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Anders Olsson

Am I the only one printing Polycarbonate with the UM2?

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I bought some stuff from E3D a few weeks ago and among other things I added a roll of clear polycarbonate: http://e3d-online.com/Filament/Engineering-Plastics/Polycarbonate-Clear-300

It said printing temperature 280-310 C on the home page, so it is out of reach for the UM2, but I added it just in case I rebuild the printer to print at higher temperatures in the future.

However, when it arrived it said printing temperature 250-280 C on the roll, so I immediately fed it into the UM2 for a test print :)

The print came out perfectly fine, no signs of problems with bonding between layers or such.

Several other projects passed by but today it was time for another try with the polycarbonate, a two hour print this time.

And it prints absolutely beautifully, at least as good as ABS I would say!

2014 10 04 4438[1]

(that is a 42x1 mm thread on the outside)

I am printing at 260 C with the buildplate at 105 C. Printing speed 40 mm/s, layer height 0.1 mm and for this particular print 50% infill.

The platform is glued with a thick layer of "Tesa Easy Stick"

There is not sign of problems at all so far.

I cant even detect any smell or fumes, it is the least smelly plastic I printed so far I think.

So I am starting to get curious now: Why isn't everyone printing this stuff?

In my mind polycarbonate has way better properties engineering properties than other printable engineering plastics out there and it is not that expensive too.

Or am I just lucky that my machine happens to tolerate polycarbonate better than an average UM2?

EDIT:

I tried some destructive testing of a more complex print and it shows signs of problems with bonding between layers.

Solid prints, like top and bottom-layer, are super strong, really impressive.

Thin walled structures including the infill pattern seems a bit problematic though

I really need to modify my printer to print at higher temperatures because polycarbonate seems like the ultimate engineering plastic to me right now.

 

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Polycarbonate is awesome material. There are people that have looked into modifying there printers to be able to print with it. I think most people don't as it's known that you need higher then 260 degrees to print with it. Interesting though that you were able to print with it.

It's something that I would love to print with but haven't bothered with the current temp restrictions.

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