Friday, 31 July 2015

Filament Review #6 - NinjaFlex SemiFlex Sapphire & Fire Red

NinjaFlex 1.75mm SemiFlex Sapphire & Fire Red 


Filament was sent as part of Global FSD filament sampler program. Available from Global FSD here, the filament can also be purchased direct from Fenner Drives/NinjaFlex here


So on to my next 2 filaments samples from Global FSD and the sampler program. Again if you missed my recent blog update check out it out here blog update, where I talk about what's coming up on 3D Printing Reviews.

So having selected 2 NinjaFlex SemiFlex filaments in my first sampler batch I decided I would review both filaments together before reviewing the other flexible filament I ordered.

Here's what Fenner Drives, the manufacture has to say about SemiFlex.

"SemiFlex 3D Filament! Just like the original NinjaFlex 3D Filament, SemiFlex material boasts flexibility, strength and reliability for your 3D printing projects and is slightly more rigid to expand your printing possibilities." 

Right, this is one of those new exotic filaments that you just have to try, even if you don't have a project in mind that would use it. When you first get the filament is looks just like any other filament, more like the translucent filaments out there. But the big difference is it's flexible, as soon as you pick it up you can tell it's not like PLA or ABS, you can even tie it in knots!!

Here's a chart from NinjaFlex showing the main differences between NinjaFlex and SemiFlex.


The SemiFlex samples I received came in 10 meter lengths and it zip lock bags with a silica pack inside to stop them absorbing moisture, with NinjaFlex branding.



If you purchase a spool it comes as a .50 kg open spool and at a cost of around £40, making it an expensive filament but if you have an idea for a unique strong flexible print this is the filament your looking for. Take a look at some of the examples on the NinjaFlex website.

Lets take a closer look at the two filaments.




As you can see the colour of the filament is bold and consistent, it's actually a bit darker than the pictures show as you'll see in the prints.

SemiFlex is available in Fire, Sapphire, Snow and Midnight. (NinjaFlex is available in Fire, Snow, Sapphire, Midnight, Sun, Grass, Water (semi-transparent), Flamingo, Lava, Gold, and Silver.)

So onto printing, and as this is a flexible filament and something I haven't printed with before I went and took a look at the NinjaFlex website for some guidance with the printing, it's is recommended to print with a temperature of 210-225°C, you can print on a non-heated bed and they suggest a print speed of 30mm/s and to adjust your retraction settings.

Using Cura 15.02.1 to do the slicing and as always I'm printing the popular 3DBenchy model available from Thingiverse. Below are the setting I used for this 3D Benchy.

Nozzle size: 0.4mm
Extruder temp: 210°C (Sapphire) 205°C (Fire Red)
Bed temp: 25°C (Blue painters tape) *This was a new piece of tape, wiped with Isopropyl Alcohol, I find this give really good adhesion for my prints.
Layer height: 0.1905mm 
Shell Thickness: 1.2mm
Top/Bottom layers: 3
Infill: 15%
Cooling: Enabled
Retraction: Disabled (Sapphire) Enabled (Fire Red) Speed: 15mm/s Distance: 3mm
Support: None
Flow: 100%
Print speeds: 
  • Print: 30mm/s
  • Bottom layer: 25mm/s
  • Top/Bottom: 30mm/s
  • Travel: 180mm/s
  • Infill: 30mm/s
And here's how it came out.





For my first flexible prints they came out OK, a few issues with both prints, the front of the boat on both prints didn't come out great and you can see that retraction makes a difference. But they came off the build plate great and they are indeed flexible, I believe the original Ninjaflex is more flexible.

As you can see I printed the filaments at different temps to see if I could get a better front to the boat and although you can't see it in the picture the Fire Red filament did print a slightly better at 205°C.

To end my review of the NinjaFlex SemiFlex filaments I'm going to look at the pros and cons of using this filament.

Pros

  • Development, Another fantastic new type of filament 3D printing is getting really exciting, and these specialist filaments are really interesting.
  • Colour, The prints came out in the same bold colours, that the filament has.
  • Possibilities, This kind of filament opens up the possibilities hugely from prosthetics to phone cases. 

