Fillamentum is a dynamic and innovative company at the forefront of the 3D printing filaments industry with headquarters in Hulín, Czech Republic that serve as the hub for the global operations.
The company has rapidly grown to become the leading producer of high-tech 3D printing filaments, reaching customers in over 62 countries.
Interview with Martin Opustil, Marketing Specialist at Fillamentum.
Easy Engineering: A brief description of the company and its activities.
Martin Opustil: At Fillamentum, our commitment to cutting-edge technology and our product portfolio caters to a wide spectrum of customers, from hobbyist 3D printing enthusiasts to industrial engineers with specialized needs. We take immense pride in offering materials that provide exceptional mechanical properties, earning the admiration of professionals seeking top-tier results for their applications.
I am particularly excited about our dedication to quality and innovation, which has earned us accolades within the 3D printing industry. Winning the prestigious 3D Printing Industry Awards in the Material Company of the Year category in 2021 has solidified our position as trendsetters in the field.
But beyond technical achievements, our heart lies in our commitment to sustainability. We understand the importance of environmental responsibility, and our groundbreaking material, NonOilen, is a testament to that. Being 100% biodegradable and can be recycled up to 12 times without losing its functional properties, it perfectly aligns with our vision for a more sustainable future. The recognition we received at EXPO 2020 in Dubai, with the Commissioner General’s Award for our contribution to the topic of sustainability, was a proud moment for the entire Fillamentum team.
As we move forward, the 3D printing market continues to grow and evolve at a rapid pace. Our dedication to innovation remains unwavering, as we constantly strive to push the boundaries of 3D printing technology.
E.E: What’s the news about new products?
M.O: The latest materials we have released include filaments such as NonOilen, and Flexfill PEBA 90A. This is a flexible material that has specific mechanical properties such as excellent energy return, flexibility even at lower temperatures, and excellent toughness. This material is now available in up to five colors. We have also relatively recently released materials for engineering applications that have excellent chemical resistance. It is an OBC filament that is based on polyethylene and is exceptional for its ultra-lightweight. This filament was developed in collaboration with DOW Chemical Company. Then there is the Fluorodur material, which in addition to its excellent chemical resistance is abrasion resistance. We are currently focusing on other high-tech and sustainable materials or new unique colors.
E.E: What are the ranges of products?
M.O: Our portfolio is divided into Industrial, forNATURE, and special categories for “hobby” printers (forMAKERS).
Fillamentum Industrial includes technologically advanced filaments that are designed for the most demanding applications. The vast majority of customers are professionals and companies who have specific material requirements for a given printed part. With this range, it is typical that these are filaments that need extra attention, as well as the necessary experience in additive manufacturing (3D printing). Materials included in this group include elastomers (Flexfill TPU, Flexfill TPE, and Flexfill PEBA), engineering polymers (Polyethylene OBC 905, Nylon FX256, Vinyl, Polypropylene, PC/ABS), and composites with various fibers (Nylon CF15 Carbon, Nylon AF80 Aramid, CPE CF12 Carbon).
Fillamentum ForNATURE contains materials that contribute to solving environmental problems. This category is represented by only one product so far, NonOilen, which will soon be available in other color variants. This line will be soon further strengthened by the Fishy Filaments by Fillamentum.
Fillamentum forMAKERS in turn represents basic 3D printing materials such as PLA. Fillamentum is trying to innovate with these products, especially in the color range, which will be appreciated especially by creative designers or aesthetic 3D printers. Worth mentioning, for example, are the Vertigo series, or Wizard’s, which are filaments containing multicolored glitters. Another specialty we offer is Timberfill wood filament. However, experienced printers will also choose this group, as it also contains technical materials (there are also many interesting colors to choose from) such as CPE, PETG, ASA, or ABS.
E.E: At what stage is the market where you are currently active?
M.O: In general, the 3D printing market is a very dynamic environment. The period from 2013 to 2015 is considered to be such a small landmark, when many players in the field of 3D printer manufacturers, but materials, i.e. filaments, entered the market. Indeed, we were no exception. However, during that time the market changed rapidly. Printers started to be faster, more powerful, had a larger print area, and other innovations day by day. Similarly, in the field of materials themselves, significant changes began to emerge. More emphasis began to be placed on quality, material optimization, and, of course, sustainability and environmental responsibility. However, the constant product innovation in this market has resulted in, for example, a drop in the price (at least if inflationary growth is included) of common materials (such as PLA, etc.) or printers. This has resulted in 3D printing now being significantly more affordable, people are beginning to understand its importance, and so we are slowly but surely seeing every household equipped with a 3D printer. In addition, thanks to the innovation of materials, additive manufacturing is also reaching manufacturing companies, who understand that it is a cost and time-effective way to optimize their production, in terms of maintenance, spare parts production, or post-typing before the start of large-scale production This is what I consider to be an important fact that shows that the 3D printing market is constantly growing.
E.E: What can you tell us about market trends?
M.O: As already mentioned, innovation and a focus on sustainability are the main trends in this market. In terms of innovation, the latest printers are always being developed, pushing the boundaries of printing itself one step further. If we look at materials, there are also a large number of special materials that are designed for specific applications. For us, it is the materials from the Fillamentum INDUSTRIAL group that have better mechanical properties. As an example, I could mention our Flexfill PEBA 90A material, which is optimal for the footwear industry. It can be used to create personalized soles. Of course, this is also possible with injection molding, but thanks to 3D printing you can produce the sole at home without the high costs of injection molding.
As far as sustainability is concerned, there are several aspects to this. Firstly, we talk about the ecological approach of the packaging material, but then we also talk about the material itself. This is where we are pleased to be world leaders and trendsetters with our NonOilen.
E.E: What are the most innovative products marketed?
M.O: I have already partially answered this question in the previous ones. However, I must again stress sustainability. It’s not just that customers want to have a greater appeal for sustainability. It stems from 3D printing itself, and its promise to be green (it is waste-free production). That’s why we’re no exception. NonOilen is certainly not our last innovative dot. We are also currently working on Fishy Filaments by Fillamentum. These are a series of high-performance materials that are produced by recycling fishing nets. These materials are PA6 – Porthcurno and PA6 with carbon particles – 0rCA®. It is therefore the reuse of a very good technical material. It should be noted that, according to the European Union, only 20% of all fishing nets produced are recycled annually. The rest is disposed of by burning or burial, which represents a significant carbon load. It should also be noted that 1% of the world’s production is lost at sea each year.
We are very proud that the Fishy Filaments by Fillamentum range can eliminate these major environmental impacts.
E.E: What estimations do you have for 2023?
M.O: As the market continues to grow, I expect a large addition of companies, whether 3D printer manufacturers or filament manufacturers. This will significantly shake up the current competitiveness of companies. One can assume new companies will go with an aggressive pricing strategy. Thus, low competitive prices may displace premium brands. Indeed, we are already witnessing this today, with more and more competing firms, coming in and applying this pricing policy. However, the consequence of this may also be an increase in customers.
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