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Updates

Important Notice – PLA Shortage

Due to a huge increase in demand for sustainable alternatives to regular plastic, there is a worldwide PLA shortage currently.

Due to this situation, prices for the following PLA products – will increase on Friday 1st November 2019

  • (r)PLA – 20%
  • PLA Matte – 10%
  • PLA Cosmic – 10%
  • ePLA – 20%
  • Wood – 20%

I am sure you are wondering why this is happening – the answer is that the demand for PLA in major industries such as packaging has considerably increased in recent months – leading to supply shortage and subsequent price increase. In comparison, 3D printing demand for PLA is miniscule.

As an environmentally-conscious company we are glad to see a step-change in plastic consumption, but unfortunately this has led to a dramatic increase in raw materials cost throughout the value chain which inevitably affects us.

Filamentive is committed to offering you the quality you expect and deserve; switching to lower-grade materials was an option open to us but we would never compromise the calibre of our products. We have found a way to minimise the price increase to the least possible amount without compromising quality.

All orders made on or before Thursday 31st October 2019 will be honoured with the current pricing, so we highly encourage you to order soon to take advantage of this.

Price is obviously a major factor, especially for those who use 3D printing within / as a business. Nonetheless, despite the price increases, we remain competitive with other premium brands.

As said, the PLA shortage affects every business in the value chain. Whilst you may not have seen price increases from others, be prepared for this in the coming weeks / months. 

Please rest assured that our value-added benefits such FREE UK delivery, 30% discount for trade / education and 30-day payment terms (subject to credit checks) are unaffected. 

We would highly encourage those of you not on our wholesale system to sign-up for FREE using the button below for a 30% discount for any order above £83+VAT.

If you have an existing account, please contact us so we can simply switch this to a wholesale one.

For volume users and / or those with large-format 3D printers, we also strongly recommend XL spools (2.3 kg and 8.5 kg) to lower the cost/kg– not to mentioned the reduced hassle from fewer spool changes.


There is currently no definitive date when this issue will be solved. We maintain regular contact with our industry partners on the current situation and any progress that is being made.

Given the uncertainty with PLA we actively encourage customers to consider non-PLA materials – namely PETg – as alternatives.

At Filamentive, we try to see challenges as opportunities. As such, we are proactively exploring PLA waste streams – from a variety of sources – with a view to creating more, innovative PLA filament products made with high-percentage recycled content. 

We greatly appreciate your continued business and support through this time of change. If you have any further questions or concerns regarding this price increase, please do not hesitate to reach out. Our team is more than happy to discuss this situation with you.


Filamentive join Ultimaker Material Alliance Program

Bradford, West Yorkshire, United Kingdom – 21 August 2019 – Filamentive is pleased to announce our participation in The Ultimaker Material Alliance Program –  a collaboration allowing filament companies to offer their products in Ultimaker Marketplace. 

Four of our 3D printing filaments – ASA, Carbon Fibre, PETg and PLA – have been added to the Ultimaker Marketplace. In-line with our production model and sustainability policy, the named materials feature high-percentage recycled content declared according to the standards of ISO 14021.

As such, these four products will be listed in the Ultimaker software and all 3D printing settings will be provided to make sure that we can together offer unprecedented hassle-free printing, first-time-right-printing and ease of use to our joint end-users – substantially improving printing reliability and printing quality.

Ravi Toor, Managing Director at Filamentive: “Plastic waste is a global problem, and technology such as 3D printing has the power to facilitate sustainable development and resource efficiency. With more than 100,000 Ultimaker users in the professional market and 3 million Cura users worldwide, the availability of Filamentive material profiles will increase the awareness, credibility and ultimately use of recycled materials to further reduce the environmental impact of FFF 3D printing.”

Bart van As, Product Manager Materials at Ultimaker: “Ultimaker Printers are suitable for professional 3D printing by offering a hassle free 3D printing experience with industrial-grade materials. We are very proud to inform the market that 4 different types of filaments of Filamentive will soon be available through the Ultimaker Marketplace.

These print profiles have been optimized using Ultimaker’s specialized software that is available to partners in our Ultimaker Material Alliance Program. 3D printing professionals worldwide can soon use FFF technology to print with a recycled material in order to achieve beautifully designed results printed in 3D. With this addition, the Ultimaker Marketplace offers even more solutions catering to the needs of our customers.”


