The 3D printing materials developers at Dutch filament manufacturer ColorFabb just unveiled a copolyester-based, carbon fiber composite material called XT-CF20, which includes 20% or more of the tough fiber material.
Colorfabb was founded by Ruud Rouleaux, an expert in the field of additives and master-batches for the plastics industry. Rouleaux began the company by focusing his efforts on creating a high quality 3D printing filament, and during the summer of 2012, he began his first experiments. Those initial steps led to the official launch of the brand, Colorfabb, during March of 2013. Now that Colorfabb is run by a multidisciplinary team, extruder line operators are tasked with checking the quality of their various lines of filament products.
Based on the Amphora 3D polymer from Eastman Chemical, ColorFabb says the new filament has been tested for the last six weeks – and without a single nozzle jam or related thermal issue. While the material showed excellent test results, they say the abrasive nature of the carbon fibers in the filament can cause accelerated wear of brass, so they recommend using stainless steel or hardened copper alloy nozzles.
To highlight the features XT-CF20, the company built the OpenRC Truggy from Thingiverse entirely from their new material, and the result is no less than stunning. They say the material features an extremely high “flex modulus” which is twice as stiff as PLA, is not extremely brittle, features very high melt strength, high melt viscosity, good dimensional accuracy and stability, low printing odor and an attractive matte black surface.
ColorFabb says their new filament is good for a number of applications and industries, and that it’s stiffness, dimensional stability and heat resistance make it ideal for the fabrication of drones, aerospace and automotive parts and prototyping objects. XT-CF20 is nowavailable for pre-ordering through the company’s website and colorFabb expects the first orders will ship by the end of this month. Priced at a little over $52 (€49.95) per 750 gram spool, XT-CF20 falls into the higher range of filaments, but considering its functionality, the price seems warranted.
Have you ever used ColorFabb products before? What are your thoughts on their new carbon-fiber composite filament? Let us know in the ColorFabb XT-CF20 Filament forum thread on 3DPB.com.