Which Filament For...

If you are having problems with your 3D printer or have had a problem and discovered a great solution, then share your experiences here.
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FWLR
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Which Filament For...

Post by FWLR » Tue Sep 07, 2021 8:16 am

Which filament should be used for outdoor use. I was doing something for my youngest grandson last week. I sprayed it and seeing how it was such a nice day, I left it by the open garage door thinking that it would harden off I bit quicker. ( I was getting a bit fed up with doing this for him, it was taking me ages to do) When I went back about half an hour later what did I find. A curled up bit of useless part..... I then thought what if I was doing a building for outside, would that end up just like this. I use PLA. Is there anything else that is stronger and less susceptible to a lot of heat, or is it a case of moving the building indoors after we have finished.
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philipy
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Re: Which Filament For...

Post by philipy » Tue Sep 07, 2021 8:41 am

ABS may be slightly better, but I've had PLA items outside for several years 24/7/365 with no major problems. Although I did find that just one out of several sections of 'stone' mouldings on the front of my manor house ( mower shelter) shrank and curved slightly after a full summer in the afternoon sun last year. I put that down to it not being fully bonded to the foamboard wall it was mounted on. However the PLA platform fences and platform faces that I've spoken about many times and were amongst my first attempts at printing, are still perfect having been outside fulltime for 3 years.

My first thought on your problem would be to consider the infill percentage and the infill pattern that you used on whatever it was - maybe the part wasn't rigid enough to withstand shrinkage movements in 3 dimensions? Also if it was freshly sprayed and left in hot sun, the paint solvent may have softened the plastic and allowed the sun to do it's worst ( or vice versa).

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Re: Which Filament For...

Post by ge_rik » Tue Sep 07, 2021 8:56 am

Did you spray just one side of the part or both sides? I've found that spraying just one side of plastic will make it curl whether it's pla or just styrene sheet, particularly if the paint dries quickly (eg when left out in the sun). Spraying both sides helps to stop it from curling.

I'm experimenting with PETG at the moment. It has a higher melting temperature than PLA but doesn't have the difficulties with layer adhesion suffered by ABS. Just putting together my first wagon made from PETG (using pipe weld adhesive) so not sure how it performs as a finished model. It does tend to string, though, and doesn't like 100% cooling, so still experimenting with that aspect.

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Re: Which Filament For...

Post by FWLR » Wed Sep 08, 2021 8:18 am

Thanks for your replies guys.

I did spray both sides first Rik, I needed to give another coat to one side on both of the pieces. I really think though that it was the extreme heat that day. Surely if the temperature is reaching 30 degrees that would be hot enough to boil an egg....... :lol:

I have heard also that PETG can be a bit of a pig during printing, but if you get the settings right, a lot of people have done some brilliant models.

I think the infill was about 60%. One thing that has had me confused though Philip. I know it doesn't take much :roll: Does the amount of infill make the item stronger ie: More infill = stronger part. and does it obversely make the part longer to print. It may sound daft to other members, but sometimes things get confusing for me, well most of the time really... :lol: :lol: :lol:


This is the said part.

BF886861-4C4B-4775-B9D4-B402AE5ABD6B.jpeg
Grandsons Minecraft Chess Board Part
D89AB9A1-B1F2-4FB6-8C9B-379D24E4537B.jpeg
Grandsons Minecraft Chess Board Part

Pretty nasty hey........
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Re: Which Filament For...

Post by philipy » Wed Sep 08, 2021 9:35 am

As you say, pretty nasty! Thats a shame because the original print looks to be very nice.
Looking at the way it is distorted, with a bigger problem at one end, I think it is a heat thing pure and simple, with the others things that Rik and I have suggested probably contributing in some way.
For some reason I assumed that the object would be relatively bulky rather than thin and flatish. 60% infill is pretty high, normally 10-25% would be fine and going up 60% increases print time by a factor of 4-6 times. Having said that, depending on the cross section dims of the ribs I can see why you might want to up the %, but I don't think I'd go that high, because the gaps between the infill lines would be virtually non-existant. Of course the other relevant factors are wall, base and top layer line counts and layer thickness, because obviously the higher those figures are the less space there is between them to actually infill anyway. Get them high enough and you have a solid!
There are normally several different infill patterns available in the slicer settings and some are said to be stronger than others. Tbh, in my prints I haven't ever printed anything with a large enough volume for it to be significant, I think it really only matters for structural or mechanical parts.

