Saturday, 26 September 2015

Product Review #2 - BuildTak 3D Printing Surface

BuildTak 3D Printing Surface

Today's blog is another product review and after using a number of print surface solutions it's time to try the BuildTak sheet I purchased a few months ago. BuildTak sheets can be purchased direct from them here and are available in a number of different sizes to suit your printer.

So what is BuildTak?

  • BuildTak is an ideal 3D printing surface for FFF 3D printers. We believe it offers a superior alternative to using masking tape or heat resistant films (such as kapton) on your FFF 3D printer’s build plate. BuildTak is a proprietary, patent-pending composition that comes in pre-cut, specially textured plastic sheets that adhere to your build platform with its heat-resistant adhesive backing.

Why we think BuildTak is superior over masking tape and heat-resistant films?

  • If you have ever dealt with either masking tape or kapton, one of the more common features you will notice is that the BuildTak sheets are more rigid and therefore much easier to install or apply to the bare build plate and much less susceptible to air bubbles getting trapped beneath the surface.
  • BuildTak is found to be more durable in nature so it can be more effective in protecting the build plate and with proper use can significantly outlast the typical cycle time of either kapton or masking tape.
  • Generally does not require any special treatment or finessing (ie. the use of hair spray, acetone slurry, printing rafts, etc). Once you have the crucial step of setting nozzle height just right, BuildTak just works. Through our experience we find that 3D printed objects stay put on the build surface for the duration of your build with fewer chances of curling. When the builds are complete, we find that builds pop right off with significantly less prying than what you are probably used to using these other alternatives.
  • BuildTak works for both ABS and PLA, which means if you are using a printer that can print in either of these materials it is not necessary to change the surface between builds. Heated print beds are not a problem, BuildTak is composed of high quality raw materials and is designed to withstand the high temperatures of a typical FFF 3D printer (i.e. 110-125C heated print bed)
  • If/when you are ready to replace the BuildTak sheet, it comes off clean and easy in one piece, leaving no residue behind from the adhesive.



OK on with the review, I purchased a 254mm x 254mm sheet of BuildTak which is the perfect size for my Printrbot Metal Plus 3D printer so I didn't have to do any cutting of the sheet but if you need to cut yours a strong pair of scissors should work fine.

So lets take a look at what you get when you make a purchase, my BuildTak sheet came packed flat in a cardboard sleeve with a small information leaflet.



And here is the BuildTak sheet applied to my print bed, It's quite easy to apply just make sure your print bed is clean and take a little bit of time to make sure you remove any air bubbles as you go.



And I have to say it's working great, that is after you have adjusted your nozzle height, and here is a tip/word of warning SET IT HIGH TO START WITH. I made the mistake of setting what I thought was a good offset for my auto levelling sensor and well it wasn't :-(, which caused the nozzle to print to low and weld a PLA test cube to the BuildTak. I kicked myself when I did this as it was right in the center and now looks horrible, I've tried to remove it a best as I can and I have sanded the area to help with adhesion and it does still work, of course I can also move objects when I slice them to avoid this.

So here is the area that was affected by the low nozzle print and where it is located on the sheet as a whole.



So there it is, I'm not happy with making such a silly mistake but hopefully anybody reading this blog, who is planning on getting a BuildTak sheet wont make the same mistake.

OK not much more to say about this product other than I'm very happy with it, I love how it makes the printer look (all black theme) and it really does work very well.

I've found it works best with a heated bed but that's not to say you can't use it without, so far I've printed about 5hrs with it and apart from some HIPS (Which I have had no luck with) everything has stuck fine with no curling..

To end my review of the BuildTak Printing Surface I'm going to look at the pros and cons of using this product.

Pros
  • Product life, So far I'm about 5hrs in to my BuildTak sheet and after each print I wipe the sheet with Isopropyl Alcohol to clean it. The suggested life of a sheet is at least 50hrs of printing and some users have reported up 200hrs. 
  • Easy of use, It's easy to apply BuildTak, just make sure the bed is clean and watch for air bubbles. Once it's down make sure you set a correct nozzle height and your good to go. 
  • Cost, BuildTak comes in 16 different sizes and packs of 1, 5, 10 or 25 sheets. Cost for 1 sheet ranges from €2.80 to €31.44 (£2.07 to £23.19) with P&P to the UK at a flat €10 (£7.37).

