As each 3D print can have their own individual features and characteristics, it follows that that they would also require print settings that are unique to their profiles. We have been developing better tests and profiles to give every material a good start, but some choices of released settings are subjective. For instance a 3D print material can be matte or glossy depending on temperature. Maybe it’s less stringy when glossy so we would choose glossy, you might not. To address this, we have decided to write a series of brief posts to help users modify their print settings effectively. So, let’s start with the temperature.
This temperature test is printed on a 0.4mm nozzle. For the settings, we used thicknesses of 0.5mm for the shell, 0.2 for the layer height and 0.8 for the top and bottom fill. The retraction was then set to 35mm/s at 0.4mm distance, a typical default and completely arbitrary choice. We did not include any infill for this test as we’re only interested in the surface finish and retraction artifacts from the printing.
After configuring the above-mentioned settings, we started the print with a slow speed of 40mm/s. This print speed was selected to ensure that the maximum temperature range was achievable (we’ll cover this in another segment on maximum print speed). When you see skips, flaws, and failures, it means that it has reached the max and min temps it can handle. It is also important to note that following the temperature, one should print the speed test and then consider retraction. The reason for the order is that if you cannot get the speed you want in the first place, then there would be no reason to perfect the profile.
The G-codes are as follows: Starting at 220° and increasing to 265°; starting at 220° and falling to 175°.
As the printer continues to print, the temperature changes every 50 layers or 10mm and is marked on the side of the model with ridges for easier identification (see Figures 1, 2, and 3). As you can see, the print test starts to fail as the temperature falls as shown in Figure 1. However, when the same temperature was applied to the print in Figure 2, which has a different material, it gave a different result. This shows the important correlation of the quality of the material being used with regards to the max and min temperature it can handle to continue giving a good print. The print in Figure 1 was made of LetUs3D PLA, black, while the second print was printed with TAM Everyday PLA, blue. We can see that the black filament has a smaller usable temperature window than the blue as it begins to have skips in the filament and stopped extruding.
Printed starting at 220° and falling to 175° with LetUs3D PLA.
Printed starting at 220° and falling to 175° with EverydayPLA.
Printed starting at 220° and increasing to 265° with LetUs3D.
There are a number of things to consider as you build your profiles and start 3D printing. The important thing, however, is to purchase materials that offer excellent quality and consistency. With this temperature test, we hope that you will be able to have a better idea as to what settings get you the final product and most reliable prints possible. Next week, we will look at the G-codes needed for temperature at 200°-100° for wax-like materials and 280°-220° for high temperature materials.
Download the G-codes here: