3-D printing startup hopes to ramp up PLA filament sales

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In Michigan, 3-D-printing startup Maker North is using polylactic acid to make everything from broken knobs to prosthetic limbs at lower costs.

The company is currently importing PLA pellets and spooling the material, unlike many 3-D printers that order filaments pre-spooled. Company co-owner Mike Sacchetta says that, under the company’s five-year plant, it aims to source plant material and farm waste from local farmers and produce their own PLA pellets. Eventually, it expects filaments to be its largest source of revenue.

“Hopefully (Maker North) will be able to cut down the cost of everything. We’re going to be able to offer filament cheaper than Amazon.ca,” Sacchetto tells Sudbury.com. For now, the company is printing designs submitted by users. These often include tiny plastic parts, such as broken air car air conditioner knobs, that would be significantly more expensive if ordered from the manufacturer.