Cons
  • Sheet damage, Maybe not a con of the product more user error but if you damage your BuildTak sheet either as a result of a mistake with nozzle height or even when removing a print you may not be able to use that area of the BuildTak and depending on you build area that could be costly.
So overall I would recommend the BuildTak Printing Surface, I'm going to continue using BuildTak will post back and finding I make long term.

For those located in the UK you can also purchase a selection of BuildTak sheets from 3DFilaPrint here. Or from an eBay seller which I used here.

Thanks for reading and until next time, keep printing.


James

NEXT ON 3D FILAMENT REVIEWS..... 


EUMAKERS 1.75mm 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, 20 September 2015

Filament Review #15 - Floreon 3D PLA

Floreon 3D 1.75mm PLA


Today I'm going to review the filament I'm currently using in my 3D printed Guardians Of The Galaxy themed project which I started in my last blog post here.

I was lucky enough to win the filament in a Twitter contest that Floreon 3D were running, the prize consisted of over £100 worth of filament.

So in my last blog post I spoke a little about Floreon 3D, so this review is going to focus on the printing with Floreon 3D filament. The colour of filament I was sent was randomly selected from the 6 colours available those being Black, Sky Blue, Daffodil Yellow, White, Fire Red & Springtime Green. I was sent Black, White, Sky Blue & Springtime Green.

The filament has a matt finish to it on the spool and the colour is uniform through out the filament I've used so far. The filament is sold as 1kg spools, with the spools measuring approximately 200 x 70mm with a 52mm spindle hole.

Included with the filament was a small leaflet summarising the features of Floreon's PLA filament.

So let take a look at some pictures of the filament.







So as I said you can see the Floreon 3D PLA has a clean matt appearance, this is same on all the spools I have.

As I stated in my last blog post Floreon 3D filament is available from Amazon on their store found here. At the time of writing a 1kg spool of their filament cost £34.99 with a free delivery option.

Right let getting printing with the filament.

As always I used Cura to do the slicing and as normal I'm printing the popular 3DBenchy model available from Thingiverse.

Below are the setting I used for this 3D Benchy's.

Nozzle size: 0.4mm
Extruder temp: 200°C
Bed temp: 23°C (Blue painters tape)
Layer height: 0.1905mm
Shell Thickness: 0.8mm
Top/Bottom layers: 4
Infill: 15%
Cooling: Enabled
Retraction: Disabled (Speed: 60mm/s Distance: 1.5mm)
Support: None
Flow: 100%

Print speeds:

  • Print: 60mm/s
  • Bottom layer: 20mm/s
  • Top/Bottom: 45mm/s
  • Travel: 100mm/s
  • Infill: 45mm/s

And here's how it came out








I'm happy with how the Floreon 3D filament printed and the colour is very nice (I've printed with all the filament Floreon 3D sent me, not just the black shown here).

There are a few issues I ran into with the filament however these are down to my set-up and when I get my next 3D printer, the NFire 1 from NFire Labs (More details on this soon) I will compare the print results. It's mainly a printing and cooling issue, the recommended printing temperature is 230°C which is high for PLA and while testing the filament printing many many 3D Benchy's I found high temperature caused ugly bows of the 3D Benchy prints, I've printed Floreon 3D filament as low as 195°C with not problems and it also produces a cleaner bow to the 3D Benchy.

The other issue of cooling is down to the design of my Printrbot Metal Plus, for small prints the cooling just doesn't cut it, and I'm on the look out for a solution.

But like I said other than these issues the prints I've made with Floreon 3D filament have come out great both in colour and filament quality. 

*From now on this will be how I end my reviews as I didn't feel the rating system worked, As the filament I'm reviewing is good quality and the rating where never less than 7 and the lower rating were because of difficulty with printing and not a fault with the filament, however I do stand by the ratings I have given up to now.

