Oct.27, 2013

ABS and PLA are the two most common materials for 3D printing. Currently, suppliers of filament do not give much information about what the material is and what the properties are, they are often just labeled as PLA or ABS. Aaron Cram, a computer scientist, and his brother Dustin Cram, a Mechanical Engineer with an aerospace background, has launched Proto-Pasta project, aiming to "change the landscape of what is available for consumer grade 3D printing materials and how those materials are evaluated."

"PLA and ABS are the two most available materials, but they have some serious drawbacks like low softening temperature for PLA and low stiffness for ABS." explains Cram. "With this project we want to make available new materials that address some of these issues without sacrificing printability or affordability."

The team has developed three new materials for desktop 3D printers. Carbon Fiber Reinforced PLA, High Temperature PLA and Polycarbonate - ABS Alloy.

Carbon Fiber Reinforced PLA is made from NatureWorks 4043D PLA Resin compounded with 15% by weight Tenax short chopped Carbon Fibers. It is designed to be stiff, or to resist bending.

High Temperature PLA is made from a custom compound consisting of mineral filled impact modified PLA with a nucleating agent to help promote crystallization. This material has much more heat resistant than normal PLA.

Your PLA parts will no longer wilt in the sun.

Proto-Pasta Polycarbonate-ABS (PC-ABS) Alloy is an tough material designed for strong, resilient parts.

All the Proto-Pasta materials have datasheets giving the exact material or compound and average test results of actual printed parts, so users can compare actual mechanical properties of parts printed with different materials. Material properties are based on testing using a printed test sample that is 60mm X 10mm X 3mm. Datasheets include the Heat Deflection Temperature, Impact Resistance, Stiffness, Flexural Strength, and information on printability of the material.

To make the shipping affordable, the materials are offered in 1/4kg coils. Customers can get a coil of material anywhere in the US in 2-5 days for $3. International shipping will cost $15.

Cram brothers has launched a crowd funding campaign through Kickstarter to manufacture 3D printing material locally in Vancouver WA USA. The campaign is set to run for one month with a goal of raising $25,000 to compliment existing investment. Funds will go toward buying materials in bulk, further automating the factory and refining manufacturing processes.

One 250g coil of Proto-Pasta Polycarbonate-ABS Alloy filament is currently available for $16. The price for one 250g coil of Proto-Pasta Carbon Fiber Reinforced filament is $20, and one 250g coil of Proto-Pasta High Temperature PLA filament costs $24. Pledge $32 you can order one Proto-Pasta reusable folding filament spool designed by the team. This unique spool lets you change material without any disassembly. More info are available on Kickstarter page here.

Posted in 3D Printing Materials



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Dem274 wrote at 9/8/2014 7:19:47 AM:

How can I contact you to make an order?

JD90 wrote at 10/28/2013 5:57:43 AM:

Sounds interesting, but the name and the tag line just sounds so condescending.

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