Ultem is a very unique material that can be used in various ways in 3D Printing. There are 3D Printers that can print this material for applications that require a strong, high-temp chemical resistant material. Ultem (PEI) is also used as a bed surface that is great for print bed adhesion. Here are some details about this amazing material.
3D Printing with Ultem
Ultem can be purchase in filament spools for low grade up to industrial machines. It’s a very tricky material to print with and needs specific conditions for a successful and stable print. This material is recommended for advanced 3D Printers with a controlled temperature enclosure and an all-metal hotend extruder.
With these requirements if your are looking to have parts commercially made with this material it is probably best to go through a professional 3D Printing Service with commercial and industrial machines. These machines also Anneal parts in a controlled cool down process. This reduces any printed-in stresses that may be present in the part.
Ultem 9085 filament is a great choice for high-impact and high stress applications. This material features a high strength-to-weight ratio, high thermal and chemical resistance. Ultem 9085 resins offers the ability to create parts with excellent properties at elevated temperatures due to a high glass transition temperature (Tg) of 186°C.
Recommended Print Conditions:
- Extruder Temp: 350 – 380°C (all-metal extruder)
- Bed Temp: 140 – 160°C
- Bed Prep: PEI Tape, Polyimide Tape, Lightly sanded FR4 or Perf board.
- Other: No cooling fan, Print speeds of 1000mm/min (starting point)
Ultem 1010 PEI (Polyether Imide) is a high-performance polymer that combines excellent thermal properties and exceptional dimensional stability. It offers the ability to create parts with excellent properties at elevated temperatures due to a high glass transition temperature (Tg) of 217°C.
Recommended Print Conditions:
- Extruder Temp: 370 – 390°C
- Bed Temp: 120 – 160°C
- Bed Prep: PEI Tape is the ideal build surface
- Print Speed: Print speeds of 20-30mm/s (starting point), faster as results dictate
- Enclosure Temp: Ultem prints best in a warm to hot build environment
||Ultem 1010 Difference
|Elongation at Break
||Not as tough as Ultem 9085
||10,400 psi (72 MPa)
||11,735 psi (81 MPa)
||More ridged than Ultem 9085
|Izod Impact (notched)
||2.0 ft-lb/in (106 J/m)
||.8 ft-lb/in. (41 J/m)
||Ultem 1010 is more impact sensitive
|HDT at 264 psi
||Highest temperature resistance of any FDM material
||NSF 51, USP Class VI, ISO-10993 and FST
||Ultem 1010 is Food contact capable, Biocompatible and FST.
Aerospace: An excellent material for aerospace applications as it’s properties feature low smoke emission, low smoke toxicity and an excellent balance of flame retardency. Ultem 9085 meets FAR 25.853 as well as OSU 65/65 requirements and can be used to make a variety of structural parts.
Automotive: A high performance alternative to metal. It is strong enough to replace steel in some applications and can significantly reduce weight being lighter than aluminum.
Aviation: As this material makes parts with additive manufacturing it can make very lightweight, complex and strong parts. This makes it a great candidate for the aviation industry.
Electrical: A great choice for electrical or electronics applications given its high temperature resistance. It can be used for things like PCB’s, Computer Parts, Connectors, Projector housings and many other components.
Thermoforming and Mold Tooling: A great alternative this material work well for forming and casting parts. Works well as molds, negative casts and even forming dies.
Sheet Metal Tooling and Hydro Forming: These materials can be used in hydro forming machines and for sheet metal tooling. This offer a rapid die making process that can also be more cost effective.
Ultem is a very unique material that is pushing the envelope in additive manufacturing. This material offer so many beneficial properties making it very useful in many applications. It does cost more than traditional materials and is also very difficult to print with so going through a professional 3D Printing Service with commercial machines is recommend. Ultem will be used more and more as it grows in popularity and it will be interesting to see what new things are made with this cutting edge material.
Check out our article on Octoprint vs Astroprint Control your 3D Printer Remotely