  • 3D Printing Development, Floreon 3D have bought to the market a filament which claims to be 4x tougher and smoother to print with than regular PLA. As well as being manufactured in the UK, it is produced from PLA from sustainable sources.
  • Possibilities, As this filament as all the benefits of PLA the possibilities are endless. However with Floreon 3D PLA be tougher it could be used for far more.
  • Cost, for £34.99 for a 1kg spool Floreon 3D filament is slightly more expensive than other PLA but still represents good value for money.

Overall I would say Floreon 3D PLA filament is good for all 3D printer uses as there are no special setting required nor any changes to you hardware. It prints well at a variety of temperatures and has little to no smell whilst printing.

So once again thank you to Floreon 3D for sending me some of their filament and I look forward to using it again soon.

Thanks for reading and until next time, keep printing.



James.


NEXT ON 3D FILAMENT REVIEWS..... 


BuildTak Printing Surface product review.



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.

Saturday, 12 September 2015

3D Printed Project #1 - Star-Lord's Element Gun (Part 1)

Star-Lord's Element Gun (Part 1)


So this is the first real 3D printed project I've started and deciding what to print was hard. In the end I picked Star-Lord's Element Gun from Guardians of the galaxy. This model was created by Kirby Downey (This and his other models can be found here) and is downloaded from My Mini Factory, he also has a Facebook page here.

This 3D printed project is going to be printed with Floreon 3D filament. I was lucky enough to win a selection of Floreon 3D filament in a recent twitter give-away they were holding.

So first I'd like to talk about the filament I'll be using for this project, it is produced by Floreon-Transforming Packaging Limited or just Floreon 3D, it comes in only 1.75mm at the moment and is available in 6 colours (Black, Sky Blue, Daffodil Yellow, White, Fire Red & Springtime Green) and can be purchased from Amazon in a 1kg spool here, but what makes this different to another PLA? Well is are a few quotes from the Floreon website to explain.

What is Floreon?

"Floreon, the number one performing bioplastic.

Floreon is a specially formulated compound, which is added to standard bioplastic polylactic acid (PLA) to create an innovative material with a sustainable origin and a range of end of life options. 
It was created from a desire for a greener, safer form of plastic. Unhappy with the options available we decided to develop our own.

After four years and a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) with the University of Sheffield a unique, environmentally friendly, fully compostable and high performing bioplastic was born."

Floreon v Standard PLA

"Standard PLA users are faced with a few issues that reduce features in certain application, whereas Floreon can help overcome these issues.

For example when Floreon is added to PLA the resulting material has an excellent balance of toughness and rigidity and can achieve excellent gloss and transparency.

Floreon sheets have also been used for lithographic printing and did not degrade during the printing process when exposed to UV light, which has arisen as an issue with PLA. 

The additives in Floreon are easily dispersed with the base material when added as a master batch, or can be supplied as a finished compound. They are carefully specified biopolymers which are complementary to PLA, they are completely safe and do not compromise the biodegradability or food contact suitability of PLA."

Why choose Floreon?

"Floreon is an additive technology which changes various aspects, without impacting on the things that make PLA special in the first place. Read more about what make Floreon so great...

Sustainable
One of the main aims for Floreon was to create a greener more environmentally friendly plastic.
Floreon is produced using a sustainable, renewable source and has been proven to reduce greenhouse gases during various processes. The end of life options have also been increase meaning that the aim has been achieved, without comprising the environmental credentials of this plastic.

Low energy manufacture
Another benefit of Floreon is that is requires far less energy to process compared to rival products.
Typically other plastics need temperatures of 280-300 degrees centigrade during the manufacturing compared to the much lower 160 degrees centigrade, required by Floreon.

Recycling
Floreon is fully recyclable and biodegradable. It can be mechanically recycled, a common technique used for other plastics such as PET.
Another possibility with PLA and Floreon is feedstock recovery where it is converted back to the starting material (lactic acid)which can then be purified and used to make virgin polymer again.

End of life
Unlike other plastics and PLA’s Floreon has a few end of life options including being recycled, disposed of by industrial composting or being used for energy or feedstock recovery. PET can only be recycled, recovered or put into landfill which is where most standard plastics eventually ends up.
These options give this ground breaking product a 100% sustainable circle of life.

