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rumbaughsm

Colorfabb XT -- Co-polyester -- Best Settings

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Hi all,

I tried finding a discussion for the best print settings when using Colorfabb XT filament, but I kept getting conflicting results. You can find ColorFabb's recommended settings here: http://learn.colorfabb.com/print-_xt/

After several failed prints though, I started to tinker around with the settings and my biggest recommendations are as follows:

1). Increase the bed temp to 80 C. Yes, I know the XT has a glassing temperature of 75 C, but honestly, you will have a hell of a time getting it to stick to anything lower than 80. I'm able to consistently get good sticks at 80 C with no glue and no warping problems.

2). Change the travel speed to something around 200 mm/s. You can adjust the travel speed in Cura by going to expert settings --> advanced --> travel speed. If you haven't touched it before, it will probably be 120 or 150 mm/s and that is too low for this material.

3). Temperature head -- I typically print at 35 mm/s and a layer height of .175 using a .4 mm nozzle.  Given those settings, I found that between 240 and 245 worked best. When I go lower, I'll occasionally have trouble getting the filament to stick, this is something you have to fiddle with a little and honestly, probably varies between colors.

Please find below sample prints I ran to assist me in coming up with these figures. I hope you find this useful.

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20160211_003608.thumb.jpg.92eb9395b60f47521e917d581e08034e.jpg

P.S. I just purchased the Ultimaker 2+. It is my first 3D printer, but I have been a long, long time lurker in these forums and others. I've followed Ultimaker since UMO and finally decided to pull the trigger a few weeks ago. I just use it for kicks and to help make designs for my Arduino projects.

20160211_005001-1.thumb.jpg.fdf9c617f27ae21ec5bba9489c99d04f.jpg

20160211_003955-1-1.thumb.jpg.502b176f43957378379e597a2e7a6c64.jpg

20160210_213244-1.thumb.jpg.a46db608c7acd49d17431e214d8b08ad.jpg

20160210_230232-1.thumb.jpg.fcca6b8e0c4c1b79e1c4bdeb7dc3d03d.jpg

20160211_003608.thumb.jpg.92eb9395b60f47521e917d581e08034e.jpg

Edited by Guest
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Ah, so that definitely explains the conflicting search results. For the record, I'm using Colorfabb XT --http://colorfabb.com/xt-light-blue

In my defense the side of the box says PLA/PHA, I'll take another look when I get back to my home office to see where the confusion originated and I'll edit the original post so as not to mislead other newbies.

On a related note, I found the Ultimaker PLA easy to print with right out of the box. The Colorfabb XT took a lot more tinkering, I'm not sure I would recommend jumping right to it if you're new like me. On the other hand, playing with the settings has been very educational if you don't mind failed print after failed print. I should note I have no quarrels with the Ultimaker 2+. I think it's a great machine and I've been really impressed, every failed print has been user error, of that I'm confident.

I did notice, if you make a custom preset for material, occasionally when warming up before printing, the machine will keep the temperature head at 0 C, and you'll have to manually tune the temperature you wanted. While I'm at it, the temperature overshoots a bit when adjusting, it always corrects itself, but I noticed it can be a problem when printing at 260 C because it will jump to 275 before coming back down and at least on one occasion that caused the machine to read back a temperature error and I had to restart the printer. I found that you can avoid the spikes by slowly increasing the number up by tuning it (i.e. start at 250 and increase in increments of 2)

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Yes even experienced users find XT difficult to print with. It not my most favorite material and now prefer nGen.

There seems to be something wrong with your material profiles. You my need to do a firmware update as there was a problem with the original firmware on the + machines that effected the temp.

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Just now is the first time i've used Colorfabb XT. I find the prints came out absolutely fabulous, with the printing speed increased about 270% from all my previous attempts at PLA filaments (Polish PolPlast, Velleman, and OrbiTech) . Granted, I'm making a few easy prints right now, no overhangs. I always use glue, I apply one layer of glue which I find lasts for about 50 prints. For the Colorfabb XT, i set the bed at 65C, and the hot-end at 250C for the first layer (to account for the typical temp overshoot on my UM2), then gradually increase over the first few layers to 260C. I set the print speed at 70mm/s at 0.1mm layer height. (the lower the layer height, the more mm/s you can set)

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Doh... I ordered a reel of this by mistake and got it today. I managed to start printing with it quite quickly after reading your advice here so thanks to all.

The most important factor is to it slow right down to get it started/stick... I use a cellulose sealer spray for most of my printing and it seems to work for this too.

What I'm still unsure of is what is its purpose or use? Is it just a general type of filament or does it have properties which have passed me by... its very shiny but my small finished test prints are quite brittle so the strength selling point seems moot.

Any ideas anyone?

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The how brittle the end result is can depend a lot on what temperature it is printed at. It's very hard to get good mechanical properties from it though due to being brittle when printed hot and layer adhesion issues when cold.

One plus side is higher glass transition temp over Pla which means you can print things for in your car which wont deform, and no smell when printing unlike abs. But I personally would only use nGen as you get heaps better results.

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I can certainly see why this is not one of your favourite materials Labern... I eventually managed to get it to print where the layers would 'meld' together and within an hour it had just come completely unstuck from the buildplate... very disappointing material... being XT I thought this was the same co-polymer in XT-CF20 but it certainly prints very differently and very much better with the addition of carbon if it is.

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