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eSun PLA+ Stringing/Underextrusion

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Posted · eSun PLA+ Stringing/Underextrusion

Hi all, not sure how much experience everyone has here with this material but I’ve been having some issues with it lately. It’s been driving me crazy, I’m close to just buying some Ultimaker PLA or other brand. 

 

I recently picked up a used UM2+ after working with a UM2+ Extended at my previous job for a few years. There we used all Ultimaker brand filament to retain the warranty. This used one has a few upgrades on it, like PEI sheet, low friction spool holder, etc. supposedly the PTFE coupler had been replaced before I bought it. But I need to check it still. 

 

Anyway, the PLA+ was good at first. Printed well with the regular UM2+ profile. Then about halfway through the roll after a few months it started stringing badly. I did a few atomic pulls nozzle is clean. Then I baked the roll for a few hours to dry it out. Still strings regardless of retraction settings. Went up to 12mm retraction still lots of stringing. I tried lowering the temp from 220 to 210 but then it starts underextruding unless I slow down the speed. Even down to 205 (the min temp recommended by eSun) it still strings. 

 

So so I thought maybe it was an issue with that roll and bought a white roll of PLA+. Even right out of a sealed bag with desiccant, it strings with the standard profile. The only way to reduce it somewhat was to enable wipe and z-hop. 

 

The grey benchy on the left was when the roll was new. The right is current. 

 

The white benchy on the left was right after opening the roll. The right is after enabling wipe and z-hop. 

 

I’m going to try drying the white roll to see if that helps. Any other suggestions? 

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Posted · eSun PLA+ Stringing/Underextrusion

I don't think you have to dry the spool, PLA is not very sensitive to humidity.

Check your PTFE coupler, when the part is worn out, it presses on the filament and you normally see underextrusion. But I can well imagine that the retract won't work that well anymore.

 

I don't know the eSun filament, but if it is a good quality filament, I see no reason to buy UM material. You can use  any manufacturer. So even in your old company it wouldn't have been necessary to buy UM material because of the warranty.

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Posted · eSun PLA+ Stringing/Underextrusion
1 hour ago, Smithy said:

I don't think you have to dry the spool, PLA is not very sensitive to humidity.

Check your PTFE coupler, when the part is worn out, it presses on the filament and you normally see underextrusion. But I can well imagine that the retract won't work that well anymore.

 

I don't know the eSun filament, but if it is a good quality filament, I see no reason to buy UM material. You can use  any manufacturer. So even in your old company it wouldn't have been necessary to buy UM material because of the warranty.

 

Yeah, I just tried drying because that’s what the filament seller recommended. I’ll definitely check the coupler. I’ve replaced it on the UM2+ extended before, so no big deal. 

 

The eSun has a lot of good reviews on Amazon but there are a few reviews with similar issues regarding the stringing. I stuck to UM filament only because that’s what the reseller told me. I did end up getting a roll of carbon fiber nylon filament from 3DXTech that worked well. 

 

I only mentioned getting the UM filament because it’s normally pretty reliable. 

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Posted · eSun PLA+ Stringing/Underextrusion
3 minutes ago, dfrez said:

I only mentioned getting the UM filament because it’s normally pretty reliable. 

 

That's true, but there are also a lot of other brands which works fine too.

I have good experiences with colorFabb, Filamentum, Innofil 3D. 

 

6 minutes ago, dfrez said:

I did end up getting a roll of carbon fiber nylon filament from 3DXTech that worked well. 

 

Be careful, carbon fiber filament is abrasive and will destroy your nozzle and feeder gears!

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Posted · eSun PLA+ Stringing/Underextrusion
40 minutes ago, Smithy said:

 

That's true, but there are also a lot of other brands which works fine too.

I have good experiences with colorFabb, Filamentum, Innofil 3D. 

 

 

Be careful, carbon fiber filament is abrasive and will destroy your nozzle and feeder gears!

 

I’ll have to check out those brands. The eSun is nice since it’s prime on Amazon. 

 

Yep, bought a hardened nozzle to go with it. Wasn’t aware about the feeder gears being damaged by it though. 

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Posted · eSun PLA+ Stringing/Underextrusion

When you don't print too much spools nothing happens, but if you plan to print it more often, then you should think about an upgrade to the Bondtech feeders. They have hardened gears.

