Canadian 3D printing materials startup Fortis3D is innovating the filament market with its unique portfolio of custom filament formulations and compounds.
Having debuted earlier this year, the start-up has built three product lines – Essential, Advanced and Industrial – to meet the needs of hobbyists, professionals and industry. The company sets itself apart from other filament manufacturers by its specialty in custom formulations and blends, which allows it to modify different resins to have “extraordinary” properties.
“As the market for 3D printing materials matures, we want to deliver value by creating innovative materials and pushing the boundaries of what current materials can do,” said Wayne Lam, Business Development Engineer at Fortis3D.
“We know that the market needs better performing, high quality and durable materials and at Fortis3D this is also what we are looking for.”
Polymer Engineering Innovation
Based in Ontario, Canada, Fortis3D’s team of dedicated engineers and scientists have a background in chemistry and polymer engineering. The team’s combined expertise is what gives the start-up a market edge, enabling the creation of unique filaments by modifying various resins to exhibit a range of superior and desirable properties.
All of Fortis3D’s filament products are based on proprietary formulations developed in-house, while its production facility is ISO9001 certified. The factory also follows Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), which means the majority of its filaments are US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved for food contact.
Advanced filaments for 3D printing
Fortis3D currently offers three filament product lines: Essential, Advanced and Industrial. All of the company’s filaments are available in 1.75mm formats, with 2.85mm coming later this year.
The Essential filament range is primarily aimed at hobbyists and makers, but can also be used for functional prototyping. For now, the filaments in the product line are all PLA-based, but the startup plans to release PETG and TPU in the future.
First in the line is BioDuro PLA, which is designed to exhibit high toughness while maintaining mechanical strength, and can be printed at elevated temperatures to achieve high elongation before failure. BioDuro Metallic PLA is based on the same resin, but added metallic and iridescent effects to provide high layer lines without the need for post-processing.
Next in the Essential range comes the Pilates PLA, a flexible filament with a shore hardness of 95A. Unlike some other flexible PLAs on the market, Pilates PLA has been manufactured without the use of plasticizers and is ideal for soft touch or ergonomic grip applications. The product line is completed with Lignum PLA, a 25% wood-filled PLA filament that prints smoothly without clogging. According to Fortis3D, parts printed in Lignum PLA feel and smell like wood, and can be sanded and stained to more closely mimic the material.
The start-up’s Advanced filament range, meanwhile, is aimed at professionals who want to make functional prototypes and end-use parts. The product line begins with SnapPrint PP, a low-strain polypropylene (PP) material that fuses the light weight, chemical resistance and other well-known advantages of PP with slight flexibility to provide increased impact resistance.
The second in the range is SnapPrint PA, a low-warp polyamide (PA) copolymer with high strength and elasticity for highly functional applications such as jigs and fixtures. The filament was designed to be water resistant, so even when the nylon gets wet, it can still print smooth parts with little stringing. Fortis3D claims that SnapPrint PA is one of the strongest unfilled nylon filaments on the market in terms of mechanical properties.
The final material in the Advanced range is Ignis PLA, a heat resistant filament with an HDT rating of approximately 95°C. Unlike other heat resistant PLAs on the market, the filament does not require annealing to achieve high heat resistance, while its excellent mechanical strength and toughness make it well suited for high performance applications.
Finally, the company’s industrial line is designed to bring traditional industrial injection molding plastics to the 3D printing market. The filaments in this product line are designed to provide properties as close to injection molding grades as possible, without compromising printability.
The first filament in the line, Nylon 6, is due out later this year. Nylon 6 is a tough filament with high modulus and ductility that is commonly used for applications in the electronics, appliance, and automotive industries. The filament’s excellent strength, abrasion and UV resistance make it ideal for making functional parts for use in high-temperature and wear-intensive environments.
Pursue growth and innovation
Fortis3D’s new 3D printing filaments are currently available for purchase in the United States and Canada, with the company looking to find resellers and partners throughout Europe and the Middle East.
Going forward, the company is looking to expand into the pellet 3D printing market and plans to bring value to the industry through its expertise in polymer compounding. Other unannounced products are also in development, with the company urging customers to stay tuned over the coming months.
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Featured image shows BioDuro PLA, Lignum PLA and BioDuro Metallic PLA filaments from Fortis3D. Image via Fortis3D.