High Impact Additives

The impact additives are the stuff that makes ABS strong enough to build Lego bricks out of. ABS can be though of in simplistic terms as a mixture of a type of polystyrene, an acrylic and the impact-resisting synthetic rubber. That rubbery texture makes it much stiffer to extrude and likely to “follow the nozzle” when printing.

The same concept can be applied to PLA, and we can add impact additives if required, though do note that they are not biodegradable. Their natural colour is white, so we cannot produce clear modified PLA. The material is initially stiff, then gives a little, but does not break or shatter until considerably more force is applied.

We do a lightly loaded type of PLA called Impact Modified PLA that will not readily shatter. Given a minute or so you might even break a piece of IMPLA 3mm filament. This is slightly rubbery to print with (though solid when cool) and will not give quite as good print definition as plain pigmented PLA. But it will print without you having to change the settings.

We also do a heavily loaded PLA called High Impact PLA for hinges and so forth. This needs to be printed in thin layers and slowly; increase the temperature by 5C and experimentation is needed. It usually takes a couple of people to break a 3mm HIPLA filament as the first one gets bored. We’ve shot BBs at this and were fortunately wearing our safety glasses, as they came back!

Please contact us if you require any of the above in colours as per the “About” section as we do not keep the full colour range in stock.

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