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Polymaker PC-Max woes [SOLVED]

Posted: Wed Oct 10, 2018 1:56 pm
by crimsonyoshi
So I’ve started to get into more complicated pieces with polycarbonate. Turns out my settings from my previous thread only went so far. That’s okay though, there’s a lot of trial and error going on here!

First up, some pictures. The first two in red were done with one nozzle extruding PLA on a Pro 2 Plus printer. The part printed absolutely perfectly, no problem. The last picture is using a PolySupport raft, and polycarbonate everything else (model, support, 3x layer waterfall wipe wall and wipe tower). Note, it’s being printed in the orientation shown in the first picture.

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After watching the polycarbonate print here and there, there doesn’t appear to be anything amiss when printing solely with one nozzle. I did a pause print just after the PC-Max completed about 2-3 layers after the PolySupport raft as I have noticed slight oozing on a nozzle change (either nozzle) for 30-60 seconds after a layer is done. I’d call it gravity ooze as there’s not much, but over multiple layers with multiple nozzles, there is a small build up. With the pause, I made sure both nozzles were not hanging on to any excess material.

Full disclaimer, the last picture results are the same if I use PolySupport for the support structure. I figured I’d kill a variable with nozzle ooze with just PC. There definitely was no buildup on the PC nozzle when it was solely used (after the pause as mentioned above). Also no impact to the printed portions prior to the pause.

Temps are 250 for the PC (230 for polysupport when I use it). Speeds are 30-35mm/s for everything (raft first layer is 5.0 though that is irrelevant here), z-hop was enabled at 0.25mm. I’m just about to try a z-hop of 2.0mm just to be completely redicilous about it and see if that works. Flow is 90% for PC (this is a 0.4mm nozzle) and 85% for polysupport. The base profile was a standard PC-MAX. I duplicated it and modified the above settings.

The unfortunate part here is I haven’t seen what actually is causing the print head to offset like that, but my assumption is the nozzle banging into something (hence the absurd z-hop I’m going to try out). The printer can definitely handle this piece as we see a completed PLA version of it (first try with PLA too). Further evidence of the print head being out (other than the obvious picture) is on a pause or stop print, the head doesn’t completely return to the front left corner.

So I know this part can absolutely be made, the problem must be with my material settings. Has anyone here done complicated PC-Max pieces and had success with their own print settings?

Re: Polymaker PC-Max woes

Posted: Wed Oct 10, 2018 7:12 pm
by detroitus
I do a good amount of printing with PC-Max and get good results with it. That being said, however, I only ever do single nozzle printing. I long ago gave up on dual nozzle prints and removed the second nozzle and extruder from my machine entirely. I've found that with the right settings I can get a reasonably good finish even with same material supports whenever supports are necessary.

Dual nozzle setups with PC are difficult, especially attempting to print larger pieces. Aside from the tendencies of the piece toward warping and causing nozzle strikes, the higher temperatures at which you have to run make it near impossible to avoid excessive oozing between extruder changes regardless of your retraction settings. Losing the 2nd nozzle simplified my life considerably and made things far easier for me.

Sorry if my response isn't particularly helpful. It's just that you mentioned that the PLA print was done with a single nozzle. Is there a particular reason you decided to use duals for the PC version?

Re: Polymaker PC-Max woes

Posted: Wed Oct 10, 2018 9:32 pm
by crimsonyoshi
I’m only using the second nozzle for PolySupport, otherwise just the one nozzle for PC-Max extrusion. That said, the nozzles on the Pro 2 Plus will move up or down based on if they are the active extruder or not.

Your comment actually does get me wondering if the part is warping up towards the nozzle around the same layer level on each print. I did inspect the second nozzle on the PC only print (which is heated up to 230 regardless of using PolySupport or not) and there wasn’t any PC on it. 230 is warm enough to start melting PC, at least from what I’ve seen, so I would expect to see some melted PC on it if it truly is the second nozzle striking it.

If my huge z-hop print fails this evening, I’ll try removing the second nozzle entirely and see what happens. Though, the side fans sit about the same height as the nozzle when not active, and I’m not sure if I can easily remove those, or if the printer software will let me continue without them connected.

