Filamentarno, a Russian 3D printing materials company, has released “Prototyper Soft,” a range of flexible and transparent filaments marketed under the brand name “PROTOTYPER.” The filaments are made from a hard rubber polymer called styrene-butadiene-styrene (SBS).
For users of single-extruder 3D printers, multi-color or multi-material 3D printing can be a challenge. While it is possible to change materials mid-print, it is often the case that one material requires certain printer settings and the other a completely different set of parameters. Since changing these settings in the middle of a print can be a slow process, it is much easier to use a group of materials which requires similar print settings. In an appeal to makers in this position, Russian filament company Filamentarno has developed its Prototyper 3D printing materials to all require similar printer settings. The latest addition to the series, Prototyper Soft, allows 3D printer users to add flexible and transparent materials to their arsenal.
The range of Filamentarno 3D printing materials is divided into subcategories: T-Soft, a series of solid-color SBS filaments; M-Soft, a series of solid metallic filaments; and now Prototyper Soft, a set of transparent SBS filaments. With the addition of Prototyper Soft, 3D printer users now have the option of creating impressive transparent objects such as lampshades, decorative vases, mock glassware, and other items.
According to Filamentarno, the new range of Prototyper Soft 3D printing materials gives users a choice between two aesthetic effects: total transparency, or an unusual translucent appearance. To achieve transparency, which is ideal for bottles, filters, lights etc., users simply need to print with thin walls, or select the “spiral vase" option available on slicers like Slic3R, Simplify3D, and Cura. With this setting, objects can be printed with substantial wall thickness when using a nozzle with a 0.8 or 1.0 mm opening. To achieve a less clear print, users can print with thicker walls without the spiral vase option, giving an interesting decorative effect.
In order to achieve ultimate, glass-like transparency with the new range of filaments, Filamentarno recommends treating the 3D printed parts with a solvent—xylene or D-Limonene—after printing. Xylene dissolves plastic and evaporates from the surface faster than D-Limonene, but D-Limonene has a more pleasant citrus scent, being a distillation of citrus skins, and is therefore more suitable for items that will be used in the kitchen. A hair dryer can be used to speed up the drying process.
In addition to its transparency, the new Prototyper Soft series is also made from high-quality, heavy-duty plastic, giving the filaments low shrinkage, a good flow rate, and a high level of impact resistance.
Prototyper Soft properties:
- Impact-resistant and frost-resistant (up to -80°C)
- Glass transition temperature: 80°C
- Minimal temperature warp
- Can be printed with PLA settings
- Resistant to acids, alkalis, alcohols, fats
- Certified for food contact (including hot food) by Russian Standards
- No odor during or after printing
- Does not absorb moisture
- Prints can be chemically treated for added finish or strength