How to print with Ultimaker PC

Ultimaker PC (polycarbonate) is a very strong and tough material that can be used for various engineering applications. Here are guidelines for getting started with Ultimaker PC and tips to achieve the best 3D print results.

Compatibility

You can use Ultimaker PC on the Ultimaker S5, Ultimaker 3, and Ultimaker 2+, with the nozzle sizes shown in the below overview. If you print PC on the Ultimaker S5 or Ultimaker 3, ensure to use the AA print cores.

Ultimaker PC is only officially supported for single material prints. Experimental use of PC in combination with Breakaway, TPU 95A or another color of PC is possible though.

Recommended settings and configuration

Temperatures

Ultimaker PC prints at relatively high temperatures, between 260 and 280 °C. The build plate temperature is set to approximately 110 °C, but this slightly differs per printer model.

Adhesion

Ultimaker PC is not an easy-to-print material because it tends to warp and delaminate if the printing environment and settings are not perfect.

We strongly recommend using glue on the Ultimaker S5 and Ultimaker 3, and the adhesion sheets on the Ultimaker 2+ to achieve the best build plate adhesion when printing with Ultimaker PC.

To minimize warping when printing more complex prints with Ultimaker PC, it is recommended to apply a thin layer of Magigoo PC to the glass plate. 

We have optimized the Ultimaker Cura profiles of PC to either print with a brim or raft. You will notice that the Ultimaker S5 profiles use a brim, the Ultimaker 3 profiles either a brim or raft depending on the selected print core, and the Ultimaker 2+ profiles always use a raft.

Prints are usually best removed after cooldown. However, if printing with a raft, we recommend to remove the raft while the build plate is still warm.

For more tips on how to improve the build plate adhesion, see our build plate adhesion guide.

Print environment

Ultimaker PC is printed at a high temperature, which can easily be influenced by the environment. To ensure a controlled environment inside the 3D printer it is therefore advised to use the front enclosure included in the Advanced 3D Printing Kit, if you print on the Ultimaker 3 or Ultimaker 2+. This will keep the temperature inside the 3D printer at around 45 °C and provides a higher print success rate, better quality, and performance of the printed parts. On the Ultimaker S5, the glass doors will maintain a stable print environment.

Health and safety

Ultimaker PC is safe to print when using the recommended temperature settings listed above. To ensure a comfortable and healthy working environment, we recommend 3D printing in a well-ventilated area.

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