48

PLA parts can be finished with a coat of epoxy like XTC-3D from Smooth-On. This will smooth out the part and give it a pretty nice shine. I've also had a fair amount of success sanding prints, giving them a coat of automotive filler primer, and using glossy spray paint. You can also get great results with an acetone vapor finish if you're willing to switch ...


30

There's no appreciable difference. Just use the filament that fits your particular printer. If you don't yet have a printer, then I'd get one that uses 1.75 mm filament: 1.75 mm is increasingly becoming the "standard", thus being easier to get. Some filaments are not available as 3 mm. 1.75 mm filament allows for finer control, because ...


29

Acetone vaporing is a great way to smooth ABS prints. For PLA, however, acetone smoothing does not work. An article about smoothing PLA says: This is a pity, since PLA is much easier to work with than ABS. We found some solutions for smoothing PLA, but most involve rather dangerous-sounding chemicals such as Tetrahydrofuran and Dichloromethane. The one ...


28

Paraphrasing this site. Feel free to add suggestions in the form of comments and I will try to incorporate them. Summary ABS: Stronger, machinable, more flexible, and more temperature resistant than PLA. Typically printed on a heated bed. Warping is a common problem when printing ABS. PLA: Wider range of filaments available, easier and in some cases faster ...


24

The easiest way to freshen up filament is hot air, although there are other options. There is an optimal melt processing moisture level for every plastic, typically in the range of 0.1-0.2% water content by weight. But the equilibrium moisture content of most plastics in humid air can be more like 1%. As a consequence, hot air dehydration is standard ...


22

When you slice an STL of a heat tower, you need to tell the slicer that you need a different temperature at a certain level and maintain that new temperature until another change is requested. The way I usually do it is by using a post processing script in Ulltimaker Cura, but you can do it yourself quite easily by changing the G-code file manually. To get ...


18

This is not a good idea. Both filaments have different melting points, that of ABS being much higher than that of PLA. To melt the ABS you have to heat the plastic to the point where the PLA starts to degrade.


18

Normal PLA is non-conductive. You can take an $\Omega$-meter to a test part if you're really concerned somehow you have some PLA that is conductive. There is a caveat that your color may include metal flake or graphite of some kind. Depending on the density it may be conductive. But I've tested my silver on hand and it gave me infinite resistance.


17

There are a few factors to consider those two: 3 mm More rigid - easier to print with flexible plastics. I couldn't make my 1.75 mm printer print with NinjaFlex using standard Bowden extruder. Can extrude faster Quality is less affected by changes in diameter - it is a concern mostly when using cheap plastics 1.75 mm More popular, easier to buy Needs ...


16

I generally agree with the points in masteusz's and Tom van der Zanden's answers, but I would add a bit more detail. Generally, the differences are minimal, however: Generally speaking, a 1.75 mm filament will make it easier to use a smaller nozzle diameter (<0.4 mm), allowing for more precise prints in some cases. 1.75 mm filament will ...


16

The "obvious" answer is re-grinding the prints and making more filament. Unfortunately, this isn't yet a very economical or simple operation. A decent filament extruder capable of holding acceptable diameter tolerances is around $1000, and even then they can be pretty fidgety to operate. You have to have a LOT of volume throughput in your filament extruder ...


15

It makes a difference where I live, and I'm not in a particularly humid climate (California). When printing with wet filament, you'll sometimes hear it popping and see steam coming out of the extruder (it's usually only this extreme with nylon). With most other filaments, when they're wet, the extruded filament will have small bubbles in it and the surface ...


14

If you'd like to print on RepRap like FDM printers, you cannot print from metal, but you can use some filament that tries to look like metal. I have good experience with Bronzefill, but there are plenty of others, just Google for metal filament 3d printing. Note that sometimes the parts need to be post-processed with a rock tumbler. There are several open ...


14

Typically an extruder and hot end are designed for one or the other, and cannot support the other without mechanical changes. The extruder may not be able to grip a smaller diameter filament with enough force to assure even feeding and retraction. The hot end, however, is much more complex. The filament has to be pushed with force into the melting zone, ...


14

This is typically caused by resistance in the tube or hotend but in your case it appears to be mostly caused by a very poorly designed extruder. The filament needs to be constrained closer to the drive gear. You may be able to drill out the PTC connector to allow the PTFE tube to reach closer to the gears or print a spacer to fit in between but you need to ...