Cons

  • Difficulty, although my prints came out OK, I did have problems with feeding the filament into the hot end after having printed with PLA before hand, I think this could cause some problems. And I'm not sure how well larger prints would come out.
  • Extruder Jams, I didn't have this problem because I used a Printrbot NinjaFlex Pilot Upgrade (More about this in my next filament review), but I've read of people having problems with the filament jamming in the extruder.
So overall I'm going to give the NinjaFlex SemiFlex filaments a 8/10 rating, And would recommend both NinjaFlex for their filament and Global FSD for the massive range of filaments just waiting to be tried. All the samples that I test are fed into a filament database which you can view on the Global FSD website by clicking here.

Thanks for reading and until next time, keep printing.



James.


NEXT FILAMENT BEING REVIEWED WILL BE..... 

Polymakr White Polyflex





If any of my readers have some suggestions on ways to achieve better results with prints or on the format of my review please comment below, I'll gladly try out your suggestions.

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Filament Review #5 - RepRapper Tech Copper PLA

RepRapper Tech 1.75mm Copper PLA


Filament was sent as part of Global FSD filament sampler program. Available from Global FSD here, the filament is a new product from RepRapper Tech and can be found here


So on to my next filament sample from Global FSD and the sampler program. Again if you missed my recent blog update check out it out here blog update, where I talk about what's coming up on 3D Printing Reviews.

So having decided to move on to the metal based filament with the previous review, today it was time to review the other metal based filament I selected from Global FSD the RepRapper Tech Copper PLA, details about this filament are available on the RepRapper Tech website and again are just basic printer setting, filament weight etc. But as I said before I found out via a web search that the Copper filament is made up of a 30% metal powder to 70% pure PLA mix, that articular is here if you wish to have a read. Interestingly ColorFabb Copperfil I believe has a 20% PLA to 80% Copper mix, and some of the pictures I've seen of polished/treated prints in that filament look amazing. I definitely want to try some of that.

But back to RepRapper Tech's Copper PLA, again this sample from Global FSD also came in a 10 meter length and was in a vacuum sealed pack with silica sachet inside, with just a small label to identify the filament that had been purchased.



As with the Brass PLA purchasing the filament from RepRapper Tech gets you an Eco spool and is sold by weight, in this case 250g. According to the RepRapper Tech website this will also be vacuum packed and individually boxed.

Taking a look at the filament, It has a nice Copper looking colour to it, in it's raw state and after you print with it, It does have a Copper appearance and slight Copper smell too.



So if you've read my last review (And why wouldn't you) you would have read that I found the Brass PLA to be very brittle and the suggested temperature range on 190 - 230°C to high which resulted in a few problems printing with the RepRapper Tech Brass PLA, mainly down to the temperature setting and what I suspected to be under extrusion. Taking this into account I made a few changes to my printer setting for this specific filament as well as some other settings just to test a few things.

Using Cura 15.02.1 to do the slicing and as always I'm printing the popular 3DBenchy model available from Thingiverse. Below are the setting I used for this 3D Benchy, with a few notes as to why I changed them from my last review.

Nozzle size: 0.4mm
Extruder temp: 190°C  *I had good results with the temperature when testing the Brass PLA.
Bed temp: 25°C (Blue painters tape) *This was a new piece of tape, wiped with Isopropyl Alcohol, I find this give really good adhesion for my prints.
Layer height: 0.254mm *To reduce print time, this doesn't seem to affect quality. 
Shell Thickness: 1.2mm *Increasing the shell thickness stops the infill lines from showing.
Top/Bottom layers: 2 *I got good layers, so felt I could reduce this but may go back to 3 layers later?
Infill: 15%
Cooling: Enabled
Retraction: Disabled
Support: None
Flow: 102% *This fixed my under extrusion problems :-).
Print speeds: 
  • Print: 35mm/s
  • Bottom layer: 25mm/s
  • Top/Bottom: 50mm/s
  • Travel: 180mm/s
  • Infill: 38mm/s
And here's how it came out.






I'm really happy with how this came out, and the fact that I learnt something from past prints to get a good result here feels like I'm making progress with my understanding of 3D Printing. As you can see I should have kept with the 3 top/bottom layers and perhaps kept retraction on and I would have had a really really good print but I take that information and improve my next print.

