PCTPE newbe

Help with printing with specific plastic filaments.
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GJG
Posts: 72
Joined: Sun Oct 09, 2016 10:53 am

PCTPE newbe

Post by GJG » Mon May 08, 2017 6:51 pm

Hi
I just ordered a spool of Taulman PCTPE filament to try.
Looking at the profile in CURA 20.01, It appears that it should print relatively quickly.
I plan on making a dry box with desicant in which to store and feed this filament.
On the only other thread about this material that I could find,
the poster talked about extreme warping.
..
I have a TAZ6 that I purchased September 2016 and am using CURA 20.01 because that was the current software at the
time I purchased it.
..
Are there any pitfalls I should be aware of when starting to experiment with the PCTPE filament?
I'm just guessing here, but I believe I should be able to use the standard TAZ6 extruder.
I have a Flexistruder, but it would appear that I will not need to use it on the PCTPE filament.
..
Thanks in advance for any word of wisdom.
Gary

ScottW
Posts: 451
Joined: Thu Dec 10, 2015 1:00 pm

Re: PCTPE newbe

Post by ScottW » Fri May 12, 2017 12:39 pm

My biggest recommendation for PCTPE would be to make sure it is DRY. A drybox as you plan will "keep it dry", but it won't remove existing moisture.

I have 3 spools of PCTPE, two from Amazon and one directly from Taulman. All were extremely wet when they arrived, despite being vacuum packed with a desiccant pack.

Here's what it looks like when it has moisture (as all 3 spools did when I received them). Bubbling, popping, oozing caused by the moisture makes printing virtually impossible.


Here's what that same filament looks like after baking the entire spool at ~65C for about 12 hours:


So... When you get your spool, extrude a bit into air as in the videos above. If you see bubbling/popping or a lot of oozing, then you will want to put the spool into a 65C oven for 12-18 hours before trying to print anything with it. Then store and feed it from a drybox to prevent it from becoming contaminated again.

As long as it is dry, PCTPE is FANTASTIC. Prints well, works with standard extruder (flexistruder not required), and is unbelievably durable. I made some pulley sheaves, put one on a concrete floor and hit it HARD with a hammer over and over. It still looks perfect, no damage whatsoever, the hammer just bounced off of it!
Last edited by ScottW on Sat Oct 06, 2018 12:44 pm, edited 2 times in total.

GJG
Posts: 72
Joined: Sun Oct 09, 2016 10:53 am

Re: PCTPE newbe

Post by GJG » Fri May 12, 2017 6:49 pm

Thanks ScottW
Your videos were very telling.
I'll be building my dry box shortly.
I'm glad I waited until my PCTPE arrived.
I did not realize that the hole in the spool would be so small.
I put the PCTPE in my dry bucket, less than 15% humidity at 68 degrees F.
I will look for the symptoms you described in your video before I actually make a part.
..
Thanks Again
Gary

mikronano
Posts: 63
Joined: Wed May 13, 2015 2:42 pm
Location: Chicago, IL

Re: PCTPE newbe

Post by mikronano » Sat May 13, 2017 2:51 am

I, too, love Taulman products. Their affinity for moisture that could affect long prints was the reason for me to develop this dry box/live feeder viewtopic.php?f=36&t=5943. I admit it requires a lot to build it at its whole but it's totally worth it. I use it on every single print and I never looked back on moisture issues. Especially for these long print hours where in any other case my nylons would have been exposed in the air all that time and risk ruining my print.
Take a look and I'll be happy to help.
Chris
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ScottW
Posts: 451
Joined: Thu Dec 10, 2015 1:00 pm

Re: PCTPE newbe

Post by ScottW » Sat May 13, 2017 3:38 pm

Very elegant solution, @mikronano! Great design.

I went the (lazy) prefab off-the-shelf route, and bought a "Printdry" filament dryer -- Basically an inexpensive food dehydrator with provisions for a spool mount and filament exit hole. Good temperature control and works great both to keep the filament dry during long prints AND to initially dry out any spools that arrive wet from place of purchase.

mikronano
Posts: 63
Joined: Wed May 13, 2015 2:42 pm
Location: Chicago, IL

Re: PCTPE newbe

Post by mikronano » Sun May 14, 2017 3:51 am

ScottW wrote:Very elegant solution, @mikronano! Great design.
I went the (lazy) prefab off-the-shelf route, and bought a "Printdry" filament dryer -- Basically an inexpensive food dehydrator with provisions for a spool mount and filament exit hole. Good temperature control and works great both to keep the filament dry during long prints AND to initially dry out any spools that arrive wet from place of purchase.
Thanks Scott for your nice comments :)
I wish I had found that Printdry thing when I was looking for a solution myself! It would have saved me several kilos of failed attempts and hundreds of hours of printing!
At least, with my design I have a full heated filament path all the way down to the hobbed bolt. I remember snapping the Laybrick and the Colorfabb Bronzefill filaments at several lengths before that!
For my box, I have a separate 24V power source so I can dry my spool long before I print with it, say overnight. I just can't work and dry different spools simultaneously, something that the Printdry can do just fine.
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