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Best Carbon Fiber 3D Printer: How to Print Carbon Fiber Filament

We take a look at the best 3D printer for carbon fiber filament, no matter the budget!
Last Updated on April 15, 2024
Best 3D Printer for Carbon Fiber

Whilst it may be more niche than conventional 3D printing, there is certainly a market for finding the best carbon fiber 3D printer. Prized as a material stronger than many metals and still lightweight, carbon fiber is ideal for the most durable of 3D print models, though printers capable of rendering it are harder than average to come by.

We’ve put together a guide on the best 3D printers for carbon fiber, in order to help narrow the search. So regardless of whether you are new to 3D printing or a veteran wanting to expand their material selection, you’re certain to find the right 3D printer for you!

Products at a Glance

How We Picked the Best Carbon Fiber 3D Printer

3D printing is a difficult art even at the best of times, and a carbon fiber printer can make the process more difficult. We’ve focused on ease-of-use as a primary factor in our carbon fiber 3D printer choices, but haven’t forgotten about quality, build volume or print speeds – the usual suspects of 3D printing. There are also great additional features that are always appreciated in a 3D printer, such as automated leveling or a filament run-out detection system: printers with these are always worthwhile.

Of course, there are many other materials to 3D print with, and carbon fiber 3D printers aren’t limited to just carbon fiber. We’ve valued printers that have an array of compatible filaments.

Last but not least, the price of the 3D printer also played a key factor: budget-friendly and value-for-money accounted into our choices, for a diverse but desirable list of 3D printers for carbon fiber.

Our Recommended

Product Reviews

  • Versatile filament options
  • Dual extruders
  • Auto active bed leveling
  • Expensive
  • Slow print speeds

The Ultimaker S5 tops our list of the best carbon fiber 3D printer, and for good reason. Designed to slide into professional 3D printing setups, the Ultimaker S5 is by no means cheap even compared to some professional 3D printers. It’s a far more manageable expense given the excellent overall print quality, the range of top features, and the work Ultimaker put in to make using the printer an utter breeze.

The Ultimaker S5 features a sizable build volume of 330mm x 240mm x 300mm, making for appreciably large prints. A consistent quality level applies to all supported material types: notably carbon fiber-based filament, but also more specialized materials such as CPE+ or Nylon. The heated glass build plate makes for stable builds, and the automated leveling ensures a minimal human component. If you invest in the S5’s additional ruby-coned Print Core nozzle, the quality is maximized for the best results.

If we had to point out a flaw, the S5 is slightly slower than average for a 3D printer – especially with carbon fiber. Considering the price point, this may not be the model to invest in if you need fast turnarounds on your models. However, we found the compromise reasonable and are still happy to call this the best carbon fiber 3D printer!

  • Industrial-grade results
  • Support for carbon fiber, fiberglass, kevlar, nylon
  • High price point
  • Small build volume

The continuous fiber Markforged Mark Two 3D printer condenses an industrial-grade machine down to a desktop form factor, to produce high-grade prints that unify Markforges’s nylon-micro carbon composite and fiber of the user’s choice, including carbon fiber via a dual extruder arrangement. Though it is by no means cheap, the innovation on display in this carbon fiber 3D printer is hard to beat!

Print resolution ranges from a minimum of 100 microns to 200 microns, allowing for fine details and larger hefty layer prints. Results boast high tensile strength, superb surface finish, and precise details, all with the lightweight attributes provided by carbon fiber – suitable for a wide range of industrial applications, consumer-grade products, and versatile replacements for machined aluminum parts. Material support extends to carbon fiber, fiberglass, and kevlar, all prized for durability, strength, and stiffness. We also like the proprietary browser-based Eiger Cloud slicing software provided alongside the Markforged Mark Two. The Eiger Slicer software strikes a careful balance between ease of use and advanced options to hone in on the subtleties of producing high-quality parts.

That said, the build volume is noticeably small at the price point: the premium quality of this carbon fiber 3D printer is somewhat limited by the size. For an industrial 3D printer for carbon fiber, the Markforged Mark Two is the ultimate choice!

  • Large print volume
  • Broad range of material support
  • Dual extruder printing
  • Expensive
  • Inconvenient spool holder design

For large-format carbon fiber prints, we recommend the Raise3D Pro2 Plus and its colossal 305 mm x 305 mm x 605 mm build volume which is particularly well equipped for projects that require ample vertical space.

Like the Ultimaker 5S, carbon fiber printing on the Raise3D Pro2 Plus requires a quick swap to a hardened nozzle suitable for abrasive composite materials. It’s quick to do, however, and extends the versatility of this already-impressive machine. Thanks to the high heat capability of this 3D printer, there is a long list of supported filaments beyond carbon fiber, including go-to filaments such as ABS. You can even see your works-in-progress thanks to a built-in camera.

We’re not huge fans of the filament spools on this model, however. It’s perplexing that a printer focused on large-format prints doesn’t have spools capable of holding large quantities of filament. It can be overcome with some creative thinking, but it is an issue we don’t think we should be having. If you can overcome this inconvenience, however, the Raise3D Pro2 Plus is a tremendous large-format 3D printer for carbon fiber!

  • All-in-one design
  • Fast print speeds
  • Material compatibility
  • WiFi connectivity sold seperately

The Fusion3 F410 sets itself apart as a professional-grade 3D printer by keeping to a comparatively affordable price point, while still offering the perfect blend of precision, speed, and reliability required by businesses, engineers, and designers.

