PolyPlus PLA

California-based Octave Systems has announced the addition of Polymakr filament to its offerings. Having recently completed a successful Kickstarter campaign, Polymakr has become a leading FFF 3D printer specialty materials manufacturer.

Octave Systems intends to offer all Polymakr filaments as post-Kickstarter supplies are made available, but the first they have in stock is PolyMax PLA. Those familiar with regular PLA are aware that it is relatively brittle, limiting its usability in functional parts. However, PolyMax PLA exhibits eight times the impact strength and toughness of regular PLA while printing under identical temperature and environmental conditions. It has a higher bending modulus, bending strength, tensile strength and impact strength than ABS. The primary advantage here would be ABS-like part performance without ABS' increased tendency to warp.

PolyMax PLA strength comparison

PolyPlus PLA is Polymakr's standard PLA and it should be the second Polymakr filament Octave has in stock. It includes something they call "Jam-Free" technology to reduce jamming, is FDA approved and is manufactured to tight specifications.

PolyFlex

PolyFlex is Polymakr's thermoplastic elastomer filament. It boasts high compatibility with most – if not all – FFF 3D printers. The challenge with soft filaments is the material being too soft to generate the required pressure for the printer's drive gear to consistently propel it, resulting in feeding problems. This can sometimes be avoided by greatly slowing print speed, but that isn't necessary with PolyFlex. It does not require a heated build plate and is said to be more warp resistant than either ABS or PLA. It should be printed at a temperature of 210°-230°C. Afinia and UP users can achieve this with an aftermarket temperature switch from Octave.

PolyWood

PolyWood is Polymakr's answer to problems sometimes seen in wood filament. Wood powders in typical wood filament can cause issues with flow. PolyWood has a porous microstructure, like wood, but it contains no wood powder, so it avoids the problem. In essence, it emulates the look and feel of wood, but in reality, it is 3D-printable foam. Miniscule air bubbles are trapped inside during the filament's creation, which are transferred to the final printed object, mimicking wood texture. It can print under standard PLA conditions, but Polymakr recommends a slightly higher printing temperature and slower printing speed. A heated build plate is not required.