Carbon fiber has been around since 1958 and applied to a multitude of applications and products. Primarily known applications include aerospace and automotive applications for its incredible strength to weight ratio. More recently, carbon fiber has grown in popularity due to its unique and eye-catching appearance.
However, in the background, carbon fiber is being developed for thousands of less "sexy" applications. Carbon fiber can now be found in nearly every industry including marine, medical, sporting, construction, electronics, and manufacturing. The list goes on! Common Fibers has spent the last seven years researching and developing new applications. Carbon fiber has many properties that make it great for new technologies. Some of these properties include:
Heat and electrical conductivity specific to fiber orientation
Flexibility/stiffness that can be tailored based on the laminate
RFID protection due to being a Faraday cage
No warping due to heat
Low thermal expansion
So why, you ask, does it make for a good 3D print bed? Read on below to see how some of these properties translate to making the perfect 3D print bed.
Why Carbon Fiber?
Due to many of the properties above, carbon fiber makes for an exceptional 3D print bed for most materials and processes. Not only does it look better than any print bed on the market, it also provides these key advantages:
Bed Adhesion: As the CF bed heats up it creates a unique static-like bond to your 3D print. So long as the bed is hot, your print isn't going anywhere! As soon as the bed cools back to room temperature your print will slide right off with no scrapers or need to clean up glue stick or hair spray. For particularly difficult materials, any standard adhesive will work and can be cleaned off with a wipe of acetone, degreaser, or IPA (not the beer).
Flexibility: While being incredibly stiff, carbon fiber is also flexible. If you don't want to wait for your bed to cool down to remove your prints, no problem! Simply remove your bed form your printer and give the panel a flex. The prints will easily detach and you are ready to start your next print!
Durability: Unlike competitors that provide a thin "consumable" surface that is adhered to a heavy spring steel plate, CF provides a lifetime solution. CF's beds are made from high temperature epoxy pre-preg thermoplastics that will not degrade over time. Common Fibers backs all of its carbon fiber print beds with a Lifetime Warranty (Link to warrant)!
Stiffness: Not all printer beds are made the same. Many are made with cheap materials that bend and warp over time (or even are delivered that way). By adding CF's thick plate option you know you will be left with a perfectly flat and uniform bed for thousands of prints to come.
Uniform Heat: Carbon Fiber inherently posses excellent thermal conductivity making it a fantastic heat sync. This results in a bed that heats up very quickly and cools down fast. Even when your heating elements are smaller than your print area, the entire surface will heat evenly, greatly reducing the lifting and curling experienced when printing large objects which span across the bed.
Surface Finish: CF offers a gloss and satin finish standard on all print beds. This gives you the ability to choose which surface finish you want on your prints. In addition to aesthetics, these finishes provide specific adhesion properties for each material. Check out our complete Print Guide for detailed instructions on which surface and temperatures we recommend for each material.
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