About Ultimaker

Since  2011, Ultimaker  has built an open  and easy to use solution  of 3D printers, software, and materials that enable professional designers and engineers to innovate every day. Today, Ultimaker is the market leader in desktop 3D printing. From offices in the Netherlands, New York, Boston, and Singapore – plus production facilities in Europe and the US – its global team of over 400 employees work together to accelerate the world’s transition to digital distribution  and local manufacturing. 

www.ultimaker.com

About Filamentive

Filamentive is the market leader in sustainable materials for FFF 3D Printing. The company was founded to address the environmental need to use more recycled plastics in 3D printing, and also alleviate market concerns over quality and long-term sustainability. Filamentive has experienced rapid growth and continues to address the questions surrounding 3D printing recycled materials. Headquartered in Bradford, United Kingdom, its customers include a global network of makers, businesses and education clients.

www.filamentive.com

Recycling Failed and Waste 3D Prints into Filament: Challenges

In response to growing interest into the area of recycled filament and the regular enquiries we receive regarding failed/waste 3D print recycling, we thought we’d take the time to clarify our position – this article specifically will focus on the challenges preventing us offering such a service (currently). 

Do you accept 3D printing waste?

Can you recycle failed prints?

Will you recycle our PLA waste back into PLA filament?

The example quotes above are just an overview of the types of emails, calls and enquiries we receive on a daily basis. As a provider of 3D printing filament made from recycled plastic, we feel it is necessary to explain the current challenges of recycling failed & waste 3D prints into recycled 3D printer filament.


Environmental Need

Whilst at its core 3D printing is fundamentally less wasteful than traditional, subtractive manufacturing methods, academic research has found that “material sustainability is an issue that can no longer be ignored due to wide adoption of 3D printing”. The use of plastic as a feedstock has the potential to exacerbate the global plastic epidemic unless we can find a sustainable solution.

How Filamentive Produces Filament

Sustainability is at the heart of our business model. Where possible, recycled materials will be used to produce our 3D printer filament – we are the first filament brand to declare the recycled content of all 3D printing filament products, in accordance with ISO 14021.

Material sourcing

A careful selection criteria is in place in order to guarantee quality, consistent waste streams. We use both post-consumer waste – for example recycled PET bottles to produce our ONE PET filament, as well as post-industrial waste – such as material diverted from the waste stream during a manufacturing process, which is how we produce our PLA filament. 

Manufacturing

Plastic filament for 3D printers is produced by a process known as plastic extrusion. This process starts by feeding plastic material (pellets, granules, flakes or powders) from a hopper into the barrel of the extruder. The material is gradually melted by the mechanical energy generated by turning screws and by heaters arranged along the barrel. The molten polymer is then forced into a die, which shapes the polymer into the shape of filament – typically either 1.75mm or 2.85mm in diameter. The extrusion work is currently outsourced to our specialist producer who are able to guarantee quality, consistency and manufacturing at scale. 

Quality assurance

All feedstock streams are meticulously checked to ensure homogeneity. During extrusion, filament is measured by lasers from 2-axes, with an alarm bell sounding if the diameter falls outside our high standards. Filament is then wound onto bulk spools for visual inspection before it is put onto the individual spools to be packaged. Each batch produced undergoes a rigorous 3D printing test; if we’re not happy with the print quality then it won’t leave the factory, simple as.


Challenges

Quality control – High quality filament is essential for high quality 3D-prints. Should we ever begin to accept returned 3D printing waste, it is very difficult – perhaps impossible – to verify that the returned plastic is entirely Filamentive material. There is variation between PLA formulas – let alone different materials altogether – and so if the waste-stream is contaminated, the filament extruded will unusable. Furthermore, an academic study found that were significant deteriorations in most mechanical properties after three recycling cycles” – which basically means that even if waste could be successfully separated, the filament quality would be very low, and in order to maintain mechanical properties, virgin material needs to be added which may negate the environmental benefit. 

Logistics – Plastic has a high volume-to-weight ratio which can make collections less efficient than the collection of other recyclable materials that weigh more. This is a major reason why plastic waste recycling rates are low in general. In a nutshell, this basically means plastic is expensive to transport which is barrier for customers and suppliers alike. Also, as we do not yet manufacture in-house, any waste would then need to be sent to one of our production partners which will incur transport emissions and perhaps offset some – if not all – environmental benefits. 

