Questions tagged [filament]

For questions related to different filaments used as the print material.

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55
votes
9answers
90k views

How do I give 3D-printed parts in PLA a shiny smooth finish?

The surfaces of my printed parts using PLA plastic look rough and uneven. Would changing filament to a better one make any difference? If not, what kind of methods can I use to achieve a smoother ...
39
votes
7answers
51k views

When to use 1.75 mm vs 3 mm filament?

Why do we have two standard filament sizes, 1.75 mm and 3 mm? Does it really make a difference when printing? Or is the 1.75 mm just for smaller printers? In what situations should I ...
38
votes
5answers
4k views

How is PLA different from ABS material?

What are the main differences when using ABS over PLA and vice versa?
25
votes
6answers
63k views

What is PLA+? How is it different from PLA?

Question What is PLA+? How is it different than PLA? I'm looking for science, composition, formula, safety concerns (or lack thereof), etc. Background I picked up a roll of PLA+ at Microcenter (...
23
votes
5answers
13k views

Advantages of PETG filament?

I was just shopping for filament, and saw some glowing claims about PETG being as easy to work with as PLA, but as strong as ABS, and less brittle. Anyone know if that's actually true, or what the ...
23
votes
5answers
5k views

Does filament have to be stored in an airtight environment?

For standard ABS and PLA filament, most distributors recommend storing the filament in an airtight bag. Does not doing this actually make print quality worse? I have left mine in the open for a year ...
20
votes
4answers
14k views

What to do with failed/unwanted 3D prints?

I am planning on getting a 3D printer soon and I was just wondering, what do you do with 3D prints that either failed or were prototypes that you no longer want? I tried looking online but the closest ...
19
votes
7answers
3k views

How to print metal-like parts?

I would like to print parts (e.g. jewellery) for use which I don't want to look or feel like a plastic, but metal-like, so briefly people won't see much difference. Are there any specific type of ...
19
votes
5answers
10k views

Can aged PLA be refurbished?

Inspired by another question and due to the fact that some of my filament will face the same problem when I will use them again, I wanted to know if there are proven recipies to get rid of water that ...
19
votes
4answers
7k views

Does wood filament damage the printer nozzle?

I recently found out carbon fiber and glow in the dark PLA can damage the printer nozzle, now I'm suspicious of all the "exotic" filaments. So, does wood filament cause damage to the nozzle? (under ...
19
votes
6answers
3k views

Can I mix ABS and PLA when recycling filament?

I'm thinking of recycling some filament from a couple of recently failed prints. I can reuse them in the future for basic prototypes, so I'm not concerned with whatever weird mixture of colors come ...
18
votes
1answer
8k views

How does one use a heat tower?

I've been asking around on how to choose the right temperature for a given filament. I noticed that with two different brands of pla I have to print at different temperatures, and the manufacturer ...
16
votes
2answers
4k views

Can 1.75 mm filament be used in a printer that takes 3 mm filament?

As an extension from this question, is there any reason that you would not be able to use 1.75 mm filament in a printer that takes 3mm filament? I know you would have to change the filament size ...
15
votes
6answers
10k views

What is stopping us from mixing 3D filament colors in an Extruder?

This came up in one of my groups today. That we could not color bend, or mix 3d printing filaments. I have researched but I am not finding anything talking about Plastic mixing in an extruder. Why is ...
14
votes
6answers
37k views

What causes bubbles in extruded filament?

I've noticed this on almost ever print I've ever had. On the initial first line that clears the extruder nozzle tiny little bubbles/craters seem to form on the line. While I don't think these are ...
13
votes
3answers
1k views

Making your own filament

I"m considering making my own filament, with a device like the one at http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:380987. Partly because it's another machine to build, which is cool, but also to save money on ...
12
votes
4answers
12k views

Is PLA filament conductive?

