Polycarbonate (PC) is a strong thermoplastic filament available in consumer 3D printing that is also lightweight and transparent. It is extremely durable and resistant to both physical impact and heat, able to withstand temperatures of up to 110°C. PC is moderately flexible, it can be bent at room temperature without cracking or breaking. Polycarbonate is used in data storage for compact discs, DVD’s and Blu-Ray’s and it is used after lamination to make bullet-proof glass.
Polycarbonate (PC) is most commonly used for its three main features: optical clarity, resistance to heat, and incredible toughness. This makes it perfect for use in DVDs, safety glasses, riot shields, or even bulletproof glass. 3D printable variants will typically get you a temperature resistance of just over 110°C, yielding translucent, icy prints. Parts will come out fabulously strong, but printing PC can be quite a challenge.
Extruding temperature for Polycarbonate filament is generally around 260°C, depending on the printer. PC 3D filament slowly softens when heated, unlike PLA which has a high transition temperature. Slower print speeds are preferred as an increase in temperature is required for faster prints. Polyimide tape (Kapton tape) should be used on a heated bed, ~120°C, with ABS juice on top of the tape. Some users prefer applying glue or superglue on a glass bed and then heating to ~120°C. Please do not inhale any fumes. Heated up superglue can release toxic fumes, so only use in a well-ventilated area.
- Extrusion Temperature: 270°C-310°C
- Heat Bed Temperature: 90-105°C