Re: Polymaker PC-Max woes

Posted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 4:35 am
by crimsonyoshi
Double post again, sorry. I have new info and a theory to test. I was able to catch the part failing, instead of finding it after work or sleep. Detro, your theory was right. What appears to be happening either using PC-Max or PolySupport as support material, is once the PC-Max layers start reaching the outer diameter maximum of the wheel, part of it (maybe 90 degrees worth) detaches from the support structure and slightly warps upwards to the nozzles. This causes grinding and melting of the surface until the nozzles are held back and the print fails.

Now, I’ve never used dense support, only the back and forth 1mm width rows, and I’m thinking the lack of dense support is allowing the PC-Max to detach and warp upwards. So, my theory is to use dense support for the layer where the model part rests against the support structure.

Pictures attached.

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Re: Polymaker PC-Max woes

Posted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 4:52 pm
by detroitus
Dense layers may help. What is your setting for "Vertical Offset Top Layers" under Support? You might also try reducing that to 1 or 0 if dense support layers don't help. It might make the supports harder to remove, though (thereby resulting in slightly grosser surface finish).

Re: Polymaker PC-Max woes

Posted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 6:29 pm
by Shelton
For high support I'm using grid pattern... with dissolve filament isn't any pain at all. Or lower support with. For example 2 millimeters and base layers also. Z- Hop too.

Re: Polymaker PC-Max woes

Posted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 7:24 pm
by crimsonyoshi
I thought about using grid for the dense support, but I stuck with lines at 90% infill for the time being. Vertical offset is 1.

The print has been going for about 14 hours, and I’ll be able to check on it in a couple of hours to see if the updated settings worked better or not. I’ve also dialed the heatbed up to 100 degrees again. Warmer chamber means less warping, and I know both PC-Max and PolySupport can handle that heat. I could do 100% infill on the PC-Max as that would likely help with warping, but if I can avoid using that much material, I will!

Edit: we’re past the prior point of failure. It’s about 50% of the way through the print, so final verdict will be tomorrow!

Re: Polymaker PC-Max woes

Posted: Fri Oct 12, 2018 10:22 pm
by crimsonyoshi
Success! Dense support as well as increasing the heatbed back to 100 degrees C worked.

I’ve got a little bit of sanding to do to get some of the dense support off of the polycarbonate model, but I needed to sand this model slightly anyways. Here’s some pictures, where the red is PLA and black is Polycarbonate. Nothing else has been done to these models other than removing most of the support with my hands at room temperature on both models (the white material is polysupport and I used the same red PLA material for support on the red model).

The print settings I’ve got worked using polysupport as the support material, and it was easily removable. It’s not perfectly removable (as you’ll see in the subsequent pictures), but it does work. I’ll edit this post later tonight and post my print settings so others can use it as a base. I only ask those that do, to repost any modified settings they make which help make these prints better.

Edit: Printing settings have been sent to Raise3D support (as I can't upload a bin file here)

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Re: Polymaker PC-Max woes

Posted: Mon Oct 15, 2018 5:14 pm
by Vicky@Raise3D
crimsonyoshi wrote:Success! Dense support as well as increasing the heatbed back to 100 degrees C worked.

I’ve got a little bit of sanding to do to get some of the dense support off of the polycarbonate model, but I needed to sand this model slightly anyways. Here’s some pictures, where the red is PLA and black is Polycarbonate. Nothing else has been done to these models other than removing most of the support with my hands at room temperature on both models (the white material is polysupport and I used the same red PLA material for support on the red model).

The print settings I’ve got worked using polysupport as the support material, and it was easily removable. It’s not perfectly removable (as you’ll see in the subsequent pictures), but it does work. I’ll edit this post later tonight and post my print settings so others can use it as a base. I only ask those that do, to repost any modified settings they make which help make these prints better.

Edit: Printing settings have been sent to Raise3D support (as I can't upload a bin file here)


You can compressed it to be .rar or .zip file to upload.

Re: Polymaker PC-Max woes

Posted: Mon Oct 15, 2018 6:44 pm
by crimsonyoshi
Thanks Vicky! I tried to upload a zip file but every time I did so, the website froze up and wouldn't allow me to do anything other than refresh the page (or other top bar navigational buttons). I didn't try multiple browsers, just the standard Edge browser with Windows 10.