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Bilby 3D Knowledge Bank Article

Success with Matte Fiber

Proto-pasta's Matte Fiber High Temperature PLA is a unique blend of plant fibers and High Temp PLA that results in a filament that has better heat resistance than ABS, increased strength and a beautiful matte textured finish like unglazed pottery

Proto-pasta's Matte Fiber High Temperature PLA (Matte Fiber from here on out) is a unique blend of plant fibers and Proto Pasta's High Temp PLA that results in a filament that has better heat resistance than ABS, increased strength and a beautiful matte textured finish reminiscent of unglazed pottery/ceramic or Limestone.

If you've ever wanted that beautiful carbon fiber finish without the need for a special hot-end or nozzle then this is the filament for you.

Special Requirements

None. This filament will print just like standard PLA with no machine upgrades or changes.

Recommended Settings

Proto-pasta recommends a print temperature of 190 – 230 degrees with a heated bed being optional. We have printed it on Flashforges, Makerbots and Prusa’s at 210oc, and at 230 degrees on some other models. We found what ever temperature you normally print PLA is perfect.

Generally speaking just pretend it is normal PLA. Turn on the cooling fan (if you have one) and use the same temperatures speeds and settings you would. If you are going to sand it then add an extra shell or two. If you are going to anneal it increase fill by 5-10%

We have run tests at 50-600 micron, all great and as Matte Fibre does not show layers as obviously you may not want to bother with finer resolutions.

On overhangs and finer details we found very little spiderwebbing, and it rubbed off in our fingers easily.

Bed Adhesion

A heated bed is not necessary, but if you do have one 50 – 60 degrees works very well. We've had great success printing cold and hot to Flashforge Blue Bed Tape, and to PEI with a bed temp of 55 degrees.

First Layer

As Proto-pasta matte fiber is PLA based the same rules apply, it likes a light crush. If your nozzle is too close to the bed it will ball up on the nozzle, too far away and you'll get poor adhesion and the print will drag along behind the head. Matte fiber tends to be even more forgiving in this regard than PLA!

During the Print

Matte Fiber loves a filament cooling fan, it bridges and overhangs very well and you can use the same cooling profile you would for PLA to excellent effect. Layer heights from 0.05 mm to 0.6 mm were tested and all gave great results, with the super high resolution prints showing not a hint of layer lines, and capturing small details perfectly. See the photos of the Buddah statue in the comments for some very high detail!

Post Processing

General Clean Up: In order to remove all spider webbing and other small artefacts only a light wire brush was needed.
Sanding: Finished models sand very easily, leaving a very smooth finish giving the same feeling as river rocks. When wet polished up to 12000 grit the piece takes on a lustre similar to a billiard ball.
Carving: Matte fiber carves readily, leaving a smooth finish making for easy clean-up and modification.
Painting: Matte Fibre takes well to hand painting with acrylics/non enamel paints (enamels not tested). The rougher surface can make it a little harder to spray paint and will take the texture away.
Annealing: This is a processes of heating that changes the property of the material. In this case it becomes stronger and temperature resistant to up to 210 degrees. We have a separate article on annealing available here:
In brief we use a food dehydrator to bake parts at 70 degrees c for 4 hours

Matte Fiber compared to other filaments

Matte Fiber is stiffer than PLA, and will fail britally under too much stress. It's easier to print than ABS and PETG. Matte Fiber is also more forgiving of taller layer heights, hiding layer lines very well at 0.2mm. After annealing it is much strongerthan ABS or PLA and closer to Carbon Fibre. It is the plant fibres that both contribute to strength and the nice stone like texture.

Support structures with Matte Fiber

Support structures in matte fiber are very easy to remove, and leave a very similar surface finish to PLA. Check out under David's chin for support structure finish, and the base of the stuff where extensive support was needed out of a much wider nozzle.

Why choose Matte Fiber

What not to print with Matte Fiber

Due to high stiffness snap fit parts, or anything that needs flexibility, do not work well in matte fiber.

Where to get Matte Fiber

You can find the entire range of Proto-pasta Matte Fiber HTPLA at Bilby 3D!

Our Print examples

"David" by SkullWorks
on Thingiverse Item 879644

Printer: Flashforge Inventor 2

Support material used heavily on chin.

Helmet Head, by Chris Bilby
On Thingiverse item 1170510

Printer: Flashforge Inventor 2
Top right: Sanded and polished finish, notice the reflecting light.
Bottom right: No post-processing, rough with matte finish.

Skull Bowl, by Shapespeare
On Thingiverse item 460222

Printer: Prusa I3 MK2
Top left: Supports removed and unprocessed
Bottom left: After extensive clean-up and light sanding
Right: Finish where supports were needed

Buddah by Geoffro
On Thingiverse item 329057

Printer: Flashforge Inventor 2
A high-resolution test, notice the pattern on the back of the robes, they’re about 1mm wide and 0.5mm deep, captured perfectly by the Matte Fiber.

1786 757 788

Related Articles:

Annealing / Heat Treating High Temp PLA

Checkout Similar Articles in Categories

Specialist Filament

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Copyright 2019 Bilby3D Pty. Ltd.

Bilby 3D Pty. Ltd. Phone 1800-847-333 Int:+61 2 8197 3928

Australian Distributors of desktop sized 3D Printers (Raise3D, FlashForge, Roland, Reprap, Makerbot & UP printers), 3D Scanners, Tools & Parts

Sydney: Unit 23, 110 Bourke Rd, Alexandria, NSW 2015

Brisbane: Shop 2, 474 Upper Edward St, Spring Hill, QLD 4000

Melbourne: Factory A5, 2 Westall Rd, Clayton, VIC 3168