3rd Party Filament Trials and Tribulations

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rlballard
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3rd Party Filament Trials and Tribulations

Postby rlballard » Thu Mar 24, 2016 1:47 pm

So as my initial supply of Raise3D filament has begun to dwindle and seeing a couple of posts of users investigating this as well I called upon my friends a Amazon, because of Prime Shipping. I have stayed with PLA because I don't want ABS permeating through my house, not good to be around the fumes. Of course PLA has issues but significantly less, that is a whole different subject. The materials I have brought in to try are:
[*] Polymaker PolySupport ( 1.75 mm, 500 g)Pearl White
[*] 3D Solutech Real White 1.75mm PLA
[*] 3D Solutech Teal Blue 1.75mm PLA
[*] MeltInk 3D Printer Filament PLA/PHA White 1.75mm

I have managed to find success with the Polysupport material running at temperatures of 225, however as it sits it will start to degrade and the first 25mm of extrusion is degraded and discolored. I have tried the remaining filaments 3D Solutech and MeltInk with mostly fails due to filament grind as the picture shows. I understand that this may be due to temperature, and have ranged between 225 ~ 230 with no luck. I purge the nozzles before the extrusion to ensure I have flow and then begin the process. After building the raft with T1 (Right Extruder, Raise3D filament) T0 begins, very light and then stops, so I pause the print, purge T0 and begin again and once again it stops and grinds the filament.

So my instinct is that it is temperature related and bumped T0 up to 233 with the same results. Now I did do the flat bearing mod suggested by Julia, and that is an awesome concept. So what are your thoughts on this:
[*] Do I have a temperature issue and keep going in small increments, <5 degrees, until I get good flow.
I am going to try and verify the temps at each nozzle, I have an Omega infrared thermometer that I will try to verify them with if I can find the right emisivity setting.

[*] Is my feedrate and pressure to high
Is it a mechanical issue?

Please share your thoughts and insights...
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Julia Truchsess
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Re: 3rd Party Filament Trials and Tribulations

Postby Julia Truchsess » Thu Mar 24, 2016 1:53 pm

Polysupport requires 235º IIRC - I posted on the old forum somewhere...

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Julia Truchsess
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Re: 3rd Party Filament Trials and Tribulations

Postby Julia Truchsess » Thu Mar 24, 2016 2:00 pm

How's the Meltink PLA/PHA working for you? I don't think I've tried it on the N2, but it works great on another printer I own that's notoriously finicky about materials.

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rlballard
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Re: 3rd Party Filament Trials and Tribulations

Postby rlballard » Thu Mar 24, 2016 3:04 pm

Julia,
Same results, I think I am fighting a temperature issue to get it to flow correctly. I need to correlate actual vs. set point and the thermocouple. I'm looking at the Meltink PLA/PHA blend as a replacement for ABS. Physical properties are much better without the fume issue. Being confident these issues will be worked through, I have also ordered Polymaker's PC-Plus. I will let you know how things progress.

You have done some impressive work, nice creative engineering thought process... Interesting, I live North of Hartford for 27 years, small world...

BB

michaelhauser
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Re: 3rd Party Filament Trials and Tribulations

Postby michaelhauser » Thu Mar 24, 2016 5:03 pm

I have successfully printed several parts with natural eSun ePC, as I posted in the old forum. The print quality is very good, it has little smell, and it's relatively inexpensive. Just yesterday I successfully printed some parts in black PC-Plus. Overall, the quality is very good, although the supported horizontal surface quality is rough. I hope to improve it by adjusting temperature and print settings. The smell is slightly more than ePC but still minimal. Very small surface details are not quite as good as R3D PLA, but close. I'm printing PC-Plus at 260º onto a PEI bed surface heated to 110º. I should probably swap back the original BuildTak bed, since that would let me lower the bed temp to 80º or so and PC doesn't stick very well to PEI anyway. But I'm not using hairspray or glue or anything. Makes cleanup a snap (just a quick wipe with isopropyl alcohol between prints).
I'm currently using Julia's flat bearing mod on the right extruder, which the one I'm using for printing PC.

