Dec 30, 2014

After announcing Stainless Steel PLA and Magnetic Iron PLA last month, Vancouver, Washington based ProtoPlant, makers of Proto-pasta exotic 3D printer filament, has announced today their latest material: Conductive PLA.

3D printed controller

"We are very excited about our latest material," says ProtoPlant founder, Dustin Cram. "Now you can print conductive assemblies that integrate switches, potentiometers, LED's, capacitive touch sensors and more, right from your own 3D printer!"

Proto-pasta Conductive PLA is designed for users interested in combining 3D Printing and electronics. It is a compound of Natureworks 4043D PLA, a dispersant and conductive carbon black. And it allows you to print conductive assemblies that integrate switches, potentiometers, LED's, capacitive touch sensors etc.

According to the company, Proto-pasta Conductive PLA prints like standard PLA. But it is powerful enough to complete circuits, allowing for the creation of 3D printed electronic and interactive devices. "It is between 60X and 700,000X more conductive than readily available conductive filaments, at 15 ohm-cm." notes the company. In addition, Proto-pasta Conductive PLA is compatible with other PLA materials for use in dual-head printers with good layer adhesion for creating circuits.


  • Strength: Fair strength. More flexible than PLA, but less layer adhesion
  • Stiffness: Low, semi-flexible
  • Heat Resistance: Similar to PLA, use below 50C
  • Layer Adhesion: Fair layer adhesion. Not as good as normal PLA
  • Flexibility: Filament is quite flexible but will break if bent repeatedly (particularly 2.85mm). Printed parts are rigid if more than a mm or two thick. Thin sections are somewhat flexible but fail along layer lines if flexed more than a few times.
  • Failure Mode: If flexed to breakage, failure will be along layer lines.
  • Warping: Very low warping
  • Dual-Head compatibility: Compatible with (sticks to) PLA in dual material prints

Printing parameters:

  • Bed Temp if available: 50C
  • Hot End Temp: 230C

ProtoPlant has just launched a Kickstarter campaign for this latest filament. "3D printing has a very active, supportive online community, so it makes sense that folks want to support innovations in a community-centered way," says Sara Shepherd, Community Outreach Coordinator for ProtoPlant.

For $15 + shipping, you will receive 125g loose coil of Conductive PLA in 1.75mm or 2.85mm; and pledge $39.50 + shipping, you will get 500g Spooled Conductive PLA in 1.75mm or 2.85mm.

For those attending next week's International CES in Las Vegas, Nevada on Wednesday, January 7th, ProtoPlant will have project demonstrations and samples on hand for attendees. They will be located at Booth #75029 in Eureka Park.

"2014 has been a wonderful year for us; we launched Proto-pasta, created and released six innovative materials, and ship our material world wide. We are very excited about 2015 and the creation of even more materials which will help drive this technology forward," says ProtoPlant engineer Alex Dick.

Posted in 3D Printing Materials


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