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cevans

Problems printing in PC

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Hi, I have been trying to print solid components using PC with limited success. The parts seem to warp a lot during printing. I am using quite a low resolution, and the parts are solid. Has anyone printing in this material experienced anything similar?

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Hi there! Welcome to the forum. :)

Apologies for the following wall of words. :D

Polycarbonate is a challenging material (read: pain in the butt!). It warps worse then ABS and getting it to stick to the print bed is a real challenge. It also (at least the older, non-optimized stuff) needs higher temperatures, like 300C.

Some people have had success though. And I have had some very limited success.

A couple questions:

1) What printer are you using? Is it an Ultimaker or something else? The print bed is different on different printers and it makes a difference in your PC experiences. e.g. Ultimaker's have glass plates, TAZes use PEI tape as their surface, etc.

2) Who's PC are you using (what brand)? Is it one of the newer formulations explicitly designed for 3D printing, or just generic PC as a filament? If it is brand name, maybe check out what the company says about getting it to print well.

Also I wonder about printing solid. Usually solid is overkill and does not buy you much extra in strength, though maybe it can help reduce warping.

The limited success I have had to prevent warping was to use crazy glue on Kapton (polyamide?) tape for the print bed. And cranked the heated bed to 120C. My part still warped, but it warped less, and more importantly, it stayed stuck to the bed. :)

Buildtak seems to be a/the current recommendation, at least for the new optimized brands of PC. But it can be tricky in the other direction where is sticks too well and you cannot separate it from the Buildtak.

I have also heard of people using an acrylic sheet as the build plate. PC bonds very well to that, apparently.

Maybe check out this: http://reprap.org/wiki/Polycarbonate

Also, enclosing your printer to contain the heat is important. Search for and solving ABS warping will get you further along the path to reducing/eliminating PC warping issues.

One thing I can say for sure: PrintInZ Skins are not a good choice for PC. PC sticks so well, it pulls up the Skin off the build plate and warps anyway! (At least when using the recommended under layer of blue tape.) It also warps the Skin permanently. I had to sand mine down to get a level surface again.

Solving PC is current project of mine, but I have not pursued it much yet. Hopefully something I have said here will help you. :)

Good luck!

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