Plastink® firmly believe in the technology that is changing the printing method: the 3D.
Until recently, this technology was only accessible to large studies of graphics and prototyping who invested huge amounts of money to have equipment capable of reproducing the patterns developed in 3D; fortunately today this technology is becoming more and more accessible at all, also giving way to private individuals to be able to buy or build a 3D printer.
For this is born our company that has the only purpose of providing to each type of user the raw materials that best suits hes needs, ensuring the highest quality ‘and reliability, but at an affordable price!
In this way, each of you will have the way to bring out the designer who has inside and you can create any object you through your mind.
That’s why Plastink® offers only the best quality enabling you to achieve the best results of 3D printing.
Interview on 3D Printing Magazine (Tecniche Nuove)
1) Can you trace a brief history of the company, the date of foundation, annual turnover and number of employees present and milestones of corporate development
Plastink® is a company associate with Aquila Corde Armoniche S.r.l., manufacturer of musical strings with its own brand and for some of the most important companies on the musical industry.
Taking advantage of the great experience that comes from the production of synthetic monofilaments for music applications the owner have decided to exploit this expertise in other areas that have nothing to do with the music but that are characterized by innovation and novelty. Aquila Corde Armoniche S.r.l. was founded in 1999, the staff consists of 18 people distributed in 5 different locations.
2) Plastink® is a trademark of Aquila Corde Armoniche S.r.l., a Vicenza-based company specialized in gut and synthetic early and modern music strings, music monofilaments for high tech design and industrial applications. It was a good choice to develop the make and the sale of filament for 3D printing, a booming industry all over the world and in Italy as well. What are the reasons that led you to enter this market and what is your product plus that you can offer to the market?
Aquila Corde Harmonics is a consolidated reality for global trade and production consisted of gut strings and synthetic strings that are produced in the company’s site in Caldogno in the province of Vicenza.
Extensive company knowledge in the field of extrusion and production of special plastic filaments then led to the desire to expand its market, applying our technical expertise, to new production processes that required this particular type of work.
The choice of producing filaments for 3D printing was therefore almost obligatory since to have a good filament that can ensure users good aesthetic results and quality structural wire is necessary to possess a great knowledge of the extrusion process in the field of the precision wires.
Just the production process, combined with the use of materials of the highest quality and a continuous control on the filament gauge by laser a constant laser check ensures a homogeneous product that sets us apart from other manufacturers of filament.
3) What types of products do you offer? Can you tell us more about your filaments, which are designed, developed and manufactured entirely in Italy, right? With which equipment, with which technologies?
At the moment the range of products offered by Plastink® is divided into three bands: ABS, PLA and Rubber.
The first is a thermoplastic polymer used to create light and rigid objects such as pipes, musical instruments (especially the flute and clarinet), golf club heads, parts or whole car bodies and toys like the famous LEGO bricks, as well as a container for assembly of electrical and electronic components, material that is normally used when ‘necessary to obtain resistant molded parts.
The PLA has a similar use to ABS even if it has a higher frailty.
The rubber instead is a special thermoplastic polymer that allows us to obtain a partially elastic material, with aesthetic and mechanical properties that make it perfect for 3D printing. With this type of material is possible for example to create objects that seem not only elastic but also characterized by an excellent durability and high resistance to tearing. This type of material offers the possibility to create a huge variety of items from small keychain with cover for smartphone, toy tires, seals for liquids or for any application that requires the absorption of impacts of a mechanical nature.
5) At the time you produce filament in ABS, PLA and Rubber.
Do you count on extending on the short or medium term other materials?
ABS, PLA and especially rubber are our flagship that gives visibility to Plastink® in Italy and in the rest of the world. We are currently testing new plastics and even strands of different aesthetics (i.e. filaments that look like aluminum, iron, gold, copper, brass, bronze etc) which we hope to have available for purchase as soon as possible.
We like the idea of expanding the range of products and to offer the opportunity to our customers to choose the material best suited their projects. Interesting in this sense are filaments that resemble stone, fluorescent bright, iridescent or containing glitters.
6) What are your customers and what type machines can fit your strands?
Our customers are like all those who attempt to explore the world of 3D printing using a product, that in our opinion, is of the best quality you can buy at a reasonable price, but also the big distributors. We can also produce appropriate unlabeled Plastink® productions for co-branding etc.
7) What do you think of the 3D printing market in the world and in Italy?
Surely the 3D printing has opened new frontiers for private industry by giving the chance ‘to imagine, create, develop and print everything’ you need through a “simple” process that does not require special technical skills.
With this’ I do not mean that 3D printing is a “nonsense”, but that certainly is much more accessible to end users now who, once they fully understand procedure and what actually does and doesn’t work and how it actually goes, they may try to free their imagination by printing any idea.
Also the cost of printers has certainly played a key role in the growth of demand and supply of printers themselves: a few years ago the 3D printing was an expensive process dedicated to just a few particular companies that invested in this technology several thousand euro to offer a good service.
Nowadays you can buy a kit of 3D printing for a few hundred euro.
8) How do you manage to combine high quality standards with competitive prices?
By playing on these factors:
- contact direct producer-distributor without any intermediate steps (high speed delivery / best price / quick response to customers). Being primary producers is a big plus!
- Innovation continues with rapid start-up of new products that have not to be necessarily conventional.
For example, we are testing 3D printer filaments with a gauge of 1.75 mm thinner than traditional one to make sure if there is any benefit on it.
- Great receptivity to advice and to listen customer’s experiences.
- use raw material of first choice and not recycled (recycling of plastics is always highly desirable, but in the case of 3D wire a non-homogeneous product could introduce anomalies in the 3D printing process) produced for as long as it will be possible in Italy.
- use of biocompatible plastics; ecofriendly material and possibly produced according to the criterion of “buy local”.