It is increasingly common for different manufacturers to venture to make exotic filaments using mixtures with different compositions that modify the characteristics with respect to the most common materials, PLA or ABS for example.
In this article we are going to analyze a coil of PLA Carbon filament of an intense black Loaned by the Spanish manufacturer FFFWORLD. We will explain in detail the differential characteristics of this material compared to a standard PLA filament.
Carbon PLA is a PLA filament with carbon fiber. ANDn the manufacturing process has incorporated a percentage of carbon fiber strands 5–10 μm in diameter, which are trapped between the layers during printing, providing different mechanical characteristics to parts printed with this filament.
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Unpacking the filament
FFFword has developed OPTIROLL an efficient and novel filament winding system that ensures no knots will occur that may cause problems in our prints. It is definitely a success, we have used the entire coil and we have not encountered any problem of knots or tangles at any time. It also puts coils of material through a process called DRYX2, a double drying process for the material to prevent it from absorbing moisture.
In addition the filament shipped vacuum packed, with a desiccant bag and inside a thick cardboard box. The manufacturer does everything in its power to ensure that the material will arrive in perfect condition and will not have picked up moisture.
Prints with FFFWORLD PLA CARBON Filament
For this analysis we have used an ANET A2 PLUS printer. Despite being a low-end machine (with a price range below € 200 if we buy it from China) and not getting results of an extremely high level of detail, it is perfect for most materials on the market. It has a large print base and heated bed.
It is advisable to start by checking at what temperature our printer extrudes the material and if we are very purists we can make a temperature tower. The manufacturer in all its materials informs of some indicative parameters that will vary slightly depending on the parameters of our printer.
In the case of PLA Carbon they are the following:
- Diametral tolerance ± 0.03 mm
- Printing temperature 190º - 215º c
- Hot bed temperature 20º-60º
- Speed recommended printing 50-90 mm / s
In our particular case we have printed parts at speeds between 50 and 70 mm / s and with a extrusion temperature of 205 degrees and a temperature in the 40 degree heated bed and no layer fan. The filament flows steadily, with good adhesion to the build bed and no problems with retractions. The printed parts are highly homogeneous and the layers are continuous and regular.
Wide base object printing has not presented warping problems, but we have detected that at speeds higher than those recommended and printing complex objects that require many retractions, there may be adhesion problems between layers. Do not get impatient and print each part at the speed that is required especially in printers with bowden system, which suffer a lot when controlling the retraction.
A surprising detail is what lightweight resulting material, it is highly recommended to print parts that require a high impact resistance at the same time as lightness. We have not been able to resist printing a frame and a case for a small tinywhoop drone that we have at home.
We have also discovered that the small particles of carbon fiber contained in the filament give the material an excellent response to the machining of the parts. The result of sanding a piece is to obtain a completely smooth and regular surface
Here is a gallery with images of the printed pieces:
Final conclusions about FFFWOLD PLA CARBON filament
Without a doubt we are facing another successful material manufacturer FFFWorld , this time when combining carbon fiber with a PLA of excellent quality have been acquired unique mechanical characteristics.
While it is true that this material is 40% more expensive than a standard PLA coil, the 35 € / kg to which the manufacturer sells the filament continues to be well below other options from other manufacturers that we can find on the market. The experience of using this material for unique projects is enriched by verifying that it is a very easy to use, no warping and with a good viscosity.
It is also marketed in small spools of 250 grams for € 14, you no longer have any excuse to resist trying it.
Did you like this analysis? Do you miss any additional evidence? Would you like us to continue analyzing the different filaments on the market? We will be attentive to the comments you leave us in the article.