Filament Friday: 3D-Fuel’s Biome3D Is a Plant-Based Plastic

3D Printing & Imaging Digital Fabrication
Filament Friday: 3D-Fuel’s Biome3D Is a Plant-Based Plastic

For last week’s Filament Friday, we discussed Proto-Pasta’s Matte Fiber HTPLA and its lack of shine and added texture. This week, we are looking at a filament with the exact opposite results. Biome3D from 3D-Fuel will give your prints a silky smooth feel mixed with a pearl finish.

Much like PLA, Biome3D is a bio-plastic created from plant-based polymers unlike more traditional oil based plastics. This helps make bio-plastics a more sustainable material for 3D printing by using plants as a renewable resource. The waste stream of bio-plastics also has a reduced environmental impact because they can be composted under the right circumstances.

The most striking difference between Biome3D and its more well known cousin PLA is the pearl like appearance in the print. While you get some of the effect in some of the other available colors, the real star is the natural, slightly creamy white. This iridescence helps your prints stand out compared to other materials. I used the natural color while printing the smoke on a gCreate Rocket with fantastic results.

Every plastic has its downside though, and Biome3D is no exception. Like PLA but even more so, Biome3D does not harden as soon as it leaves the extruder and requires active cooling to help keep its shape. This means that overhangs and bridges are going to be hard to print cleanly. Multiple cooling fans to ensure all angles are covered will help, but only so much.

The Dapper Deity printed in Natural Biome3D on a SeeMeCNC Eris at .2MM layer heights.

I printed the Dapper Deity and was pleased with his top surface quality and how clean his tentacles came out. No surprise though, the underside of his belly proved to be too much of an overhang for the material to handle and enough drooping occurred to blemish his otherwise smooth appearance.

Biome3D might not be as flashy as some colors or filaments with embedded materials, but if you are looking to add a luster to your prints without the hassles of post processing, this is a great choice that comes with a nice environmental bonus.

Check back every Friday for weekly reviews on 3D printing filament.

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Matt is a community organizer and founder of 3DPPVD, Ocean State Maker Mill, and HackPittsburgh. He is Make's digital fabrication and reviews editor.

View more articles by Matt Stultz


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