Testing Thermochrome EcoPLA filament

The guys from Formfutura were kind enough to give us some special filaments to test not so long ago. We have started our test with the Thermochrome filament.

Thermochrome filament is a normal PLA filament with an additive that makes it change color depending on the temperature. Under 29ºC it looks black and above that it starts getting white.

thermochrome roll
This is how the thermochrome roll looks at the room temperature (about 20ºC)

We tried our usual calibration Lego Brick in our Prusa i3 printer, which we have very much under control.

Printing settings

In the formfutura site it is said that you should print it at 210ºC, but since we know that those could be the settings for Ultimaker, and Ultimaker usually needs more temperature than our Prusa, we have decided to use our usual PLA settings: 190ºC in the extruder (a Budaschnozzle 2.0) and 45ºC in the heated bed using Buildtak.

At those temperatures the filament flows perfectly and the print looks just fine, like normal PLA. The diameter of the filament is constant 2.85mm which makes it perfect for any printer supporting 3mm filaments (we’re looking at you, Ultimaker).

The color changing behavior is quite impressive, you can even see it touching the filament for some seconds like you can see in this video:

And here you have some pictures of the printing process where you can perfectly see the color changing also:

Thermochrome filament printing the lego brick.
Thermochrome filament printing the lego brick. Note the part entering the extruder wich is black, and the piece being printed white.
The brick just after print, the bed was cooling down but still hot at about 40ºC
The brick just after print, the bed was cooling down but still hot at about 40ºC
About 5mins after the print finished, it started changed to black again.
About 5mins after the print finished, it started changed to black again.
After completely cooling down, the brick is again black.
After finishing cooling down, the brick is again black.

You can buy this filament in the Formfutura website for 49.95€ for a spool of 500g.

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