APP – Mixing materials (PLA+colorants)

The Filament Maker gives you the option to blend different materials together.

Options are countless ; you can create a material which really corresponds to your needs.

It is especially easy to work with additive masterbatches.

1. What is a masterbatch ?

It is a batch of pellets, made of the same base polymer as the one you want to extrude, which are also highly filled in a certain additive.

In this case, the pellets are PLA filled with pigment.

The masterbatch can then be processed along with the base polymer : the additive it contains will be dispersed throughout the whole matrix, or flow of plastic, to make a homogeneous composite.

2. How do I know which masterbatch is compatible with my polymer ?

It is hard to be 100% sure, because the success of the mixing also depends on other factors, including the extrusion parameters.

But in general, for each masterbatch, a list of compatible materials should be available.

Obviously, PLA-based masterbatches should be compatible with PLA, PETG masterbatches with PETG,…

3. What amount of masterbatch is needed ?

Because pellets of masterbatch are densely filled with pigment, only a small amount is needed, typically 2% in weight.

That means 20 grams of masterbatch, 980 grams of virgin PLA.

Although it may depend on the brand, quality, or intensity of the pigment, this is often enough to give quite a strong color to a full spool of filament.

When experimenting for the first time, it is recommended to add 2%w and see what happens.

4. How do I mix the pellets together ?

The simplest way is to work with about 1kg of material. This “handsized” amount is easy to mix manually, in a jar, by shaking it in random directions for about 10 seconds.

In our experience, this gives very satisfactory results : the filament is fully homogeneous in color for the naked eye.

It is normal that the batch of pellets looks like a lot of PLA with only a few spots of color. Each individual pellet of masterbatch can give color to several meters of filament.