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45

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 ...


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 ...


28

There are a few options. Machines are available which grind the used plastic into fine pieces, melt it down, and extrude it as filament to be reused. Filabot is perhaps the most well known. Depending on where you live the local recycling programs may accept PLA or ABS. They will then shred it and melt it down for reuse. PLA is bio-degradable so you can put ...


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 ...


20

PLA is a nice one, and gluing has been a topic on some of our most favorite maker's channels. For example Stefan from CNC kitchen (this video) and Joel the 3DPrinting Nerd (this video). Here some information from them together with my own experiences. Most of these glues are not exactly PLA specific by the way and work for many other materials too. Be ...


19

There are three reasons (I can think of): A large problem you'd face with allowing the bed to cool after first layer is you stand the chance of losing adhesion after it cools. When you heat the bed, it expands somewhat. When it cools it contracts. It has been known for parts to actually pop off the bed if left on there to cool (after a print). If you allow ...


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.


16

Stringing is often a result of too-high a temperature, or insufficient retraction. When there is highly liquid filament in the nozzle tip, it can adhere to the remainder of the print while dripping as the nozzle moves, leading to a thin string of the filament forming. As further travel moves are performed in each layer, this turns to a web. The high ...


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 ...


16

No, PLA cannot be used in cars standing in the sun. Temperatures can locally get over 50 °C (122 °F). I have printed sun visor hinge pins from PLA for a car (not exposed to direct sunlight either), but after one day in the sun (it usually doesn't get over 29 °C or about 85 ˚F here too) the pin deformed (only printed it for ...


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 ...


13

A quick blast from a heat gun will very slightly reflow the surface texture and eliminate white marks. However, it's important to avoid over-heating the perimeter layers or you'll see them soften and sag into the infill. So wait for the heat gun to get fully hot and then use a short duration of high heat. Let the part cool between attempts if you don't get ...


13

3D Matter has published an excellent article on the subject. They find that thicker layers result in a stronger part, with 0.3mm layers giving a part that is around 24% stronger than the same part printed with 0.1mm layers. One small issue with this study is that it did not look at the effects of temperature. Raising the temperature generally results in ...


12

I printed a handle for a rather big rolling door in natural PLA (From Fabberparts) - no UV protection. It's on the weather side of the house and is exposed to direct sun half the day. And after three years cycling to all the German seasons it's still absolutely fine. Also, Wikipedia told me that PLA has good UV resistance - so you should be fine IMHO. Here ...


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

You are probably pretty safe printing PLA Regarding emissions, the following recent report, Emissions of Ultrafine Particles and Volatile Organic Compounds from Commercially Available Desktop Three-Dimensional Printers with Multiple Filaments, indicates that PLA is a pretty low emitter (1/20th of nylon) and most of what it out-gasses is Lactide which is low ...


11

There are several things you could try without spending much but even PLA will warp on an unheated bed. I had a Legacy Kossel that I switched to an acrylic bed and had many issues with warping and prints pulling off the bed. Some cheap things to try would be... Adding a brim to the print. Blue painters tape on the acrylic, remove the other material if ...


11

Fire is the most obvious risk - firmware can now detect some of the more obvious failure modes such as a detached thermistor, but loose or failing connections can still overheat. A smoke alarm is a fairly obvious (but not necessarily effective) protective measure. The risk from particulates in particular is probably low, but marginal health risks like this ...


11

If you use the OctoPrint print manager, you can exclude regions to be printed using the Exclude Region plugin. The description states that it can be used to rescue partially-failed prints: The intent of this plugin is to provide a means to salvage multi-part prints where one (or more) of the parts has broken loose from the build plate or has otherwise ...


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

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. ...


9

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....


9

Here's just a few of the things you might want to look into. plastic - some plastic types are more stringy than others and there's also variation between brands and colors. moisture in filament - water turning to steam tends to cause the extruder to ooze when it isn't printing, which can cause stringing. temperature - too hot or too cold can cause ...


9

It will be very difficult to find a recycling facility that will accept your 3D prints, because they're mainly set up to handle packaging material (which constitutes the vast majority of plastic waste) such as bottles. If you sent your 3D prints to your municipal recycling programme they would at best sort it out from the packaging material and incinerate it,...


9

This is an ugly question, and an ugly answer. Nail polish doesn't come with an ingredient list. Nor are there MSDS's available to refer to what solvents are in it. So it's "unknown 1" Most every filament company will not give you a list of compounds for colorants or plasticizers used. MSDS is off the table. So, even though we do know what PLA and ABS is ...


9

Don't Panic! First of all, a printhead caked in PLA is usually not a death sentence, it is often a temporary setback. Let's start in steps! Step 1: remove the extruder We want to work on the hotend, so we remove the extruder feed first. For direct drive, we unload it, then remove it depending on your printer, so the cooling of the hotend remains. For a ...


8

Humidity may be the problem. Humidity tends to degrade filament, making it weaker. If you leave a coil of filament out, over time it will be exposed to humidity. I have yet to hear of this happening over a short period of time - the real threat comes if you leave it out for weeks or months - but it can happen nonetheless. Contamination with other materials ...


8

PLA absorbs moisture, so keeping the filament dry is a key factor. Aside from that, PLA is naturally more brittle than other plastics like ABS and Nylon Sorry, tried to find a graph to prove it, but couldn't find one. There's a good Google Group discussion and many other resources that go over good storage habits, but as for fixing the existing filament. ...


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