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Posted · Issues with Silk PLA

Hi all,


I'm not entirely sure this is the best place for this kind of question, but I'm getting desperate trying to work with a specific filament of mine and am hoping there is some setting in CURA I can change to have it function.


I have a Robo 3D R1+ printer and it's been working (mostly) well for over 2 years. I still print regularly with a number of different PLA filaments (different brands as well) without any issues at all. However, I have this spool of "Silk Gold PLA" that keeps failing. I did manage to get some prints out of it in the beginning but now it seems to fail every time. Basically midway during the print I start seeing gaps in the print, and later on it just completely jams and stops extruding. The jams are never complicated clogs in the extruder: usually just pushing a bit manually is enough to have the printer working again.


So far I've tried:

  1. Increasing the temperature (even slightly above the maximum recommended)
  2. Messing around with retraction settings, even trying disabling retraction altogether
  3. Reducing print speed
  4. Drying the filament at 45º for 10h (lost 1g only)


I really like how this filaments look, and it was also my most expensive spool so I would really like to be able to print with it. It advertises as "Silk PLA"; googling around I get the impression that "Silk PLA" does have some distinctions towards regular PLA but I can't seem to find reliable information on this.


Thanks in advance,

Filipe Morais

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    Posted · Issues with Silk PLA

    Some of these silk materials are a blend of PLA and other plastics, which causes the silk-effect. Although I don't know for this particular type.


    If there ar no nozzle clogs and no overheating, have you tried how hard it is to unwind the spool? PLA is already stiff by itself, and gets even stiffer after time, which may make it very hard to unwind. It acts like a spring, trying to wind up again. Especially near the end of the spool where the bending radius is very thight. It might be just on the edge of what your printer can feed. If it is a bowden-tube printer, a tight radius also gives a lot of friction in the tube and printer nozzle.


    In such cases I manually unwind a few meters of filament, straighten it by winding 15cm of it in the opposite direction around a skater wheel (7cm diameter), and then releasing it again. And then the next 15cm, etc..., until I get a few meters done. Then I loosely wind it up again on the spool. In this way there is no unwinding-resistance, and no friction in the bowden tube and nozzle, as the filament now has the same bending radius as the tube.


    This straightening goes very fast, and I do it while the printer is warming up, so I don't lose time. Just be very carefull that the spool does not start unwinding from itself like a spring coil, and gets tangled up.


    I am not sure if this is your problem, but it might be worth having a look into?




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