PC-ABS Filament: Everything You Need to Know

Polymaker PC-ABS Filament Black

PC-ABS filament to push the boundaries of your 3D printing projects, creating parts that stand up to rigorous use and higher temperatures.


by Editorial Staff: We are a team of 3D Printing Enthusiasts who have build a lot of knowledge about 3D Printing the last 8 years. Our aim is to create the knowledge hub for 3D Printing covering all minor and major topics. Providing one source of reliable Information for everybody regardless of Beginner or Expert.


Introduction

PC-ABS (Polycarbonate-Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) filament is an engineering thermoplastic that combines the heat resistance and mechanical strength of Polycarbonate (PC) with the flexibility and ease of printing of Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS). This blend results in parts that are durable, resilient, and capable of withstanding higher temperatures than ABS alone, making it a preferred choice for functional components in automotive, aerospace, and consumer electronics industries. PC-ABS filament is known for producing parts with excellent surface quality, dimensional stability, and structural integrity under thermal stress.

While PC-ABS offers an advantageous balance of properties, it requires careful printing conditions due to its tendency to warp and the need for good ventilation to manage the emissions during the printing process. For users equipped to address these challenges, PC-ABS filament provides the opportunity to create parts and prototypes combining the best attributes of both parent materials.

About PC-ABS Filament

PC-ABS stands out for its superior thermal properties, making it suitable for applications that require a material capable of maintaining its strength and form at higher temperatures. Its impact resistance and toughness are exceptional, allowing for the creation of parts that can endure rough handling or harsh environments. The blend also improves the overall printability of PC, reducing the material’s propensity to warp while retaining its high strength and heat resistance.

Optimal printing with PC-ABS requires a heated bed, controlled printing environment, and careful calibration of print settings. Despite its need for specific conditions, PC-ABS remains accessible for a wide range of applications, offering a versatile solution for demanding engineering projects.

Possible Applications of PC-ABS Filament

Automotive Components

PC-ABS is used in the automotive industry for making durable, heat-resistant parts like dashboards, interior panels, and under-hood components.

Electronic Housings

The material’s excellent thermal stability makes it ideal for enclosures and casings for consumer electronics, protecting devices from heat and impact.

Functional Prototypes

Engineers and designers often choose PC-ABS for prototyping parts that require a balance of mechanical performance and thermal resistance.

Industrial Machinery

Its resistance to impact and high temperatures suits the production of machine parts and tools that must withstand operational stress and thermal cycles.

Pros and Cons of PC-ABS Filament

Pros:

  • Thermal Resistance: Higher than that of many other 3D printing materials, suitable for parts exposed to elevated temperatures.
  • Impact Strength: Provides durability for components in demanding applications.
  • Surface Quality: Capable of achieving smooth finishes with good dimensional stability.
  • Printability: Easier to print than pure PC, offering fewer warping issues.

Cons:

  • Warping: Despite improvements, it can still warp if not printed under optimal conditions.
  • Emissions: Requires a well-ventilated area to manage potential emissions during printing.
  • Printer Requirements: Needs a heated print bed and precision temperature control to achieve the best results.
  • Cost: As an engineering-grade material, PC-ABS may be more expensive than standard filaments.
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Material Settings of PC-ABS Filament

SettingValue
Print Temperature [°C]250 – 280
Build Plate Temperature [°C]90 – 105
Print Speed [mm/s]30 – 50
Cooling Fan [%]0 – 10
Enclosed Build ChamberRequired
Air ManagementRequired
Min Active Heated Build Chamber Temperature [°C]Not Required
DryingRequired
AnnealingRecommended

Achieving optimal results with PC-ABS involves managing high printing temperatures and ensuring a stable print environment to maintain material properties and part quality.

Mechanical Properties of PC-ABS Filament

PropertyValue
Shore HardnessD70 – D85
Specific Gravity [g/cc]1.07 – 1.18
Tensile Strength at Break [Mpa]35 – 50
Elongation at Break [%]4 – 30
Flexural Strength [Mpa]65 – 85
Flexural Modulus [Mpa]1800-2500
Impact Strength Charpy 23˚C [kJ/m²]25 – 55
HDT B [°C]85 – 125
Tg [°C]95 – 110
UV ResistanceModerate

PC-ABS’s mechanical properties highlight its suitability for manufacturing robust and resilient parts that can withstand significant stress and temperature variations.

Material Comparison

MaterialPLAABSPC-ABS
Print Temperature [°C]180 – 235230 – 270250 – 280
DurabilityModerateHighHighest
Ease of PrintingHighModerateModerate
UV ResistanceLowModerateModerate
Heat ResistanceLowModerateHigh

PC-ABS offers superior durability and heat resistance compared to PLA and ABS, making it ideal for more demanding projects. While it shares similarities with ABS in UV resistance and printability, PC-ABS stands out for its enhanced mechanical properties and thermal stability.

FAQ´s about PC-ABS Filament

What makes PC-ABS different from ABS?

PC-ABS combines the ease of printing and flexibility of ABS with the thermal stability and strength of PC, resulting in a material that is both strong and heat resistant, suitable for applications requiring durability and higher temperature performance.

Can PC-ABS be used for outdoor applications?

While PC-ABS has moderate UV resistance, it is better suited for outdoor use than solely ABS due to its improved material properties, though long-term exposure may still lead to degradation.

How can warping be minimized when printing with PC-ABS?

Using a heated bed, enclosed print chamber, and adhesive aids in minimizing warping. Fine-tuning the print settings for the specific filament brand can also improve adhesion and reduce warping.

What safety precautions should be taken when printing with PC-ABS?

Ensure the printing area is well-ventilated to mitigate exposure to emissions. Using an enclosed printer with air filtration can further enhance safety.

How does PC-ABS handle mechanical stress?

PC-ABS is highly resistant to mechanical stress, making it capable of enduring impacts, pressure, and stress without cracking or deforming, ideal for parts that require robust performance.

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