13

I have never used ABS, because I have a young child at home and no ventilation system (just to be safe). I have however used PETG, a crystal clear brand competitively priced on AMA-ssive online retailer, I loved it and will probably only buy it in the future. Advantages Noted: There is no odor I could detect It is remarkably clear, like glass using a large ...


13

One big challenge with scaling anything up (or down), is that not all properties or characteristics scale linearly. Consider a trivial case: a small cube. If you double the size, you've quadrupled the surface area and octupled the weight. If you take a desktop-sized 3d printer design, and just double the size, it will weigh 8 times as much. But all the ...


12

PETG is great stuff to work with. It is stronger than ABS also. It prints slower than ABS and PLA. The formulas vary quite a bit from vendor to vendor. I have used 3 brands, and each of their properties vary. From my experience you do have to be careful with moisture. You'll be able to tell you have moisture in your filament if you start hearing a slight ...


12

PLA itself falls in the category of non-conductors, with a resistivity ($\rho=R\frac A l=\frac 1 \sigma$) in the order of $10^{16}\ \Omega \text m$ (see here), similar to other plastics. Following image gives an idea of the values of resistivity for usual conductors and isolators, insulating materials have resistivity greater than $10^9\ \Omega\text m$, ...


12

PLA and wood fibres = wood filament Most wood filamet consists of about 60-70 % PLA and 40-30 % wood fibres. This basically implies that PLA temperatures should be used. It can be printed with standard 0.4 mm nozzles, but it is adviced to be printed with a larger diameter nozzle. A larger nozzle will less likely to cause nozzles to clog (more area for the ...


11

I think (as do a lot of others) that the differences are rather minor. So just my 2 things I know from experience. We've been using 3 mm for some years and now we are moving towards 1.75. 1.75 mm filament is very easy to entangle, especially, if it is not on spool. You can even easily create knots on the filament and it is very hard to untangle. As long as ...


11

I just started with google and phrase "3d printing color mixing" and on the first place (in fact first two were valueless adverts) I got this Instructables - DIY Full Color Mixing 3D Printer. How it works? It uses magenta / cyan / yellow filaments and mixes it while printing with Diamond hotend. It definitely does what you are asking for and it's exactly ...


11

Heat the extruder up first, then remove the filament. You can remove the filament either by reversing the extruder using a command such as G1 E-100 F200, by using your printer's controls/LCD (if it has one) or simply pull the filament out by hand. To this end, most extruders have a lever that you can push to disengage the drive gear to make it easier to pull ...


11

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with any linked brand or company, I just link to them for reference of the suggested print settings. What is PLA? PLA is, by its definition PolyLacticAcid, a polymer of entwined lactic acids. It is commonly made from fermenting starch - not via Type I (alcohol) but Type II (lactic acid) fermentationuser77232, Wikipedia. ...


11

Great material but very hard to print as it does not stick easy to the build plate as it has a low friction coefficient to grip onto the heated bed. Also, the material sets quite fast, once the filament leaves the nozzle, it soon hardens so you need to be careful with retraction and Z-hop (leaving small peaks that will be hit later by the nozzle knocking ...


10

It takes quite an effort to make PLA shiny, and it's not as simple as ABS and acetone. You have to sand down the print with sandpaper with different grit sizes (start with grit P100, then P240, P400, P600, P1500 and P2000). To make the shining result you have to polish the print with plastic finish compound. Alternatively you can apply XTC-3D Print Coating....


10

Determine what properties you need the filament to have. There are a very wide variety of filaments because they all have somewhat different properties. You need to determine what properties you need your final print to possess. For instance, ABS can be smoothed used acetone and PLA is biodegradable. More exotic filaments could be conductive or be ...


10

The shape you get is quite easy to explain. It's the shape of the lowest energy possible in your situation. Simple but it doesn't explain the issue... or does it? It does. The filament cannot be put into the extruder as it becomes plugged. This leads us to some obvious explanations. You can read this post. So how is that possible that there is enough room ...


10

My assumptions about PEEK filament price are: Raw material is more expensive. Compare price of ABS with PEEK pellets. Demand is much lower. There are not many printers able to print peek. If you manufacture PEEK filament you have to store a filament batch for longer time. Manufacturer has to calculate into price storage space, material degradation, ... ...


9

The most obvious solution is to pause the print and swap filament for another color. Another option is to splice pieces of filament together, though this does not allow very precise control of when the switch happens. There is also a device that can automatically slice filament this way. Finally, another option that uses very little external equipment is ...


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