When comparing Makerbot PLA Filament vs Proto-pasta Original Carbon Fiber Filament, the Slant community recommends Makerbot PLA Filament for most people. In the question“What are the best filaments for 3D printing?” Makerbot PLA Filament is ranked 2nd while Proto-pasta Original Carbon Fiber Filament is ranked 7th. The most important reason people chose Makerbot PLA Filament is:
Since this filament was designed to be used with high-end, expensive Makerbot hardware, its mechanical parameters exceed the standards for regular PLA plastic, as shown in the raw [datasheet](https://eu.makerbot.com/fileadmin/Inhalte/Support/Datenblatt/MakerBot_R__PLA_and_ABS_Strength_Data.pdf) of the material. It's properties are very well balanced; the filament is quite ductile, meaning tensile strength is a bit higher than that of standard PLA, while maintaining the same high material elasticity. While it isn’t a groundbreaking filament, you can be assured that there is no aspect of this product that can be considered substandard.
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Pro Above average mechanical parameters
Since this filament was designed to be used with high-end, expensive Makerbot hardware, its mechanical parameters exceed the standards for regular PLA plastic, as shown in the raw datasheet of the material. It's properties are very well balanced; the filament is quite ductile, meaning tensile strength is a bit higher than that of standard PLA, while maintaining the same high material elasticity. While it isn’t a groundbreaking filament, you can be assured that there is no aspect of this product that can be considered substandard.
Pro Health risks are lower than with ABS
3D printing PLA poses fewer health risks than ABS.
Pro Has proven its value with the 3D printing community
As most Makerbot products, this filament has earned some popularity within the 3D printing community. While Makerbot recommends this filament with their own 3D printers, plenty of people have used this filament for non-Makerbot printers and are quite satisfied with the quality of the results.
Pro No heated bed required
Using a PLA filament does not require your 3D printer to have a heated bed.
Pro Available in 10 different colors
This filament is available in 10 different colors, all of which offer consistent quality and looks.
Pro Proper packaging protects filament from mechanical damage, air and humidity
Makerbot’s packaging keeps the filament inside safe from damage The thick cardboard box protects from mechanical damage while the vacuum-sealed film (together with an included silica pack) keeps the filament safe from air and humidity. This is very important, as filaments absorb water extremely fast.
Pro Printed objects are very stiff and strong
This filament's resulting prints are very stiff and can withstand great stresses, perfect for when you need extra strength in your projects. This is due to the carbon fibers used in this filament, which are small enough to make it through the printing nozzle, but long enough to add rigidity.
Pro Allows to 3D print objects that can't usually be 3D printed
The extreme rigidity and stiffness of this material enables the user to print things that normally can't be properly 3D printed. It’s great for printing frames, supports, shells, propellers and even tools. All these applications are interesting for users that are drone builders, RC hobbyists, or similar.
Con PLA's applications for 3D printing are quite limited
In terms of 3D printing applications, PLA is very limited. While it’s great for general prototyping and poses fewer health risks, it cannot withstand hot or humid environments: it degrades dramatically when exposed to direct sunlight, high temperatures (above 60ºC) or water. It is way less durable and flexible than materials like ABS and lacks chemical resistance. You need to be aware of what the limits are when using this material.
Con Impossible to be used with a 3.0 mm extruder
If your printer has a 3.0 mm extruder, you won't be able to use this filament, since it only comes in 1.75mm form. For Makerbot, this is justifiable, since all of their hardware uses 1.75 mm.
Con Requires some skill to use
Since this filament contains tiny carbon fibers, it’s difficult to print with standard extruders. Adjusting the correct feed rate and printing temperature specifically for your extruder will be necessary. Note that it is also recommended to use stainless steel nozzles while printing this material, since it has been reported that regular brass nozzles may deform while printing this material.
Con Only available in black
Because it contains carbon fibers, the filament is only available in black.
Con Can only be used with 1.75 mm nozzles
The filament is only available in 1.75 mm diameter, meaning it can't be used with printers that have nozzles with different diameters.
Con No available datasheet with mechanical data
The lack of technical documentation makes this product almost unusable for academics and professional engineers, due to the need of having the exact mechanical values in order to justify design decisions.