3D_printing_close_up.jpgFilaments are the building blocks of three-dimensional printing. As the world of 3D printing is becoming more advanced, so are the filaments that are used within the printers. While ABS filaments are currently the most standard filament choice, new graphite filaments are providing 3D printers with more options than ever before.

What is an ABS filament?

ABS filaments are one of two very popular filament types that are used for 3D printing. Standing for acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, ABS filament is extremely flexible, results in a glossy finish for printed parts, requires less force than other filament types, and has a higher melting point, and therefore a longer life span. According to Gizmodorks, perhaps the most familiar item that is constructed using ABS is the childhood toys, Legos. The downside to ABS filament, though, is that they can produce a burnt plastic smell when extruding, and require a good ventilation system within the printer. (Source: http://gizmodorks.com/blog/3d-printing-materials-abs-vs-pla/)

A New Announcement in Filaments – Graphite Infused ABS

The company Filabot has recently announced the release of their new graphite infused ABS, which has the same benefits of ABS, as well as extra perks. While the graphite infused ABS prints just as beautifully as traditional ABS, it also prints more smoothly, which means that there is a smaller amount of friction produced when 3D printed parts come in contact with one another.

Multi-walled Carbon Nanotube Filaments Released

Graphite infused ABS isn’t the only exciting announcement in the 3D printing world; Filabot has also released multi-walled carbon nanotube filaments. While the exact strength of these new filaments is still in the research phase, the multi-walled carbon nanotube filaments are stronger than traditional ABS filaments, and offer superior bonding strength. The best part, though, is that despite the fact that these filaments are stronger than ever before, they still print just as effectively as ABS filaments.

More to come for 3D printers’ filaments?

According to 3dprint.com, the exciting announcements of the graphite infused ABS and multi-walled carbon nanotube filaments are just the beginning – Filabot says that there are more releases on the way. The new filament releases are bound to revolutionize the 3D printing world, as more 3D printer users will be able to create objects with “a vast array of new physical properties,” as stated in a blog published by 3dprint.com. Some of the anticipated filaments include filaments with flame retardant properties that can self-extinguish, as well as a more flexible ABS filament that can bend even more than the current type.

For those who are interested, the carbon nanotube filament is currently priced at $42.10 per spool, and the graphite infused ABS is priced at $32.15 per spool.