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  1. #1
    Staff Engineer Davo's Avatar
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    PCL (Polycaprolactone) printed

    So, a pair of PhD candidates from LA Tech came out last week and we helped them print in PCL by melting the pellets in our KRA-15 head and then printing with it.

    That's one more on the list.

  2. #2
    I'm unfamiliar with this material. What are conditions to prints with it (temp, etc). What are the advantages of printing with it?


  3. #3
    Staff Engineer Davo's Avatar
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    We obtain it in pellet form, melt it, and print from our VOL-25 and KRA-15 heads.

    Biomedical applications
    PCL is degraded by hydrolysis of its ester linkages in physiological conditions (such as in the human body) and has therefore received a great deal of attention for use as an implantable biomaterial. In particular it is especially interesting for the preparation of long term implantable devices, owing to its degradation which is even slower than that of polylactide.

    PCL has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in specific applications used in the human body as (for example) a drug delivery device, suture (sold under the brand name Monocryl or generically), or adhesion barrier.[citation needed] It is being investigated as a scaffold for tissue repair via tissue engineering, GBR membrane. It has been used as the hydrophobic block of amphiphilic synthetic block copolymers used to form the vesicle membrane of polymersomes.

    It is also used in housing applications.

    A variety of drugs have been encapsulated within PCL beads for controlled release and targeted drug delivery.[2]


    Hobbyist and prototyping
    Home-made bicycle light mounting, made from PCL

    PCL also has many applications in the hobbyist market where it is know as Polymorph or Shapelock. It has physical properties of a very tough, nylon-like plastic that softens to a putty-like consistency at only 60 C, easily achieved by immersing in hot water.[4] PCL's specific heat and conductivity are low enough that it is not hard to handle by hand at this temperature. This makes it ideal for small-scale modeling, part fabrication, repair of plastic objects, and rapid prototyping where heat resistance is not needed. Though softened PCL readily sticks to many other plastics when at higher temperature, if the surface is cooled, the stickiness can be minimized while still leaving the mass pliable.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polycaprolactone


    See also: http://3dprint.com/7793/3d-print-antibiotics-implants/

  4. #4
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    ahhh polymorph. now i know what it is. yes, keep a lookout because esun has pellets but they are releasing this in filament form as well.

  5. #5
    Staff Engineer Davo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimc View Post
    ahhh polymorph. now i know what it is. yes, keep a lookout because esun has pellets but they are releasing this in filament form as well.
    Yes. From http://reprap.org/wiki/Polycaprolactone

    Trade names for PCL include Polymorph, InstaMorph, CAPA, Friendly Plastic, and Shapelock.

  6. #6
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    just came across this post. we have 6 colors of PCL filaments available. It is more of a fun in-door material as you can reshape it after you printed it. But it cannot stand hot summer temperature for long. It will melt in car for sure. you can find it on www.intservo.com

  7. #7
    Staff Engineer Davo's Avatar
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    Getting some filament sent to us this week.

  8. #8
    Hey Davo,

    You guys seem to know what you're doing when it comes to printing with PCL. I am looking into 3D printing with PCL (polycaprolactone). We have been able to extrude pellets into filament with a Filastruder and Filawinder setup (rather small ranging from 1.3mm-1.4mm diameter). Not having any luck trying to print with a Replicator 2X though. I know the feed rate must be increased and the extruder temperature adjusted, but not having any luck at the moment. All other forums with pre-made PCL have supposedly done okay with 130C extruder temps and 25-45C heated plate temps (which we have tried), but need some guidance on this one. I believe the filament diameter is way too small and we would benefit by bumping up to trying for the 3mm filament, as the 1.75mm isn't coming out like we would hope for. Seems like the filament isn't holding up when being fed into the extruder due to the small diameter and it is giving out when pushed through (not having anything push through the brand new nozzle and extruder when trying to print). Fairly new to 3D printing but would like to get this going. I am thinking to shoot for a 3mm filament and some major custom adjustments in the Makerware settings. Any ideas???

  9. #9
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    lol - yeah you need to make thicker filament.
    The other way to go might be to modify the extruder so it will grip the thinner filament better. Should be fairly easy to rig something up.

  10. #10
    Yes working on trying to make some thicker filament today. Going to drill out the extruder nozzle to the 3mm filament size and hope it does better. By modifying the extruder, do you mean getting a new set of wheels on the inside that actually feed the filament? (similar to a welding machine wire feeder). I have tried multiple temps, print speeds, and feed rates and nothing is really happening when trying to print. Seems as if the filament is buckling when trying to go past the extruder nozzle, like hitting a wall. ABS prints beautifully in the machine though so i know its the filament. Any ideas where to start on the settings? At a loss right now.

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