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!
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.
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.
I got a very consistent diameter of about 1.71 +/- 0.04mm
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
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:
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!
-Custom build with aluminum 2020 extrusions, E3D Volcano, 10x10x10 build area, 110v/SSR heated bed
Printing with PC & PC-ABS from my Filastruder.