Can you improve PLA with carbon fibers? Yes, but not in the ways you’d expect!
Carbon fiber – that’s the name of the game, and Proto-pasta’s player is their 86€ per kilogram HTPLA-CF. The HTPLA stands for high temperature PLA, which means you can anneal the finished parts for extra strength and heat resistance, but there’s an entire episode planned for that.
Today, we’ll look at the raw prints straight from the machine, printed just like normal PLA at 210°C and a 55°C heated PEI bed, and boy, would you look at that surface finish. The velvet-like matte sheen and the extremely consistent layers make for some of the most professional-looking prints i’ve ever seen. While you’d be hard-pressed to recognize the fiber content here, the print results clearly show that there are fibers involved.
The 3DBenchy and the overhangs test got a perfect score, while bridges did not print cleanly, as is typical for particle-filled filaments. The untreated strength tests were slightly underwhelming, with a better stiffness than regular filaments, but a very low layer adhesion in the bend test. Temperature stability of the untreated parts was indistinguishable from plain PLA, and it’ll be interesting to see how much the annealing process improves this and the part’s strength and whether the improvement is worth the extra steps and the investment in a wear-resistant nozzle.
All info on filaween: //toms3d.org/filaween