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Pre-release of color changing Chameleon PLA line

Posted by Simba 
Pre-release of color changing Chameleon PLA line
September 30, 2013 03:43PM
Hello Everyone,

We are making a new product line which includes never before seen thermochromic colors and temperatures. The pigments, embedded throughout PLA, allow you to print a material that changes color according to temperature. This also means that your prints have this property. The filaments are a drop in replacement for 1.75mm PLA in Makerbot, Afinia, Up!, Solidoodle, and Reprap printers, and other printers we haven't tested are also expected to work.

We were astonished by the feedback we got at Maker Faire, where we went to present this as a hobby, and entire schools of kids kept coming back with their friends to show off the material. Adults would ask "whats the point?" and we would answer, it's cool, lets you print new objects, and gives you a major advantage when trying to print.

For example, you could get 45 C orange, which changes color from orange to white when it is hotter than 45C. As you may know, PLA is squishy just above 60C or so. Therefore, if you are printing too hot (white) you can see where perimeters would breakdown and look ugly. Now place a fan at the right speed and position on your print, and watch the white disapear until only the current layer is hot. By doing this, you'll have really thin prints that look super clean.

Another neat idea is to monitor overheating of electronic components by making attachments or casings out of this material. We also made a beer koozi (Blue below 16C). Here we were noted by inhabitat [inhabitat.com] which shows a color changing cup. But the color change is more dramatic (depending on the temperature ranges involved).

We call this line Chameleon, and it is not on sale yet, but will be in ~1 month. So I'm looking for your input on colors, print ideas, etc.

An additional feature is that I used my materials science to improve the support removal characteristics of PLA, making is far easier to remove support than ordinary PLA. We also had the PLA made in such a way that it would flow at a high rate of speed, so it doesn't jam fast printers. We are having them made in the USA too, so expect to pay a little more than the cheap stuff, and another few $ for the color changing pigments.

If anyone can come up with a really cool application for a print, I will personally send you free samples to try. Feel free to post here. Color will include green (30C), rose-red (30C), black (30C), ice blue (16C), orange (45C), and whatever combination you suggest, we'll try to make it. Click here to stay posted about the M3D Filaments

Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 09/30/2013 03:56PM by Simba.
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