Special filament types for special ideas
We guess you are already more or less familiar with the two most basic filament materials used in 3d printing. We all love PLA and ABS for what we mostly use them, but there are projects that simply need something different.
We’d like to show you three types of special filaments, that might inspire you to create something completely new.
TPE or Thermoplastic Elastomer is a rubberlike, flexible material, ideal for printing things that require flexibility, or need to endure a few hits without breaking. Great for printing bracelets, drive belts, phone cases, tires, or even footwear!
Printing with actual steel is still not available for home users, but there are multiple types of PLA filaments, that are mixed with actual metallic flakes like brass and bronze to give the finished print an almost true metallic look. Post processing is highly needed when using this type of filament, to achieve a nice shiny finish.
As might have guessed, it’s almost the same as metal filaments; it’s PLA again, but this time, mixed with wood (or bamboo in some cases). It does really smell like wood during printing, and it also handles similar to real wood: You can carve it, sand it, even paint it. By varying the extruder temperature, you may even achieve a real wooden pattern because heat is causing the wooden grains inside the filament, to darken.