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3-D printing with Algix’ Alga

April 10, 2017

Alga comes in a small range of colors that are muted earth tones.

Matt Stultz writes in about Algix’ unique 3-D printing filament created with a combination of algae and Polylactic Acid (PLA) – a biodegradable thermoplastic derived from renewable resources such as corn starch or sugarcane. This environmentally friendly filament requires less plastic because it’s made with abundant renewable resources.

Algix’ Alga prints with similar characteristics as other PLA-based materials but at lower temperatures, ranging from 175ºC to 190ºC. Mr. Stultz printed at 183º splitting the difference, and found his print to be a bit stringy. “Algix suggests lowering the print temp in this case, but my print also came out with some pocking, an inconsistency often attributed to extruder jamming from under-temp extrusion.”

Alga comes in a small range of colors that are muted earth tones – and gives prints a matte, semi rough texture. “The composition also resulted in a much lighter print, coming in about 5 grams under standard PLA (about 1/4 less).”

While Mr. Stultz thinks the print settings can be tweaked to result in a good print, his only real dig on Alga is the smell. “I had been warned that previous formulas gave off a ‘scummy pond’ odor that hung around too long. I was spared this. Instead it gave off an organic, chemical smell like some kind of solvent or air freshener gone wrong. I would definitely recommend printing Alga in a well ventilated space.”

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