UK graphene developer Haydale announced that it will launch graphene-enhanced poly lactic acid (PLA) filaments for 3D printing towards the end of September. Haydale is collaborating with UK-based thermoplastic filaments for 3D printing maker Filamentprint.
Haydale and Filamentprint will showcase the new materials in a trade show, and will also demonstrate products being 3D printed in graphene enhanced PLA. Data sheets and price lists will be available for interested parties. The Haydale graphene enhanced PLA filaments, available in 1.75mm and 2.85 mm diameters, are already on trial by some 3D printing companies, and reported benefits include:
- Excellent first layer adhesion and z axis strength retention;
- Major increase in speed of processing;
- Improved strength and stiffness;
- Better impact performance;
- Excellent print quality and surface finish;
- Improved dimensional accuracy; and
- Compatibility with a broad range of printers and ease of use.
Haydale is the second company to offer graphene 3D filaments. The first company to do so was the US-based Graphene 3D Lab. G3L started offering graphene 3D filaments back in March 2015, and is now offering several types of such filaments.
Graphene, a single-atomic layer of carbon atoms arranged in a hexagonal lattice, is repeatedly dubbed a “wonder material” due to its immense array of uncanny properties like extraordinary conductivity, flexibility and transparency.
Graphene-enhanced nanocomposite materials greatly improve traditional materials used in 3D printing, like plastics. Graphene nanoplatelets that are added to polymers make materials that are mechanically stronger and with improved thermal and electrical conductivity.
The possibilities that 3D printed graphene offers goes beyond strong conductive materials – researchers already demonstrated 3D printed batteries and supercapacitors, and also heat elements – all based on graphene. Dozens of companies in the US, Europe and Asia, besides Haydale and Graphene 3D Lab, are all developing graphene for 3D printing. The possibilities that functional 3D printing offers are truly endless.