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Anybody printing with atypical materials with the UM?

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Anybody here using an atypical print material with the UM? Like polycarbonate or HDPE?

I'd certainly like to hear your experiences, as well as what sort of modifications you might have needed to do to get to that stage. There seems to have been some polycarbonate attempts with the UM before but it seems it didn't go too far after people started talking about the hot end temperature limits.

Would be interesting in the light of the updated hot end design too, though with the new PTFE part should we expect the sudden softening at elevated temps to rear its head at temps above 260?

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Anybody here using an atypical print material with the UM? Like polycarbonate or HDPE?

I'd certainly like to hear your experiences, as well as what sort of modifications you might have needed to do to get to that stage. There seems to have been some polycarbonate attempts with the UM before but it seems it didn't go too far after people started talking about the hot end temperature limits.

Would be interesting in the light of the updated hot end design too, though with the new PTFE part should we expect the sudden softening at elevated temps to rear its head at temps above 260?

HDPE should be easy to print, around 130C(???)

The V2 hotend should allow higher temps (adjust the maxtemp in your marlin FW), since the PEEK doesn't get so hot, so you should be able to print PC (but I have no experience printing HDPE or PC)

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The materials suggested are examples only :D If somebody, somewhere is printing something else with the UM I'm all ears.

From what I have read it seems the biggest trouble with HDPE was the smell and the very severe shrinkage. Though recently there doesn't seem to have been much talk about HDPE prints, so the information for the most part is all about the early days of DIY printing.

I guess it is also a function of how easy it is to get filament for a given material.

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well I plan on printing with nylon very soon. I discarded the PC idea when I discovered it absorbs too much water which leads to bubbles and a structurally weak print. i'm not convinced it can be done without more special mods to the hot end.

agree with your aim tho - PLA makes good support and 'simple' drafts but is no good for structural parts. ABS is better, but lack of an official heated bed makes it more suited for the makerbots and other printers.

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The heated bed I don't think can be an escapable addition to the Ultimaker or any printer which needs to be capable of printing more plastics than currently just PLA. The flexibility it adds to any printing machine is quite substantial.

Nylon definitely sounds like an interesting pick, how are you coming about obtaining the feedstock - plastic welding rods?

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actually i didn't know about welding rods, that's really useful info thanks. I was planning on using 4mm rods because I could obtain them locally and knew they didn't contain impurities then running them through a die to get to 3mm. some forms of nylon (eg. strimmer line) are not suitable since they contain fiberglass and other impurities.

nylon has a lot of very useful properties including the higher strength and melting point

yes the heated bed thing is a necessity, can't wait for a good solution to this.

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Seems like there has been some success with weed trimmer line and temperatures around 250 degrees C

http://forums.reprap.org/read.php?1,70471

Seems though that there's a variation of Nylons with different extrusion temps though.

Also interesting is that Nylon is also hygroscopic and has similar problems as with Polycarbonate with needing the pre-process the filament to get rid of the water before printing.

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very interesting thread there - have you seen

http://www.instructables.com/id/Combina ... GH3-Specs/

also?

the problem with weed trimmer line is you don't know what's in it. if it's pure nylon, that's great, but what if someone adds fiberglass or similar? melting point there is in excess of 1200C so you'll need to drill it out the nozzle!

the purity would seem to be the biggest hurdle to overcome - check your supplier. the temperature probably varies according to purity. there are at least 2 US sources that are known to work fine.

hygroscopicisity is a shared problem as you point out - altho how much trouble it gives you will depend on your environment.

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I have seen that,

Whilst it's nice to have a twin duty machine that can both add and cut material, I don't really see the benefits at this time to use both processes in tandem. Perhaps if you need to clean up a few holes, but in reality most engineering parts can easily be designed within the limitations of the traditional CNC and billet stock - and the results will be faster, cheaper and easier to produce and the mechanical properties far more reliable and robust (at the current state of technology).

If you had an application where there would be hidden internal detail that would be currently very difficult or impossible to conduct on a traditional CNC mill then there would definitely be benefits - but certainly the downsides also play a significant part into the equation when you're actually making functional parts.

As for the filament, yes I agree that there may be modifiers in random plastics which weren't intended for print extrusion which might mess up the process. But until people start producing it (or we get a machine that can produce the filament - ala pellet drive) then we're really dependent on the sources we can get our hands onto. Personally I'd probably try for the welding rod first because at least it's intended purpose is somewhat closer to what our printers do.

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