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Posted · eSun PLA+ Stringing/Underextrusion
On 8/18/2019 at 3:50 AM, Smithy said:

When you don't print too much spools nothing happens, but if you plan to print it more often, then you should think about an upgrade to the Bondtech feeders. They have hardened gears.

Gotcha. Makes sense though. 

 

Also, not overly surprising but the PTFE coupler that was in there was due for replacement. I just didn’t think I put that many hours on it already. The coupler on my work printer didn’t need replacement until about 1000 hrs. But I’m pretty sure that one had a TFM coupler, which is what I replaced this one with. 

 

Filament is still stringing though, ugh. 

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Posted · eSun PLA+ Stringing/Underextrusion
1 hour ago, dfrez said:

Filament is still stringing though, ugh. 

 

Try another filament, to be sure. 

Today, there is another post about under extrusion after retraction, and he is also using eSun. Not sure if his problem is the filament, but I also recommended to try another filament, because it is the easiest and fastest solution.

 

We had several problems here in the past, where the user tinkered with the settings and the printer itself, but in the end it was just the filament.

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Posted (edited) · eSun PLA+ Stringing/Underextrusion
11 minutes ago, Smithy said:

 

Try another filament, to be sure. 

Today, there is another post about under extrusion after retraction, and he is also using eSun. Not sure if his problem is the filament, but I also recommended to try another filament, because it is the easiest and fastest solution.

 

We had several problems here in the past, where the user tinkered with the settings and the printer itself, but in the end it was just the filament.

 

Yeah, that's what I'm thinking too. I've never had an issue with the default print profiles, and what is strange is that it was printing fine initially. 

Edited by dfrez

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Posted (edited) · eSun PLA+ Stringing/Underextrusion

Well, I went ahead and bought a roll of Filamentum. I'll update with the results after it comes in. 

Edited by dfrez

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Posted · eSun PLA+ Stringing/Underextrusion
1 hour ago, dfrez said:

Well, I went ahead and bought a roll of Filamentum.

 

Good decision. I hope that solves your problem.

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Posted · eSun PLA+ Stringing/Underextrusion
21 minutes ago, Smithy said:

 

Good decision. I hope that solves your problem.

Me too.

 

I know it's not very scientific but I have noticed that whenever I try to pull extruded filament away from the nozzle, like while doing an atomic, the filament stretches noticeably while hot compared to other materials. Which makes me think this might just be a characteristic of the PLA+ which results in the stringing. 

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Posted · eSun PLA+ Stringing/Underextrusion

Yeah, that sounds a lot like the problem.
If you really need the toughness of the PLA+, then there are many other manufacturers that have such materials.

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Posted · eSun PLA+ Stringing/Underextrusion
10 minutes ago, Smithy said:

Yeah, that sounds a lot like the problem.
If you really need the toughness of the PLA+, then there are many other manufacturers that have such materials.

I don't really need it per se. I mostly bought it since it had good reviews online and was affordable. It's fine for models that don't have lots of travels between parts, like a cube versus the benchy. 

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Posted · eSun PLA+ Stringing/Underextrusion

Oh man dfrez, I have a backflash, right when I read your post! For me eSun is the worst filament I've ever printed with!

For me there was only one solution that works: switching to another brand. And I've never had this issues since again!

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Posted · eSun PLA+ Stringing/Underextrusion
14 hours ago, UbuntuBirdy said:

Oh man dfrez, I have a backflash, right when I read your post! For me eSun is the worst filament I've ever printed with!

For me there was only one solution that works: switching to another brand. And I've never had this issues since again!

Well, at least I'm not the only one with eSun issues, lol. 

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Posted · eSun PLA+ Stringing/Underextrusion

The roll of Filamentum PLA came in today. So far, not overly impressed. Stringing is gone, but underextrudes badly with default PLA profile at 210°C. Managed to get it to extrude okay, but temp was way up to 230°C and even at that temp there’s still some underextrusion. See pics, the failed print was at 210 and the other at 230 and slowed down the speed. The eSun PLA+ printed better aside from the stringing. 

 

Not sure what else to check, I already replaced the TFM coupler. 

 

 

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Posted · eSun PLA+ Stringing/Underextrusion

How fast do you print?

I printed several spools of FIlamentum PLA without any problems and with the generic PLA profile. Haven't changed anything there.

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Posted (edited) · eSun PLA+ Stringing/Underextrusion
3 hours ago, Smithy said:

How fast do you print?

I printed several spools of FIlamentum PLA without any problems and with the generic PLA profile. Haven't changed anything there.

