A look at Tesla Ceramic HDPE. An interesting material to print with.
Overall this tesla Ceramic HDPE is a really nice filament, a bit fiddley being a HDPE, which I will explain later in the article.
The colour is a ceramic grey as you’d imagine and the material requires higher temperatures but is stronger than a regular PLA. It is suitable for practical parts as it doesn’t warp in sunlight and heat, it is also non-soluble so you can make vases and such like with it. It is also widely recyclable, which is a useful aspect seen as there is often a lot of plastic waste when 3D printing. As ever it came in the beautiful Tesla-branded box and vacuum sealed.
Where To Buy – Official
HDPE or High-Density PolyEthylene is what milk bottles are made from and is widely recyclable. It is also notoriously difficult to print with poor layer adhesion; however, once tuned in gives excellent results.
- HDPE requires similar temperatures to ABS
- Hot-end Temperature 230~250c
- Hot-bed Temperature 50~80c
- Specification Composition: CERAMIC POWDER 27%+ TPE 5% HDPE 66% + COLOR 2%
HDPE can be recycled at least ten times before it starts to degrade also means you can print test parts and throw it in with your plastic recycling. You may see it again in its next life as a drinks bottle or house held cleaner bottle. (Source)
Using Tesla Ceramic HDPE
Tesla ceramic HDPE is a light and strong filament with enough flex to prevent it from being brittle and snapping. I left a model in my car for a few hot days, and it didn’t warp, which is great since I plan to use it for replacement parts for the dashboard. HDPE is also useful for supports as it can be dissolved by limonene to leave a nice clean finish. Rather than having to rip supports off or out of tricky bits you can’t get your fingers or plyers in to.
Some HDPEs are also food safe so you would be able to create usable plates, mugs or any other type of kitchenware- within reason, if you did this, however, you would need a food-safe printer and be aware that it would not qualify for the use of a dishwasher.
Being a higher temperature filament HDPE is prone to warping on the print bed due to rapid cooling. This is easily fixed with a heated bed and some glue or other bed adhesive aids. HDPE also shrinks as it cools, making this awkward for parts that need dimensional accuracy but can be fixed by adjusting the scale.
I printed a few things with this filament. Started with a part for the interior for my car, then a bust statue and to finish off with a bulldog. All of which turned out well. I had to play with settings to get a better print as it requires similar to ABS however as soon as I got this filament I threw it on a printer and printed it on a PLA profile around 200c, and it worked! In my prints with this material, I can easily see the layer lines. Sand and polish can fix this, or you can use an atomiser polisher to smooth the surface and
I like this Tesla ceramic HDPE. It’s tough if a little tough to print looks nice! Especially if you’re making a statue model or something along those lines. This interesting filament has its quirks like recyclability, poor self-adhesion and good printed strength. Once you’ve dialled in the settings, this filament can yield excellent results.
Want to read about more exciting filaments read about PETG
Melanie Griffin. (2019). HDPE (3D Printing Material) – All You Need to Know.