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static charge in printed PLA material

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Posted · static charge in printed PLA material

It could be that the plastic contains an electric charge because plexiglass can be staticly charged. but it is highly unlikley because the nozzle itself is probably grounded via the heater cartridge and thus removes any charge from the print plastic.

Also the printer is sensitive to static charges (ESD) and this could damage the electronics, so it makes sense that the printers are propperly grounded. If you suffer from any charge you could fix this by 'grounding' the filament and so remove any charge present.


But I highly doubt that PLA of some sort could hold an static charge, because it is plastic, non concuctive and there is not much chance for the plasic atoms to become charged. I have never heard of this and (as an electrical engineer) I think that it is never going to hapen because there is nowhere for electrons to build a charge inside a printer plastic part.


It just doesn't make any sense, but it is nice to wonder abount these kind of topics, good food for tought.

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Posted (edited) · static charge in printed PLA material

With an ohm-meter, try measuring if the nozzle is grounded indeed. (Edit: do this only when the printer is switched off, and disconnected from the mains supply, of course!)


But glass itself is easily charged, so there is always a possibility that heat and airflow do charge the glass and the lower part of the print, even if the nozzle would be grounded. Or by pulling the print off the glass.


This is guessing, but I think the main charge on models will come from post-processing: grinding, cutting off defects,... And it will depend a lot on the material. Do dust and small particles stick to your prints? Then they are charged.


There do exist anti-static sprays: in the old days we used them on CRT displays. The glass of those big color monitors tended to get so charged up that you could pull sparks of several centimeters, causing sore arms, and burn-pits in the display, due to their 30000 Volt transformers. Maybe you can still find those sprays?


Edited by geert_2
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