For a few years now, many of us in the 3D Printing community have been eagerly awaiting a highly-conductive filament that would allow us to print circuits as part of our 3D printed projects. Now a new kickstarter is promising a filament that is “1,000 times more electrically conductive” than previous filaments that have come to market. Using a dual extrusion machine and their new filament, the team at Functionalize has already created demos of a 3D printed flashlight and a magnetic levitation device.
There are a range of rewards available to backers including 3D printed circuits, spools of filament, and maker kits that include not only filament, but also example circuits. Functionalize is hoping that these rewards – and the promise of being able to print highly functional items – will help them make their requested $100,000 in the next 30 days.
One of the first examples of conductive filaments and their potential came in 2012 as a research paper that released experiments using PCL plastic (Shapelock) mixed with carbon powder. The research included examples of 3D printed flashlights along with printable sensors. Unfortunately, the research from this paper never really brought a conductive material to market, and those who have been interested in testing the possibilities of this technology have been left to wait for something else. Hopefully this kickstarter will be the solution we have been waiting for.