High Performance
Floreon boosts the performance of standard PLA, including better toughness, higher strength and durability. There are 6 different grades of Floreon available; each grade has been optimised for different applications and processes.

In-house testing has showed Floreon can enhance the toughness of PLA significantly. For example cast sheet specimens of PLA and Floreon were produced using a sheet extruder at a thickness of 750 microns and the Floreon compounded samples had four times higher impact resistance. Floreon sheet material was also easier to extrude at lower temperatures relative to uncompounded PLA.
Independent testing of Floreon by Smithers Rapra also showed that injection molded samples of Floreon were almost twice as tough as PET (notched Izod test).

The performance of Floreon is comparable to (if not better than) competing plastics and the well-rounded performance window of the material opens up a wider range of applications for this ground breaking material. Floreon has been designed for 'through life' performance but with a sustainable origin and a range of end of life options.

Tests of Floreon sheet material have shown it to be stable for UV (lithographic) printing and one of the first applications we have investigated is the printed sheet market.
Floreon is completely safe for food contact and the material has passed independent food contact testing by Smithers-Rapra."

OK so enough talk about the filament, let's talk Guardians of the galaxy and Element Gun's. I love the film and Peter Quill/Star-Lord is my favourite character. Now I should say at the this point I'm not a cosplayer nor a artist so this may not be done movie accurate in terms of paint it's just something cool to show my friends and have on my desk.

So here's the video on Kirby's My Mini Factory page, showing off the Element Gun.




On the same page is details of how to print the parts of the Element Gun, but I made a few tweaks to those setting and these are the setting I will be using.

Nozzle size: 0.4mm
Extruder temp: 210°C
Bed temp: 60°C (Kapton tape with 3 layers of 3D-EEZ)
Layer height: 0.1905mm
Shell Thickness: 0.8mm
Top/Bottom layers: 4
Infill: 20-25%
Cooling: Enabled
Retraction: Enabled (Speed: 60mm/s Distance: 1.5mm)
Support: Enabled (Everywhere)
Platform Adhesion: Enabled (Raft)
Flow: 100%

Print speeds:
  • Print: 80mm/s
  • Bottom layer: 20mm/s
  • Top/Bottom: 45mm/s
  • Travel: 150mm/s
  • Infill: 65mm/s
So to end the first part of the Element Gun project, here a time-lapse of some of the printing and some photos to.




So that's it for this part, in the next part I will have all the parts printed and we'll look at cleaning them up and the process of joining them together.

Thanks for reading, and until next time.


James.

NEXT TIME ON 3D FILAMENT REVIEWS..... 


Floreon 3D 1.75mm PLA Filament Review



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.

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Filament Review #14 - FormFutura EasyFil HIPS

FormFutura 1.75mm EasyFil HIPS


The filament being sampled today is from a batch of filaments sent as part of Global FSD filament sampler program. This filament is available from Global FSD here, or it can be purchased directly from FormFutura here.

Today's filament is from another manufacture I haven't used before FormFutura with their EasyFil HIPS (High Impact Polystyrene), and they also provide a lot of information on their website which is great you can check them out here. The information available include recommended printing and build plate temperature as well as tips for build plate adhesion and when to remove your prints.

Hear's how FormFutura describes EasyFil HIPS.

FormFutura EasyFil HIPS:

"EasyFil™ HIPS is a is thermoplastic polymer filament known as High Impact PolyStyrene, which is especially designed for 3D printing PolyStyrene objects. EasyFil™ HIPS distinguishes itself from “normal” HIPS filaments by being slightly softer and more flexible – in combination with very limited warping, having an excellent thermal stability and 3D print flowing behaviour – resulting in a truly “easy to print” HIPS 3D printer filament and a true asset to our EasyFil™ filament range. 
With EasyFil™ HIPS you will be able to 3D print PolyStyrene objects with fine detail in a beautiful matt coloured finish.

