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Composite materials (filled with carbon, kevlar or glass)

Last updated a year ago
This article is also available in following languages: 
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Basic info

Composite materials (PLA, PETG, Nylon, PC, or ABS filled with carbon, kevlar etc.) usually have better mechanical properties than unaltered filaments. Composite filaments have better dimensional stability, can be more lightweight, but are harder to print.
 
Recommended nozzle temperature: 240-275 °C (depending on filament type)
 
Recommended bed temperature: 75-110 °C (depending on filament type)
 
Heatbed: Print surface preparation depends on the filament type. See our material table to find out more.

Description

Carbon and kevlar fibers or glass powder are mixed with various polymers in order to improve their mechanical properties. It’s usually combined with PLA, PETG, Nylon, PC or ABS - this increases the filament flexibility, toughness and resistance (with proper print settings). Fibers inside the filament improve its dimensional stability, making it lightweight and less susceptible to warping. Printing temperatures are slightly higher than for unaltered filaments. It is also necessary to count on worse print characteristics, for example often nozzle clogging, oozing, and filament breaking. 

To compare supported material properties, see our material table.

Pros

Cons

✔ Good abrasion resistance

✖ A hardened steel nozzle is needed

✔ Dimensional stability

✖ Filament more brittle

✔ Similar printing temperature to single material filaments

✖ Worse layer-to-layer adhesion

✔ Nice look

✖ High risk of nozzle clogging

Best use

Composite filaments are mostly used for making RC models (drone frames, airframes, car parts, etc.), in the aircraft industry (functional prototypes) and automobile industry (functional prototypes).

Tips for successful printing

Use a hardened nozzle

Carbon and kevlar fibers are highly abrasive so it is necessary to use a hardened nozzle.

Clean the nozzle before printing

It’s good to make cold pull before printing to make sure that the nozzle is really clean.

First layer settings

The first layer should be perfectly fine, otherwise, you risk the nozzle clogging. The higher the layer height is and the wider the nozzle diameter is, the lower the chance of clogging the nozzle is. The lowest optimal values are 0.4mm nozzle diameter and 0.2mm layer height.

Print surface preparation

Print surface preparation depends on the filament type. See our material table to find out more.

Sample prints

RC drone frameTurbine
 
Turboprop 

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