To end my review of the RepRapper Tech Copper PLA I'm going to look at the pros and cons of the filament,

Pros

  • Development, It's a new kind of filament the way 3D printing Is going is really exciting, and these specialist filaments are really interesting.
  • Colour, The print came out great in terms of matching the colour of Copper.

Cons

  • Difficulty, although I had a better print here than with the Brass PLA if you were coming in with no experience I think this could cause some problems and as I said before, I think this type of filament is only suitable for a small amount of prints and small prints in size.  
So overall I'm going to give the RepRapper Tech PLA a 9/10 rating, And would recommend both RepRapper Tech for their filament and Global FSD for the massive range of filaments just waiting to be tried. All the samples that I test are fed into a filament database which you can view on the Global FSD website by clicking here.

Thanks for reading and until next time, keep printing.



James.


NEXT FILAMENT BEING REVIEWED WILL BE..... 

NinjaFlex Sapphire & Fire Red SemiFlex 





If any of my readers have some suggestions on ways to achieve better results with prints or on the format of my review please comment below, I'll gladly try out your suggestions.

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Filament Review #4 - RepRapper Tech Brass PLA

RepRapper Tech 1.75mm Brass PLA


Filament was sent as part of Global FSD filament sampler program. Available from Global FSD here, the filament is a new product from RepRapper Tech and can be found here


So on to my next filament sample from Global FSD and the sampler program. If your not sure what I'm talking about check out my recent blog update where I talk about what coming up on 3D Printing Reviews.

I decided to move on to the metal based filament with this review and randomly picked up the RepRapper Tech Brass PLA, details about this filament are thin on the ground the information on the RepRapper Tech website are just basic printer setting, filament weight etc. Nothing really about the Brass proprieties of the filament, RepRapper Tech also produce a Copper, Aluminium and Bronze filament and while looking for information about the Brass filament I found out that the Copper and Aluminium filament are made up of a 30% metal powder to 70% pure PLA so I'm going to go ahead assume the same for the Brass PLA filament.

So this sample from Global FSD comes in a 10 meter length and is in a vacuum sealed pack with silica sachet inside, with just a small label to identify the filament you've purchased and that's all you get.



Purchasing the filament from RepRapper Tech comes on an Eco spool and is sold by weight, in this case 250g net. According to the information available this will also be vacuum packed and individually boxed.

On to a closer look at the filament, It has a natural Brass looking colour to it, in it's raw state and once you make a successful print (My first attempt didn't go well) It does have a nice shine to it just like Brass.



As I was printing with this filament I sent out a tweet describing it in one word and that word was... CHALLENGING, It seemed to solidify very quickly and was really brittle, my first attempt ended very badly, the suggested printing temp range of 190 - 230°C seems high in my experience and my first print of 220°C was just a mess, the filament came out almost like liquid and solidified in blobs, then the hot end would hit these blobs and break them off, the infill just collapsed because of it.

Having decided to scrap that print I cancelled it via OctoPrint and tried to remove it from the bed, and it just broke in to a million bits (OK that may be an overstatement) It was very brittle and just fell to bits when I tried to remove it from the blue painters tape. 

But I tweaked a few things and used the below setting for my final print, again as always I'm printing the popular 3DBenchy model available from Thingiverse.

Nozzle size: 0.4mm
Extruder temp: 190°C
Bed temp: 70°C (Kapton tape)
Layer height: 0.1905mm
Shell Thickness: 0.8mm
Top/Bottom layers: 3
Infill: 15%
Cooling: Enabled
Retraction: Enabled
Support: None
Print speeds: 
  • Print: 35mm/s
  • Bottom layer: 25mm/s
  • Top/Bottom: 50mm/s
  • Travel: 180mm/s
  • Infill: 38mm/s
And here's how it came out.



So, it came out all right think, looks like I could have increased the flow rate a touch maybe? but other than that I'm very happy with the print. The picture doesn't really show the shiny aspect of the filament but it is there. When it came to removing the print from the Kapton tape I just let it cool right down and it came off quite easily.

