Polycarbonate (PC) plastics are known for their transparency, strength and impact resistance. Commonly used for eyewear and bullet-proof partitions, polycarbonate plastics are also used to make fighter ... jet cockpit canopies. As a 3D printing material, polycarbonate lets you create tough, transparent parts for engineering applications. But of all the 3D printer filaments, PC is one of the most demanding to work with.
Polycarbonate 3D printing lets you create stronger, more durable objects than you can with most other filament materials. Less rigid than other high-strength plastics, polycarbonate materials can flex without breaking. PC can also be more transparent than other printable plastics, letting you create interesting effects with your prints.
You cannot use polycarbonate with most entry-level 3D printers. PC print temperatures with HATCHBOX polycarbonate filament are typically around 240-250º C which requires an all-metal hot end. To ensure bed adhesion and prevent warping, you may need bed temperatures as high as 120º C. And since PC 3D printing generates noxious fumes, you will need a well-ventilated enclosure.
This engineering material’s high strength and impact resistance makes polycarbonate filament a good, yet challenging, choice for specialty parts that will see a lot of abuse. Printing polycarbonate can create translucent or clear parts for enclosures or lighting elements. Because PC prints are dimensionally accurate, industrial prototyping labs often use the material to evaluate in place new part designs.
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