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PLA/PHA filament

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Hi!

I just opened a new topic in the welcome section but figured that a topic in "Materials and Addons" would be nice as well. I'll go a bit more into the specifics regarding the material in this topic.

We've developed a new type of filament, it's a blend of PLA and PHA. Polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) is an biodegradable polymer produced by bacterial fermentation of sugar or lipids. The filament is tougher compared to normal PLA and therefore a lot less brittle. Normally when you would bend a piece of PLA between your hands it would snap, PLA/PHA filament just deforms instead of snapping.

The 'printablity' of the material is really nice. We've been able to repeatedly create tricky prints with lots of retraction. The filament takes the retraction very well and prints with little or no stringing. We generally print between 215 - 220 C.

Voronoi Vase

 

Here are some pictures of our printlab and models printed with out PLA/PHA filament on one of our Ultimakers.

chocolate brownBoston Row Housecolorfabb - printlabcolorfabb - printlabcolorfabb - printlabVoronoi VaseVoronoi VaseVoronoi VaseVoronoi VasePet monster GulpyVoronoi Vasecolorfabb printlabRegular braceletwho0oo0oO!?low res hi quality vaseGorillaGorillaGorillaGorillaGorillaGorillaGorillaGorillakleinbottle Warm red & Chocolate BrownSkyrim: Dawnguard Vampire LordSkyrim: Dawnguard Vampire LordSkyrim: Dawnguard Vampire LordSkyrim: Dawnguard Vampire LordSkyrim: Dawnguard Vampire LordSkyrim: Dawnguard Vampire LordSkyrim: Dawnguard Vampire LordSkyrim: Dawnguard Vampire LordDouble Twisted Vasekleinbottle familyLancia StratosLancia Stratoszombie hunter headzombie hunter headzombie hunter headRoyal CrownRoyal CrownRoyal CrownRandom VaseMr. BeanMr. BeanMr. BeanColorFabb Mascotbuddhahellboycolorfabb_xtcolorfabb_xtcolorfabb_xtThe colonelHomersBeer bottle2-color standing catCeltic SkullPinguin who canThunder Birds 2Kinect scanned CatKlein Bottle by DizingofZombie Hunter HeadMeshed Up Flower PotWeekly Cup Nr. 1Tree FrogCellular LampRegular BraceletDiabloDawnguard Vampire LordAztec ChiefAztec ChiefGarden PigDiabloDiabloHomerKiss meRandom VaseRandom VaseRandom VaseThor is here!Elephant by LeFabShopElephant by LeFabShop

 

The PLA/PHA material is available in lots of different colors, have a look at: http://www.colorfabb.com

I will be posting updates on the development of soluable filaments and a biopolycarbonate filament.

Cheers,

Gijs

 

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Hi Gijs,

Can you tell us how this compares (flexibility, toughness, shearing strength, impact resistance, etc) to ABS? Also to Taulman 618 (Nylon). How is the warping and shrinkage on this material? Does it improve with a heated bed? also what is the adhesion to blue tape like?

I've been printing quite a bit in the 618 lately and it's a great material but the warping is very difficult to manage.

Thanks,

Troy

 

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Hi CodeMaven,

I haven't printed with ABS or Taulman 618 before so its hard to say anything constructive about it. The adhesion to the blue tape is similar to PLA it, might even be a little better because of the PHA. Shrinkage of the PLA/PHA compound is as you would expect with normal PLA. With a hotplate I can get perfectly flat prints.

Cheers,

Gijs

 

Can you tell us how this compares (flexibility, toughness, shearing strength, impact resistance, etc) to ABS? Also to Taulman 618 (Nylon). How is the warping and shrinkage on this material? Does it improve with a heated bed? also what is the adhesion to blue tape like?

 

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Hi Gijs,

I've ordered a roll of the Signal Yellow and it's just perfect.. It seems to me that it prints even a bit smoother than just PLA, the pricing is very ok and the thickness is very constant (2,85mm).. I think we have a top-quality-product here..

 

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Hi Gijs,

I've ordered a roll of the Signal Yellow and it's just perfect.. It seems to me that it prints even a bit smoother than just PLA, the pricing is very ok and the thickness is very constant (2,85mm).. I think we have a top-quality-product here..

 

Hi Lumeria,

Great to hear that you're happy with the quality of the filament. We think it prints a bit smoother as well and it also feels a bit smoother. If you have any pictures, please do share :) We are curious what is being made with the filament.

Gijs

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EDIT: My bad, if you had time to read my post where I said I had clogging using Colorfabb's filament, it was my fault, I did not realize the bowden tube had popped out at the hot end. Forfgive me, I'm still a n00b

Never the less it does seem to have a higher melting temperature than the PLA sold by ultimaker. But they clearly say it on the label, between 210 and 220°.

