After inventing the concrete-like LAYBRICK and wood-like LAYWOO-D3 filaments, the man has proven himself a whiz with textures and material engineering once again with the first in a new series of filaments, PORO-LAY. PORO-LAY is a foamy, felty filament with a porous structure. As Kai describes, “Today I would like to introduce to the readership the opposite of filled materials. A series of materials which are filled with emptiness, namely pores.”
The new line consists of four different filaments: LAY-FELT, LAY-TEKKKS, LAY-FOMM, GEL-LAY. LAY-FELT and LAY-TEKKKS are similarly felt-like materials though LAY-TEKKKS is thinner and more fibrous. LAY-FOMM and GEL-LAY are foamy and gel-like respectively. The composition of the materials follows a simple equation. Kai takes two different materials, “A) a functional component, for example an Elastomer (i.e. a rubberlike)” and “B) a soluble component (could be PVA, or Sugar, or salt, or soluble resins).” He blends them together, granulates them, and then extrudes them into a filament for FFF 3D printing. Once an object is printed from a filament in the PORO-LAY series, it is then soaked in water for a given amount of time, dissolving component B and leaving A intact.
Kai explains that LAY-FELT may be used for semi-permeable membranes and filters, artificial paper and “future cloths”. LAY-TEKKKS May also be good for making future cloths, tissue and “orientated” and “stacked” fibrws. LAY-FOMM might be ideal for soft rubber-like applications, such as bendable suits and sponge-like objects, ink-reservoirs, bio-cells, micro-foam and elastics. GEL-LAY can be useful to illustrate biomechanics or as a simulation muscle, particularly as an underwater material. In the above video, Kai uses an octopus as an example of a marine creature whose movement could be demonstrated with this material….
Every Thursday is #3dthursday here at Adafruit! The DIY 3D printing community has passion and dedication for making solid objects from digital models. Recently, we have noticed electronics projects integrated with 3D printed enclosures, brackets, and sculptures, so each Thursday we celebrate and highlight these bold pioneers!
Have you considered building a 3D project around an Arduino or other microcontroller? How about printing a bracket to mount your Raspberry Pi to the back of your HD monitor? And don’t forget the countless LED projects that are possible when you are modeling your projects in 3D!
The Adafruit Learning System has dozens of great tools to get you well on your way to creating incredible works of engineering, interactive art, and design with your 3D printer! If you’ve made a cool project that combines 3D printing and electronics, be sure to let us know, and we’ll feature it here!