PLAflex is our exciting product that combines the benefits of softer materials like TPU with the ease of print, similar to PLA+.
Here are some of the features at a glance;
- Prints as easy as PLA+ (although not the same settings, Printing HINTS below). Can be printed as high as 240 degrees.
- Australian approved food grade standard.
- Great first layer adhesion and subsequent interlayers.
- Vibrant and solid colours.
- Resealable bag to avoid moisture issues for long-term storage.
We have developed this filament so it can be used by almost all 3D printers, whether Bowden or Direct Drive extruder mounts. With a Shore rating of 90A, the filament is remarkably malleable, especially on prints with thinner walls. Typically TPU is rated 85A and is slightly softer, however, this softness can make it challenging for some extruders to push the filament through.
Some example applications great for this filament are;
- Chocolate Molds
- Jelly Molds
- Rubber stamps
- Vibration dampeners
- Phone cases
- RC Tyres
Whilst the filament is flexible is not elastic.
We further conducted independent testing for Food Grade with the National Measurement Institute (Australian Government, Department of Industry, Innovation and Science) and also FDA (US Government Approved). Results both comply with the Australian and FDA standards (AS2070-1999 10/2011). The tests show that the filament is composed of safe ingredients that can come into contact with food products. There are however some important practical considerations when printing objects with food contact in mind.
- It is important that your printer, namely extruder, and hot-end/nozzle are also up to food grade standards. Typically, stainless steel parts provide the best measure to ensure food grade printing is not compromised. Brass nozzles are not recommended.
- Thorough cleaning of printed object is needed for repeated use over time. If you wish to repeatedly use a part, you must ensure that no food products remain even in the tiny gaps between each layer. Organic products remaining on the print can rot over time and contaminate your food product on the next application.
Better Layer Adhesion:
This filament has very strong first layer adhesion, in fact, it is really hard to pry it from BuildTak or PEI surfaces. Printing on Blue Tape is recommended since tape can be easily lifted along with the print without needing to pull the object from the surface. PLAflex prints with thin walls don't take too kindly to being pulled as it may deform the object permanently. This filament has a minimal elasticity to bring it back to original form.
Subsequent layer adhesion is really strong. When printing objects with 0.4mm walls, you may find it quite challenging to pull apart by brute strength.
We have developed colours to be as rich and solid as PLA+ filaments. For ease of mixing and matching we have also used colours to follow a similar Pantone range as PLA+.
Caring for our environmental footprint is everyone’s responsibility. Recycling is our best way to do this. We are continuing to provide PLAflex filaments with free resealable bags that not only care for our planet but also help in warding off moisture damage to your precious filament. This enables them to last longer so they are not exposed to damage from humidity. As with all filaments, it is best to pack them away in the resealable bag when not in use and always keep the desiccant satchel inside the bag to absorb any remaining moisture.
- Always print a temp tower to find the best temperature. We have tested the filament on many printers and most find 220/50 hot-end/baseplate to be ideal.
- If you find that the filament stops feeding and it is just being ground on the extruder cogs, then your hot-end is not hot enough and/or your flow setting is too high. Consider increasing and decreasing those settings respectively. As a matter of best practice, don't change both at the same time as you might only need one modified and also by doing both you may be inadvertently introducing another problem.