Unlike the offerings from Ultimaker and Raise3D, carbon fiber printing works out of the box with the F410 thanks to a convenient, cabinet-style enclosed design. The printer packages in three nozzle bore diameters – 0.4 mm, 0.6 mm, 0.8mm – offering plenty of scope for everything from detailed small prototypes to thick layered functional parts. You can print using filaments of nearly any kind with the F410, and a proprietary motion-controlling Kevlar cabling system makes sure that your prints stay steady.

One cost-cutting aspect of this 3D printer that we’re not a fan of is the lack of WiFi functionality included as standard – rather as a bolt-on purchase. It’s inexpensive, but inconvenient. It’s our one gripe, however, and the F410 remains a great budget 3D printer for carbon fiber!

  • Affordable
  • Highly stable frame
  • Versatile filament choices
  • Small build volume

Reading our brief assessment of the 3D printers above, you may be getting the sense that carbon fiber printing is strictly reserved for professional outfits willing and able to invest thousands of dollars. While this is primarily the case, especially to obtain the best print results, far more affordable hobbyists-grade printers capable of handling carbon fiber projects exist, such as QIDI’s X-Plus 3.

With a super-sturdy aluminum frame and assisted leveling, you’ll need an earthquake to jostle the X-Plus 3 mid-print. We named it as one of the best ABS 3D printers due to its high print speeds and capacity for high temperatures – though you’ll need a separate specialist nozzle for carbon fiber. With WiFi connectivity and filament run-out detection, this is a great mid-range option for those unable to spend tens of thousands on a carbon fiber 3D printer!

Print quality isn’t on par with the printers above but is nevertheless very good for this price point, particularly for carbon fiber parts using the second extruder setup. Layering is relatively prominent, it has to be said, but overall we’d be hard-pressed to expect more from such an affordable semi-professional 3D printer. The QIDI X-Plus 3 is our last, but far from the least, of our best carbon fiber 3D printers!

Features and Considerations

There are a number of key considerations you’ll want to factor in when looking for the best carbon fiber 3D printers. Here’s what to look out for.

Carbon Fiber Printing Techniques

There are two dominant carbon fiber printing techniques to choose from: chopped carbon fiber printing incorporates tiny chopped fibers inside the filament alongside a more pliable material such as PLA, Nylon, or PEEK. As such, the material is ready-mixed and primed to be printed from a single extruder. The ratio of carbon in the filament can change from manufacturer to manufacturer depending on the desired stiffness or strength.

On the other hand, continuous carbon fiber printing feeds fibers into the layers of a print during the printing process via the use of a dual extruder setup. One extruder lays down a polymer or other material, while the other applies a continuous secondary layer of carbon fiber. This method is favored for reinforcements and prints that need a more uniform distribution of carbon fiber. Continuous carbon fiber parts tend to be stronger than those printed using the chopped carbon fiber process.


The nozzle is one of the most important aspects of any 3D printer as it directly impacts the accuracy, consistency, and ultimately the final quality of the print. In the context of carbon fiber printing, the issue is further complicated by the qualities of the material: carbon fibers are tiny, sharp shards that can wear on the interior of the nozzle leading to precision issues and clogging.

To mitigate this, printer manufacturers and hobbyists adapting ordinary polymer printers for carbon fiber printing tend to fit in reinforced nozzles, usually made of hardened steel, which is much better equipped to handle the coarse properties of the material.

While hardened steel nozzles take care of the abrasive qualities of carbon fiber, they aren’t as heat conductive as traditional 3D printer nozzles, usually made of brass. As such, steel nozzles need to be paired with higher temperatures to compensate for this, something that a quality carbon filter printer will do by design.


It’s worth noting that printing with carbon fiber at a high standard is among the most expensive 3D printing techniques currently available due to the high cost of the machinery, technology, and filament involved in the process. While carbon fibers popularity and work on the manufacturer side to streamline production have lowered costs somewhat compared to a few years ago, carbon fiber printers are priced in the thousands of dollars, rather than the hundreds associated with hobbyist level FDM polymer printers. As such, be prepared to pay handsomely for the pleasure of owning one.

That said, the price differs substantially between the most premium, industrial-grade feature-rich carbon fiber printers and the more contextually affordable, desktop-friendly alternatives. $5,000 to $50,000 is a gap even well-financed operations can appreciate. It’s important to buy a printer that aligns with your aims and ambitions if only to avoid overspending or, on the flip side, to avoid a printer that doesn’t deliver the performance required for your needs and end products.

Is carbon fiber PLA stronger than regular PLA?

No: Carbon fiber PLA might appear to be stronger than the regular PLA you’re used to but in fact it’s just more ‘stiff’, making your 3D prints less flexible.

What 3D printers can print carbon fiber?

To print with carbon fiber, 3D printers must have high extrusion temperatures of at least 200 degrees and use specialist nozzles – but also approval from the manufacturer to use carbon fiber with their 3D printer.

Our Verdict

Boasting compatibility with a broad array of materials, including carbon fiber with a simple nozzle swap, superb print results, and plenty of quality-of-life features that score points for ease of use, the Ultimaker S5 takes the crown as our top pick for the best carbon fiber 3D printer! Though it can err on the slow side, the impressive innovation in the S5’s design makes it a keen competitor to other top-tier 3D printers!

For something a little more affordable than even our budget options, why not check out our guide on the best 3D printers under $300?