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Anyone Using 2020 Carbon Fiber Square Stock to Reduce Mass?

LoadMaster7

Well-known member
I saw this offering on Amazon for a gantry support made of carbon fiber to reduce mass. I am curious if anyone has switch to it from standard 2020 aluminum? I'm thinking of using it later once I have my kit built and printing. Here is the link to what I am thinking, LINK
 

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Folks who tested Tap had significantly reduced stiffness in the gantry with a carbon fibre gantry and it is moving around all over

I'd be more interested in how the hollowed out aluminium kind compares, and if it has the same problems.
It will likely have some issues as you are sacrificing stiffness, so there is a sweet spot that needs to be found.

Carbon fibre however does not seem like the right material.
 
Just decided to order that same CF from Ali. I can't imagine the skeletonized Al being more rigid.

I'm not sure if the Devs were saying they saw rigidity issues with using CF in general, or just with TAP. I somewhat assumed the latter when originally watching.

Wonder if anyone has tried the alternative: LINK
 
Just decided to order that same CF from Ali. I can't imagine the skeletonized Al being more rigid.
As was said in the video, the sloppiness is seen when the chamber heats up. So an Aluminium skeleton could very well perform better.

I'm not sure if the Devs were saying they saw rigidity issues with using CF in general, or just with TAP
Tap identified the issue. It wasn't the root cause. Meaning carbon fibre gantries are a bad idea, based on the data.
 
Maybe helps when using with titanium backers, even if there is less weight reduce than without backer.
 
I will take rigidity over the small weight savings. With the diminished print quality you will need to slow down the prints to compensate.
 
I believe this has everything to do with the change in temperature, and the differences in thermal expansion coefficient of aluminum, 2.36 x 10˄5 K¯¹ compared to Carbon fiber 0.15 x 10˄5 K¯¹.

There is no question of which material is stiffer. The solution would be to understand, the printer structure, aluminum, will grow with chamber temp, the carbon will grow much less. This dimensional change needs to be compensated for. This could be done by replacing the complete printer structure to carbon fiber, or adjusting the gantry at operating temperature or some other means. The fix could be as simple as to allow the X axes to have space for the growth without trying to stretch the carbon fiber gantry.

As to the idea of a hollow square aluminum gantry, I doubt it will be as good as a standard 2020, but will wait to see the data.
 
I believe this has everything to do with the change in temperature, and the differences in thermal expansion coefficient of aluminum, 2.36 x 10˄5 K¯¹ compared to Carbon fiber 0.15 x 10˄5 K¯¹.

There is no question of which material is stiffer. The solution would be to understand, the printer structure, aluminum, will grow with chamber temp, the carbon will grow much less. This dimensional change needs to be compensated for. This could be done by replacing the complete printer structure to carbon fiber, or adjusting the gantry at operating temperature or some other means. The fix could be as simple as to allow the X axes to have space for the growth without trying to stretch the carbon fiber gantry.

As to the idea of a hollow square aluminum gantry, I doubt it will be as good as a standard 2020, but will wait to see the data.

Yes, but actually no...

It DOES have to do with the change in temperature, but not the thermal expansion rates.


The problem that others have seen is that most of the cheap CF tubes available are made with a resin that softens when exposed to the average 60C chamber temperature that most enclosed Vorons are capable of reaching.

Soft resin = no stiffness.


Now, you CAN get Carbon Fiber tubing that has a design spec rated for higher temperatures - but you're not going to find it on Aliexpress or Amazon.

I found one source, but it's in the EU and doesn't ship to the USA.
 
Most cheaper carbon tubes are made with low temperature epoxy. Plus, carbon is often oriented primarily in the axial direction to control buckling and bending at the expanse of torsional stiffness. This is probably why they saw problems with tap.

I personally will take rigidity over minimal weight savings.

Aluminium is actually a very good material, especially for the price!
 
As was said in the video, the sloppiness is seen when the chamber heats up. So an Aluminium skeleton could very well perform better.


Tap identified the issue. It wasn't the root cause. Meaning carbon fibre gantries are a bad idea, based on the data.
I have a cf x gantry made it from stock 2020 CF tubing… tested with a heated chamber and have tap.. no issues here so far (tap built just last night though) honestly most CF tubes should hold up until 120c which is the Tg value for most resins used to make them… It could be that particular tester got a really cheaply made tube IDK hard ti say.. I have tested mine in a my chamber at 60+ c for 12 hour prints without an issue what so ever and cf rod was still stiff and strong..

Anyways I did have to create my own mounting system as the ones I used seemed to de-rack themselves to easily.. if there I interest I can post this on my GitHub D5A79063-0E64-4D63-84CE-911237654064.jpeg01FFB1C3-651B-441A-861A-EA1F1E0625C3.jpeg374F4F7B-8FFC-4500-943E-82205F3B71AB.jpeg
 
Please keep in mind when working with CF that it is a known carcinogen. The carbon fiber in and of itself is not carcinogenic, but the dust and fibers released during drilling, cutting, or sanding will embed in your lungs and may cause issues down the road. I did extensive research on the dangers of microparticles given off during frac sand mining, and this would fall in the same category.
 
I have a cf x gantry made it from stock 2020 CF tubing… tested with a heated chamber and have tap.. no issues here so far (tap built just last night though) honestly most CF tubes should hold up until 120c which is the Tg value for most resins used to make them… It could be that particular tester got a really cheaply made tube IDK hard ti say.. I have tested mine in a my chamber at 60+ c for 12 hour prints without an issue what so ever and cf rod was still stiff and strong..

Anyways I did have to create my own mounting system as the ones I used seemed to de-rack themselves to easily.. if there I interest I can post this on my GitHub View attachment 846View attachment 847View attachment 848
I am interested in how this works out for you and any future changes you find needed. Have you weighed it? I'm curious of the mass difference compared to aluminum.

I'm new to Voron, but I have used carbon fiber in automotive and aircraft related application. In those areas, it out performs aluminum for a variety of uses. I would be surprised if it isn't the same for a 3D printer.
 
Please keep in mind when working with CF that it is a known carcinogen. The carbon fiber in and of itself is not carcinogenic, but the dust and fibers released during drilling, cutting, or sanding will embed in your lungs and may cause issues down the road. I did extensive research on the dangers of microparticles given off during frac sand mining, and this would fall in the same category.
Yeah I know… definitely wearing a mask etc while working with this stuff is a must… I personally worked a mask and worked with it in the garage with the door open.
 
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