Question of the day: Can the reduced magnetism of 3D-printable magnetic PLA from Proto Pasta actually resolve efficiency issues by reducing eddy currents in a 3D printed motor? It’s an interesting question posed by Christoph Laimer during his extensive experiment using magnetic PLA to print the stator core for a 3D printed brushless motor. In fact, he even poses the question of whether the stator core can be printed with non-magentic PLA (since the magnetic PLA is truly much less "magnetic" than standard iron alloys and, yet, still functioned beautiful and efficently in his 3D printed brushless motor).
Eddy currents are a byproduct of rotation of a magnetic field. In conventional motors, harder iron alloys produce more eddy currents than softer alloys. Therefore, Christoph’s theory that the reduced ferromagnetism of Proto Pasta’s magnetic PLA could have a positive effect on the motor’s efficiency is worth exploring in detail in another post. In the mean time, check out the details and results of his very successful attempt to 3D print a viable motor, and come back here to comment on your thoughts about eddy currents and magnetic PLA.
Christoph has written a series of five articles on testing and using magnetic PLA. Look for these articles on the makeSEA wiki:
Magnetic PLA is just one of many tpes of filament available to consumers in the 3d desktop space. In fact, since Christoph experimented with magnetic PLA there have been so many new types of filament available to the consumer market, it's hard to test them all. We recently tested a new conductive PLA, which we found more efficient but harder to work with.
If you have used or tested any of the conductive filaments, please share your experience with us.