I tried to print a part at 200, which worked fine for me with ultimaker's PLA and it was not really good here, I had under-extrusion. But pushing to 215 is giving very nice results. Just have to know it, not a big deal.

I got the greenish-beige and the blue-grey and they both look really nice. Looks much better than bright colors when you print statues

The diameter is always 0.02mm around 2.85mm, which is nice too.

I will probably order again from them :)

 

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I really like the look and feel. Furthermore, it seems to extrude easier (lower viscosity?) as I'm printing about 20% faster with equal or superior quality.

However, I've had some trouble with printing smaller parts printing on a heated glass bed (current setup: 65°C for first layer / 56°C thereafter).

The PLA/PHA seems to stick less than standard PLA, which can be perfectly printed without using blue tape.

Any recommendations for printing on that kind of heated bed?

Markus

 

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I'm new but have already used White and Utramarine PLA/PHA. Works well but I can't make any useful comparisons with PLA.

I made the Klein bottle (100mm tall) in Ultramarine PLA/PHA.

Klein Bottle P1080689 1

 

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Looks much better than bright colors when you print statues.

 

Yes! Very true! Do you have images of these statues? I'd like to see them :)

 

really nice material, prints smooth,

and the colors are great!

I want them all....

 

Nice prints Peggy! The bracelet is absolutely beautiful in the Pale Gold, this is probably my favorite color. It sort of hides th

 

Wow I love this stuff. It sands to nice smooth finish without losing its color. Color me impressed

 

Great tip... I'm going to try this too!

e layer resolution very well.

 

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i got some nice samples from the colorfabb guys in the erfurt messe and im having great fun with there super PLA. The PLA melts like sexy butter in my ultimaker !!! oh yeahhhh !

Ian :-)

 

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Last week I ordered a variety of colors from Colorfabb. I could come over to pick up the order in Venlo and was pleased by the invitation. It was great to see their in-house production line and showroom/test facility. All materials and new materials are tested by Colorfabb's employees themselve, so they have 3D printing experience themselves (amongst others of course with the Ultimaker).

@Colorfabb: Thanks for the tour guys!

Now to the filament....

Foto550-MP78HRIN.jpg

It felt like Christmas in the middle of summer. Every spool is packaged individually in a cartboard box and sealed. The lable clearly indicates the type of filament and the characteristics including a QR code with the link to the product page (no easter egg found).

Foto550-R84EWJXC.jpg

Foto-4SDNG6Z6-1.jpg

For printing I started with the following settings:

Temp 215C

Speed 50mm/s

Layer 0,2mm

Filament 2,8mm

Compared to the silver grey Ultimaker filament the PLA/PHA looks/is more liquid when oozing from the nozzle. It flows easily and the initial prints look good with regard to infill and layer adhesion. The finish is more shiny and fluent then the UM PLA. It also feels a bit oily / smooth.

Foto-HARDNA7Z.jpg

Recognize the model?

More examples will follow shortly.

 

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As promised an example:

Foto-3W6VWGO6.jpg

Some comparison shots with the Ultimaker PLA.

All owls printed with a layer height of 0,1mm. The green and left owl's speed was 50 mm/s and for the right grey owl 100 mm/s.

Foto550-TNJ33LMB.jpg

Foto550-VA7UR64M.jpg

Foto550-Z7FTMTFT.jpg

The Colorfabb filament has a nice gloss and a lot of detail is showing.

 

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Nice review Peanudt, thanks for sharing the experience, your prints look very nice!

During the presentation at the Ulti-evening a while back we received a request for a rainbow pack, well it's finally here! Yaaay!

We now have a limited supply of 3mm sample packages. One sample pack is a minimum of 400gr of filament divided over 10 random different colors. Which is about 4,5 - 5 meters of filament per color. Should be enough for quite a few small prints to start sampling our material. If someone is interested it's now available in the webshop.

 

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Just wanted to share my experience with the Ultimaker PLA and the Colorfabb PLA/PHA.

With bigger objects I did not have any issues with either. But today I am printing something smaller and also something that uses a lot of retraction while printing. I found that the Colorfabb PLA/PHA performs not as good as the Ultimaker PLA. It seams like the Colorfabb PLA/PHA is much softer (it also breaks easier). Using the same settings on the ultimaker. 2.80mm filament, 75 mm/s print speed and the default retraction settings.

ultimaker PLA  vs colorfabb PLA/HPA

 

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PLA/PHA filament from Colorfabb strings a lot if you print it at the wrong temperature, and the temperatures vary a bit between colors. It's one of the main reasons Ultimaker is not using them as a supplier, their filament is awesome, but it's tricky to print.

 

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I will try a lower temp, but for now just printing it with ultimaker pla. Besides the stringing I found that the colorfabb PLA/HPA also breaks much faster. Can this have to do with the temperature or is this just a difference between materials?

 

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