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What fan speed should I use with PLA? Do I need to manually set the fan speed in ‘Control’?

Also, on the filament cartridge Bed Temp is listed: "No heat/60-80 °C". Does this mean heating the bed is optional?

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  • $\begingroup$ What slicer are you using? Cura 4.9 that I use at home handles fans automatically, do you have reason to believe the defaults are wrong? What brand/color/type PLA do you have? $\endgroup$
    – Zeiss Ikon
    May 26 at 17:00
  • $\begingroup$ Hi and welcome to 3D printing.SE! SE websites are driven by questions and answers, your question contains multiple questions which makes it more difficult to answer as there are multiple answers. Please read the help center section, accessible through the button with the question mark at the top right menu and read How to Ask. Please split up your question by adding the other questions in a separate question! It is better to split the question, one question on fan speed settings, the other about the bed temperature. $\endgroup$
    – 0scar
    Jun 26 at 16:59
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Bed heating is not required when printing in PLA. But if it is an option and you would like to heat the bed, I would not go above 70/80 °C for PLA. As far as fan speed, I would go 90-100 % especially if the bed is heated.

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What fan speed should I use with PLA

The answer is that it depends on the hotend temperature the area of the printed layer and the effectivity of the fan. It is best to print some test prints to find the optimum for your printer. E.g. prints with overhangs/slanted object are good tests for this. Normally a Bench y is not a calibration object, but the bow of the Benchy is an example, incorrect temperature (too hot) and too few cooling will result in the bow sagging out.

Do I need to manually set the fan speed in ‘Control’?

No, the slicer can schedule the cooling speed percentage for you.

Does this mean heating the bed is optional?

Yes, PLA doesn't shrink much, so it doesn't necessarily need to be heated up to the glass transition temperature (temperature at which the filament becomes soft) of the plastic. It does require to take extra measures to get it to stick to the bed surface.

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