Jump to content
Ultimaker Community of 3D Printing Experts
Sign in to follow this  

Tips for Soft PLA?

Recommended Posts

I recently got a pretty good deal on some soft PLA. I bought it because I thought it would be a good material for printing phone cases. Shown here are the first two layers of a print I did with it recently.


I've never used soft PLA before, and you can see that there are TONS of little holes in it from some pretty inconsistent but severe underxtrusion...while I did manipulate the parameters a little (eg I increased the flow rate and turned up the temperature to around 230), the entire first layer and most of the second layer where printed very slowly (bottom was at 30% and top was at 65%) with constant parameters, yet you can still tell where some sections worked flawlessly and others just look horrible. The plate is fine and so is the model; I recently printed this gcode in ABS, and it came out beautifully. Any help on temps, speed, flowrate, fan speed, etc. for soft PLA?


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

try adding a little bit of oil in the bowden tube, it will reduce friction and probably help alot with the extrusion



I ran some Teflon through it, and it does seem to be helping.


reduce the speed to 50% or less (tune menu while you are printing)


Yeah, this was a common tip I saw, but it seemed to have varying success. I tried another print of that same case at full speed, and it was no better or worse than a slow one...


What printer do you have? (editing your profile to say so might be a good idea).

If UM2, are you still using the stock feeder?


I do have a UM2 (and have amended my profile to reflect so....thought I did when I made it...whoopsies :p), and I am still regrettably using the stock feeder. I think that this may be the issue, as I recently cranked the tension up because ABS kept slipping. When I pulled out some of the soft PLA, it was deformed horribly. There wasn't a lot of scrunching up (as I would associate with a lot of friction, so the Teflon probably did help), but the dimensions had almost uniformly changed to around 2.35mm +/- 0.04mm by 2.90mm +/- 0.05mm. That last one bothers me, as there is a lot f variance, and it's entirely possible that some sections had a width of above 3mm.

I'm in the process of printing a new feeder right now, because tensioning the stock one is a pain, and when I do, I'll try really decreasing the tension. The quilt on the stepper digs into the soft PLA very well anyway, so I shouldn't need a lot.


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

It isn't an issue of adhesion; what does actually extrude sticks fine. And I did check the bed height--but the issue persists to higher layers as well. I haven't gotten a chance to really look into it properly yet as school is killing me, and I have lots of other things to print with ABS.


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Our picks

    • "Back To The Future" using Generative Design & Investment Casting
      Designing for light-weight parts is becoming more important, and I’m a firm believer in the need to produce lighter weight, less over-engineered parts for the future. This is for sustainability reasons because we need to be using less raw materials and, in things like transportation, it impacts the energy usage of the product during it’s service life.
        • Like
      • 12 replies

Important Information

Welcome to the Ultimaker Community of 3D printing experts. Visit the following links to read more about our Terms of Use or our Privacy Policy. Thank you!