Printing PolyCarbonate

Since I’ve found very little information on printing PolyCarbonate, I’ll start a thread and see where it goes. doesn’t help a whole lot, but it’s somewhere to start.

I’m using a Hexagon hotend with Taz 4.

PC is very stringy, leaving tiny threads all over the place. Tried printing at a low temp, 260F and up to 290F, doensn’t seem to change stringiness. This is pretty annoying.

PC does not stick to anything it seems. PET, Painters Tape, ABS juice, Kapton tape, all don’t work for PC. 3M double sided tape works a little bit, but PC stick to the tape and ends up pulling the tape off the table. Tried bed temps of 60F up to 95F. Cooler temps are worse for sticking to the bed. I will be ordering some garolite and PEI to try those.

During one print I noticed when the extruder would retract the filament, it would lift that section off the bed at the same time. I’m going to play with retract settings to see if this can be fixed.

Had a little delamination when I left my enclosure open. Not as bad as ABS.

have you tried printing on paper/cellulose-containing stuff or using PVA glue sticks or a PVA solution?

I have made about a dozen prints in GizmoDorks black PC with great success with my MakerGear M2 and E3D. I have even successfully printed a 160mm tall part with 99% infill that was 0.5 lbs of PC with no warping. I did make an enclosure though - I don’t expect it will work well without one. I can’t get ABS to work well without one either though.

A few layers of glue stick on bare glass (which is what I use for any filament). I use the purple kind.

Bed at 110-120C, but I started a print a 90 and that worked also, so I can’t say that it must be 110 or more. I am getting more an more casual about not waiting for it to heat up and no problems so far.

Print speeds no higher than 60 mm/sec for best quality. I did 80 mm/sec and it was just detectably worse on inner curves, though still ok for a “fast” mode.

290C worked even with 300 micron layers 0.48mm wide at 80 mm/sec, so I see no reason to go higher temp.

100 micron layers had much stronger bonding than 300 micron layers.

Flat parts don’t need a brim. Tall parts need a brim.

No strings at all.

PC won my pull test, with PolyMax coming in second. eSun PETG is an awesome material:

MakerGear M2 with E3D, 1/10 scale, 290C, 50 micron layers, GizmoDorks Polycarbonate, 60 mm/sec.