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3d - Printworx

What filament next?

Started by ched999uk, Wednesday,December 04, 2019, 18:42:11

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So I don't do much printing and have only printed with PLA on my ender 3.
I was thinking about printing with something that's a bit stronger or flexible.
I only have standard extruder and original bowden cable.
Was thinking ABS, PETG or TPU?
Anyone know what's relatively easy to print and what's best for general stuff?


Bad Raven

It's a good question to which I suspect you'll get a variety of answers.

I have regularly used PLA, PETG and TPU (and the various other names for Flex).

PETG is from my experience considerably more prone to damp pickup and so failed prints, but keep it dry/warm and its OK. I now keep mine in the cupbaord base of an old writing desk unit which is against a radiator in a spare bedroom. 

My experience of the various flex filaments is that they are quite difficult, very prone to stringing, despite care over retraction, temp, etc, etc. You can see this in the commercial quad parts coming from mainstream manufacture, as even they often leave much to be desired.

Not tried ABS yet, some on way.
HobbyKing Fabrikator II Mini, 100x100x100. (a re-badged Malyan) - Modded with magnetic Flex Bed.
Original Prusa i3 Mk3 (All Black).
Anycubic Photon S  (Resin/UV).

Bad Raven

Quote from: ched999uk on Wednesday,December 04, 2019, 18:42:11 standard extruder and original bowden cable.

Flex generally does not like remote bowden feed, I have only used it on the i3 Mk3.
HobbyKing Fabrikator II Mini, 100x100x100. (a re-badged Malyan) - Modded with magnetic Flex Bed.
Original Prusa i3 Mk3 (All Black).
Anycubic Photon S  (Resin/UV).


Thursday,December 05, 2019, 09:03:05 #3 Last Edit: Friday,December 06, 2019, 22:52:14 by Gaza07
Maybe give Petg a try its inbetween PLA and ABS probably easier than ABS but a little more diffcult than PLA
ABS needs a higher bed temp and can be prone to warping if the printer isnt enclosed  ~~
Custom built delta with Flex3Drive Gen 4 / Duet Electronics 330mm build area
Custom built delta with Flex3Drive Gen 4 / Duet Electronics 180mm build area
AnyCubic 4max XY printer 210x210x300 build area
AnyCubic Kossel Mini 180x180x300 build area
Geetech A10M Dual Colour 220x220x260 build area
Kelant Orbeat D100 DLP/SLA

Multi-Rotor UK  YouTube  Thingiverse  3d-Printworx


PETG sounds easiest for my in experience.
Thanks gents.

Bad Raven

PETG uses a significantly higher temp for head and for bed than PLA.  One thing I quickly realised was that at the higher end of the bed range needed the uneven and often under reading heating on most beds can cause issues. I have a laser pointer temp measurer which I found very useful for spot checking the bed temp and adjusting for best "fit" to required temps.

I also found that the bed adhesion was too good if just used with the Prusa PEI. I got round this by using blue "masking" tape. HobbyKing sell wide sheets to minimise joins.

My reversible bed magnetic sheet now has PEI one side, and PEI covered with blue tape on the other. I can therefore flip it over without adjusting "Z" setting, very convenient.   
HobbyKing Fabrikator II Mini, 100x100x100. (a re-badged Malyan) - Modded with magnetic Flex Bed.
Original Prusa i3 Mk3 (All Black).
Anycubic Photon S  (Resin/UV).


ABS-X, no warping, no smell, lower temps than normal ABS (bed 85c hotend 205c) and it's stronger than PETG.
Makibox (sold)
i3 custom build (sold)
Smartcore (sold)
Kossel XL Duet3D based, with Flex3drive (working)
HEVO Hybrid (worlds slowest build)
Kossel Mini Duet3D based, with Flex3drive (working)
Geeetech A10M (sold)


at this point theres's probably not a material I havnt tried barring a handful of the more recent new takes on carbon fibre etc.

PLA's great stuff, by far the easiest and most forgiving material you can ever hope to print with and is usable in most any format (I often return to it for non supporting stuff)


IF all youve used is PLA then you'll have likely fell into the easily reassuring trend it gives you due to its minimalist requirements and aforementioned forgiving nature.

to place it in context, starting out with your printer using PLA is like being handed a puppy , great fun, often exciting, brings you hours of delight and can become very quickly familiar.

switching out to something even as mainstream as ABS....

someones just took your adorable puppy away and gave you a rabid Rottweiler with a really grumpy nature, big teeth and a rather alarming culinary preference of scrotum meat.

ok ok Im exaggerating a smidge there but at some point you'll probably feel that way.

In a nutshell pretty much everything other than PLA has alot more fiddly requirements to print but if Ive got to recommend a next step Id still likely point you toward ABS,Its probably as close to printing PLA as possible with the hardware you currently use for PLA being sufficient to also deal with the needs of ABS also (just remember to change your nozzle, youd be suprised how many dont then wonder why it blocks up with roasted PLA remnants)

once youve gotten to grips with the sometimes tricky and often tweek needy behaviour of ABS you'll have a good solid base from which to tackle most of the other more demanding materials. ~~
Geeetech Prusa i3 pro-B (ABS Workhorse)
Pultur Prusa (my own design)
Poltur XL (my own "MUST BE BIGGER" design)
Poltur XL v.2 (my own "MUST BE BIGGER STILL, MUST USE EXTRUSION" design)