Alloy 910: Bed adhesion and cleanup

I’ve been trying out printing with Alloy 910 recently.

The good is that I’ve figured out a great way to have good bed adhesion without mucking around with glue. I saw that people have had success printing nylon filament with phenolic on the bed. I decided to try doing the same thing with Alloy 910. I added a 1/16" sheet of FR-4 on top of the bed, clipped down the corners with binder clips, adjusted the Z offset, and set the bed temperature to 80 C. This works flawlessly. The models adhere well to the top during printing and pop right off after cooling. No need for glue at all.

The bad is that I have had persistent problems keeping the nozzle clean when using Alloy 910. The stuff seems to ooze out and adhere more tightly to the nozzle than other materials. After the first few prints, I found that I needed to manually clean the print nozzle almost every time I printed because the auto-nozzle-cleaning didn’t work. Has anyone else had this issue? What have you done to resolve it? I really love the material and want to use it more. But right now I am spending way too much time cleaning and not enough time printing.

-Jonathon Duerig

I have run into the same issue myself. I found setting the auto wipe temperature to 210C. That seemed to solve the problem. Sometimes it does two wipes, but never a 3rd.

If I may, can you elaborate on your phenolic setup? I have a Mini and I am struggling with bed adhesion and warping. Do you bypass the auto level portion of the print or does your printer not do that?

I tweaked the auto-wipe temperature a couple of times, but I never went that high. I’ll have to give it a try. Thanks!

When using the phenolic, I keep everything the same, including the auto level portion. The only thing I do is adjust the Z-Offset configuration setting by the thickness of the phenolic. Make sure you record your original setting so you can set it back when you need to switch filament. A small correction to the above: I used 1/32" thickness phenolic and not 1/16".

McMaster sells 6"x6" sheets of 1/32" FR4 for just a few bucks each:

The phenolic sits on top of the PEI portions and shouldn’t cover the corner buttons. If you need to cut out notches for the corners, you can use a small hacksaw and a vise. It cuts fairly easily. Be careful not to breath in the dust, but on this small scale, it probably doesn’t matter.

To help prevent warping, I designed a custom enclosure using aluminum beams and ABS with a couple of acrylic windows. It works pretty well and I’ll probably post a write-up here soon.

Have you tried a brim to help with adhesion and warping? I have not printed with the Alloy 910 as i just received the sheet you recommended and will be setting it up to print. Do you think an additional fan will work for quicker cooling or an encasement as you built. I have done this in the past with a cardboard box but the warping was more due to adhesion, no brim and proper cooling.

I haven’t had adhesion problems with Alloy 910 since starting to use the phenolic plate. The only warping I had was about halfway up a large part I made out of the stuff. An enclosure of some kind should help if you notice that.

I don’t think an extra fan will help, though. From what I’ve read, the problem is that things are cooling unevenly. A fan will only exacerbate that. While an enclosure keeps the lower layers warmer and thus closer to the temperature of the newly laid down material. OTOH, the only way to know is to try. So let me know if you test it and my intuition about this is wrong.

-Jonathon Duerig

I printed a second beefed up Idler arm with a 2 line brim and had very slight warping. This is without an encolsure. I will try a large gear or something with a little more surface area next to see if the brim can prevent it then.

question, I may just be missing it but I have looked through all the settings and can not find where to adjust the cleaning temp as suggested to 210. Any insight would be helpful.

There is not an explicit option to change the cleaning temperature. However, if you look at the last tab in the ‘advanced’ options, you can see the code that Cura prepends onto each gcode file. This code includes the initial cleaning routine explicitly. So by tweaking this code you can change the cleaning temperature. If you are comfortable modifying gcode yourself, you can read the comments of the code and look up the documentation for gcode to figure out exactly what to change. I did this myself when I was trying to print in Alloy 910 before. But since Nainkaigo’s suggestion, I haven’t had a chance to try it out (I’ve been playing with ABS and the moarstruder).

-Jonathon Duerig

FYI, I had a chance to write-up my enclosure design here:

I haven’t had much problem warping with Alloy 910 in the past. But I have had ABS warping issues, which this helps with.

-Jonathon Duerig