EasyFil™ HIPS 3D printed parts are very lightweight and can very easily be glued together  with a variety of adhesives, such as HIPS styrene glues, epoxy based adhesives, superglues and also with contact adhesives. These specific characteristics of EasyFil™ HIPS, make our EasyFil™ HIPS an ideal filament for applications like model building, or for gluing modular prints.
PolyStyrene is a thermoplastic which is very chemically inert, being resistant to acids and bases. Because of its resilience and inertness, PolyStyrene is one of the most widely used thermoplastic polymers in the world. PolyStyrene is for instance extensively being used in the food packaging industry, but also for the production of e.g. disposable plastic cutlery/dinnerware and CD/DVD jewel cases.
EasyFil™ HIPS has outstanding characteristics with respect to hygiene, strength and heat resistance and it prints really smoothly. 3D printed objects with EasyFil™ HIPS can be sanded, primed and if needed painted with acrylic afterwards. By giving your EasyFil™ HIPS printed object an acetone vapor smoothing treatment you will be able to create a really smooth and shiny surface. Your FFF/FDM 3D printed object will almost look like an injection moulded model.

EasyFil™ HIPS has an excellent roundness and very tight diameter tolerances, which makes this filament a perfect match with all common desktop 3D printers. Printing with EasyFil™ HIPS 3D printer filament will go very smoothly with basically all FFF/FDM technology based desktop 3D printers"

Here's the setting FormFutura recommend for printing EasyFil HIPS. These are the same for which ever colour EasyFil HIPS you are using. EasyFil HIPS is available in the following colours Black, White, Grey, Dark Blue and or course Red.

"EasyFil™ HIPS is available in various vivid colours and prints best at approximately 235°C. It is recommended to set your heated print bed temperature at approximately 90-110°C."

I ended up trying very hard to get this filament to work for me and in the end used different temperatures than those recommended but more on that later, for now lets take a look at the filament.



As you can see the FormFutura EasyFil HIPS has a love clean matt red appearance, the is the same throughout the length provided to me.

This filament is again available in a 5 meter or 10 meter sample from Global FSD and is available in either 1.75mm or 2.85mm sizes for a cost of between £1.45 - £3.60 + P&P.

The filament can also be purchased directly from FormFutura for £33.08 delivered for both 1.75mm and 2.85mm

As always I used Cura to do the slicing and as normal I'm printing the popular 3DBenchy model available from Thingiverse.

Below are the setting I used for these 3D Benchy's.

Nozzle size: 0.4mm
Extruder temp: 245°C
Bed temp: 80°C (Kapton tape, 3 layers of 3D-EEZ and 1 layer glue stick (I had problems :-p))
Layer height: 0.1905mm
Shell Thickness: 0.8mm
Top/Bottom layers: 3
Infill: 15%
Cooling: Disabled
Retraction: Enabled (Speed: 60mm/s Distance: 1.5mm)
Support: None
Flow: 100%

Print speeds:

  • Print: 80mm/s
  • Bottom layer: 15mm/s
  • Top/Bottom: 45mm/s
  • Travel: 250mm/s
  • Infill: 50mm/s

And here's how it came out.





As you can see I had a few problems, It's probably my lack of experience when it comes to HIPS but it just didn't look right when it was being extruded like it wasn't melting so I upped the extrusion temperature it didn't seem to make a difference and may be why the front of the 3D Benchy looks like it does.

Also for some reason 3 layers wasn't enough to give good top layers to the desk or roof. Perhaps it was because I had cooling off?

And my other major problem was print adhesion, It took 3 layers of 3D-EEZ, a layer of glue stick and a lower Z axis off set to smooch the first layer down for it to stick. without this it just kept curling up and popping off the build plate.

To end my review of the FormFutura EasyFil HIPS filament I'm going to summarise a few points I've noted down whilst using the filament.

*From now on this will be how I end my reviews as I didn't feel the rating system worked, As the filament I'm reviewing is good quality and the rating where never less than 7 and the lower rating were because of difficulty with printing and not a fault with the filament, however I do stand by the ratings I have given up to now.


  • 3D Printing Development, FormFutura and others are supplying this type of filament and I believe it's pushed a lot by Lulzbot.
  • Possibilities, I believe HIPS can also be used as a support material with ABS as it dissolves in limonene as this doesn't hurt ABS.
  • Cost, For less than £5 you can buy a 10 meter sample, which as long as you don't have the problems I did is plenty for most projects. You can also get a larger amount direct from FormFutura for less than £35.

