €1,000 a kilo but with fellow Dutch printer manufacturer MaukCC and retail outlet MakerPoint keen to partner with a firm that has recently been through Startup Bootcamp, the future for Tiament3D could well be promising.