How to 3D Print ULTEM [PEI]

ULTEM [PEI] is a great material for 3D printing functional parts. ULTEM is high strength, performs at high temperatures, and has good chemical resistance. ULTEM is often used in Aerospace, automotive, and electrical applications for its favorable properties as a performance polymer.

This article will help you to print ULTEM on SAAM HT.

ULTEM 9085

Follow the steps below to successfully print ULTEM 9085.

  1. Ensure your filament is dry: ULTEM tends to uptake moisture from the air in as little as 1 - 3 days depending on humidity levels. Dry your filament for at least 12 hours at 60°C or greater. Use a PrintDry system or the collection chamber (right-hand door) of your SAAM HT to accomplish this.
  2. Load filament into SAAM HT. Make sure to use the sealed dry box with a charged desiccant cartridge to prevent moisture from absorbing into your filament. Ensure that additional ports are sealed off. To load filament, set your nozzle temperature to 360°C. Warning: ensure that you use a hot end without low temperature polymers. Low temperature polymers will burn at this temperature and cause acrid fumes. To avoid burning polymer, either use a new hot end or purge out material in steps of materials of increasing melt temperature.
  3. Prepare your print surface: use either PEI Buildtak or nanopolymer adhesive from Vision Miner according to the instructions on the package.
  4. Bring your heaters up to temperature. Set them as follows:
  5. Nozzle Temperature: 360°C
  6. Print Bed: 180°C
  7. Chamber: 160°C
  8. Slice your file. Use the temperatures noted above for the nozzle temperature and print bed temperature. With these temperatures set, you should be able to print most parts by using your default slicer settings. A sample set of settings to use as a baseline are as follows:
  9. Layer height: 0.2mm
  10. Extrusion Width: automatic. If you experience any layer splitting, you may elect to use a manual extrusion width of 1mm to produce a wide bead with increased interlayer adhesion properties.
  11. Default Speed: 3,600 mm/min
  12. First Layer Speed: 50%
  13. Fan Speed: 35%
  14. Upload your GCODE and 3d print your file.

ULTEM 1010

For printing ULTEM 1010, use the instructions listed above substituting the temperatures below:

  1. Nozzle Temperature: 380°C
  2. Print Bed: 230°C
  3. Chamber: 160°C


For printing carbon fiber loaded ULTEM 1010, use the instruction for ULTEM 9085 above substituting the temperatures below:

  1. Nozzle Temperature: 380°C
  2. Print Bed: 230°C
  3. Chamber: 160°C