To end my review of the RepRapper Tech Brass PLA I'm going to look at the pros and cons of the filament,

Pros

  • IT'S METAL BASED FILAMENT!!!, I love the way 3D printing Is going, and these exotic filaments are great to play with, I've got some wood based ones coming up.
  • Colour, The print came out great in terms of matching the colour of Brass, and would work great for things like small jewellery prints. 

Cons

  • Difficulty, this wasn't an easy filament to print with and I don't think it's suitable for most prints. I think small items would work well however.  
So overall I'm going to give the RepRapper Tech PLA a 8/10 rating, And would recommend both RepRapper Tech for their filament and Global FSD for the massive range of filaments just waiting to be tried. All the samples that get tested are fed into a filament database which you can view on the Global FSD website by clicking here.

Thanks for reading and until next time, keep printing.



James.

NEXT FILAMENT BEING REVIEWED WILL BE..... 

RepRapper Tech Copper PLA





If any of my readers have some suggestions on ways to achieve better results with prints or on the format of my review please comment below, I'll gladly try out your suggestions.

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Filament Review #3 - Faberdashery Cyber Yellow PLA

Faberdashery 1.75mm Cyber Yellow PLA


Filament was sent as part of Global FSD filament sampler program. Available from Global FSD here and from Faberdashery direct here.


So this is the first of my Global FSD samples since being accepted as a filament sampler. If your not sure what I'm talking about check out my recent blog update where I talk about what coming up on 3D Printing Reviews. I opted to start with the Faberdashery PLA because the other filaments I have ready to sample require some adjust to my printer to review, but I'll talking about that when I review them.

So this sample from Global FSD comes in a 15m length and a Faberdashery branded cellophane pack, which gives you some handy info including the colour (including Pantone code), description, length, filament care info & temperature info.

I'm guessing this is how filament purchased directly from Faberdashery is sent out as they sell by the meter (with a minimum of 10 meters up to 90 meters, then available as 100 meter coil) rather than weight (although they do sell some filaments on a 750g spool) like a lot of filament sellers, great if you want small quantities of a number of colours. Might be useful for those with dual extruder's out there.



WOW that's yellow for sure, I love these vibrant colours it opens up the possibilities for cool interesting and fun prints, kids will love getting 3D prints in colours like these I'm sure.

OK so lets get printing, as always I'm printing the popular 3DBenchy model available from Thingiverse.

I used the following setting for the print:


Nozzle size: 0.4mm
Extruder temp: 190°C
Bed temp: 25°C (Blue printers tape)
Layer height: 0.1905mm
Shell Thickness: 0.8mm
Top/Bottom layers: 3
Infill: 15%
Cooling: Enabled
Retraction: Enabled
Support: None
Print speeds: 
  • Print: 45mm/s
  • Bottom layer: 25mm/s
  • Top/Bottom: 60mm/s
  • Travel: 180mm/s
  • Infill: 38mm/s
And here's how it came out.



So, it came out OK, looks like I had a slight wobble near the top on the wheel house, but other than that I'm very happy with the print. I had made a few adjustments to my printer & slicer setting recently and seen improvements, I think possible a increase in extruder temperature would have helped here as well as a increase in speed.

In fact that poses a question, would a faster speed help when printing vertical towers, like the those on the 3DBenchy wheel house or in fact would a slower speed help? On one hand if you print faster you spend less time printing each tower but you'll return quicker perhaps before the filament has had time to cool and if you print slower you spend more time away from each vertical but more time and there for more heat on each one? Maybe a test is in order, and I'll update this post when I do.

To end my review of the Faberdashery Cyber Yellow I'm going to look at the pros and cons of the filament,

Pros

  • Ordering by the meter, personally I think this is great I currently have 2 spool of filament I using which are Christmas Green PLA and Galaxy Blue ABS I don't want everything I print in Green & Blue but that's what I purchased and I feel I need to use it. But If I wanted to print one item in say Red that I knew needed no more than 15 meter of filament I could order just that amount.
  • Colour, the colour of this filament is amazing so bright and vibrant and Faberdashery have loads of colours that are just as amazing to choose from.
  • No need for a heated bed, I used blue painters tape and didn't have any problems. 

