NatureWorks launches new formulations for PLA filament.
Biopolymers supplier NatureWorks, has laid out plans to support the growing additive manufacturing market with a new series of Ingeo formulations for PLA 3D printing filament, support services and in-house print lab.
NatureWorks currently offers more than 20 different Ingeo grades and formulations for PLA filament. The company has spent the last 18 months working alongside suppliers, 3D printer manufacturers and operators to gain first hand feedback on the needs of the market.
“3D printing has the rapid pace of innovation, development, and change that is normal to a new and still nascent market,” explained Dan Sawyer, Global Leader, New Business Segment, NatureWorks. “Many new suppliers are entering the PLA filament market, while a breadth of experienced suppliers large and small are formulating and compounding to provide additional filament properties and options. That’s the sort of innovation that NatureWorks is aggressively moving to support and amplify with our new broad-based initiative.”
As a result, NatureWorks is now offering the first grade of its new Ingeo 3D series, Ingeo 3D850. The base 3D grade uses the latest Ingeo polymer chemistries to achieve good processability in filament production, consistency and quality. The company is already working on the next offering from the range which will include higher heat and toughness formulations for stronger PLA.
“What we learned from our market engagement,” said Sawyer, “is that a large segment of the market prefers to print with PLA and would like to replace petroleum-based ABS if PLA can rival the other material’s heat resistance and the toughness of finished parts.”
To coincide with the launch, NatureWorks has devised a full suite of filament melt processing guides, data sheets and service resources for the use of printer manufacturers and filament producers.
These new formulations are being tested at NatureWork’s newly implemented 3D printing lab where multiple 3D printers have been installed to test performance and quality in printer operation and final parts.