Economics – As with any business strategy, the financials need to be viable. Should customers not be willing to send their waste back at their cost, we would need to add the cost of waste collection and recycling into our product price. Whilst this would make sense for customers for others it would be unfair if they are not taking advantage of a service they are in-directly paying for.

Market viability – even if all the the above challenges were addresses, there are still many market factors to consider, such as:

  • Would we need to create a new brand/sub-brand for this new filament?
  • What price are customers willing to pay for such a product?
  • If filament cannot be created whom can we sell/send waste to? 

Plastic bottles being collected by our partner, Tridea


Moving forward

Despite the challenges, recycling 3D printing waste has long been an aspiration of ours and we’re continuously researching the viability of a waste management service. Offering such a service one-day will truly help us move one step closer to achieving a circular economy and reduce – if not eliminate – plastic waste within 3D printing. Until such a solution is achieved, we will still continue to be the sustainable choice in 3D printing by committing to:

  • Using recycled material (post-consumer and post-industrial) where possible 
  • Avoid the use of new, virgin polymers to reduce energy and demand for raw materials. 
  • Utlise plant-based bioplastics when there is no recycled alternative
  • Forming strategic partnerships with recycling companies to use their waste streams to produce filament
  • Using 100% recyclable cardboard spools to further reduce waste and increase the recyclability of our products/packaging

Hopefully this has been an interesting and informative read – if you have any questions about recycled filament or indeed anything related to Filamentive, please email us.

Filamentive Declare Recycled Content Certification – ISO 14021

Bradford, West Yorkshire, United Kingdom – January 22nd 2019 – Filamentive is proud to declare the recycled content of all 3D printing filament products, in accordance with ISO 14021.

Whilst at its core 3D printing is fundamentally less wasteful than traditional, subtractive manufacturing methods, the use of plastic as a feedstock has the potential to exacerbate the global plastic epidemic.

In response to the rising issue of plastic  – and the inevitable rise in plastic use because of 3D printing – Filamentive is committed to using a high-percentage of recycled materials in all products manufactured and sold, as well as committing to recyclable spools and packaging. The following products have been evaluated according to: BS EN ISO 14021:2016 – Environmental labels and declarations — Self-declared environmental claims (Type II environmental labelling)

 

“Due to FDM/FFF 3D printers using plastic materials as feedstock, unfortunately as 3D printing becomes more popular, plastic production and consumption will increase, causing the industry to exacerbate the global problem of plastic” states Filamentive founder, Ravi Toor. “Filamentive specialise in sustainable 3D printing filament materials. The company was founded to address to the environmental need to use more recycled plastics in 3D printing, and also alleviate market concerns over quality and long term sustainability”.

Filamentive was founded to challenge that very notion that recycled products are of inferior quality. The company recognises the that high quality filament produces high quality 3D-prints, which is why they commit to strict waste selection and manufacturing procedures to ensure no impact on user-performance.

“It is becoming evident that all consumers – from hobbyists to large businesses – are becoming increasingly environmentally-aware and so we will continue to set high targets for recycled content and the recyclability of our packaging” adds Ravi Toor.

Filamentive 3D printer filament products can be found online via filamentive.com, via the UK distributor, 3DGBIRE, or globally via a network of Resellers.

 

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Filamentive (https://www.filamentive.com/ravi@filamentive.com) is a market leader in sustainable 3D printing filaments. The company has experienced rapid growth and continues to address the questions surrounding 3D printing recycled materials. Its customers include a global network of makers, businesses and education clients.

PLA Cosmic now available!

Good news… You can now create prints that are “out of this world”!

We are pleased to announce that our brand new 3D Printer Filament – PLA Cosmic is available to order through our online store. PLA Cosmic is a glittery filament that gets its sparkle from metallic flakes. Cosmic has a slightly higher printing temperature to other PLA 3D Printer Filaments, so be sure to check the product description for more info.

Cosmic is available in 5 different colours;

  • Gold
  • Silver
  • Grey
  • Red
  • Blue

 

This has been a long anticipated venture for us and we know you have all been excited about it. We’re pleased that we can finally announce this as an official product.

 

Shop Now

 

Happy printing, reach for the stars.

Filamentive Team

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