Given that Forefront Filaments are brand new materials for the 3D printing market, we’ve taken the time to summarise the answers to some frequently asked questions about our products:
Is it compatible with my 3D printer?
Most probably YES. If you can print PLA, you can print Forefront F43 TOUGH and F41 FLEX. Both can use the same nozzle temperatures as PLA. F41 FLEX can use the same bed plate temperature as PLA, with Kapton tape as a print surface. The only exception to compatibility is in cases where the 3D printer manufacturer has restrictions on the accepted cartridge – for example Stratasys and 3D Systems machines include software that recognises their own filament and will only print with their products.
The other current exception is a printer that only accepts 3mm filament, like Ultimaker and Lulzbot, but this is only a temporary barrier, as Forefront plans to introduce 3mm filaments in the near future.
Is it hard to print, like other polypropylene filaments?
No. Forefront Filaments have been designed specifically for the application of 3D printing, so they do not have the same issues as standard PP filaments. Our F43 TOUGH filament has been developed to deliver the printed-part properties of PP but with optimised print experience – no clogging, minimal warping and excellent inter-layer adhesion.
Why do I need a different print surface?
Our filaments are built around a single family of polymers – polyolefins. These polymers stick really well to each other, but don’t like to adhere easily to other types of plastic. So for best results, our filaments need to be printed onto a compatible print surface – in this case, a polypropylene film. When the temperature and nozzle height are optimised (as described in www.forefrontfilament.co.uk/using-our-filaments), the print will adhere well to the bed plate throughout the print and be easily removed at the end of the print when the part and the bed have both cooled down.
Do I need to store it with desiccant?
No. Unlike PLA and ABS, our filaments are not susceptible to moisture, so they can be stored in a clean, dust-free environment and will not degrade after exposure to the air. In fact, our filaments are completely waterproof, are very resistant to most chemicals and have a high heat tolerance, meaning that printed parts can be washed with any detergent or even put in the dishwasher*.
Why does it cost more than some other filaments?
Polyolefins offer an engineering solution for those that want tough, durable, functional parts as well as aesthetic models. All these features are provided by the unique formulation of the filament, which has been developed and optimised for FDM 3D printing through a collaboration of engineers, extrusion specialists and polymer scientists. Often, the quality of low-cost bulk-manufactured filament products can vary from one manufacturer to another. However, our filaments are manufactured in a tightly controlled production environment in the UK with a focus on quality and consistency, so that your filament will print without problems.
Where can I buy it?
Our filaments are manufactured in the UK and shipped to UK, Europe, US and Canada. They can be purchased directly from the Forefront Filament website or via 3DFilaprint (GlobalFSD), Amazon or eBay.
Find out more about Forefront Filament by browsing our website, reading our blogs or getting in touch.