Ecology – although still trivialized by some, and reduced to absurdity by others (whether through irrational happenings or the so-called “greenwashing”), for several years has been an important trend at the consumer and increasingly industrial level. Regardless of our attitude to this issue, the facts are inexorable – every year the world is flooded with tons of plastic, the vast majority of which will remain with us forever. This problem is noticed by leading companies in the 3D printing industry, which are gradually implementing solutions that follow a new, pro-ecological direction. One of them is Spectrum Filaments, which announces the premiere of new products in its offer as well as a significant change in the area of ​​their packaging.

Last week, Spectrum Filaments announced the premiere of 8 new technical materials that will be presented at the Formnext fair in Frankfurt am Main. However, this is not the end of the news – the company introduces two ecological materials – the innovative GreenyHT biopolymer, which, in addition to being fully biodegradable, ensures high temperature resistance, and Spectrum ecoPET 9021 – a 90% recycled material. Additionally, Spectrum will present new cardboard spools and sets of 5 materials on 250gr spools, offered as one product.

Spectrum GreenyHT

Spectrum GreenyHT is based on a high-performance biopolymer with a softening point (VICAT) of 100 ° C and thermal resistance (HDT B) of up to 90°C. The material also does not contain additional plasticizers, which ensures the purity of the mixture. In addition to high temperature resistance, in terms of stiffness and hardness, it significantly exceeds the popular alternatives on the market of biodegradable plastics, such as PLA.

Spectrum GreenyHT is fully biodegradable and compostable under industrial conditions defined by the EN 13432 standard. The bio-base comes from GMO-free sources and meets the conditions for contact with food. In the visual sphere, the new filament is distinguished by the characteristic roughness of the print surface. The irregularity and mattness of the surface effectively mask the layers, significantly increasing the aesthetic value of the printed models.

The filament is wound on an ecological, cardboard spool. The spool contains information about the type of material, diameter, color and recommended printing temperature.

Advantages of Spectrum GreenyHT:
  • Vicat softening temperature – up to 100°C
  • thermal resistance HDT B – up to 90°C
  • rough, matte print finish
  • no plasticizers
  • biodegradable and compostable
  • base material approved for contact with food
  • increased stiffness and hardness
  • possibility of 3D printing on desktop 3D printers without a heated chamber.

Spectrum ecoPET 9021

Spectrum ecoPET 9021 is based on polyethylene terephthalate (PET), which is not modified with glycol (as in the popular PET-G). The lack of glycol translates into much greater stiffness and resistance to stretching. However, the most important information is that the source of Spectrum ecoPET 9021 is recyclate. However, in contrast to the classic recycling, which consists in granulating flakes from cut bottles, a more advanced raw material was used here, resulting from the chemical depolymerization and re-polymerization of waste.

In the case of classic methods of recycling plastics, it is extremely difficult to obtain adequate purity and homogeneity of the material, because the packaging is made of various types of PET. The mix of various materials and the specific chemical randomness of such a mixture translate into problems during 3D printing of the filament. The use of granules formed in the process of depolymerization and re-polymerization of the Spectrum precipitation guarantees the quality and ease of prints from ecoPET 9021. It is also worth noting that the share of recyclate in the mixture accounts for over 90% of the filament composition.

This approach has resulted in the creation of repeatable, ecological and print-friendly filament, the advantage of which over classic PETG is not only its impressive temperature resistance up to 125°C (max. 200h) and low water absorption, but also greater tensile strength and stiffness.

Advantages of the Spectrum ecoPET 9021
  • thermal resistance up to 125°C (max. 200h)
  • tensile strength increased by 20% compared to classic PET-G
  • stiffness increased by 50% compared to classic PET-G
  • good chemical resistance
  • high surface quality after printing
  • good impact strength.
Spectrum 5Pack

Another novelty in the Spectrum offer is 5Pack – sets of five colors of a given type of filament or a mix of materials in the form of five spools of 250 gr each. The materials are already wound on new cardboard spools. Spectrum 5Pack sets have been prepared so that each customer can create various elements in a wide range of colors and materials without the need to purchase more of a single type of filament. At the moment, 5Packs include:

Cardboard spools

Moving with the times towards a greener future, Spectrum Filaments has made a strategic decision to begin the process of partially switching its products to cardboard reels. Due to the fact that the company has over 60 catalog items in terms of the same types of materials, which translates into hundreds of items, taking into account colors and diameters, this process will be progressive. The benefits of the new spool can already be seen at its source – unlike plastic spools that come from non-renewable sources, cardboard spools are environmentally friendly and have a lower carbon footprint. The new Spectrum Filaments spools are made of pressed and die-cut cardboard, thanks to which they are strong and easily withstand the loads they are subjected to.

Paweł Ślusarczyk
CEO of 3D Printing Center. Has over 15 years' experience in buisiness, gained in IT, advertising and polygraphy. Part of 3D printing industry since 2013.

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