I am slightly guessing, but my gut feeling is that in this particular instance, your rib section dimensions are probably small enough that the infill type is irrelevant but the multiple 'wall's' will make it stronger and more warp resistant.

Just a suggestion, which may not help, but you don't have much to lose, try sticking the failure in very hot ( not boiling) water for a few minutes to get it to soften slightly and then immediately put it on a flat surface with a heavy weight on top and leave it over night to cool down. It may get it back to something like flat.

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Re: Which Filament For...

Post by FWLR » Wed Sep 08, 2021 9:48 am

Thank you Philip, that's very helpful. Just what I needed, someone to explain in a little more detail what the infill is. :salute:

Also thank you for the suggestion on putting the part in hot boiling water and adding a weight. I had never thought of that, but as it happens I printed another part off and this time kept it out of the :sunny: :sunny:
:lol: :lol:

I have I must say though have printed most of my parts that are of a decent size and thickness with 60%. I should be doing them like you say with about 10-25%. I will give them that setting from now on and see how they turnout.

One can only try.. :happy3:
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Re: Which Filament For...

Post by philipy » Wed Sep 08, 2021 11:17 am

FWLR wrote: ↑
Wed Sep 08, 2021 9:48 am
I should be doing them like you say with about 10-25%. I will give them that setting from now on and see how they turnout.
I normally use 15 or 20 and only down to 10% if it's a rough print to check something. Go too low and you increase the risk of 'pillowing', where the air trapped inside stays warm too long and pushes the top surface up. You can sort that by either increasing the infill or increasing the number of top layers ( or a combination of both)

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Re: Which Filament For...

Post by FWLR » Thu Sep 09, 2021 9:42 am

Thank you again Philip, you have been really helpful. I am now printing at 25% infill now though, the first print I did was set at 10%, but the print like you said started to lift, so for me I will keep it at 25%.

One thing, would the temperature of the bed affect the lifting of the print if it is too hot. I am mine at 50 degrees and it has done a pretty good job for nearly all of my prints. There have been some lifting at the corners on a few of them, but I put that done to not having a raft on them. I try to do my prints without a raft if I can because they are a pain to take of the print. I find that just a brim is brilliant, but then some prints move and I have lost the print. Needless to say I keep I watchful eye on the print and I only use a brim mainly for light weight small prints, nothing to big or tall.
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Re: Which Filament For...

Post by philipy » Thu Sep 09, 2021 12:25 pm

I have my build plate initial layer at 60deg and then drop to 50 deg for the rest of the print. The 60 helps with sticking to the plate. Then my normal printing temp is 200 or just occasionally 210.
I never use a raft. I did when I first had it because thats what the instructions said, but, as just you said, I can never get the print off the raft! I use a brim for small items, or nothing at all for items with a reasonable size footprint ( bigger than about 10mm square, equivalent).

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Re: Which Filament For...

Post by FWLR » Fri Sep 10, 2021 10:49 am

Thanks Philip.

Very interesting reply. How do you set the first layer to 60deg though and then change to 50. I thought when you set your bed temperature that was it. My slicer which is FlashForges own just has one setting I think, I will have to have look and do a screen shot, it maybe better if I did, because I think you use some other slicer program for which I may have tried to download and if it did I couldn't get it to be recognised by my machine.


85A20DC3-C585-4FCA-A097-4111093C6FE7.png
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Re: Which Filament For...

Post by philipy » Fri Sep 10, 2021 1:45 pm

I can't answer about Flashprint I'm afraid, although as far as I can see it has very limited ability to change the print parameters. I think Trevor uses it so he may be able to answer more fully.
I use Qidiprint which is a customised version of Cura, supplied by the m/c manufacturer.
It has literally hundreds of customisable settings, most of which I don't understand, let alone know how to use! Rik uses the full version of Cura, which is why, for example, he is able to play around with the "Ironing" feature settings which he mentions from time to time, and which is disabled on mine for some inscrutable Chinese reason!.
However, in the screen shot below, on the RH side you'll see it has options for initial layer and subsequent layer temps.( The figures that look like >10 are actually "210" but rescaling the picture to fit on the forum screen has squashed it!)
Below that section is an "Expert mode" button, and pressing that brings up the small window which is on the LH side of the screen, and that has a number of different settings available, including the plate temps. This allows defaults to be set which can be altered individually in the RH window on a print by print basis if required.
Screenshot 2021-09-10 13.26.49.png

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Re: Which Filament For...