So overall I would say give EasyFil HIPS from FormFutura a go if you have a project that requires it, but from my limited exposure of it, it's a lot of work to get good results. Maybe my set up is wrong and I haven't used it correctly. If any of my readers have used EasyFil HIPS you could post in the comments below any tips you may have and would help both me and other readers.

Having said the above I would however still also recommend FormFutura as the filament itself looks good quality and their website is very informative and they also produce PLA and ABS as well as many speciality filaments.

I was also recommend people check out 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 viewed on the Global FSD website by clicking here.

Thanks for reading and until next time, keep printing.



James.


NEXT ON 3D FILAMENT REVIEWS..... 


PVA by Orbi-Tech - (If I can get it to work on my printer... Click here*Edit* Well after many attempts I could not get this to work so.

NEXT ON 3D FILAMENT REVIEWS..... 


3D Printing Reviews Project #1 - ???





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.

Saturday, 5 September 2015

Filament Review #13 - taulman3D T-Glase PETT

taulman3D 1.75mm T-Glase PETT - Black & Clear filament


The filament being sampled today is from a batch of filaments sent as part of Global FSD filament sampler program. This filament is available from Global FSD here, the filament can also be purchased from 3DFilaPrint in a 1lb spool here or it can be purchased directly from taulman3D here.

Today's review is my first experience of taulman3D, and I have to say in my research for this review I found the information provided by taulman to be excellent their website has loads of really useful information, include recommended print setting, pictures of prints made with their filaments and filament specs.

So lets take a look at some of the information available for the T-Glase.

The main features of t-glase:

  •  Strength - Specifications on the strength of t-glase will be posted as soon as the data is returned from the test labs.  We have started using a local test lab along with the lab's at a few universities to accumulate data.  The process involves printing several "test bars"  These are bars printed at 5" x .5" x .25".  The setup for printing these is 1 perimeter and 100% solid layers.
  • Temperature -  Optimum temperature is about 235c to 240C, but will print down to 212C and up to about 248C. (NOTE: An early misprint had t-glase printing at 212C and should have been 232C to 238C)
  • NOTE: A feature of t-glase was to select a polymer that easily sticks to heated acrylic and glass print tables for the smoothest bottom surface possible.  While t-glase meets this requirement, it results in a low glass transition temperature.  The effects of a low TG is that parts printed in t-glase, should not be exposed to high temperature use or applications.  The measured TG of t-glase is 78C.
  • FDA approved – t-glase is specifically made of FDA approved polymers for direct food contact/containers.  This includes cups and other liquid storage parts as well as utensils.  We are working with the chemical company to provide you with FDA related documentation so you may sell your printed parts that meet FDA requirements.  These documents will be posted below when available.
  • Environmental - While t-glase is not biodegradable like PLA, it is a material that’s considered 100% reclaimable.  Thus the new “struders” that convert failed prints back to usable line work perfectly with t-glase.  If you have a “struder”, you can actually mix in 12% of the total weight in discarded clear water bottles.  Please keep in mind, that the polymer used in most water bottles, has a slightly higher melt temp and that adding them to the mix, may increase print temp a few degrees.
  • Clarity – t-glase is considered colorless per industrial classifications.  t-glase is considered "water clear" as it will not degrade to a color in multiple layters of applied thickness.   t-glase’s clarity supports industry’s requirements for non-destructive evaluation of 3D Printed parts.
  • Shrinkage -  Very low shrinkage makes printing large flat surfaces a breeze.  And it easily prints to acrylic, glass, Kapton and other platforms.
  • Bridging -  Those of us that have printed with acrylics and poly carbonates are always envious of their bridging capabilities due to glass temperature.  And the new t-glase is very impressive at bridging.
  • Fumes - Unlike some lines, there are no odors or fumes when 3D Printing with t-glase.  
There is also a large amount of information regarding getting the best "Optical Properties" for your prints.

Now lets take a look at the "best print setting" taulman3D recommend.