I am planing on printing something that will make contact with PCB boards. The print will be most likely to be in PLA. I don't want to fry the PCB board so I want to know if 3D printed PLA objects are ...
11
votes
5answers
602 views

Multi-color printing with desktop 3D printer?

My MakerBot printer supports only two filaments at the same time. What are techniques to print objects with more than two colors for one object?
11
votes
6answers
3k views

Pulling filament through long tubes

I'm setting up my printer in a small room, and I thought I'd come up with a system for more easily swapping filaments, but I'm not yet sure it is feasible. Rather than physically replace the spool, I'...
11
votes
3answers
1k views

Can toothbrush bristles be printed?

Is it possible to print toothbrush bristles using a common FDM 3D printer? I am particularly interested in the width of bristles, closeness together of each bristle, and the flexibility of each ...
11
votes
3answers
4k views

How can I stop my print bed tape from sticking to the filament?

I made a test print for a small gear (~ 1.5 inches in diameter) a few months ago, with a hole through the center. On the first try, the filament (ABS) fused to the print bed, meaning that I had to ...
10
votes
7answers
14k views

Troubleshooting filament slip on MakerBot 5

I run a high school 3D printer lab and we have several 5th generation MakerBot printers. On one of them I have considerable trouble with "thin" prints and filament slip warnings. So far I've tried ...
10
votes
7answers
9k views

Which filaments actually do need to be stored in a drybox?

As I started to learn about 3D printing, the gist I learned was "it's better to store the filaments in a drybox." As I rechecked these notes, they were to a good degree from an era when PLA ...
10
votes
4answers
3k views

Identifying the plastic type of an unknown spool of filament or recyclable waste

Is there any way to test what kind your filament is? There are no labels on the spools and I don't know whether they are ABS or PLA. I got the plastic with the printer, which is no longer sold (...
10
votes
3answers
4k views

Conversion of 3 mm ABS filament to 1.75 mm

I have a few kg of 3 mm filament when I only have use for 1.75 mm. How can I make 1.75 mm from 3 mm filament?
10
votes
3answers
8k views

Why does my PLA filament form a spiral shape and clog my extruder?

I'm using brand new PLA filament and am getting frequent clogs in my extruder. I've had this problem with 2 different filaments from 2 different vendors. It will be print just fine, then clog up. ...
10
votes
2answers
11k views

What type filament should I use to produce stamps?

My wife wants me to use an FFM 3d printer to make custom stamps for her to use on paper (scrap books, letters, etc.). She is convinced, however, that they will be too rigid to make good stamps. A ...
9
votes
4answers
5k views

Filament isn't going into the Bowden tube, instead it goes "into the room"

The pictures explain my problem. I have already tried to reduce the retraction but that showed no effect. Thank you for your help. The effect is a total stop of the print (no material is extruded). ...
9
votes
3answers
481 views

Scalable 3D Printer

Is there a definitive scalable 3D printer? I've seen examples of Chinese companies printing entire houses, and I'm curious as to printers / filaments that are intended (or at least able) be scaled ...
9
votes
3answers
442 views

Printing with colorfabb XT fails after several successful layers

I'm printing parts for a HEVO (HyperCube Evolution CoreXY), using Colorfabb XT filament. After several successful prints. I'm having a lot of failed prints. They start off pretty well but after ~15 ...
9
votes
2answers
23k views

Any fix for PLA prints getting more brittle over time?

I've been printing small quantities from a PLA filament spool on a Craftbot printer for about two months now. Recently the printed objects have been coming out very brittle. Some structures that ...
9
votes
2answers
5k views

Using the end of a spool

I've seen several Q&As on recycling and reusing plastic from failed prints, but what have you done with the last few meters of filament? I've been keeping the ends of PLA (or sections I needed to ...
9
votes
3answers
10k views

PETG Collecting on the Extruder

I have recently bought a spool of eSun PETG. So far I really like the filament. My only complaint is, I get lumps of charred filament deposited on my object. The slicer I used is Craft Ware and I have ...
9
votes
4answers
5k views

Keeping my filament spools from getting knotted?

