Verbatim's PLA and ABS filament
An interesting and somewhat surprising move into 3D printing consumables from a company known more for their data storage solutions.
Verbatim have been delivering data storage solutions for over 40 years from the floppy disk to the blu-ray, the company has successfully branched out into the LED lighting markets, headphones and even water filtration systems. The latest market to be targeted by the internationally recognised brand is 3D printing consumables as Verbatim launch both PLA and ABS filament spools at the German electronics tradeshow IFA.
The PLA filament is available in both 1.75mm and 3mm dimensions whereas the ABS is only available in 1.75mm. Verbatim are yet to confirm colours or pricing of their 1kg spools but has made assurances that this filament –produced by a manufacturing partner in Japan – stands up to the most rigorous of quality testing.
“The filaments will be distributed in vacuum-sealed bags with desiccant, and wound onto a custom spool that has been designed for strength, uniform dynamic performance and trouble-free dispensing.”
The Japanese manufacturing partner is likely to be Verbatim’s parent company Mitsubishi Chemical, who announced in July that it is developing more materials for 3D printing including a biomaterial that combines the strengths of both PLA and ABS.
“Mitsubishi Chemical is in the process of developing a number of unique filament materials to add to the range in the future. One of these materials is Durabio™, a clear durable bio-based plastic resin suitable for 3D printing as well as other applications. The material has excellent optical properties and high impact strength along with UV, flame and scratch resistance. With the flexibility, fast hardening, warp-free and eco-friendly advantages of PLA plastics, Durabio also benefits from the toughness that is commonly associated with ABS plastics.” - Verbatim Australia PR, July 2014
Interestingly, in Verbatim Europe’s press release the company talks of the Gartner report that suggested 3D printing should reach $669m in 2014. It is clear the motivation is to take a slice of this pie before their many competitors jump on board.
The likes of Cartridgesave.co.uk and Fenner Drives – both of whom take the majority of their revenue in completely different industries - have already entered the filament market or at least nodded towards it. Verbatim’s internationally recognised technological brand should give the 3D printing market extra kudos as big businesses increasingly keep an eye on the burgeoning industry.