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Printing with Carbon Reinforced filament ?

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Hi guys.

I had a little question.

Does anyone have any experience with 3d printing filament with carbon fibres or carbon nano tubes ?

I could imagine that the carbon fibres or carbon nanotubes would of course add strenght to the print material BUT would the connection between the layers be the weak spot ?

Is there a perfect TEMP for printing carbon filled material so the layer bond is really good.. almost as good as the material itself ?

Has anyone tested this ?

Last question. If a object was printed with a PLA based carbon fibre Filament, would the PLA swell with air moisture over time ? Would it be OK for a short period of time and then... slowly swell up ?

Would love to see if anyone of your guys have any experience in this direction ?

Any info or help would be super.

Thank You.

Ian Spring.

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Hi @ian

There's a few threads in here where many of us experimented with and used Colorfabb's XT-CF20. I think others also used ProtoPasta's CF filament as well.

You'll also want a hardened nozzle or one of ruby nozzles soon available, because the filament is very abrasive.

Temps and bonding, I don't recall what worked best. But there is some threads in here that could help you find answers.

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We printed a few bicycles for a customer's branding using the carbon reinforced material by colorfabb. We printed the joints with that, used carbon oval tubes to join the joints and then used off the shelve bicycle parts for the rest.

Came out great once a lacquer finish was applied and some graphics.

As for strength, it's not comparable to real carbon fiber parts. It's more gimicky, but does provide some more strength.

PLA has no swelling or anything from moisture. I have tested it by leaving parts in water for DAYS, and it did NOTHING to the PLA.

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thanks guys for all the helpful Information.

One Little question.

Cura I think was playing with the idea.. correct me if Im wrong, about letting the printing head of an ultimaker not only print on flat layers like normal but also go up and down. So a kinda 3d dynamic print path. If the print head could print more dynamically in all 3 dimensions, then the connection between carbon reinforced material could be improved.. less seperation between layers.


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The Cura aspect I do not know about

The strength of carbon fiber is in the weaving of it, so I don't really see the filaments matching the stretch the raw cf cloth gives. The finished prints are very matte.

Thomas Sanladerer has a great youtube channel and has been doing pretty thorough filament tests lately. Here's two on CF filaments



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Thanks Paul for the 2 cool Videos ! Very nice Review.

Can I ask, when he mentiones in the second Video.. wear resistant nozzle.. does that mean that printing carbon filled material will wear out a normal ultimaker 3 nozzle ?

Does ultimaker sell a stronger nozzle that can print a lot of carbon filled material ? or some one else ?

Thank you.

Ian :)

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@ian, yes, carbon filled filaments does really wear your nozzle badly.

When printing XT-CF20 with regular brass nozzles, it can consume 2-3 nozzles per spool of filament if you want to keep printing with good quality.

There is a soon-to-be-relased solution for the UM2+ wich is very abrasion resistant:


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