FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How much filament will I need for my print?

A: It depends on what you are printing.

Many variables affect the answer:

  • Size of the object
  • Amount of infill
  • Amount of supports (if needed)
  • Bed additions (raft, skirt, brim)

Your slicer program will be your best friend here.  Whether you use Cura, Slic3r, Ideamaker, Prusaslicer, Simplify3d, or another program, it should give you a material amount after you slice your object.  This amount is usually displayed as grams, and as 1kg is 1000 grams, you can easily figure out how many parts you can get out of a roll.

Alternatively, want to know if what you have left on a used spool will be enough to complete your next print?  Simply weigh your used spools and subtract the spool tare weight (see below) to get your remaining filament weight.

320 grams spool tare for 500g and 1kg spools

970 grams spool tare for 5lb and 10lb spools

 

Q: How long does it take to print my part in 3D?

A:  As with the answer above, it all depends on what and how you are printing.

Filament usage and time to print go hand in hand, for the most part.  Extruding hot plastic takes time.  The more filament extruded, the more time it takes to print.

Some things you can do to lower your time and filament usage:

  • Lower infill percentage (less strength)
  • Increase layer height (less quality)
  • Orient the part to use less or no support.
  • Increase your print speed (less quality)

Quality and speed are often a tradeoff.  Printing quicker will not produce part that look as good as they could.  Prints that look great will not print as quick as they can.

 

Q: Why won’t the plastic extrude properly?

A: Check your print settings.

3D printing is still an art. In the not-too-distant future, we will have 3D printers that will be much like an inkjet printer.  Click print and walk away.  But until then, tweaking your printer and materials is necessary.
Many things can affect your extrusion.

  • Extruder temperature – look at the material website to make sure you are printing in the temp ranges suggestions. We suggest high temp ranges than other filament makers, because we use a high-quality resin to make our filament.  Think of it this way, the need to use higher temperatures means that the finished part will be more resistant to temperature damage.
  • Calibrate your extruder – your printer may be under extruding due to the settings not being correct in the firmware. Check out this page to test and calibrate your extruder – https://all3dp.com/2/extruder-calibration-6-easy-steps-2/
  • Heat Creep – there are endless posts and articles you can look up about heat creep. It is when your filament is expanding due to heat before it reaches the nozzle.  Check your fans and airflow past the heat break.  Make sure the heat break isn’t getting too hot.
  • Tension on the filament – if the filament spool doesn’t move freely, then the extruder motor can skip or grind, without pulling any filament. Without the pressure of filament pushing from the extruder, nothing will come out the nozzle.

 

Q: How can I keep my filament as good as new after it has been opened? 

A: As dry as possible.

If you live in the desert, you are pretty much golden.  If not, then you have some work to do.  Some filaments will wick moisture faster than others, but every type of filament works best when it is dry.  Always store your unused filament in an airtight bag or container with desiccant.  If your filament has been exposed to the open air for a while, you should dry it before your next use.  Filament dryers a great tool for even the most diligent filament keepers.

 

Q: Why do my prints curl or break free from the bed?

A: Two words a key here – Bed Adhesion. Your first layer will set up your entire print to be a success or a failure.

Below is a list of materials preferred adhesion aids:

  • PLA: Blue Painters tape OR a heated bed with Kapton/PET tape at 60Cº (Adhesive optional)
  • ABS/BENDLAY: A heated bed at 120Cº PLUS some form of adhesive
  • NYLON: A heated bed at 75Cº With some form of adhesive
  • TPE/TPU: Blue painters tape OR a heated bed with Kapton/PET tape at 70Cº (Adhesive optional)

Here are the most common adhesives:
• Aqua Net Hairspray (Extra Hold)
• Glue Stick / Magigoo
• ABS Slurry (only for ABS)

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