MakerBot to launch new material
One of the key problems many point out about home 3D printers is the lack of materials able to print with.
ABS and PLA are standard issue but many RepRappers and other industrious maker sorts have been experimenting with Laywood, Laybrick and Nylon filaments to see how they fare.
taulman 3D have been supplying high quality Nylon filament for some time now, RichRap is a huge fan of the material, which doesn’t warp, holds layers together exceptionally well, is dyeable and ultra flexible.
MakerBot look set to become the first of the desktop 3D printer giants to offer a filament outside of the usual ABS and PLA. As they gear up to release their polyester-based MakerBot Flexible Filament they joined forces with half of the team who created THAT Dita Von Teese Dress, Francis Bitoni, to experiment with the material’s dress making capabilities.
The project, 'New Skins', by the multidisciplinary designer was a three week research project conducted at Pratt School of Design’s Digital Arts and Humanities Research Center . Whereas other 3D printed catwalk items have been printed on industrial machines the designer was keen to have it printed on a home machine.
MakerBot stepped in supplying the designer and team of students with two MakerBot Replicator 2s, their new material MakerBot Flexible Filament as well as a MakerBot expert to help the process along the way.
After working away on various softwares including ZBrush, Maya and Rhino the team began printing the 59 parts of the dress, 20 of which are printed in the usual PLA and the other 39 in MakerBot’s new material. In total the dress took 400 hours to print and 24 hours to glue together.
The result is the marvellous looking Verlan Dress and Bitoni copmplimented MakerBot on the ease of use of their machines.
“I was pleasantly surprised with how easy the MakerBots were to use,” Bitoni told the MakerBot Blog. “The quality was on par with any industrial 3D printed pieces we have commissioned previously. It was great to have the MakerBot Desktop 3D Printers in the studio. [They] provided the students the ability to have immediate feedback on their designs by printing them during the design process. And using the new flexible material was really essential for us because we needed something that would be able to conform to the body and adapt to it as the body is moving.”
The parts are all available on Thingiverse so you could try it out for yourself, if you've got 424 hours to spare that is... MakerBot are set to announce more details on the material in the coming days.