Feb 10, 2016 | By Alec
Back when it was first revealed in September 2015, it was already clear that the PC-Plus polycarbonate filament by Chinese filament manufacturer Polymaker was going to be an interesting and powerful filament. PC-Plus filament was finally released in November 2015, and it is now becoming apparent just how powerful it actually is. In a test done by Australian reseller 3D Printing Solutions, PC-Plus filament proved to, among others, be capable of lifting two concrete slabs weighing 240 kg in total. Polymaker further revealed that they will now also make PC-Plus available without being bundled together with BuildTak.
To refresh your memory, PC-Plus is such an interesting 3D printer filament because it brings top-quality manufacturing to a desktop 3D printer. Polycarbonate materials are much more durable than ABS or PLA and have widespread applications from, automotive and aircraft components to electronics, construction and even data storage, but usually require extremely high heat and expensive industrial 3D printers, making them out of reach for the majority of designers, engineers and hobbyists. That isn’t the case with PC-Plus, which has been specifically designed for regular FDM desktop 3D printers. Back in November, the Chinese manufacturers made the material available in three colors: True Black, True White and Transparent.
Since then, they have received quite a lot of feedback on the excellent material, which has led them to already change one thing. If you were one of the early adopters, you’ll have noticed that PC-Plus was always built with BuildTak to optimize the print bed adhesion of the filament. However, from all that feedback it has become apparent that this wasn’t actually necessary. “So we are now confident to announce the immediate availability of our PC-Plus without the BuildTak Bundle,” the developers announce. The unbundled filament spool is now available for $39.99 in the Polymaker webstore.
The company further revealed that PC-Plus has since been picked up by a number of different 3D printing specialists, including Robox CEL, Type A Machines, Kuehling & Kuehling and Hage GmbH. In particular, Robox CEL has been combining PC-Plus and PolySupport on their dual extrusion setup, with excellent results. “We originally developed PolySupport as a dedicated support material for PLA but as we have been noticing since the launch of PC-Plus, it works extremely well with our portfolio of PC materials as a dedicated support material also,” the Chinese manufacturers reveal. For moreabout the Robox CEL dual extrusion setup, check out the video above.
But of course the real question is: just how strong is PC-Plus filament? Fortunately, we don’t have to test it ourselves, as Polymaker’s Australian distributors 3D Printing Solutions have done a series of Mythbuster-like tests to find out. In the first of the two tests, they have 3D printed a car jack made completely of PC-Plus, and show how it can be used to lift two concrete blocks (with a combined weight of 240 kg) easily. “We were really impressed as the 3D printed polycarbonate jack showed no signs of breakage or fatigue after the lift. While we do not recommend the use of polycarbonate as a replacement for steel car jacks, it thus demonstrate that polycarbonate is strong enough for industrial use,” the Australian guys said.
In their second test, the Australian distributors set up a cool Thunderdome-esque competition to find out what filament is the strongest. A series of 3D printed links were chained to each other, including links made from PLA, regular ABS, and enhanced PLA, and force was applied until one of the two competitors broke. As you can see for yourself, PC-Plus was the last man standing, with all others breaking quite easily. Only PolyPlus PLA put up quite a fight, but it’s clear: PC-Plus is a tremendously powerful filament. “We are still looking to push the limits of our PC and we hope to try our hand at a car next so keep your ear to the ground,” the Chinese developers proudly conclude.
Posted in 3D Printing Materials
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