Cons

  • Packaging, although I liked the fact the in was very informative the packaging is not air tight and no silica sachet was included. I guess as it's a small amount Faberdashery don't expect you to be keeping it around long enough for it to go bad, so I can forgive this small issue.
So overall I'm going to give the Faberdashery Cyber Yellow PLA a 9/10 rating. And would recommend both Faberdashery for there filament and Global FSD for the massive range of filaments just waiting to be tried. All the samples that get tested are fed into a filament database which you can view on the Global FSD website by clicking here.

Thanks for reading and until next time, keep printing.



James.

NEXT FILAMENT BEING REVIEWED WILL BE..... 

Reprapper Tech Brass PLA





If any of my readers have some suggestions on ways to achieve better results with prints or on the format of my review please comment below, I'll gladly try out your suggestions.

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Blog Update #1

Hello readers,

Today, is just a quick blog update to keep you all informed of what's been happening behind the scenes at 3D Printing Reviews.

New Filaments = New Reviews


So firstly, the exciting news that I have been given the opportunity to become a filament sampler for GlobalFSD.com. They work in association with 3D filaprint to offer their customers the chance to try some of the latest and greatest filaments from around the world.

They supply 5 & 10 meter lengths of filament to try out and experiment with, before you jump in and a purchase a larger amount. They currently have 100's of filaments to try ranging from PLA or ABS filaments to flexible filaments, colour changing filaments, support material filaments and even carbon fiber reinforced ABS and others.

So what does this mean for 3D Printing Reviews, well it means I'm going to have a lot of filaments to reviews :-). It also means you be seeing regular content, which I hope you will all find very useful with your own 3D printing. All my sampling and that of the other Global FSD samplers is fed into a database which you can find here, you can find all the filaments that have been sampled so far and the setting there were used as well as a picture of the 3D Benchy produced by the filament in question.

Speaking of which, I am going to be making a change to the setting I use for my reviews to keep in line with those already used for the database, this isn't a massive change in fact the only consistent setting I created for my reviews I'm changing is the Infill %.

So these sampler reviews will start as soon as I receive my 8 selected samples, the first 8 filaments I have selected are.

  • Reprapper Tech Brass PLA
  • Reprapper Tesh Copper PLA
  • Faberdashery Cyber Yellow PLA
  • Ninjaflex Sapphire Semiflex
  • Ninjaflex Fire Red Semiflex
  • Polymakr White Polyflex
  • ColorFabb Woodfill
  • Fillamentum Rosewood Timberfill
These should arrive in the next day or so and I hope to have the first was sampled over the weekend. So what this space and check out all the links above for some great filaments and info.

Going Wireless


I've also been busy with the way I print and the technology I'm using to do it, in fact as I'm writing this I'm printing over my WiFi network via a Raspberry Pi and OctoPrint and so far so good. 

I hope to also get a camera hooked up and start producing timelapse videos of my 3D prints and I may even start streaming my 3D Printing too.

2 Heads Are Better Than 1


That's right dual printing is coming to 3D Printing reviews. My Printrbot Metal Plus came with only the 1 extruder but before Printrbot stop producing the dual extruder upgrade I managed to purchase one, the kit includes everything I need for dual extruder printing and once I have the time I'mm be installing in on my Metal Plus.

This will mean I can make cool dual colour printing and with the use of support material filament I can produce some of the more complex prints available on Thingiverse.



Well that's all for this update but I'm really excited for what's coming. Until next time keep printing everyone.

James.



Friday, 10 July 2015

3D Model Review #1 - Printrbot Metal Plus Bearing Spool Holder

Printrbot Metal Plus Bearing Spool Holder by Phil Thomas

This 3D model was created by Phil Thomas and I downloaded it from Thingiverse, here is Phil's about page on Thingiverse & the spool holders thing page is here.

I haven't looked in detail but there must be 1000's of spool holders on Thingiverse and I've printed a few of them including another specifically for the Printrbot Metal Plus which I like but requires extra hardware and sits in the top rails of the Metal Plus which I felt could scratch the metal powder coating.

This spool holder however uses the existing screws on the top on the Metal Plus where the Z axis lead screws meet the top frame of the printer see below.



 Here's the details Phil posted about the spool holder on Thingiverse.

