Filament Testing Notes

Hey all,

At LulzBot we get quite a few different types of filament sent our way for the hopes of carrying it within our store. Not all of these filaments will make the cut, but it doesn’t mean they are not compatible with our machines. We respect your freedom to use whatever filament you prefer, and thought you may like to see some of our testing notes.

Standards we use when testing different manufacturers filament:
http://devel.lulzbot.com/filament/Testing_Docs_Master/filament_testing_SOP_v2.odt
http://devel.lulzbot.com/filament/Testing_Docs_Master/filament_testing_template_v1.1.odt

You can find the master testing log (for a general overview) here: http://devel.lulzbot.com/filament/Testing_Docs_Master/filament_testing_master.ods

And specific notes for each manufacturer here: http://devel.lulzbot.com/filament/

All of the filaments we carry will have pre-made profiles loaded into our version of Cura, so be sure you have the latest: https://www.lulzbot.com/cura

These sites sync with our internal server every 45min, so be sure to check back often if you are considering different manufacturers!

Huh, neat. answers a couple questions for me on fillaments I had been thinking about, Thanks for posting this!

One to add to your list, you may want to try Push Plastics Black ABS. For some reason it prints significantly differently than villiage plastics ABS (not in a bad way, just different end result) It tends to have very good interlayer adhesion, and a very shiny resulting surface compared to villiage plastic ABS. it does smell a bit more than the Villiage plastics stuff, but the resulting part is different enough that some people may prefer it as a plastic.

That sounds good, I might give it a try next time I need ABS. What is the tolerance on the filament diameter? I find village plastics to be very consistent and always close to 2.85mm. That said, I still have to drop the flow rate to 92.4% with black to get it to print accurately. Esteps are well tuned.

the push stuff is pretty vlose to 2.85 usually.

Does anyone perchance know the glass transition temp of Village Plastics ABS? Is it in those files? I can’t open them with my phone.

it’s about 160ish when it starts getting soft, it’s extrudable at about 216 if you really need to, ideal extrusion around 240.

I tried this push plastic.

It’s very nice for some things. Not very good for bridging or say printing something face down with curved edges. It seems very soft and gooey like nylon until it’s had a good few moments to cool off. It seems to hold heat a long time.

For example, with village plastics abs, when I prime the nozzle I can just grab the big extruded loop of filament with my fingers and it’s cool to the touch and Rock hard. With push plastic, it’s still hot and malleable for a few seconds.

It is definitely good stuff though. I seem to experience a lot less de lamination with my unenclosed printer than I do with village plastics. In fact I’ve not had any de lamination. Neither have I had any corners lifting off the bed. But it sticks a little too well to the PEI. Leaves a nice shiny finish too.

Brent, or any other AO employees:

Do you have any plans to test and/or offer the new IGUS Tribo iglide I180-PF white 3mm filament? I recently tested my sample request and liked it a lot. The yellow one didn’t work so well for me, so i don’t necessarily recommend or want that. But curious to know if it’s on your radar?

It looks like we have had it in the building, but we have not had much time to experiment with it. http://devel.lulzbot.com/filament/Igus/

Judging by the specs it is compatible with the machines, it may just take a lot of fine tuning of profiles. Anything that can be extruded into a consistent 3mm (2.85mm) diameter, and extrudes at less than 300c should be fine.

As a note, Carbon Fiber and other filled filaments may damage your hot end. Be sure to check with filament manufacturers recommendations/warnings before running through your hot end.

Thanks for the reply Brent! Yeah, i noticed in http://devel.lulzbot.com/filament/Igus/ you have an 8mm bushing test stl file.

http://devel.lulzbot.com/filament/Igus/8mm_igus_bushing.stl

I haven’t tested your version yet, but in my version i noticed that the igus Tribo filaments have a significant over extruding quality and squish more than expected. You need to have your cad files compensated for it by about .3mm extra. I made my own compensated STL file that has an inside diameter of 8.4mm and and outside shrunk by .3mm it and it came out perfect this time. I also increased the spacing between the “pegs” by .3mm as well.

http://www.thingiverse.com/download:2620114

Brent, I noticed that there is no entry for Proto-Pasta’s PC-ABS. I’ve been using it on a project where I need as much high temperature performance as I can get and have been fairly happy with this. I would like to see results of your testing and experience with it.

Can you be more specific to the potential damage? Are we just talking about the nozzle itself, or are other parts subject to damage?

Also, what speed is the additional damage/wear? If we do one or 2 print jobs, is that an issue, or are we talking about spools of filament before damage occurs?

Thanks!

From our experience with Carbon Fiber filled filaments, it will destroy your nozzle in less than 1kg of filament. This will eat away at your nozzle, causing a larger and oblong orifice. (This makes it near impossible to get clean prints due to the gcode generation) The risk you run when swapping out nozzles is breaking thermistor/heater cartridge, and breaking the seal within the heat block. You can do this, but once you swap out nozzles your hot end will no longer be covered under warranty.


Unfortunately I haven’t had much of a chance to play with it myself. Our resident filament guru in R&D is out atm on vacation, but once he comes back I will see where he has the filament notes stashed. (Sorry about that!)

In my search for other manufacturers of ABS, I came across Sun Top (http://www.3d-filament.com.tw/175mm-ABS-Filament.html) which appears to be a company from Taiwan. They have both 1.75mm and 3mm ABS filament. While they claim to provide quality filaments, they are not on the Lulzbot lists. Are there any other companies that do quality analysis checks like Lulzbot?

http://devel.lulzbot.com/filament/Testing_Docs_Master/filament_testing_SOP_v2.odt apparently is broken.