Avante Technology, a U.S.-based developer of 3D printing filaments and technology, has this week announced the launch of FilaOne GRAY, a proprietary, ‘engineering-grade’ 3D printing filament that is water and chemical resistant, stronger than ABS, and extremely resilient to breakage. Designed for desktop FDM 3D printing, FilaOne GRAY promises to make high-performance, functional 3D printed parts affordable for at-home makers and engineers alike.
Avante Technology has been developing its proprietary Advanced Composite Filament system for a few years now, with the aim of advancing desktop 3D printing technology to make it as powerful and pervasive in commercial design and manufacturing as PC's are in business. Previously, it released FilaOne GREEN, a non-toxic 3D printing material that is strong and moisture-resistant, yet designed to primarily produce ‘functional prototypes’ for limited testing purposes.
Now, with FilaOne GRAY, Avante Technology has expanded users’ capabilities, allowing them to create high-performance, end-use 3D printed parts ranging from automotive components to drone landing gear.
One of the key technologies behind FilaOne GRAY is its Carbon Nanotube filling. As we have previously seen with companies such as 3DXTech and Arevo Labs, Carbon Nanotubes, or CNTs, can significantly strengthen polymer-based filaments.
CNTs are large molecules of pure carbon that have the benefit of being stronger and lighter than steel, while also being efficient conductors of electricity and heat. When used in 3D printing applications, CNT’s can thus produce extremely strong, lightweight, and conductive components quickly and cost-effectively.
“FilaOne GRAY contains a proprietary type of carbon nanotubes that have been highly dispersed throughout the filament to re-enforce the integrity of the material,” explains Avante Technology. “These nanotubes provide strength and resilience to the composite. When other materials crack or break, FilaOne GRAY stretches and deforms.”
Thanks to its unique composition, FilaOne GRAY boasts five key benefits:
High mechanical strength: FilaOne GRAY is reportedly 48% stronger than ABS
High resiliency: 3D printed parts flex and recover without cracking or crazing
Chemical resistance: Parts are resistant to common acids and caustic chemicals
Hydrophobic: Parts are unaffected by humidity and repel water
Safe to use: FilaOne GRAY does not emit toxic and smelly out-gassing during 3D printing
Additionally, the company has said that the new material is lighter than Nylon, ABS, Polycarbonate or PEEK, and easier to print with.
“By applying carbon nanotube technology in a unique manner, FilaOne GRAY expands the range of mechanical and chemical capabilities for desktop 3D printing to approach the capabilities of industrial FDM printers costing over $50,000 or more” said Robert Zollo, President of Avante Technology.
“Manufacturers can now use affordable desktop printers to create functional prototypes and produce parts safely and easily, without spending tens of thousands of dollars on an industrial grade printer, and without creating OSHA and EPA problems for the facility.”
Specifically, the company suggests that the ideal uses for FilaOne GRAY 3D printing filament are outdoor, marine, or other applications where the parts will be placed under mechanical load. Examples include 3D printed drones, living hinges, aviation and automotive parts, jigs and fixtures, and parts that will be exposed to acid, caustic chemicals, or salt water.
The FilaOne GRAY composite 3D printing filament will be available in 1.75mm and 2.88mm versions, with a single 0.5 Kg reel cost $199 and a 0.5 Kg reel with a companion printing adhesion sheet costing $229. Filament samples are also available for $25.