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Noticable differences in print quality between colours of UM PLA


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Posted (edited) · Noticable differences in print quality between colours of UM PLA

I've been using PLA for the majority of the models I print and they tend to be relatively simple designs, fairly boxy with a few curves as they are used in test rig setups. Since getting the printer I've stuck to either Magenta UM PLA or White UM PLA. There hasn't been anything wrong with the prints but the quality isn't quite what we hoped for a printer this expensive. Magenta had a tendency to become a little messy around the edges and White seemed to have very prominent layers (as if they weren't bonding very smoothly). 



Just this week I decided to change things up and print in Silver Metallic UM PLA and, despite an issue where the entire model became offset part way through printing where our cleaner knocked it during the night, the print quality is far far better. The model looks really clean straight of the build plate with near zero touch up needed. The material also feels much harder and solid than the similar sized and shaped magenta models. The layering also looks and feels smoother with the silver than the Magenta or White. I didn't change any settings within Cura when switching over, yet print quality is far better with this material. 


Obviously you can see the offset near the bottom of the design and it looks nearly flawless. I can't show the inside of the model due to the product not being released and I can't show too much of the test rig interface with it but both have steep and sweeping curves and the Silver version came out much better. 

Edit: As far as I'm aware, both models used default Cura profiles for the detected material with a 0.1mm layer height.

Has anyone else had a similar experience? I think I'm going to do some test prints in the new year with all the PLA colours we have to see what gives the best results.

Edited by jbearpark
Added some clarification
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    Posted · Noticable differences in print quality between colours of UM PLA

    While I don't have much experience with Ultimaker PLA colors, I only used a few, I have seen a similar effect in other brands. It seems the pigments and other additives to create the desired color, such as filler particles for white, gold, silver, glitter, pearl,..., have an effect on viscosity, stickyness, optimal temperature and flow, etc. Some colors tend to give more strings and hairs, some tend to stick more to the nozzle leaving residu, some tend to show layer lines much harder, some tend to create more blobs,... Slightly transparent colors hide the layer lines a bit better, while white and shiny colors show them more.


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    Posted · Noticable differences in print quality between colours of UM PLA

    this is quite common, the different pigments will often require you tweek the temperature a bit. White for example is known to be a problem for all brands, i have always had to tweek for white.

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