CPE Filament: Everything You Need to Know

Fillamentum CPE Filament

CPE Filament for 3D printing, learning about its key properties, applications, and why it stands out for industrial, outdoor, and demanding projects.


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Introduction

Co-Polyester (CPE) filament, commonly known as Copolyester, represents a family of engineering-grade 3D printing materials known for their excellent chemical resistance, toughness, and dimensional stability. CPE filaments are designed to bridge the gap between usability and performance, offering attributes that make them suitable for both prototyping and end-use applications. Notably, CPE filament combines the ease of printing seen in more basic filaments like PLA with the durability and resilience needed for functional parts observed in materials like ABS and PETG, but without the odorous fumes or warping issues.

CPE’s standout feature is its chemical resistance, which surpasses that of PETG, making it an ideal choice for applications in environments exposed to aggressive chemicals. Additionally, CPE filaments exhibit less moisture absorption compared to other filaments, enhancing their storage lifetime and print reliability. This blend of features makes CPE a valuable addition to the repertoire of any 3D printing enthusiast or professional, especially those needing parts with a balance of mechanical properties and chemical robustness.

About CPE Filament

CPE filaments are admired for their thermal resistance, which is slightly higher than that of PETG, and their UV resistance, allowing for durable outdoor applications. The filament’s toughness and ductility are also noteworthy, offering a higher impact strength than PLA and a more forgiving nature during post-processing and handling. Moreover, CPE’s ease of printing, with minimal shrinkage and warping, positions it as an accessible material for users with various skill levels.

One of the unique aspects of CPE is its transparency, which can be optimized for clear parts or for aesthetically pleasing colored prints, depending on the specific brand and type of CPE filament used. However, like all 3D printing materials, achieving the best results with CPE requires understanding its printing conditions and tailoring the printing environment accordingly.

Possible Applications of CPE Filament

Industrial Components

Given its chemical and thermal resistance, CPE is well-suited for creating industrial parts that need to withstand harsh environments, such as chemical tanks, piping, or fluid handling systems.

Automotive Parts

Components exposed to oils, greases, and fuels benefit from CPE’s chemical resistance, making it an excellent choice for fuel line connectors, housings, and protective caps.

Medical Equipment

The biocompatibility of certain grades of CPE, along with its resistance to sterilization processes, makes it viable for manufacturing surgical guides, prosthetics, and orthotics.

Outdoor Gear

CPE’s resilience to UV light and weather conditions renders it ideal for outdoor sports equipment, water-resistant containers, and durable enclosures for electronics.

Fillamentum CPE Filament HG100 Natural
<a href=httpswww3djakecomfillamentum title=>Fillamentum<a>CPE HG100 Natural

Pros and Cons of CPE Filament

Pros: CPE stands out for its excellent chemical resistance, making it superior for applications requiring exposure to aggressive chemicals. It combines ease of printing with durability, offering a practical solution for producing functional, tough parts. CPE’s dimensional stability and minimal warping ensure high-quality prints, while its UV resistance expands its application to outdoor uses.

Cons: While CPE offers numerous advantages, it is generally more expensive than PLA and ABS, which might be a limiting factor for budget-sensitive projects. Additionally, optimal printing of CPE may require fine-tuning printer settings, such as cooling rates and print speeds, to prevent stringing or oozing, which could challenge less experienced users. Lastly, the range of available colors and finishes might be more limited compared to more commonly used filaments.

Material Settings of CPE Filament

SettingValue
Print Temperature [°C]250 – 280
Build Plate Temperature [°C]70 – 100
Print Speed [mm/s]30 – 70
Cooling Fan [%]50 – 100
Enclosed Build ChamberNot Required
Air ManagementRecommended
Min Active Heated Build Chamber Temperature [°C]Not Required
DryingRecommended
AnnealingRecommended

To achieve the best results with CPE, adjusting print settings for optimal layer adhesion and surface quality is critical. A heated bed is recommended to prevent warping, and properly dried filament ensures consistency in print quality.

Mechanical Properties of CPE Filament

PropertyValue
Shore HardnessD70 – D75
Specific Gravity [g/cc]1.25 – 1.3
Tensile Strength at Break [Mpa]40 – 60
Elongation at Break [%]100 – 150
Flexural Strength [Mpa]70 – 90
Flexural Modulus [Mpa]1800 – 2200
Impact Strength Charpy 23˚C [kJ/m²]10 – No Break
HDT B [°C]70 – 85
Tg [°C]80 – 90

The mechanical properties of CPE demonstrate its suitability for applications requiring a balance of strength, flexibility, and environmental resistance. Its toughness and ductility make it an excellent choice for durable, long-lasting parts.

Material Comparison

MaterialPLAPETGCPE
Print Temperature [°C]180 – 235220 – 260250 – 280
DurabilityModerateHighHigh
Ease of PrintingHighModerateModerate
UV ResistanceLowHighHigh
Heat ResistanceLowModerateModerate

CPE offers a higher printing temperature and improved chemical resistance over PETG, positioning it as a more specialized material for rigorous applications. While not as easy to print as PLA, CPE’s performance in demanding conditions offers a compelling reason to choose it for specific uses.

FAQ´s about CPE Filament

What distinguishes CPE from other 3D printing materials?

CPE is renowned for its excellent chemical resistance, high impact strength, and remarkable durability, alongside its UV and thermal resistance, making it well-suited to both indoor and outdoor applications.

How should CPE filament be stored?

CPE filament should be stored in an airtight container with desiccant packs to minimize moisture absorption, which can affect print quality.

Can CPE be used in medical applications?

Certain grades of CPE that are biocompatible and capable of being sterilized can be used for medical applications, including making prosthetics and surgical tools.

Is a heated bed required for printing with CPE?

While not strictly necessary, using a heated build plate is recommended to enhance bed adhesion and reduce the chances of warping, especially for larger prints.

How does CPE handle outdoor use?

Thanks to its UV and weather resistance, CPE is an excellent material for outdoor applications, capable of withstanding sun exposure and varying weather conditions without significant degradation.

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