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rlballard
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Re: 3rd Party Filament Trials and Tribulations

Postby rlballard » Thu Mar 24, 2016 6:34 pm

Thanks Michael,
I will post the profiles once I achieve success and more that one print to compile information on. It may be worth while to begin compiling data into a spreadsheet and post it. Or Perhaps we should start a Filament Recipe Thread as a new discussion area...

Matthew Lozano
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Re: 3rd Party Filament Trials and Tribulations

Postby Matthew Lozano » Thu Mar 24, 2016 8:17 pm

I think we have three main issues that add together in the current system that cause filament incompatibility.
(The following is only my opinion, I do 3D printing only as a hobby and not professionally.)

1. V1 Hotend.
Excessive force needed to extrude, especially with plastics that go soft at a lower temperature.
Molten plastic can flow up past the still solid filament and get in the upper cooler side of the hotend and solidify, causing a jam. See photo below.


Potential solutions:
-Upgrade to V2 Hotend, future printers will be getting the V2 stock so this should not be an issue with newer printers.
-Use R3D filament as it will not go soft at the lower temperatures that other brands can.
-Insure plastic flow is not too slow as the cool fresh plastic getting added to the top of the melt zone will help that area stay cooler and lower the solid to molten transition point in the hotend. Common causes is if the layer height is too low (0.2mm is a good safe value) or if the print speed is set too slow.
-Reduce retraction distance as doing so pulls the melted plastic higher up in the hotend potentially causing a hotend jam.


2. Minimum gear to bearing space.
Softer plastic or plastic that is slightly thinner then the expected 1.75mm can slip at the extruder gear, because the bearing can not be adjusted any closer mods will have to be done to get some types of filament to work.

Potential solutions:
-A shim can be added between the extruder motor and the aluminum mounting block on the side that is closer to the idler bearing, this will tilt the motor slightly placing the gear closer to the idler bearing. (R3D recommended)
-Drill out the extruder mounting holes slightly so the motor can be moved closer to the Idler bearing.(warranty voiding mod?)
-Add a spring loaded extruder idler bearing, see #3.
-Use a slightly larger outer diameter idler bearing or add some type of material to the bearing to get a better pinch. (see mods done by Julia and others)



3. Lack of spring loaded bearing tensioner and fixed gear to bearing distance.
Variation in the filament diameter can cause the extruder gear to slip on the filament also any momentary jam/high extrusion force can strip out/grind a notch in the filament, because the distance is fixed without a spring and movable tension arm this can be a unrecoverable state. If a spring was used then this has a chance to recover with minimal interruption in plastic flow.

Potential solutions:
-After 1 and 2 above issues are fixed this should not be as much of a issue but I feel the tension spring designed should have been used in the first place for reliability and filament compatibility. This is not so easy to mod but I suspect if R3D does not change to this then we will see other people making and selling extruder spring upgrade kits.
-Reducing extruder stepper motor current might also help with this, by insuring that the motor skips steps just before the extruder gear would grind a notch in the filament the printer will have a better chance of jam recovery.



photo of jammed filament after removal from the hotend. V1 hotend.
Gray and orange is Esun PLA, clear is PETG and the yellow is Raise3D PLA. Note how different the normal yellow looks from the other filament ends that jammed in the hotend.
Image

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Julia Truchsess
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Re: 3rd Party Filament Trials and Tribulations

Postby Julia Truchsess » Fri Mar 25, 2016 1:36 am

Using a resilient bushing inside a flat bearing gives a "spring" effect, although with a more limited range of travel than a true spring-loaded design. The main benefit is that it's really easy to do. Here's a piece of 0.25" OD x 0.125" ID silicone tubing (very easy to find in the USA) inside an 11mm OD / 6mm ID bearing. Works great with hard filament (doesn't dig in or flatten too much) but more testing needs to be done to see if it has the range to print soft materials reliably (sorry, I've been busy printing with hard filament!).

MR116-ZZC and 0.25x0.125 silicone.jpg

Andy Cohen
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Re: 3rd Party Filament Trials and Tribulations

Postby Andy Cohen » Fri Mar 25, 2016 3:27 am

@Matt
What layer heights are you printing at???

Matthew Lozano
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Re: 3rd Party Filament Trials and Tribulations

Postby Matthew Lozano » Fri Mar 25, 2016 4:11 am

Andy Cohen wrote:@Matt
What layer heights are you printing at???


