This is a sponsored article in cooperation with ElogioAM.
3D printing Facilan™ C8 was first announced in November 2017 as a collaboration between 3D4makers and Perstorp. Few months later the two companies announced a joint venture agreement to form a 3D printing material company named ElogioAM and expand their collaboration even further. Since, chemical company Ingevity from US has acquired Perstorp´s related business with ElogioAM and becomes the new shareholder beside 3D4maker..
So what exactly is Facilan C8?
ElogioAM set out to create a material which would outperform existing materials. A material that is not only environmental friendly and easy to print, but also more durable than ABS all while having a superior surface finish on the printed part. Especially the latter is one of the key features that is mentioned time and time again, and for good reason I might add. As stated on their website “In short, Facilan TM C8 is easy to print, high strength, soft touch 3D printing material with the smoothest surfaces of any FDM 3D printing material“. Those are pretty bald statements and do they hold up in a real world environment?
My first experience with Facilan C8
I was first introduced to FacilanTM C8 at the 2017 TCT show in Birmingham. ElogioAM said that they were about to release a new exciting material they had been working on for some time now. After been given a short presentation along with pictures and sample prints I was intrigued. So a couple of weeks later I was sent a couple of spools from a pre-production batch to test out.
Unfortunately this was all during a time where my family and I were moved to a new place, so while all but one printers where stowed away testing was limited to a few test prints. On top of that, the pre-production batch had some variations in diameter that were way out of tolerance which also limited the tests to less than what I wanted. So while I was quite impressed with the result from the testprints, I packed the last remaining printer and put it in storage in wait for our big move.
Back on track again
As summer of 2018 approached I had all printers set up at the new place and I was ready to go again. As I had been focusing on work and our move during the first months of 2018 Facilan™ C8 had gone into production. The filament diameter issue was now nothing but a memory and I reached out to ElogioAM to see if they were interested in sponsoring the next OpenRC project, which to my delight they were. And so they sent me C8, ALOT of C8 actually. So not only did I have filament enough to print the new project over and over but also do additional test prints.
Ease of use
Seeing that PLA is somewhat of an industry standard these days as far as widely easy to print materials goes, I think it doing a comparison with PLA would make sense. PLA is widely available and prints at a wide variety of settings and comes without any of the hardships many other materials have makes it suitable to begin with if your just starting out in the world of 3D printing. However, some applications might need a more impact resistant product or a smoother surface on the finished part. This is where Facilan™ C8 comes in. It was designed to be stronger but just as easy to print as PLA while still offering a impact & tensile strength higher than ABS. On top of that you´ll get a silky smooth surface finish.
As far as print settings goes the extrusion temperature range according to the product page should be somewhere between 193-220°C. My sweet spot is at 200°C. I mostly used the recommended 35°C for the bed which worked fine. I have also printed it in my ZYYX printers which don´t have a heated bed and it worked fine too. Print speed is recommended to 30-50mm/s but I have printed at 40-60mm/s. Part cooling is something I have only used for some parts. It definitely helps for printing steeper angles but I feel it affects layer adhesion somewhat so for some parts I have kept the fan of for maximum inter layer adhesion. For the majority of prints I haven´t noticed much shrinking but when the density is more than I usually use (like 3-4 perimeter & >50% infill) I have noticed some lifting from the print bed and shrinking along X/Y.
We all have different preferences but for me Facilan™ C8 have been and still is a easy material to print much like my experience with PLA.
Mechanical durability & strength
Usually PET comes to mind when you are looking for a more durable alternative in terms of mechanical properties to PLA. This is where Facilan™ C8 can be another option but within my opinion a much nicer surface finish. Facilan™ C8 have similar characteristics to PET in terms of durability. Much like ABS a part will “give in” when bent unlike PLA that will in most cases snap when exposed to enough force.
I have also used Facilan™ C8 to do “living hinges” and it works quite well for test design concepts. As mentioned above I feel that turning of part cooling will increase layer bonding and overall durability. The website states that both impact strength as well as tensile strength is higher than ABS would make it a good candidate for many of the projects I’m doing including the OpenRC F1. And speaking of the F1, I have printed one in Facilan™ C8 and will be doing some tough crashing when the winter is over so stay tuned!
This might be what I like the most about Facilan™ C8. It was developed to almost completely conceal layer lines and I think it does a fine job producing fine prints with a silky smooth finish. And yes, I realize I might sound like a broken record coming back to the “silky smooth” but to be fair it does describe to tactile properties of the surface of prints done with Facilan™ C8.
Especially the matte finish is a sought after feature that many ask for and it´s definitely something that makes this material stand out.
For those that still want to further process the print by gently sanding it, is surprisingly easy. I´d say it´s easier than PLA or ABS. I missed a measurement on the “Bullet Time” grip and it came out slightly small on the inside diameter so I tried sanding it and it was easier than expected. I don´t sually sand printed parts but good to know, right?
If there´s something I’m missing, it would be more colors. I think that having a wide variety of colors vailable would make C8 even more attractive. However, I spoke to ElogioAM about this and they ointed out the Facilan™ C8 can easily be spray painted, even without a primer so I might give that a go actually.
Another pleasant surprise is removal of support material which I feel is easier than most other aterials I used. Even though I always try to design parts without having to use support this is a ndeed something to remember when using Facilan™ C8.
So is Facilan™ C8 the ultimate 3D printing material? Well, we all have different preferences as to what suits our own needs best so it´s up to you to decide but maybe this article will at least answer some of the questions you might have regarding the Facilan™ C8 material.
To to sum things up, if you’re looking for a material that have ABS-like properties and a super smooth surface finish you should definitely look into Facilan™ C8. The price is slightly higher than your average PLA/PET/ABS so that is also something to consider when looking for a new material. I´m using Facilan™ C8 for both testing new designs and some end user products as well and it´s worked out well so far. Facilan™ C8 is a material that does a lot and is suitable for a wide spectrum of applications.
If this sounds like something you would be interested in please go to the ElogioAM website or contact them at email@example.com