This is something I've ignored for awhile, but it keeps cropping up, and occasionally, if the filament snags real good, it can mess up a great print half way through, etc. Basically I have my ...
9
votes
2answers
7k views

Wanhao Duplicator i3 ABS settings

I am looking to others who have successfully printed in ABS using a Wanhao Duplicator i3. I have tried and get a lot of warping and delamination. I tried putting a large box over the printer which ...
9
votes
2answers
3k views

Increased issues with filament grinding

I have a FlashForge CreatorX (MakerBot clone) that's been working fine for about 15 months. Int he past month, I started noticing "thin" layers in some of my ABS prints. I finally tracked the issue ...
9
votes
1answer
3k views

Can general purpose polystryene (not HIPS) be used for 3D printing?

High Impact PolyStyrene (HIPS) is a frequently used filament in 3D printing. It has been touted to have simular properties when printed to ABS and is especially useful for support structures (if the ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

M3D filament not extruding well (anymore)

I use OctoPrint on an Ubuntu system with a M3D printer. Midway through a recent print, the filament just stopped extruding although the motor-functions of the printer were proceeding fine. Since then,...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Why is PEEK filament so expensive?

High performance polymers are becoming available for specific applications. One of such materials is PEEK (PolyEther Ether Ketone), a thermoplastic polymer in the polyaryletherketone (PAEK) family. ...
8
votes
7answers
17k views

Constant under extrusion and filament grinding

I sadly have a big problem since a couple of weeks and I cant fix it myself. For over 20 prints, I had the same problems: At the start, everything goes well but at some point of time, my Creality CR-...
8
votes
1answer
4k views

PLA wood filament: a special treatment?

PLA wood has a beautiful natural texture that I wanted to try. But when I used it in my second print, it clogged the nozzle (solved). I know this filament is composed of 70 % PLA and 30 % recycled ...
8
votes
1answer
4k views

POM filament not sticking to the build plate?

In the creation of the process of printing my own bearings to reduce noise, minimize play/tolerances and size the bearings to the actual size of the application, I obtained a spool of Polyoxymethylene ...
8
votes
5answers
11k views

How to connect filament end-to-end?

Is it possible to connect two pieces of 1.75 mm filament end to end, with no change in width? I am asking the question because I am interested in creating a multi-filament feeder to a single extruder, ...
8
votes
1answer
986 views

Is there any reason *not* to use a steel nozzle for printing all materials?

I know that for printing some materials like the carbon-fiber filled PLA it's recommenced to use a steel nozzle since it'll wear-out a standard brass nozzle quickly. Is there any reason to prefer ...
8
votes
1answer
2k views

How to print a two color part with only one extruder

I'm planning my first project. I want to print an iPhone case with a flush letter on the back, but I want the letter in a different color (single extruder printer). The thing is the two colors will be ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Finding a shredder for my failed prints

I would love to re-use my failed prints by re-extruding the plastic to be used in the 3D printer once again. One thing that stands in my way is finding an effective way to shred the plastic into ...
8
votes
1answer
407 views

What makes a good PLA filament?

The quality of the filament is frequently mentioned either as the source of an issue but also as the solution to a problem. I know that the way you use,store and protect your filament will greatly ...
8
votes
1answer
2k views

What and how much does coloring in the filament affect in the print?

Are there general rules on how much a colored filament vs. vanilla filament affects the print results, what is affected and how those values should be changed in the slicer to achieve more similar ...
8
votes
3answers
601 views

Filament Guides Drag

Backstory I've had issues in the past with my drive gear "eating" my filament. It seemed that the filament quit extruding for one reason or another and the drive gear would slowly eat away at the ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Self-lubricating 3D printable materials for space

Materials used in space need to not outgas significantly An answer to this question: Would 3d-printed objects outgas in vacuum? referred to the NASA outgassing database which showed that ABS, PET, ...

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