The below setting are for all the T-Glase colours available (Clear, Red, Green, Blue, Black & White)
  • Print temp = 238C - 245C
  • Nozzle = any size
  • Print speed = ABS speeds - slower for high detailed prints
  • Retraction = .5mm/.1mm nozzle or for a .5mm nozzle = 2.5mm
  • Print bed = Hot = Glass heated to 45C with coat of PVA NOTE:  It is best "NOT" to let the bed cool to ambient, but only down to 35C in end of g-code. This will reduce glass breakage.
Having seen these recommended setting, I also did some searching on internet forums for the views of people who have actually printed with T-Glase, and that lead me to use the setting I did which you'll find later in the review. But it's great to find a filament manufacture with the amount of information of their website like taulman3D have.

OK on to looking at the filament.






As you can see the taulman3D T-Glase is a translucent filament meaning it allows light, but not detailed shapes, to pass through. Although with the correct setting and suitable 3D model you could print something very clear indeed.

This filament is again available in a 5 meter or 10 meter sample from Global FSD and is available in either 1.75mm or 3.0mm sizes for a cost of between £1.65 - £5.95 + P&P and it is available from 3DFilaPrint as a 1lb spool for £27.00 in both 1.75 & 3.00mm with free delivery. 

The filament can also be purchased directly from taulman3D for £42.20 delivered.

As always I used Cura to do the slicing and as always I'm printing the popular 3DBenchy model available from Thingiverse.

Below are the setting I used for these 3D Benchy's.

Nozzle size: 0.4mm
Extruder temp: 230°C
Bed temp: 60°C (Blue painters tape)
Layer height: 0.1905mm 
Shell Thickness: 0.8mm
Top/Bottom layers: 3
Infill: 15%
Cooling: Enabled
Retraction: Enabled Speed: 60mm/s Distance: 1.5mm
Support: None
Flow: 100%
Print speeds: 
  • Print: 50mm/s
  • Bottom layer: 20mm/s
  • Top/Bottom: 20mm/s
  • Travel: 250mm/s
  • Infill: 20mm/s
And here's how it came out.



As you can see the prints came out good but that wasn't the story to start with, as I said earlier I read a few posts on different forums suggesting the best way to print T-Glase, this included slow speed and high temps. My first attempt at using the filament resulted in an extruder blockage as well as the print lifting for the build plate. So after a few tweaks I ended up with some good results but I had to print hot and change my build plate covering as well as try something new with my printer. I had tried printing ABS in the past but would always get curling, I'd read that having an enclosure was a must to keep the heat in but I don't have the equipment nor space for that so, I put my printing in a bag. That's right I place a large clear plastic bag over my print it worked great, when I need to print ABS again I'll try my bag method again and see if it helps.

To end my review of the taulman3D T-Glase PETT filaments I'm going to summarise a few points I've noted down whilst using the filament. Again there isn't anything between 2 of the same filament so my thoughts are the same for both of them. 

*From now on this will be how I end my reviews as I didn't feel the rating system worked, As the filament I'm reviewing is good quality and the rating where never less than 7 and the lower rating were because of difficulty with printing and not a fault with the filament, however I do stand by the ratings I have given up to now.

  • 3D Printing Development, taulman3D put a lot into their filament development and this is great news for printers like me.
  • Possibilities, Being able to produce see through prints or just the Clear T-Glase to make light pipes is an excellent feature of T-Glase.
  • Cost, For less than £7 you can buy a 10 meter sample, which is plenty for most projects and if you want to print something bigger you can get a 1lb spool for only £27.00, while this is a little more than PLA or ABS, it has features that make the extra cost worth it i.e. food safe, stronger, and will not degrade.

So overall I would recommend the taulman3D T-Glase PETT filament, although I would say this does require a bit more experience then standard PLA so if you've only just got your 3D printer hold off of this filament until your happy changing slicer setting and printing at high temperatures and putting a bag over your printer. 

I would however still also recommend taulman3D for their other filaments 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 viewed on the Global FSD website by clicking here.

Thanks for reading and until next time, keep printing.



James.


NEXT ON 3D FILAMENT REVIEWS..... 


