How to Succeed When 3D Printing with PLA Filament
When it comes to 3D printing, there are so many things that you need to keep in mind. One of these is the material that you’re going to use. PLA material or PLA filament is one of the most popular options because it comes from green renewable sources. It’s great for the environment as you can recycle it so most people are using this material for fast prototyping. If you are using a resin 3D printer, it’s also a good choice.
Since PLA filament is an ideal material for 3D printing, you should understand how it’s used and how you can fully utilize its benefits. We listed down some of the tips that you can follow if you want to start 3D printing with PLA filament.
Tips When Printing PLA Filament with a Resin 3D Printer
Before you start printing, you need to know the strengths and weaknesses of a PLA filament. This will help you figure out how you can properly use it for printing. You need to know the possible issues so you can find a way to resolve them along the way. Here are some of the tips that can help you succeed with your 3D printing.
1. Proper Temperature Control
The temperature should always be controlled properly if you want to get the best results in your PLA material. You can start the temperature at around 195 degrees Celsius. This is the best starting point if you want to succeed with printing. After this, you can reduce or increase the temperature by 5-degree increments. You need to do this because you’re finding a way to create a balance between the quality of the print and the strength of the material.
Take note that there are some high-quality PLA materials that can be printed at a low temperature because the resin is purer and it doesn’t have a lot of contaminants. Learning to do this takes time so you will have to do some trial and error to get the result that you’re looking for. Since you already know the basics, you won’t have a hard time doing it.
2. Watch Out for Stringing (Extreme Temperature)
There are instances when the temperature becomes too high for the PLA material. It happens often and if you don’t find a way to resolve it, there is a chance that the final result will be flawed. Take note that you will surely waste a lot of PLA materials on your first few tries because proper temperature control is very hard to accomplish.
If the temperature gets too high, you will notice the extruder leaking PLA material, especially when it moves through the different areas while printing. If you see this happening, you need to decrease the temperature as soon as possible. However, don’t do it fast. Decrease the temperature in increments of 5 degrees for every step until the extruder is no longer leaking material.
3. Temperature Too Low
A temperature that is too low can cause the layers not to adhere to the previous layer. Again, this is a problem that is very common when you’re dealing with PLA filament. When this happens, you will notice that the surface looks and feels rough. Another thing is that the part will be weaker and you can easily pull it apart.
If you encounter this problem, you need to increase the printhead temperature by increments of five. Don’t increase the temperature too much on the get-go as the printing will become uneven. Do this until the printing already looks good and you noticed that the line segments are fixed. This will guarantee that the part you’re printing will be stronger when it’s done.
4. Lower Viscosity Level
PLA materials are a bit different from each other. This is why you need to handle every PLA material like it’s a different type. You cannot use the same settings as the others because there is a chance that the material has a lower level of viscosity. What does it imply?
If a PLA material has a lower viscosity level, the chance of leaking is higher even if the temperature is just right. Once you encounter this kind of problem, the best way to fix it is to increase the retraction by a few millimeters. The retraction distance can be changed in your 3D printing software.
This is a bit difficult to check unless the printing is done so make sure that you pay attention to the whole process.
5. Always Keep the PLA Filament Dry
You need to know how to properly handle the material. Always remember that the problem might start even before you begin the printing. It means that the material itself is already faulty from the get-go.
Your PLA material should always be stored in a cool and dark place. You can even place it in a sealed bag to make sure that it is always dry. Keeping it in the open will not be a good idea because of the moisture. Storing it properly can help preserve the quality of the material so you need to be very meticulous with the storage.
6. Do Your Research
Always do your research before you start your prototyping task. The PLA material is amazing and it offers a wide range of benefits for 3D printing, but you need to know exactly why it’s a great material. You need to know its strong points so you can take advantage of it and be wary of its weaknesses. If you can find the possible faults that may occur during the printing process, you can guarantee the success of 3D printing.
You can also check our article on the List of 10 Top Softwares for 3D Printing in 2021.
PLA filament is a popular option for 3D printing not only because of its good strength but also because of its low cost. If you’re in the process of prototyping, it’s not a good idea to use expensive materials so using a PLA filament will be a great option for your resin 3D printer. If you plan to use this for 3D printing, make sure that you follow the simple tips above.
If you need some assistance with 3D printing or you are looking for 3D printers for your project, we got everything you’re looking for.