Filaments that have wood or metal blended with the plastic, have been available for some time (check this blog’s material category for some examples). At this year’s CES, MakerBot has announced their own version of these filaments. The new PLA-composite filaments types include limestone, maplewood, bronze and iron.
MakerBot’s market share should help expand the availability and use of these composite filaments. Perhaps more significantly, MakerBot has also developed so-called “Smart Extruders” which are tuned to each material type.
The news item at PSFK.com has some nice graphics to illustrate each composite material (cropped from MakerBot’s site):