For exceptional accuracy, finish & performance, choose Carbon Fiber
Proto-pasta Carbon Fiber Composite HTPLA is a combination of milled carbon fibers and high-performance, heat treatable PLA (HTPLA). Resulting 3D printed prototypes and end-use parts are characterized by exceptionally stability of form and potential use up to 155 deg C (310 deg F) when heat treated.
Printed parts have a beautiful matte black finish with layer hiding sheen and texture. The carbon fibers give the surface a nice sheen and with layer heights under 0.1mm the layers blend into the texture and almost disappear.
Printed prototypes and end use parts using Protopasta Carbon Fiber HTPLA are characterized by exceptional stability of form and potential use up to 155 deg C (310 deg F) when heat treated. Carbon fiber's rigidity and hardness results in prints with improved form and function compared to standard HTPLA without carbon fibers. Excellent layer adhesion and minimal warpage (even without a heated bed) make this a great everyday filament for accurate parts. Increased rigidity from the carbon fiber means increased structural support but decreased flexibility, making our Carbon Fiber HTPLA an ideal material for frames, supports, shells, propellers, tools... really anything not expected (or desired) to bend. It is particularly loved by drone builders and and RC hobbyists.
Adaptable to most PLA-compatible printers. Heated bed recommended for process ease, quality, and reliability, but not required. Printer should allow 3rd party filament, parameter adjustment, and nozzle replacement. Specialized machine adaptation and maintenance may be required for Proto-pasta materials, particularly in continued use of abrasive materials. Some machines may require specific considerations for filament placement, path, adjustments, settings, or other preparation & maintenance.
Abrasive materials like Carbon Fiber and Metal Composites may cause premature wear of in line components such as bowden tubes, drive gears, nozzles, and other items in the filament travel path. Serviceable hardware including replaceable nozzles suggested. Wear resistant nozzles are recommended for extended use. Nozzles wear most quickly with flattening of the tip which affects nozzle diameter & distance to build plate. Inconsistent extrusion, inaccuracy & process instability. Extrusion width & first layer distance adjustments and/or replacement of nozzle. For more on nozzle replacement consider this blog demonstrating nozzle replacement & adjustments on a Prusa MK3. Reduce nozzle wear by minimizing over-extrusion & infill.
Printed parts using Carbon Fiber HTPLA can be shaved/carved with a sharp blade for a smooth finish. Experiment with weathering or other painting techniques for a unique look. Also, expect improved bonding strength with glue compared to plastic without carbon fiber.
Carbon Fiber HTPLA is optimized for heat treating (also known as annealing or crystallizing) for higher temperature use. Heat treating creates a more crystalline molecular structure for maintaining stiffness to near melting, thus extending the useful range of HTPLA, but crystallization also creates shrinkage. HTPLA parts should be scaled in slicer to compensate for shrinkage when heat treating.
Additional post processes might inlcude sanding or painting. The addition of carbon fiber can lend well to ease of sanding and adhesion of coatings like paint, however, there are also additional safety considerations when generating dust through sanding and fumes through coating. Please seek safe practices with appropriate persona protective (PPE) and ventilation.