Kai Parthy, inventor of Laywoo-D3 and Laybrick, has created a new filament called BendLay. As the name implies, it is flexible. Its transparency is similar to that of Plexiglass. It can be extruded between 215° - 240°C, with 240°C recommended for best layer adhesion during fast printing. Thermal stability is like PLA (65° - 70°C).

A modified Butadiene, BendLay is not a material found in nature, but it is safe for household and food products. Its water absorption rate is 30% that of ABS (this matters, because evaporation contributes to warping/curling). Bending will not cause the clear color to change due to stress. It is high-impact resistant and sticks well to both ABS and PLA, for multi-material print jobs. Acetone will turn it crumbly, so don't try to post-smooth it like ABS.

Applications range from straps and belts to anything requiring flexibility, thin walls, or light emission. It is relatively easily bent, depending on wall thickness, and highly resilient.

BendLay continues a trend of new filament development that is logical for the maturity of the personal 3D printing industry. FFF (FDM) personal 3D printers have been around for a few years, but materials were not specifically being made for them. People simply used plastic welding wire and said, "it works!"

Most personal 3D printing filaments in use today are still the same material designs originally intended for plastic welding. The bulk of development has been focused on the hardware side, making faster, higher resolution printers with bigger build envelopes and multi-extruder options, along with the occasional ease of use feature. The next logical growth area to be developed is on the chemical side, making new filaments that allow personal 3D printers to either perform better or produce objects with different material properties.

BendLay is currently available on the German site, Orbi-Tech. California-based distributor MatterHackers has also confirmed they are working to supply both BendLay and Laybrick, but don't yet have it in stock.