Filament notes

There’s a lot of information on 3D printer filaments and materials out there. These are my notes on on specific issues I’ve encountered.

Note

These notes are based on my experiences with the Prusa i3 Mk3 and Artillery/Evnovo Sidewinder X1 printers. If you are using a different printer, please verify the hardware details are similar.

Filament reviews, master lists, and comparisons

A few brave souls are trying to maintain comprehensive reviews and/or comparisons across the range of filaments available.

Todo

filament comparisons

Calibrating new filament

You can use generic settings to get decent results for most filament types, but a bit of fine tuning can help with over- or under-extrusion, stringing and other quality problems. I’ve put together some notes on filament calibration.

Filament suppliers

I’ve put together as list of recommended filament manufacturers and suppliers.

Printing with PETG

PETG is a great material, but can be a bit tricky to print with compared to PLA. If you’re aware of these differences starting out, you can save a lot of heartache and frustration. Some general notes from printing PETG on my Mk3…

  • You don’t want too much cooling or you’ll get poor inter-layer adhesion, but too little and it can produce very stringy prints. I’ve gone with 30% cooling for appearance. Keep your eyes open for new versions of PrusaSlicer as they’re adding a feature that will allow you to enable cooling only on external perimeters which should help a lot with this situation.

  • PETG is prone to snagging onto the nozzle if it’s too close. Some Some Live-Z adjustment for PETG is recommended. is recommended. I raise mine (make less negative) by 0.02mm, though others swear by 0.2mm. See what works best for you.

  • PETG is attracted to heat, so try to keep your bed as hot as possible and the extruder as cold as possible at the start of your prints. After the first layer the extruder temperature can be raised and the bed temperature lowered.

  • Consider a coated nozzle and/or silicone sock for the heater block to reduce tendency of PETG to stick to the nozzle and heater block.

  • When switching from PETG to PLA, heat the nozzle above PETG temps and use some cleaning filament to clear the hotend and nozzle of any residual PETG. This is not 100% mandatory, but the cleaning filament does a good job of pulling out all the PETG, and will also melt out at PLA temps, so any stuck won’t screw up lower temp PLA prints.

  • Keep PETG in sealed freezer bags with fresh desiccant when not in use.

  • You don’t need an enclosure for PETG. It’s pleasant to work with at normal room temperatures.

  • Most PETG will print fine on the PEI sheet with a spritz of Windex and/or wipes with your fingers. However, hotter stuff (>250C on 80C+ bed) may stick too well. Consider gluestick or some other release agent for hotter temps.

  • Reserve one PEI surface for PETG and other hot sticky materials and a separate surface for PLA.

Temperature ranges

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Notes on temperature deflection

Every filament has a maximum “heat deflection temperature”, often indicated as Tg (for glass transition temperature), above which it will distort or melt. Different materials can vary significantly.

Table 15 Temperature deflection characteristics for common filament types

Filament Type

Max. Temperature

Colorfabb HT

100C/212F

Colorfabb NGEN

85C/185F

PETG

80C/176F

Colorfabb XT

75C/167F

PLA

60C/140F

Taulman Bridge

52C/125F

Contact and feedback

You can find me on the Prusa support forums or Reddit where I lurk in many of the 3D printing-related subreddits. I occasionally drop into the Official Prusa 3D discord server where I can be reached as bobstro (bobstro#9830). You can email me directly at projects@ttlexceeded.com.

Last modified Apr 2, 2021. Last build on Apr 02, 2021.