No good for PLA.
I was an early backer on that project. Tim's been awesome and communicative with all of the backers so thumbs up for that. If you're going to look at a filament extruder it may be one to consider. I have heard of people having success with PLA.
I actually never put mine together! I've had plenty of filament clogs from contamination in cheap filament and issues from diameter variation in cheap filament. Reality hit me that my cheap filament probably wasn't going to be any better than the cheap filament I've been burned by in the past and no longer purchase.
I was curious about environmental conditions in production (as mentioned with PLA's needs)
I certainly think those guys are on to something and suspect working the kinks out of the process will eventually make for a clever machine/process.
The colorfabb people told us it took them 3 months to perfect their production process. And they have professional equipment...
Implying what? That it is difficult or impossible with this machine?
The difficulty of getting quality filament. And the amount of tuning that is required.
Colorfabb developed their own polymer, I think that's why it took them 3 months. It probably wouldn't have with Ingeo.
The filastruder was designed for ABS, not PLA. It extrudes PLA with a diameter that is too small and with variations that are too important. There's no clear guide on how to fix that. About drying it, considering how fast PLA absorbs moisture and how slow the filastruder is it will be moist again before 1Kg is processed.
(I have one)
The nozzle and everything (except the temperature) is the same but the polymer is (very) different. Maybe someone solved the problem but I didn't see it written how to modify the assembly for PLA.
Yet another very good reason to put a filament thickness sensor on the machine
linked into the software to adjust "steps per e" as you print....
So the reaction of the PLA polymer in extruding process, exhibits 'irratic' behavior which makes the extruded diameter of the PLA string unpredictable? Correct?
I'm not the most knowledgeable on the subject but if you ask me:
PLA as you already know has a low glass transition temperature so if it's not cooled quickly enough (as I suppose it's the case with the filastruder) it stretches (becomes thinner) under its own weight. The pulling force changes and thus changes the diameter. Moisture can also have sever twisting effect. A twist stretched out makes a bump.
That glass transition temperature could also be responsible (otherwise it's its molecular structure) for PLA to be extruded 3 times faster than ABS, basically it's so liquid that it pours out of the nozzle without much pressure.
Wow, I learned a lot. And glad I asked!
Question for the gurus...while my PLA is in the spool, will it absorb moisture from the humid weather?
Ummm I think its a cool project, and I am sure it will be popular with people who are using printing as just
a nice way to make stuff all on their own, but for me the expense of the printer is down to:
40% Preparing the CAD model for printing (maybe slicing it into chunks or modifying it to not need support etc)
20% Slicing the STL file and doing one or two test prints to see how it goes
15% Model cleanup after finishing
10% Electricity / Machine upgrading and matienance
5% Filament cost
Of course depening on what you print these values may well not hold true...but if I charge my own time
at 50€/h the cost of the filament is almost nothing.
Also decent filament, free from impurities, inclusions, defects, of known properties, with repeatable results and of constant diameter far far outweigh any interest of mine to make my own filament.
I want good prints, repeatable and of known properties. I dont care if I have to pay a few more Euros to get that.
I am sure others with different priorities may well like the idea. If there were a large number of different plastic beads
available from one source, along with the machine as well....I might be intersted to try my own blends for specific
properties....but its alot of work and if I can buy filament by the reel for €30 now....I dont see much need to change.
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