Has anyone run into problems printing with Proto-pasta's HTPLA on a Prusa MK3 (or any printer really)?
I picked up some samples from PP, specifically their glitter filament and a couple of the premium HTPLA filaments. I printed one small piece with the glitter filament the first night I got the package, but I haven't been able to get any of the filaments to print since.
The problem seems to be that the filaments won't extrude from the nozzle and this problem applies to all of the samples I got. If I unload the HTPLA and print with any of the other filaments I have been printing with (various inland filaments) they all print out fine.
I thought maybe I had a clogged nozzle so I did a couple of cold pulls with a different filament. The pulls came out clean each time. I tried loading the HTPLA back in and while the filament extrudes fine during the MK3's loading process it still doesn't extrude when trying to run an actual print.
I've read through Proto-pastas page on avoiding clogs with composite PLAs and adjusted my slicer settings accordingly but still can't seem to get a print out.
I'm printing with:
- The Prusa i3 MK3
- Slic3r Prusa Edition
- Tried Extruder temp as low as 195c and as high as 220c
- Speed of 50mm/s with first layer of 20 or 30mm/s
- Tried at .15 and .2 mm layer heights
- Stardust Glitter Flake HTPLA - 1.75mm
- Cloverleaf Metallic Green HTPLA - 1.75mm
- Winter Blue Glitter Flake HTPLA - 1.75mm
Over the weekend I talked a bit with proto-pasta and did some tests on my own. Proto-pasta suggested disabling the filament sensor on my printer since the additives in some exotic filaments can falsely trigger the sensor.
I went to try this, but my sensor was already off.
I tried switching back to a known good filament and found that I couldn't get anything to extrude anymore. After researching a bit online I suspected that there may be an issue with a clogged nozzle, so I did a couple of cold pulls and then tried one of my known good filaments again. This time I was able to extrude and print out a full test without issue.
After that I switched to one of the HTPLAs and it started printing. I thought all was good, but during the course of the test print the nozzle clogged again and stoped extruding.
So I'm close, but not quite there. I'm wondering if cold pulling again to unclog the nozzle and then walking through some of the settings changes outlined in proto-pasta's page on avoiding clogs will help. If I spent the entire time walking through that page with an already clogged nozzle it would make sense that nothing worked. That page is more a list of preventative measures rather than reactive.
I'm going to dig in more tonight. I'll post back with an update.
Reply from Proto-pasta
I got a reply from Proto-pasta for some questions I asked regarding the nozzle dimensions I should use with their filament. The 0.4 nozzle borehole is not too small for the glitter, though the larger diameter will help it sparkle more.
Thank you for following up. Yes cold pulls that leave behind material can cause all sorts of trouble. It happens to me on the Lulzbot quite often, probably my biggest gripe about that machine. Anyways, on to your questions:
Is this accurate? Should I print the glitter filament with a nozzle with a larger borehole diameter? A larger bore is not needed, the glitter flake is quite small and flows through a 0.4 nozzle fine. However, using a 0.4 nozzle and printing layer heights of 0.1 or 0.05 with glitter can cause a shift in apparent color as it forces the glitter to lay down flat.
If so, what diameter should I use? 0.6? While not needed, a 0.6 nozzle does allow for a better sparkle or shine from the glitter filament.
Are there other proto-pasta filaments that require a larger borehole? Generally any metal or wood filled filament benefits from a large nozzle size. For example, wood filaments most people suggest a 0.5 for better flow but they do work at 0.4. For us, we like to use 0.6 on the metal fills as it allows for a good flow.
I have a spool of matte fiber htpla that I got with my last order. Can I print this with my nozzle? The matte fiber was designed as a non-abasive alternative to the Carbon Fiber filament. It does not require a larger nozzle, a 0.4 will work just fine.