How do I tell what material I have?

I have an unlabelled sample size length of black filament, which I thought was ABS.

When I try to print with it I get very messy results. The same object(s) print fine in a grey filament which i know is ABS.

I’m printing multiple copies of a small item 11mm square and about 8mm high overall, with an overhanging top roughly like a small mushroom - a scale model of a dockside mooring bollard.

Most of the ‘travel’ movements leave a thin string of filament behind them, and as the head moves from one object to another on the print bed they cluster together like spiders web, and ruin the print. I also get small lumps under the overhang, where the filament has drooped. That doesn’t happen withthe grey ABS.

One attempt pulled one object off the bed, mixed it up with melted filament, and then dragged all the other copies off the bed too.

With my limited experience, I’m guessing that the hot end temperature is too high (245C), and the plastic is ‘too runny’.

I’m wondering if I’m wrong, and the material is actually PLA? Is there a way to test it to find out?

Would I damage the printer if I try it with PLA settings, and it is ABS after all? If the temperature is too low, I’m guessing the filament just wouldn’t extrude - which I suppose might damage the extruding gears.

With the brief description of the printing quality with the sample roll, it sounds like you may have a bit of nGen or Inova-1800, a both of those filaments print (somewhat) well at higher temperature, but the movement of the tool head on the ABS settings are too high, causing the stringing. If you want to test to find the best temperature for this filament, you can heat the tool head to a extrusion temperature, then manually push the filament through. When you are able to easily push the filament through, that would be a good temperature to use. Where did you get the sample roll?

I got several samples from different sources shortly after I got the printer late last year.

It might have been from Rigid Ink - they had a promotion on then.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t labelled at all, which is why I don’t now know what it is.

I’ll try your suggestion to find the melting point, and try again.

What material in the list for Lulzbot Mini and Cura 3.2 should I choose to slow down the head movement? It goes very fast after the first layer or two has printed.

Thanks for any further advice.

To slow down the print speed, you can either use the nGen or Inova-1800, as they both print at a much lower speed. You can also change the print speed in the speed section of Cura LE Custom settings if you want to use a different material profile.

ABS tastes oily. PLA tastes like corn.