This spool holder sits on top of the Printrbot Metal Plus and is fastened in place using 4 pre-existing screws.
 I've made 2 variations with varying amounts of adjustability.
Large adjustment - spool widths 49mm to 66mm and 72mm to 89mm.
Small adjustment spool widths 53mm to 61mm and 72mm to 89mm.
(89mm is standard Printrbot filament spool size, 61mm is standard for Protoparadigm filament spool size)
 This spool holder requires 4x 608 bearings. These bearings are common in skateboarding and are easy to find. I prefer sealed versions but I'm sure that shielded ones would work fine too. Google 608-2RS or 608-ZZ. eBay and Amazon have them for good prices.
 Print using supports (of course).
 As you can see Phil made not only 2 versions of his spool holder but they are adjustable too, and as someone who owns filament on multiple sized spools I was glad to see someone had taken the time to think about that in their design.

So I have printed the Large adjustment size which takes care of the spools I'm currently using (RepRapper tech straw spool, see my filament reviews for more details) which measures 45mm wide and interestingly 52mm wide so another aspect of the ECO spool to dislike, they are not the same size!!.

But back to this excellent 3D model, I decided to print it out in RepRapper Tech ABS as I don't print a lot in ABS, and I think I know why, lol. It took 5 attempts to get it right, all my fault I have to say mostly bed adhesion problems which were fixed by purple glue stick ;-) and then 1 attempt I forgot to add support material :-P.

OK so my print setting were as follows;

ABS print setting:

Nozzle size: 0.4mm
Extruder temp: 240°C
Bed temp: 85°C (Kapton tape & glue stick)
Layer height: 0.1984mm
Shell Thickness: 0.8mm
Top/Bottom layers: 3
Infill: 20%
Support: Everywhere
Cooling: Off
Print speeds: 
  • Print: 48mm/s
  • Bottom layer: 25mm/s
  • Top/Bottom: 60mm/s
  • Travel: 180mm/s


 As you will see if you have read my filament reviews, I have made a few changes to my non-model specific setting, such as speed, steps per mm, nozzle off set, etc. And I'm happy with how this came out, the support material came off really clean. As a result the 608zz bearing fit without any problems, in fact all parts of the model came out great the screws fit really well and hold the holder nice a secularly on the printer.






So It's printed now it was time to test it, so I printed another one ready for my dual extruder upgrade. (Coming to the blog in a few weeks)

I will use the same setting as before except this time I'm printing in RepRapper Tech PLA, so of course we need to change a few setting. See below.

PLA print setting:

Nozzle size: 0.4mm
Extruder temp: 200°C
Bed temp: 24°C (Room temp) (Kapton tape & glue stick)
Layer height: 0.1984mm
Shell Thickness: 0.8mm
Top/Bottom layers: 3
Infill: 20%
Support: Everywhere
Cooling: On
Print speeds: 
  • Print: 48mm/s
  • Bottom layer: 25mm/s
  • Top/Bottom: 60mm/s
  • Travel: 180mm/s



And It turned out great once again, although I made an error yet again, I didn't mirror the model in Cura so It doesn't look quite right on the top of the Printrbot but it still works just the same.

And the one I made in ABS worked great, I was a bit worried that the large RepRapper Tech spool would tip over but it didn't and it actually looked stable for the entire print, including the rapid movement part of the print.




So overall I'm going to rate this 3D model by Phil Thomas 9/10, check out the Printrbot Metal Plus Bearing Spool Holder by Phil Thomas here.


Until my next review keep printing and as always If any of my readers have some suggestions on ways to achieve better results with prints or on the format of my reviews please comment below, I'll gladly try out your suggestions.

Friday, 3 July 2015

Filament Review #2 - RepRapper Tech Christmas Green PLA

RepRapper Tech Ltd 1.75mm Christmas Green PLA

Filament was purchased from 3dfilaprint.com, link to the filaments page Christmas Green PLA.


So this isn't the 
first PLA I have purchased from 3DFilaPrint, my now retired first 3D printer (Printrbot LC) also got used regularly with their PLA. My LC used 3mm filament, where my new 3D printer a Printrbot Metal Plus uses 1.75mm.

