Our idea of American manufacturing is to mostly use plastics made from plant materials such as PLA, which is made of cornstarch and completely biodegradable. PLA like many of our filaments is recyclable, with the proper equipment we are able to recycle this onsite. For instance, when having a miss print with our PLA filaments we can use this to create new filaments and bring our production cost down and most importantly our carbon footprint.
We utilize a variety of filaments depending on need. For many of our prints, we use PLA because of its environmentally friendly properties. However, a close second currently would be TPU which is another product we are capable of recycling. Many of our products share this environmentally friendly trait. It is using sustainable resources and methods that is our core business practice.
TPU – Thermoplastic Polyurethane– is one of the most popular flexible filaments on the market. Just like TPE, this is durable, flexible and strong like rubber. This material is what we are making our flexible designs from. This is very useful in the making of our Covid19 N95 Mask. This has properties of both rubber and plastic. TPU filaments are not toxic and are generally safe in many applications depending on several factors, they are even used in biomedical cases. This material is recyclable.
ABS- Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) is the second most commonly used filament. ABS 3D printer filament has moderate strength and flexibility, and it features superior melt flow characteristics. ABS has a high heat tolerance, which allows it to withstand hot temperatures, but where it really shines is its durability. This filament is ideal for items that are frequently handled, dropped, or heated. These high-quality ABS material properties make this the right choice for general-purpose printing. This is used when making things that needs strength and durability with higher heat tolerances, like auto parts.
PETG- Polyethylene Terephthalate glycol-modified– is one of the most common plastics in the world today, and is being used for food containers, water bottles, and even clothing fibers. Its high mechanical strength, resistance to extreme temperatures, and ability to restrict moisture, have made it and its several variations useful for the food industry, as thermal insulation material, or as precursors for engineering resins. Adding glycol during the polymerization process results in the formation of a “glycol-modified” PET, or PETG. The addition of glycol results in plastic that is more durable, less brittle, clearer, and easier to use.
Nylon 12 Carbon Fiber- It combines Nylon 12 resin and chopped carbon-fiber to deliver tremendous durability and flexural strength. FDM Nylon 12CF has the highest stiffness-to-weight ratio of any FDM thermoplastic, and it has the structural characteristics required to replace metal tooling. Carbon fiber reinforced nylon optimized for high strength to weight ratio, stiffness, and heat resistance making it ideal for structural applications and metal replacements.
PLA- Polylactic Acid- is a biodegradable and bioactive polyester made up of lactic acid building blocks. Early applications of high-density PLA were mostly limited to biomedical areas due to its ability to be safely absorbed biologically. Over the past decades, the development of economical production methods and a rising environmental consciousness in consumers lead to the widespread use of PLA as packaging material for consumer goods. PLA is manufactured from renewable sources and is compostable, addressing problems in solid waste disposal and lessening our dependence on petroleum-based raw materials. It is currently the second most produced and consumed bioplastic in the world in terms of volume.