EasyFil HIPS by FormFutura





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.

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Filament Review #12 - RepRapper Tech Glow-In-The-Dark PLA

RepRapper Tech 1.75mm Glow-In-The-Dark PLA - Dark Green & Dark Blue



The filament being sampled today is from a batch of filaments sent as part of Global FSD filament sampler program. This filament is available from Global FSD here, the filament can also be purchased from 3DFilaPrint In a 1kg spool of both colours here & here and the Dark Green is available direct from RepRapper Tech here.

Today I am sampling some Glow-In-The-Dark filaments, (Remember those little stars you had on your bedroom ceiling when you were a child, no just me then, lol). Well now you can recreate those stars or anything you can 3D print in Glow-In-The-Dark filament from RepRapper Tech.

I'm currently recalibrating my printer after fitting the dual extruder's, so I have the printer connected directly to my PC so no time lapse videos for the next few reviews. But you'll find pictures below of this cool filament.

So unlike the UV filament I reviewed last time, there is some info regarding this filament on the RepRapper Tech website here. This website lists a recommend printing temperature and that's about it for printing settings, there are a few tips for better printing however. I've found lately that printing temperature is a printer by printer variable and so a bit of trial and error is needed to find the temperature that works for you, for me PLA prints best around 195-200°C & ABS around 230°C.

So let's take a look at the filaments.






So you can see that the Glow-In-The-Dark - Dark Green filament doesn't really have much of a colour cast to it and that shows through in the finished print, and of course the Dark Blue is blue filament raw and printed.

This filament is again available in a 5 meter or 10 meter sample from Global FSD and is available in either 1.75mm or 3.0mm sizes for a cost of between £1.45 - £4.50 + P&P and it is available from 3DFilaPrint as a 1kg spool for £19.75 in both 1.75 & 3.00mm with free delivery. 

The Dark Green is available direct from RepRapper Tech for £27.69 delivered.

As always I used Cura to do the slicing and as always I'm printing the popular 3DBenchy model available from Thingiverse.

Below are the setting I used for these 3D Benchy's.

Nozzle size: 0.4mm
Extruder temp: 195°C
Bed temp: 25°C (Kapton with 3 layers of 3D-EEZ (See my last blog post for a review))
Layer height: 0.1905mm 
Shell Thickness: 0.8mm & 1.2mm
Top/Bottom layers: 3
Infill: 15%
Cooling: Enabled
Retraction: Enabled Speed: 60mm/s Distance: 1.5mm
Support: None
Flow: 100%
Print speeds: 
  • Print: 48mm/s
  • Bottom layer: 30mm/s
  • Top/Bottom: 50mm/s
  • Travel: 160mm/s
  • Infill: 38mm/s
And here's how it came out.






As you can see the prints came out good (still in the process of calibrating my printer) and the Glow-In-The-Dark colour effect is really cool.

To end my review of the RepRapper Tech Glow-In-The-Dark PLA filaments I'm going to summarise a few points I've noted down whilst using the filament. There isn't anything between 2 of the same filament so my thoughts are the same for both of them. From now on this will be how I end my reviews as I didn't feel the rating system worked, As the filament I'm reviewing is good quality and the rating where never less than 7 and the lower rating were because of difficulty with printing and not a fault with the filament, however I do stand by the ratings I have given up to now. 
  • 3D Printing Development, another new filament that's not just your normal plastic, 3D printing is becoming more and more exciting, and these specialist filaments are really interesting.
  • Possibilities, This new filament opens up the possibilities for fun and unusual prints.
  • Cost, For less than £6 you can buy a 10 meter sample, which is plenty for most projects and if you want to print something bigger you can get a 1kg spool for only £19.75.
So overall I would recommend the RepRapper Tech Glow-In-The-Dark filaments for all users of 3D printers, as it's easy to print with and doesn't required any hardware changes and a normal PLA profile will do for the slicing and I would also recommend RepRapper Tech for their other filaments 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 viewed on the Global FSD website by clicking here.

Thanks for reading and until next time, keep printing.



James.


NEXT ON 3D FILAMENT REVIEWS..... 

Taulman 3D T-Glase filament




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.