First thing 
I'm going to talk about in today's review is money, this spool of 1Kg cost me £16.95 delivered which is a great price for filament and even better when you consider according to 3DFilaPrint's website there is 325 meters on the spool. I've seen filament for sale at over £20 for a length of only 100 meters and £30 for a 750g spool (around 240 meters). 

I should say at this point however I have never tried these higher priced filaments, so I can't say whether they are worth the extra money, because honestly I can't find a reason to pay more.... At the moment.

OK so on with the review.

No need for pictures here as the filament is also supplied on a ECO spool as the last filament I reviewed. Being curious about the spool I took a look on the RepRapper Tech website and they say this about there spool.

"Straw based high tier spool, eco friendly"

"Straw spool which more environmental friendly and nice appearance. We are the only one with this spool over the world."

So that explains the oddity of the spool, it's colour particularly. However I would still rather a standard spool be developed and adopted by all filament manufactures and this spool for me is just a little to big.

OK moving on and as before the filament came in a RepRapper Tech branded box, vacuum packed in clear plastic and included the resealable bag and silica sachet.

Right lets have a look at the filament then, It has as the name suggests a green colour and a deep green it is and is uniform throughout the spool, as you can see from the below pictures.



And as before I've printed the popular 3DBenchy be CreativeTools and this will be constant with all my reviews to better show the differences in filaments and also printer settings.

The settings used for the RepRapper Tech Ltd 1.75mm Christmas Green PLA were as follows.

Nozzle size: 0.4mm
Extruder temp: 210°C
Bed temp: 23°C (Room temp) (Blue printers tape)
Layer height: 0.1984mm
Shell Thickness: 0.8mm
Top/Bottom layers: 3
Infill: 10%
Print speeds: 
  • Print: 45mm/s
  • Bottom layer: 35mm/s
  • Top/Bottom: 40mm/s
  • Travel: 70mm/s
These are the setting listed on 3dbenchy.com and again will be consistent throughout my reviews with some except, where the reviewed filament requires changes.

This is just one of the many PLA prints I have done since owning my 3D printer, and just one of the prints I have made with this PLA and I'm really happy with the filament it. But it appears I need to tweak my printer setting a bit as I'm not getting the results I would like, but that's the joy on 3D printing it seems constant refinement.










As you can see from the above pictures we have good points and bad about this print, so let's look at the good first.

Good points


  • It appear this PLA filament didn't have a problem with the 10% infill as I can't see any gaps in the top layers as I did with the ABS, I think the cooling fan I had enabled with this print may have helped with this?
  • Another good point is just he ease of PLA printing, no need for a heated bed or special bed surface.


And now the bad points, which I do believe is more to with my print/printer setting than the filament itself.

Bad points

  • OK so first the support material was a bit difficult to remove, this could be for a few reason I think including printing temp, support setting and also just the print itself it's small and hard to get into the wheel house to remove material.
  • Next I'm not happy with the Z axis I feel this is causing ugly prints and requires some investigation.
  • And lastly the top of the 3DBenchy, the chimney part isn't great which I believe is a print temp and print speed issue.

So I'm going to do a few test prints with different setting both for the print and printer as well as ask a few questions in the many 3D printing forums on the Internet and I report back in a separate post.

To end this review I'm going to look at the pros and cons of the filament,

Pros

  • Price, at the time of writing this review a 1kg spool of Christmas Green PLA is only £16.95, and as I talked about earlier this is a great price compared with other PLA filament available.
  • Colour, the colour of this filament is deep and consistent throughout.
  • No need for a heated bed, most of the entry level printers available today don't come with heated beds as it just adds to cost and complexity. 

Cons

  • Spool, *As this is the same spool as my last review I'm just going to copy and paste my view from before* The size and shape of this spool could cause you some trouble if your printer use a recess to house the filament or if you use a spool holder that can't close up small enough. * I will just add that my spool of Christmas Green PLA doesn't seem to have been wound very well as it's coming off one sided and has a few large loops of filament sticking out.
So overall I'm going to give the RepRapper Tech Ltd 1.75mm Christmas Green PLA a 8/10 rating.

Thanks for reading and until next time, keep printing.


James.




If any of my readers have some suggestions on ways to achieve better results with prints or on the format of my review please comment below, I'll gladly try out your suggestions.