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New FDM Visual Print Option Combines Aesthetics With Durability

Rob Levesque Senior Marketing Content Manager
Robert Levesque junio 21, 2024
junio 21, 2024

“Don’t judge a book by its cover.” That’s generally good advice since outward appearance rarely reflects the true essence of anyone or anything. Then again, there are also times when how something looks is the whole point. Think da Vinci’s Mona Lisa here. 

To put this in a 3D printing context, consider a part printed using a composite material like FDM ABS-CF10. A carbon-filled polymer like that sometimes produces a slightly rough surface finish. However, what really matters is what’s going on beneath the surface. With ABS-CF10, the carbon fibers add strength and rigidity to the ABS base polymer. In most cases, if you’re using ABS-CF10, it’s because you want the added durability.

But what if you need an aesthetic finish, too? Can you have it both ways – looks and performance? Well, now you can when you print using the Carbon Fiber Visual Print Option for ABS-CF10 material on F-Series printers. This Visual Print Option is a 5-slice (0.005”) layer height option that produces a smoother surface finish, perfect for when a part’s visual appearance is important to the application. This capability is selectable through Insight and GrabCAD Print software when configuring your model by choosing the 5-slice layer height option. It should be noted, however, that the 5-slice option requires the use of the T14H hardened print head. 

This print option also avoids unnecessary post-processing. Depending on the slice height and build orientation, smoothing FDM parts usually requires sanding or vapor smoothing. ABS-CF10 Visual Print Option does away with those steps, putting nice-looking, finished parts in hand faster. 

Get the best of both worlds – the strength of carbon-filled ABS and a desirable surface finish, too.

ABS-CF10 and Carbon Fiber Visual Print Option are currently available on the F170, F370, F190CR, and F370CR printers. To learn more about the benefits of composite 3D printing that includes ABS-CF10, visit our Carbon Fiber 3D Printing web page