What do I need to print pla successfully?

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Carnivore
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Joined: Thu Oct 17, 2013 8:38 pm

What do I need to print pla successfully?

Post by Carnivore » Thu Nov 28, 2013 8:42 am

I'm thinking about switching to pla instead of abs to reduce the material shrinkage. What do I need to do this? I keep reading how it needs a temp mod and that there's an octave variable temp mod that works really well. Could someone direct me to that?

Also on a different topic, does the up printer ever go into hibernation after you initialize?

roller
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Location: Brisbane, Australia

Re: What do I need to print pla successfully?

Post by roller » Thu Nov 28, 2013 2:19 pm

First, yes a temp mod makes it easier to get good PLA result. You can easily build your own or you can get own from Octave - the 8 temp is all you need - http://www.octave.com/p1173433211/Extru ... _info.html

If you want easy results from PLA then the Colorfabb stuff makes life easier. It seems a lot less prone to jamming when the extruder gets warm during a long print. Otherwise some cooling of the extruder is often required to stop the filament too early and jamming.

Carnivore
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Re: What do I need to print pla successfully?

Post by Carnivore » Thu Nov 28, 2013 5:34 pm

Would I need to 3d print a fan holder and attach it to the extruder stand to cool the pla as it's coming out? I think there's a 12v output on the extruder circuit I could tap into. Does anyone have a reference to doing this?

roller
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Re: What do I need to print pla successfully?

Post by roller » Fri Nov 29, 2013 6:11 am

Having a fan helps with print quality on most PLA. I have not found most of my PLAs (all higher quality ones) to really need it with the Up. I do leave the wind barrier open though.

Carnivore
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Re: What do I need to print pla successfully?

Post by Carnivore » Fri Nov 29, 2013 3:39 pm

So printing pla is quite different than ABS. You don't have to worry about keeping the platform warm or worry about cold air drafts.

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roller
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Re: What do I need to print pla successfully?

Post by roller » Sat Nov 30, 2013 1:18 am

Yeah it's almost opposite in some regards. PLA barely warps so there is no need to keep it warm. It's low softening point (about 50C) means it tends to stay a little too soft for too long after it leaves the extruder so prints can get distorted by the next layers being laid down - so some cooling helps harden up the print.

Carnivore
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Re: What do I need to print pla successfully?

Post by Carnivore » Sat Nov 30, 2013 6:00 am

Aw, so it's in my best interest to build a fan cooling unit around there. Do you happen to have a reference for that? I've seen some pictures around this site of it and from other websites (reprap)

roller
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Re: What do I need to print pla successfully?

Post by roller » Sat Nov 30, 2013 6:15 am

Just give it a go, if print quality is poor then just use any desk/household fan to blow on the print.

Carnivore
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Re: What do I need to print pla successfully?

Post by Carnivore » Sat Nov 30, 2013 6:43 am

I've seen pictures of an additional fan mod on the right side of the extruder. I was hoping to add one with an on/off switch.

roller
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Re: What do I need to print pla successfully?

Post by roller » Sat Nov 30, 2013 7:34 am

Yeah. I actually don't do that on my printers as I like to avoid the extra mass (but I push my repraps to 300mm/s and as much accel as I can manage). I just use a couple 120mm PC case fan which is cheap, 12v and more effective. The mounted ones tend to bias one side of the print which sometimes means uneven results ... it's rare though.

Carnivore
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Re: What do I need to print pla successfully?

Post by Carnivore » Sat Nov 30, 2013 7:07 pm

So so pla needs to cool down fast in order for it not to get warped by the next layer, I should set my speed to 'fine' instead of 'normal' correct?

roller
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Re: What do I need to print pla successfully?

Post by roller » Sun Dec 01, 2013 9:56 am

Carnivore wrote:So so pla needs to cool down fast in order for it not to get warped by the next layer, I should set my speed to 'fine' instead of 'normal' correct?


I prefer to say distorted rather than warped because as soon as you say warp some people think about the thermal shrinking like with ABS. There should be no need to change your speed. Going slower can sometimes cause issues with stringing.

ktronik
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Re: What do I need to print pla successfully?

Post by ktronik » Fri Dec 06, 2013 6:06 am

roller wrote:
Carnivore wrote:So so pla needs to cool down fast in order for it not to get warped by the next layer, I should set my speed to 'fine' instead of 'normal' correct?


I prefer to say distorted rather than warped because as soon as you say warp some people think about the thermal shrinking like with ABS. There should be no need to change your speed. Going slower can sometimes cause issues with stringing.

roller, is there a temp that allow ease of support removal?? (with PLA) or am I kidding my self and it will never release like ABS?? :)

roller
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Re: What do I need to print pla successfully?

Post by roller » Fri Dec 06, 2013 6:50 am

It's not quite as easy as ABS but I do get good clean release with PLA. As for the right temp - unfortunately that depends on the PLA. It's a a bit of trial and error.

ktronik
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Re: What do I need to print pla successfully?

Post by ktronik » Fri Dec 06, 2013 8:25 am

roller wrote:It's not quite as easy as ABS but I do get good clean release with PLA. As for the right temp - unfortunately that depends on the PLA. It's a a bit of trial and error.

I hear ya, keep on testing...what TEMP do you run your colourFAB on??

pp3dp.nl
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Re: What do I need to print pla successfully?

Post by pp3dp.nl » Fri Dec 06, 2013 9:38 am

PLA should be far easier to remove from the support than ABS because it is harder. I have a solution for printing PLA on an Up that works great, raft and support removal is awesome and far better than ABS. There is no stringing whatsoever in my configuration but white and PLA with a lot of colorant I print on Fine settings.

roller
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Re: What do I need to print pla successfully?

Post by roller » Fri Dec 06, 2013 11:45 am

ktronik wrote:
roller wrote:It's not quite as easy as ABS but I do get good clean release with PLA. As for the right temp - unfortunately that depends on the PLA. It's a a bit of trial and error.

I hear ya, keep on testing...what TEMP do you run your colourFAB on??
I am pretty sure it is -50C or -60C on ABS which should make it 220-210C. I have it on a spreadsheet but I just upgraded to Mavericks and I haven't put my files back on yet.

ktronik
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Re: What do I need to print pla successfully?

Post by ktronik » Fri Dec 06, 2013 9:33 pm

roller wrote:
ktronik wrote:
roller wrote:It's not quite as easy as ABS but I do get good clean release with PLA. As for the right temp - unfortunately that depends on the PLA. It's a a bit of trial and error.

I hear ya, keep on testing...what TEMP do you run your colourFAB on??
I am pretty sure it is -50C or -60C on ABS which should make it 220-210C. I have it on a spreadsheet but I just upgraded to Mavericks and I haven't put my files back on yet.
thx Roller!

ktronik
Posts: 96
Joined: Thu Apr 25, 2013 4:52 am

Re: What do I need to print pla successfully?

Post by ktronik » Fri Dec 06, 2013 9:34 pm

pp3dp.nl wrote:PLA should be far easier to remove from the support than ABS because it is harder. I have a solution for printing PLA on an Up that works great, raft and support removal is awesome and far better than ABS. There is no stringing whatsoever in my configuration but white and PLA with a lot of colorant I print on Fine settings.
wow cool, what is your HOT setup for easy raft removal??

Carnivore
Posts: 113
Joined: Thu Oct 17, 2013 8:38 pm

What do I need to print pla successfully?

Post by Carnivore » Mon Dec 09, 2013 3:57 pm

I'm interested in perfecting pla as I print large prints. Can you give more information please?


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