The original is still the best! World's First Carbon Fiber PLA was kickstarted by ProtoPlant nearly 5 years ago. I have tried other carbon filled PLA's and nothing compares.
Proto-pasta Carbon Fiber PLA is easy printing, high quality PLA. Made from the highest quality, dry ingredients and extruded with care at the Proto Plant in Vancouver, Wa. Carbon Fiber PLA prints are demonstrably more rigid with easy processing, and printing with full supports, rafts and brims are no problem. Support removal is easy without needing any tools that may damage the print, and the finish under the support is very nice. Excellent layer adhesion and minimal warpage even without a heated bed make this a great everyday exotic for dimensionaly accurate parts that look beautiful. Layer lines disappear with the beautiful matte black finish. Also has a slight sheen due to the embedded carbon makes it very photogenic, especially with multi part objects when printed at 90 degree orientation to one another, the parts look like completely different shades of grey depending on how the light hits it.
I like printing this on Blue Painters tape, the old standby gives a very nice finish on the bottom layer. Speaking of finish this stuff is easy to dry sand. I start with 80 grit and work up to 600 grit and get a beautiful smooth finish.
**This filament is more abrasive than standard PLA. I recommend using a hardned nozzle like a Micro-Swiss A2
- Available in 1.75mm and 2.85mm diameters. (2.85 by special order)
- 500g is on a 8" diameter cardboard spool & 3kg is on a 12" diameter spool. (3kg by Special order)
- 50g Samples are loose coil and vacuum sealed. (coming soon)
- Usable on most PLA-compatible printers, such as Prusa, Creality, Lulzbot, Makerbot, FlashForge, Dremel, Ultimaker, Printrbot, and the list goes on. If your printer has a nozzle .4mm or larger and you can print .25mm layer height or taller you should be good to go.
In filament form and after printing, Carbon Fiber PLA is more brittle than standard PLA, so you have to be somewhat careful with it. It's really a lot like dried pasta (go figure). Printed objects have very little if any flex and break clean on the Z plane before they bend, using more perimeters and wider extrusions on the infill increased the vertical strength a lot for me. Dimensional accuracy is also quite impressive as well as the sharpness of the corners and ultra smooth finish on vertical surfaces.
Processing is comparable to standard PLA. No heated bed required. Process may be less consistent on smaller nozzles and/or bowden type machines. Why? The carbon fibers in this filament are no larger than .15mm so you need to have that much room and a little more to squeeze that pasta out. I found that a .25mm layer height was the shortest I could go and get very long prints that are flawless. I have used both a .4 and .6 Micro Swiss A2 and both perform well. And for bowdens the filament needs to go through that PTFE at an arc. According to the data sheet and my experience this stuff snaps when bent to a radius of an arc smaller than 32.5mm, so make sure your PTFE tube has a nice smooth path from the extruder to the hotend.
I typically like to print as fast as the physics will allow but going slow with this filament is key to a fantastic finish as well as strength. 20mm/s first layer, 35mm/s on external perimeters, 45mm/s on all other perimeters and just a bit faster on infill work well for me. My printer likes to extrude this filament at 215 on the hot-end and I heat the bed to 60 for the first layer.