Hello dear Ultimaker Community,
I come in need of your help, a customer of mine chose polypropylene as material to print his prototypes, and we have been having trouble printing with it, we are getting very inconsistent results these past weeks, we work mainly with treed and smartfil polypropylene, we gave ultimaker pp a shot too but it didn't give us the results we need.
My client has been printing polypropylene with consistent results on a Ultimaker 3 Extended, it was all good, then he ordered an ultimaker S5 for the need to print bigger models, and an Ultimaker 3 Extended for the need of more production capacity, but in the past few weeks all hell broke lose when the S5 have not been able to give us one single good result, while the Ultimaker 3 has been giving us what seems almost like random results.
The main reason of failure is under extrusion like en the picture attached below.
Another problem is some kind of shininess to the print that is present from time to time, aesthetically it is not really a problem, but most of the time when the print is shiny like that the print itself isn't strong enough and breaks, the most bizarre part of the phenomena is the fact that it can happen many times in a single print, alternating between portions where the print is mate and not shiny, and parts where it is shiny, i am unable to take a proper photo right now to show the anomaly, temperature does not seem to be the culprit, i will try to get some better photos tomorrow and post em.
What we tried so far to solve the problem:
1- Adjust the lever screw to adjust tension on the filament: the results were not satisfying, either the filament got too shewed or slipped, so we followed this guide https://ultimaker.com/en/resources/36111-material-is-ground-down-by-the-feeder, we did not see much of a change
2- Play with temperature:
3-Adjust retraction prime from 35 to 10, and even lower retraction speed, no noticeable effect.
4- try with different material:
a- we tried different providers for polypropylene, we didn't have any better success with other providers material, we usually go for Smartfill, we tried Treed and didn't get any better results, we tried Ultimaker's pp which gave us a very different result, it was way softer and it had a shiny look to it, shiny in a different way, other filaments when showed the shiny aspect were totally shiny all arround on the portions where it would show, ultimaker's was like spots here and there, we also tried a material called Fortis, a kind of propylene with white pigments, somehow it prints better, but from time to time we experience the under extrusion problem.
b- we tried also printing with a variety with other materials, we tried Carbon, Nylon, Cpe, and a few other materials, and they print from the first try, the only other material we had problems with is TPU, is it because of the flexibility of the material?
Right now, i did so many tests, but i am willing to retake all those tests to find the reason, i will try to get a better camera to take new pictures and show the problems.