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chuck-yanke

Deciding print temps for new materials

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Well PLA is my favorite material by far.  It's the easiest to print and what works for one PLA will work for them all.  But...

 

Some colors (particularly white which I'm guessing is less than 50% pla and has a lot of chalk or something in it) are a little trickier.

 

If you have more stringing than usual then you want to lower the temperature.  If you go too cold you will get underextrusion.  That's pretty much the only thing you need to worry about with PLA.  It has a very wide printing range (from 160C to 240C) so it's really hard to screw it up.

 

ABS will have bad layer bonding if you print too cold.  It may be evident in layers that split minutes or hours after that layer is complete.  Or the part may look perfect until months later when it breaks, it breaks along layer lines (and it should not).  ABS will cook into a gum like gunk that clogs nozzles if you leave it at even just 240C for too long.  So the range for ABS is almost negative (nonexistent).  Basically print just barely hot enough for layers to bond well but no hotter.  This is best achieved by enclosing the printer so the air temp is higher so you don't have to print quite as hot.

 

Pretty much all other materials other than PLA have this layer bonding issue.  For example Nylon.  That's how you pick the minimum temp.  The way the materials profile group at Ultimaker do it (one of their tricks) is to print parts at different temperatures and then break the part - if it breaks along a layer line then you printed it too cold.  If the break/crack moves through the part independent of layer lines then it is hot enough.

 

If standby temp is too high the idle nozzle will leak.  If standby temp is too low it will take longer on nozzle changes because you have to wait longer for the nozzle to get up to temperature.

 

If initial temp is too low it will underextrude when you start printing with that nozzle.

 

As long as you are printing PLA you shouldn't have to worry about any of this as the default settings (at least for 0.4 nozzle) are quite good and most other materials are already in cura.  Despite manufacturers claims that their PET is better than all the others, the materials are more similar than you would think (e.g. nGen and PET basically the same thing).  Two days ago I printed some nylon with settings in cura for TPU and it printed fine.  It printed 40C hotter than recommended.  But it was fine.  Lol.

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