Aug 9, 2016 | By Tess

Some of our readers will likely remember hearing about Cx5, a sculptable 3D printing filament that was unveiled in a sneak peak by its developers at Adam Beane Industries some months ago. Ever since we wrote about the exciting new 3D printing material, we’ve been waiting patiently for it to hit the market, and now, ladies and gents, it finally has. Adam Beane Industries, an American sculpture studio and manufacturing facility has just launched its latest sculptable material, Cx5 3D printing filament, through a Kickstarter campaign. So, if you were as excited as we were to hear about a filament you can actually sculpt by hand after printing, now is the chance to get on board.

Cx5 sculptable 3D printing filament is the latest product developed by Adam Beane Industries, a company known for its other innovative sculpting products. The filament, undoubtedly one of their most exciting products, will allow makers to combine their digital design and sculpting skills with their hand-sculpting and finishing skills. In other words, makers will be able to smooth, modify, carve, and detail their 3D prints right off the print bed. That means no more toiling for hours trying to get FDM print lines off of a print and no more settling for vaguely detailed pieces.

According to Adam Beane Industries, its Cx5 materials are not plastics but “sculpting materials”, which were developed to replace other more traditional materials like clays, waxes, etc. What makes Cx5 an exceptional material, and what makes it an especially fitting material for a 3D printing filament, is its heat sensitivity and versatility. That is, the material, which can be printed at 70 to 80 degrees Celsius (a much lower temperature than PLA or ABS), becomes malleable when it is warm, and becomes as hard as plastic when it is cool.

The Cx5 sculptable 3D printer filament, which as far as we know only comes in a grey color, is a standard 1.75mm diameter filament which should work with any FDM (or FFF) 3D printer with adjustable heat settings. Additionally, because of its unique composition, Cx5 does not require a heated build plate and is less susceptible to problems like warping or shrinking than plastic 3D printing materials. This is due in part to its lower printing temperatures. Also, unlike clays or other sculpting materials, Cx5 will not dry out or absorb water from the atmosphere, meaning that it has a long shelf-life and shouldn't go bad.

A number of notable artists and designers have expressed their excitement about the new sculptable 3D printing filament, noting its virtually limitless creative possibilities. Ryan Kingslien, a fine artist and a project manager for ZBrush, said: “To be able to pour your heart into the computer and then be able to print and pour your heart back into the clay…to bring your signature, your life to it, this is a game-changer. This is an amazing moment for us sculptors.”

The hand sculpting process seems remarkably easy (if you’ve got the artistic chops for it of course), as the material is responsive to heat. According to the Kickstarter page, Cx5 won’t become deformed or change shape by the heat from your hand, but with a bit of extra added heat it can be sculpted just like clay. By using heated metal sculpting tools, hot-sanding, and non-toxic solvents, you can quickly and easily turn your 3D print into a more refined piece. Additionally, Cx5 can also be wet-sanded, which will result in a high polish finish. If you’re 3D printing a prototype, Cx5 is also reportedly ideal for molding and casting, especially as it can melt out at a relatively low temperature.

Now, on to the Kickstarter rewards. If you’re interested in trying Cx5 filament but are not completely sold, the crowdfunding campaign is offering a $50 pledge “Experimenter Pack” which includes 250g or about 1/4 spool of Cx5 filament along with an already 3D printed model, a sculpting tool, sponge, and solvent, and some posters and postcards. A full 1kg spool of filament is going for a $250 pledge (which comes with lots of small extras as well). More expensive rewards go up to $4,000, which will get you a private workshop with Adam Beane and Alexis Ettner (founders of Adam Beane Industries) wherever you want it, two spools of Cx5 filament, and loads of extras.

The crowdfunding campaign, which officially launched today, is seeking to raise $75,000. So far, it has already raised nearly $8,400, a number which is rising quickly. So, if you’ve felt creatively restricted with your 3D prints because of complicated or ineffecient post processing steps, Adam Beane Industries’ Cx5 3D printing filament could very well be the answer. Be sure to check out the Kickstarter campaign before September 8, 2016, when it expires.



Posted in 3D Printing Materials



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