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.

Ultimaker PC is only officially supported for single material prints. Experimental use of PC in combination with PVA, TPU 95A or another color of PC is possible. For more information, see our material compatibility guide.

Always use the latest version of Cura and make sure that your printer is updated with the latest firmware version to include the correct material profile for Ultimaker PC.

Note: The information provided here applies to Ultimaker PC, similar quality cannot be guaranteed with third-party filaments.

Recommended Settings

Temperatures

The nozzle temperature for printing with Ultimaker PC is 260 - 280 °C and the build plate temperature should be approximately 110 °C. Below you can find an overview of the temperatures per printer and nozzle size.

PC settings

Note: On the Ultimaker 3 the nozzle and build plate temperature on the first layer may be different due to the 'Print Temperature Initial Layer' and 'Build Plate Temperature Initial Layer' settings in Cura.

The temperatures listed in the table are used for the Ultimaker PC print profiles in Cura. For best results, it is crucial to always select the right printer, nozzle diameter, and material in Cura. Please also ensure you have selected the correct material on your Ultimaker 3D printer.

Cooling

None of the preconfigured Ultimaker PC Cura profiles require print fan cooling except for the 0.8 mm nozzle on the Ultimaker 2+. The print cooling fan speed for the 0.8 mm nozzle is 25%, as the amount of extruded material is much higher and it cools slower. For optimal results for small layers, the print cooling fan speed is gradually increased to 50%.

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.

Accessories

We strongly recommend using the adhesion sheets included in the Advanced 3D Printing Kit (for Ultimaker 2+ or Ultimaker 3) to achieve the best adhesion to the build plate when printing with Ultimaker PC. Alternatively, you can apply a thin layer of glue (included in the accessory box of your Ultimaker) to the glass build plate.

Note: Build plate adhesion with glue is less reliable than with adhesion sheets.

Cura build plate adhesion

When 3D printing smaller models, a brim will provide sufficient adhesion to the build plate. For larger models, it is highly recommended to use a raft, and therefore the Ultimaker PC Cura profile has a raft selected as the default build plate adhesion method. This will put a grid structure between the 3D print and build plate, allowing for reliable adhesion. The raft will also allow more even temperature distribution through the initial layers of the 3D print. After the 3D print is finished, the raft can be removed.

Note: Removing the raft is easier when the build plate is still warm.

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

Printing conditions

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 (for the Ultimaker 2+ or Ultimaker 3). 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.

Health and safety

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

For more information, download the safety data sheet for Ultimaker PC here.

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