CE 221 for high temperature resistance & mould like quality surface finishes

Our customers come to us with demanding materials requirements. In many cases there are trade-offs when materials properties are pushed to extremes and often processed at high temperatures, in many cases it is surface finishing that is usually compromised.

An example of such a challenge was for one of our motorsport clients was looking for a material that can withstand more than 120 Degrees Celsius.

The client did not want metal and initially came to us with PEEK in mind. PEEK is a technopolymer that we also offer (3D Printing Materials Guide (3d-consultancy.com) in a variety of advanced composite blends.  PEEK would have been an ideal choice for high temperature resistance.  However, the required parts were small (inside 20mm3 and thin walls)., So, FDM processing was not suitable and couldn’t achieve the print resolution the customer needed at this very small scale.

(Above) CAD model of the component to be made with CE 221 Resin

As this was a development part with the potential to be updated after fit and function verification testing, the customer needed just an initial 2 off but with a potential volume of 10 to 50 for the final installation. This meant that we had to consider not only all the functional and aesthetic requirements, but also whether the process chosen was scalable to produce high quality, repeatable parts with a fast turnaround and better economy than is possible for a larger quantity of parts.

(Above) actual component made with CE 221 Resin

Given the very small size of the component and the high-performance requirements, this very much fitted in with Top 3D Printing Service and Additive Manufacturing | Carbon (carbon3d.com) materials. The material of choice was CE221 which is comparable to glass filled nylon and has excellent heat deflection at a temperature of 230 degrees Celsius, stiffness and strength. There are many good SLS materials that offer excellent mechanical properties and fit well for this application, however MJF, a material we often provide cannot match the temperature resistance of CE221 and the resolution when produced as small parts.

On completion of this project our client commented:  “The 3D-Consultancy always provides us with very innovative solutions and great advice when it comes to 3D printing. They are very responsive and their very quick turnaround means that we lose no time in our development projects.”

Please view our materials catalogue here if you would like to compare all advanced 3D Printing materials properties 3D Printing Materials Guide (3d-consultancy.com)

Carbon Digital Light Synthesis (Carbon DLS) is a breakthrough resin-based 3D printing process that uses digital light projection, oxygen-permeable optics, and engineering-grade materials to produce polymeric parts with exceptional mechanical properties, resolution, and surface finish.

The smaller build sizes and speed of processing, lends itself to building small batches or a larger series (dependent on component size and parts nesting). The more the print bed fills up the better the unit cost economy becomes.

CE221 has some excellent additional material properties that allow it to be used for specialist and end-use applications, not just prototyping, applications such as:

Carbon has performed biocompatibility testing with documentation to support the material passing ISO 10993-5 for cytotoxicity.

CE 221 exhibits very low natural polymer ageing in the presence of UV over hundreds of hours.

CE 221 exhibits very low mass gain with most household chemicals, industrial fluids, and strong acid, alcohols, and bases.

Below are some examples of further uses for this fantastic material.

(Above) Fluid Manifold component made with CE 221 Resin

Fluid and gas manifolds require strength, stiffness, temperature resistance, in addition to isotropy, smooth finish, and ability to print fine features.

(Above) A cold-gas thruster for NASA’s robotic free flier inspector, made with CE 221 Resin


The 3D Consultancy are an engineering led design and manufacturing consultancy providing technical solutions utilising advanced manufacturing technologies and CAD/ 3D Scanning digital processes.

If you have a technical challenge with very tight deadlines that require exacting specifications and an agile working approach to achieve results, then give us a call on 0203 092 4429 or send us an email [email protected] or visit our website for more information.


Posted on

6th October 2023