I print at whatever the default speed is for PLA. For the above print to come out okay, I turned it down to about 80% in the Tune menu on the printer. 

 

edit: according to Cura profiles, the speed is 50 or 60mm/s. I think I printed the above at 0.15mm layers, so it should have been 60mm/s. 

Edited by dfrez

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Posted · eSun PLA+ Stringing/Underextrusion

Cant figure out how to quote someone on a different thread. So I took GR5’s advice from the following thread regarding underextrusion and printed a test cube and compared to default PLA speeds: 

1) Print slower and hotter! Here are top recommended speeds for .2mm layers (twice as fast for .1mm layers):

20mm/sec at 200C

30mm/sec at 210C

40mm/sec at 225C

50mm/sec at 240C

The printer can do double these speeds but with huge difficulty and usually with a loss in part quality due to underextrusion. Different colors print best at quite different temperatures and due to imperfect temp sensors, some printers print 10C cool so use these values as an initial starting guideline and if you are still underextruding try raising the temp. But don't go over 240C with PLA.

 

0.2mm layers at 210C at 30mm/sec versus 0.15mm layers at 230C at 60mm/s. I also printed a temperature tower (starts at 220 and goes up to 195 in 5° increments) and it went a little crazy at 200C... I didn’t catch it in time to stop the print, lol. The slower print cube came out fairly nice. No signs of underextrusion for the most part. 

 

So needless to say it can’t print colder than 210... unless something is wrong with the temp sensor. 

 

I also swapped out the Bowden tube, cleaned out the feeder, and did a cold pull. I tried running a piece of filament through with the nozzle removed and didn’t notice any excess friction. Although it’s hard because I have nothing to compare to, not sure what acceptable friction should feel like. 

 

 

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Posted · eSun PLA+ Stringing/Underextrusion

I’m wondering if the temp sensor is going bad and creating this issue by reading high. Not sure if this is an accurate way to test, but I took an instant read thermometer between the nozzle and hot end. Measured temperature at a few different points and each were about 20°C lower than reported by the printer. 

 

As a a test I printed a cube and a stringing test at 240°C (20° above default PLA profile) and default speeds. The results were much better than before. 

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Posted · eSun PLA+ Stringing/Underextrusion

I measured the resistance of the temperature sensor at room temp and it was 111 ohms. It should be around 110 at room temp so it looks like the sensor is fine. Maybe the orange PLA just prints a little hotter? *shrug* 

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Posted · eSun PLA+ Stringing/Underextrusion

Just to update this, I'm fairly confident that the cause of my issues were the hardened steel nozzle that I had installed for abrasive filaments. You can see it in one of the pics where it is printing a test cube. Not realizing that the lower thermal conductivity of the steel versus the typical brass requires you to increase the temps and/or decrease the print speeds to compensate. Which explains why the prints came out much better at elevated temps. 

 

I determined this by doing the filament temp test shown by GR5 and comparing the results between the first extruder and the second extruder that I added as part of the Mark2 upgrade. The second extruder still had a brass nozzle, which is what caused me to wonder why the new print head was able to print at default temps and the original print head couldn't (not realizing that the only difference between them was the nozzle material). 

 

I have printed a few tests with the brass nozzle at default temps and speeds and the print quality is much better, like it used to be. 

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Posted · eSun PLA+ Stringing/Underextrusion

Hey @dfrez

 

I recently got a roll of eSun PLA+ Grey as well, and noticed the stringing was so much worse than standard PLA (and I was having under-extrusion issues too which fits with your problems, but didn't notice that at first).

 

I did a full clean, replaced the nozzle with a new one, even replaced the bowden tube, still giving me hassle. I swapped back to standard PLA and that was totally fine. I specifically got the PLA+ because I was printing D&D minis and it was recommended because of the higher strength.

 

I have read through your posts and (even though I am using the standard brass nozzle not a hardened one) I will test the temperature sensor and then see if increasing the temp to 240 will help it print like normal PLA.

 

Thanks for your posts listing your troubleshooting and the updates, I hate it when people fix a problem or find an issue and don't update.

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Posted · eSun PLA+ Stringing/Underextrusion

Hey @bruman! Since you seem to be printing okay with normal PLA, keep in mind that PLA+ has a slightly higher extrusion temp. I typically do 220°C versus the default 210°C for PLA. Hope you figure it out! I also hate when people don’t post a solution, so I always make sure to update my threads if I do figure it out! 

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