A lot of industry additive manufacturing is quick to dismiss desktop filament 3D printing.
Fingers have been burnt, companies have folded and people have lost their jobs. But in the past year or so there's a real sense of know-how being applied to desktop tech, especially when it comes to materials.
Polymaker has been pushing the boundaries of what is possible with filament printing for some time. Thanks to materials partners including the likes of Covestro (formerly Bayer) the Chinese company is able to develop a stream of engineering grade materials including polycarbonates, ABSlike PLAs and elastomers - all designed for open-source desktop tech.
Its recently launched Polysher machine takes the homebrew acetone finishing methods found on many a forum and automates it with panache.
At 3D Printing Tokyo 2017 Polymaker were showcasing some pretty miraculous desktop tech, the new Polysmooth filament coupled with the aforementioned Polysher produces glossy parts that would put a billiard ball to shame!
The company is also experimenting with a thermoplastic filament that can be burnt out like wax for metal applications. The beauty of this material is that it can be polished in the Polysher, meaning that when it comes to casting the final part requires almost no post-processing.