NatureWorks announcement on 3D printing filament
MINNETONKA, Minn., and County Donegal, Ireland, Dec. 10, 2013 — Global bioplastics leader NatureWorks and 3Dom Filament Limited, a new technology startup with extensive Ingeo PLA technical experience, are supporting the rapidly growing 3D printing industry by combining the latest NatureWorks’ Ingeo PLA resins with 3Dom’s state-of-the-art filament manufacturing processes. Ireland based 3DOM Filament Limited is an independent company newly formed to supply Ingeo filament to the additive manufacturing market.
The confidence that NatureWorks has in the quality of the 3DOM product is evidenced by the fact that the entire 3DOM monofilament family will carry the Ingeo logo. This is the first time NatureWorks has licensed the use of the Ingeo brand name and logo in the 3D printing industry. NatureWorks was the first company in the world to develop a commercial manufacturing process for PLA bioplastic, which it markets under the Ingeo brand name and sells globally.
“With Ingeo, 3DOM Filament Limited will help to ensure the availability of a PLA monofilament that meets quality standards and reduces filament related printing problems. While the 3Dom company is new, the team there has more than a decade of experience with Ingeo PLA. 3Dom is also actively involved in research and development of Ingeo blends and additives, bringing new performance enhancements to the 3D printing community,” said Dan Sawyer, Global Leader, NatureWorks New Business segment. “NatureWorks is collaborating with customer compounders and additive suppliers, and we intend to develop further strategic relationships around the world to support the growing global 3D printing market.”
The higher the quality of the printer monofilament in terms of roundness, diameter, and consistency, the better the results of the 3D printing experience. While the rush to satisfy the emerging 3D market demand for a performance alternative to ABS substrates has spawned numerous products and suppliers, NatureWorks is concerned that some companies may not have the Ingeo materials and processing expertise of 3DOM Filament Limited or that company’s quality control equipment such as continuous online laser scanning. Without the deep technical knowledge specific to this polymer substrate, new grades of filament that could advance the industry may never reach manufacturers or end users.
“With Ingeo, 3DOM gives people the freedom to create without the hurdles and frustrations of markedly inferior monofilaments,” said Ciaran McMenamin, Director, 3DOM Filament Limited. “We’ve spent a year developing a process for converting Ingeo into a consistently high quality filament portfolio. We have all the primary colors and will be working on others.” McMenamin explained that because 3DOM is intimately familiar with the entire portfolio of available Ingeo grades, the company can tailor Ingeo monofilament properties such as filament stiffness or finished part impact resistance and dimensional stability to best suit the end product requirements.
A sampling of current Ingeo products manufactured through traditional means can be found online in NatureWorks’ Ingeo LookBook. Follow NatureWorks on Twitter (@natureworks) for the latest updates. The international Ingeo users’ forum Innovation Takes Root will be held February 17-19, 2014, in Orlando, Fla.
For more information on 3DOM Filament Limited, visit www.3domfilaments.com and call +353 (0)74 9385480. The company is located in Ireland and while it expects its major markets to be in Europe, it can supply filament to most global locations. 3Dom’s Ingeo filament will be commercially available in January 2014.
NatureWorks LLC is a company dedicated to meeting the world’s needs today without compromising the earth’s ability to meet the needs of tomorrow. NatureWorks LLC is the first company to offer a family of commercially available, low-carbon-footprint Ingeo™ lactides and biopolymers derived from 100 percent annually renewable resources with performance and economics that compete with oil-based intermediates, plastics, and fibers, and provide brand owners new cradle-to-cradle options after the use of their products. NatureWorks is jointly owned by Thailand’s largest chemical producer, PTT Global Chemical, and Cargill, an international producer and marketer of food, agricultural, financial, and industrial products and services. For more information about NatureWorks and Ingeo, visit www.natureworksllc.com.