Post by Trevor Thompson » Sat Sep 11, 2021 9:41 am

The answer that you really need is that you can only use flashprint with this printer. That is one of the disadvantages of the particular printer that you have. I don't think there is a way of changing the temperature like Philip suggests.

However there are lots of advantages. Anyway you specifically mentioned that you had problems getting the print off the bed.

As you use it the flexible build plate deteriorates. It is the self adhesive film which covers it which ages, and deteriorates as you use it. It can be "maintained" by cleaning it with an alcohol solvent, or with acetone. As it gets marked you can use fine emery cloth to refresh the surface - and then clean it of course. It is a balance between adhesion and getting it off!

You can buy the film separately for half the price of the flexible build plate, clean the old film off and fit the new one yourself. Just be warned that cleaning the glue off the plate can be VERRY difficult. I have done this with variable success.

Eventually you will have to get a new flexible build plate. Perhaps you are getting to the point where you will need to invest in one soon? I have just bought my sixth flexible build plate.

I cant really make any comments on using PLA - because I rarely use it. My current print in PLA has ended in a blocked jet twice - so Im going back to ABS.

However I can comment on getting the print off the raft! I have real problems here because my prints are always well stuck to the raft. The easy answer is to lift the print a mm off the bed when you are in flashprint. Then use auto supports. Then the supports will break easily when you separate the print from the raft. The only downside of this is that you have to clean off the remains of the supports from the bottom of the print. And by the way don't use the default tree like supports for this use the other alternative which prints a thin ridge back and forward under the print.

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Re: Which Filament For...

Post by Trevor Thompson » Sat Sep 11, 2021 9:53 am

The following comes with a warning - which is why I have been a bit slow to respond to this - I am really better able to comment on printing with ABS rather than PLA but maybe this will have some relevance.

Perhaps I should comment on the screen shot you posted, showing flashprint and two box like prints being sliced. I notice that they seem to be hollow underneath - I would have printed them the other way up - with the hollow uppermost to reduce the supports needed. I would have lifted it 1 mm and used the "linear" supports at the default setting (1.5mm wide).

I have had problems getting thin prints to be stable. The chess board did look pretty thin. I like flat surfaces to be about 3mm thick, and I tend to use higher infil ratios. I am typically making things with 6 top, side and bottom layers, and with at least 40% infil, increasing that to 60% for some prints. For example the part I made to repair the print head had 80% infil - because it is subject to a lot of stress, and its hot.

I should also add that when corners lift my first reaction is to clean the build plate.

Hope some of this helps.

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Re: Which Filament For...

Post by FWLR » Sat Sep 11, 2021 10:13 am

Thanks Philip.

At this moment I am waiting for a job to finish on my printer and then try the program that has a slicer I have found that my be ok for me, I am going to try it anyway...It is called 3DPrinterOS, now I don't know if it is any good, but I will report back with anything I have.


Thanks again Philip for your continuing support. It is very welcome.. :thumbright:
Rod

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Re: Which Filament For...

Post by philipy » Sat Sep 11, 2021 1:32 pm

Trevor Thompson wrote: ↑
Sat Sep 11, 2021 9:53 am


Perhaps I should comment on the screen shot you posted, showing flashprint and two box like prints being sliced. I notice that they seem to be hollow underneath - I would have printed them the other way up - with the hollow uppermost to reduce the supports needed. I would have lifted it 1 mm and used the "linear" supports at the default setting (1.5mm wide).
I noticed that as well, but forgot to comment. I would also print it the other way up but flat on the bed with no raft, no supports, etc. That way you use the flat bed surface to give a perfectly smooth surface with no need to clean anything up. From what I've read that doesn't seem to be an option with Flashprint though?

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