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Topic: [PC - Polycarbonate] - Encom PC 2012

I purchased a filastruder with the intent on making my own polycarbonate filament (I might experiment with other plastics later). I was mainly interested in PC because it is known for its strength and resistance to temperature, and for my application both are crucial. The lower cost of extruding your own filament is definitely a perk too!




http://i.imgur.com/HGpYT6f.jpg





DESCRIPTION OF CHANGES MADE TO FILASTRUDER:

- Upgraded hopper for more capacity (I used this one by IanJohnson)
- Upgraded power supply for heater (15v Fixed/Adjustable from Newark) Heater had a hard time getting above 230°C with stock power supply
- Drilled nozzle to 1.9mm
- Added a fume absorber (Weller Fume & Smoke Absorber from Newark) Note that the filament diameter did not change with the absorber turned on or off.
- Oriented the Filastruder vertically for straighter filament.

I used Polycarbonate resin Encom PC 2012. I ordered it already colored in black.
http://i.imgur.com/Vlk4IuO.jpg





I had to do some experimenting with temperature and drying to get good tolerances; so here are the facts:

Tip Diameter: 1.9mm
Extruded temperature: 270°C (Hot!)
Speed of extrusion: ~24" per minute - it takes about 4-5 hours to do a 1kg spool (Is it just me or is that really fast?)
Filament diameter and tolerance: 1.71mm +/- 0.04mm
Pre-extrusion processing: Dried at 160°C for one hour
Extruded PC vs purchased PC: N/A since I have never purchased PC as a filament, but the filament looks very smooth and clean.




No streaking or bubbles.
http://i.imgur.com/Xpq89RB.jpg




I got a very consistent diameter of about 1.71 +/- 0.04mm
http://i.imgur.com/qciZ4ZK.jpg





Drying definitely helped significantly; without drying, I saw diameters ranging anywhere from 1.50 to 2.00mm and it had a ton of bubbles, was very brittle, and had very visible streaks.




A closeup showing the bubbling and streaks of filament that was not pre-dried
http://i.imgur.com/HElI2GF.jpg





I also noticed that the higher the temperature, the thinner the PC got. I will do some more experimenting later; the temp could probably come down 5-10 degrees to get the diameter closer to 1.75mm, although 1.71 is fine for me.




A part that was printed from the extruded PC:
http://i.imgur.com/dsIZGsH.jpg





I will be doing some more printing later today and tomorrow and will post more pictures of different parts.

Questions, comments and suggestions are appreciated!

-Airwolf HD2x with E3D Volcano & custom hotend mount, 110v/SSR heated bed, hacked/upgraded with help from you guys!
-Custom build with aluminum 2020 extrusions, E3D Volcano, 10x10x10 build area, 110v/SSR heated bed
Printing with PC & PC-ABS from my Filastruder.

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Re: [PC - Polycarbonate] - Encom PC 2012

Outstanding work! Great results, and will be very helpful to others.

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Re: [PC - Polycarbonate] - Encom PC 2012

Finished a spool of this; it took about 6 hours and it's just shy of 1kg.

Maintained 1.71mm +/- 0.04mm all the way through to the end. I noticed just a little bit of bubbling here and there as time progressed, I guess I didn't dry it long enough, though it doesn't look like it will be an issue - the bubbles are very small and sparse. Next time I might try drying it at 180 degrees and for an hour and a half.

Other than that, looks great to me.

http://i.imgur.com/hm6h4rZ.jpg

-Airwolf HD2x with E3D Volcano & custom hotend mount, 110v/SSR heated bed, hacked/upgraded with help from you guys!
-Custom build with aluminum 2020 extrusions, E3D Volcano, 10x10x10 build area, 110v/SSR heated bed
Printing with PC & PC-ABS from my Filastruder.

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Re: [PC - Polycarbonate] - Encom PC 2012

Nice job! Great looking results.

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5 (edited by josh.aeauto 2015-01-09 14:29:05)

Re: [PC - Polycarbonate] - Encom PC 2012

Here is a test print that I did today. I downloaded it from Thingiverse

I printed the version with the included supports for the arms. I had no issues with delamination or warping.

This was printed with a layer height of 300 microns. One thing I noticed is how shiny the finished part is. I don't really care for it, but some people might like that.


http://i.imgur.com/o3JWttz.jpg

-Airwolf HD2x with E3D Volcano & custom hotend mount, 110v/SSR heated bed, hacked/upgraded with help from you guys!
-Custom build with aluminum 2020 extrusions, E3D Volcano, 10x10x10 build area, 110v/SSR heated bed
Printing with PC & PC-ABS from my Filastruder.

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Re: [PC - Polycarbonate] - Encom PC 2012

Wow great work! I might have to pick some up and play with it.

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Re: [PC - Polycarbonate] - Encom PC 2012

You could try a shorter drop between the extruder and winder to increase the diameter.  It looks like there is a lot of filament hanging there, so there is probably a decent amount of stretching.

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Re: [PC - Polycarbonate] - Encom PC 2012

IanJohnson wrote:

You could try a shorter drop between the extruder and winder to increase the diameter.  It looks like there is a lot of filament hanging there, so there is probably a decent amount of stretching.

That's a good idea. I'll try that on my next run.

-Airwolf HD2x with E3D Volcano & custom hotend mount, 110v/SSR heated bed, hacked/upgraded with help from you guys!
-Custom build with aluminum 2020 extrusions, E3D Volcano, 10x10x10 build area, 110v/SSR heated bed
Printing with PC & PC-ABS from my Filastruder.

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Re: [PC - Polycarbonate] - Encom PC 2012

Are the printed parts much stronger than ABS?

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Re: [PC - Polycarbonate] - Encom PC 2012

The parts are noticeably more rigid, something closer to PLA than ABS, but they won't break (like PLA) or turn white (like ABS) when bent - if enough force is applied, it acts more like a solidified rubber, if that makes any sense.

I also saw GREAT layer bonding.

-Airwolf HD2x with E3D Volcano & custom hotend mount, 110v/SSR heated bed, hacked/upgraded with help from you guys!
-Custom build with aluminum 2020 extrusions, E3D Volcano, 10x10x10 build area, 110v/SSR heated bed
Printing with PC & PC-ABS from my Filastruder.

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Re: [PC - Polycarbonate] - Encom PC 2012

Here is a shot of the launch event for Encom Electroluminescent MasterControlBatch-

http://www.libertasfilmmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/encomboardroom.jpg

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Re: [PC - Polycarbonate] - Encom PC 2012

All - here is Encom's datasheet for this resin.

http://www.encompolymers.com/assets/Dat … 202012.pdf

-Airwolf HD2x with E3D Volcano & custom hotend mount, 110v/SSR heated bed, hacked/upgraded with help from you guys!
-Custom build with aluminum 2020 extrusions, E3D Volcano, 10x10x10 build area, 110v/SSR heated bed
Printing with PC & PC-ABS from my Filastruder.