I normally print at 0.2mm for most prints but the jams above all I did was load filament, stop loading then waited 10-15 seconds and tried the load again, it stripped the filament and required excessive manual force on the filament to start it extruding again.

dsiegfried
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Re: 3rd Party Filament Trials and Tribulations

Postby dsiegfried » Fri Mar 25, 2016 10:18 am

What speed are you printing at? I've had success printing the following at 230c:

MeltInk PLA/PHA
Inland PLA
Verbatim PLA

The key is printing at high flow rate which means higher speed, I'm printing at 60-80mm/sec. If you are printing small parts, though, the machine will slow down for cooling purposes. So either try printing a larger part or many small parts at the same time. Layer height also determines flow rate, the same small part that worked for me at 0.3mm failed at 0.2mm.

I ganged up 3 parts for a print that took over 12 hours at 0.2mm and they came out beautifully with Verbatim red PLA at 60mm / sec.

treisner
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Re: 3rd Party Filament Trials and Tribulations

Postby treisner » Fri Mar 25, 2016 12:52 pm

@Julia, where did you get the 11mm OD / 6mm ID bearing? I can't find one on Mcmaster.

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Julia Truchsess
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Re: 3rd Party Filament Trials and Tribulations

Postby Julia Truchsess » Fri Mar 25, 2016 12:55 pm

treisner wrote:@Julia, where did you get the 11mm OD / 6mm ID bearing? I can't find one on Mcmaster.


http://www.bocabearings.com/

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rlballard
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Re: 3rd Party Filament Trials and Tribulations

Postby rlballard » Fri Mar 25, 2016 1:50 pm

Here is another bearing source:

http://www.amazon.com/6x11x4mm-Precisio ... ge_o02_s00

The tubing is also here:

http://www.amazon.com/Meters-Long-Inner ... ge_o03_s01

This is a great mod...

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rlballard
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Re: 3rd Party Filament Trials and Tribulations

Postby rlballard » Sat Mar 26, 2016 2:28 am

MeltInk PLA/PHA Update:
I have run 7 trials with this material, in White, and all have failed. The process parameters have ranges of:
Extruder Temps: 220 to 237
Bed Temps: 50 to 70 (Had some issues with not sticking)
Speeds: 45 to 90mm/s
Layer Height: .15 to .25
Ooze Control and Not

Models:
Benchy & Finger Wrench

Results exhibited:
Pimples, Blob & Zits
Stringing
Rough Texture

Overall, it appears that it is going to take a fair amount of work, I put it on the shelf for now.

I did follow up with a MeltInk PLA in black and it came out very nice. Here are some initial pics for comment and review if you would like...
Attachments
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Julia Truchsess
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Re: 3rd Party Filament Trials and Tribulations

Postby Julia Truchsess » Sat Mar 26, 2016 4:27 am

I wouldn't call that a "failed" print; to me a failed print is when nothing comes out of the extruder, the plastic doesn't stick to itself, or similar catastrophes. The benchy is by design a difficult print, and I've certainly seen worse than that one. Just because a material doesn't make a perfect benchy smokestack doesn't mean it won't do a serviceable job on other (perhaps more typical) objects imo. That said, I haven't found much if any advantage in Meltink's PLA+PHA vs their normal PLA.

Ben Roj
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Re: 3rd Party Filament Trials and Tribulations

Postby Ben Roj » Sat Mar 26, 2016 8:30 am

IMG_5112.JPG


If I use spiral vase mode, I will be able to print with generic PLA with bearing mod, otherwise it will fail within few layers. These superman and batman helmet were printed with this mode, so big holes on both of their heads :)

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Julia Truchsess
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Re: 3rd Party Filament Trials and Tribulations

Postby Julia Truchsess » Sat Mar 26, 2016 1:29 pm

Actually, the problem with the Benchy smokestack is a question of part cooling and extrusion temperature. The nozzle is spending a lot of time in a very small area and it tends to overheat the plastic, with insufficient cooling between layers. If the slicer has a "minimum time per layer" setting that might solve it. Printing multiple copies is another common solution, so the head has to travel between the two, allowing cooling time, but then you might get some stringing between the two parts. Lowering extrusion temp and/or increasing downward airflow might help too, but again these issues only show up with parts that have a small feature sticking up like the smokestack.

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