Pla – reprap electricity austin

You can get slightly higher quality surface finish with ABS over PLA, but on the whole PLA works better in the machine, requiring lower temperatures and giving stronger, more hard-wearing products. It does have a slightly higher coefficient of friction in the drive and transport than ABS, but this is more than compensated for by its lower viscosity when molten. This means lower pressure in the melt chamber and hence a lower driving force.

• If you have trouble getting it to stick, try raising your extrusion temp a few degrees. At 185C I have no trouble, but at 180C it is almost impossible to get a good first layer. On large prints, bumping the print temp by 5 degrees or so can improve first layer bonding.

• another method that helps PLA stick to the printing surface that can be used with or without heatbed, is wiping the surface with a bit of lemon juice. the sugars (and?) the acid in lemon juice help PLA stick very well to print surface even with big prints.

• Use a VERY small amount of oil. Too much and it will not stick, too little and it will stick too well. I wipe a small amount of cooking oil on a a paper towel and wipe that on the surface. it should feel just slightly oily. It takes practice to get it right, but it is not hard.

• Keep a chisel on hand just in case. If you surface isn’t oily enough or you start too low, it will bond pretty tightly. You will need a chisel to remove it and scrape off the remnants. With practice you will rarely need it, but keep it on hand just in case.

• If you are in the US, Home Depot sells an 8x10x0.093" piece of Polycarbonate for under $4. It attaches perfectly to the existing bed of your Prusa with double sided tape. It will need to be replaced as it gets scratched up, but it will be usable for many prints, and is far less hassle than blue tape.

PLA can absorb moisture from the air. When it is heated this moisture can turn to steam bubbles which with certain hot end (extruder head) designs can interfere with printing. The symptom is that when the extruder motor stops the PLA kept coming out. When the stepper starts again there is a significant delay. Occasionally the tip may blow a bubble with a tiny puff of what looked like steam.

Small amounts of PLA filament (Natureworks PLA4043D has been tried) can have some moisture removed by putting it on a piece of aluminum foil in an oven heated to 170F for an hour. The filament in the oven is floppy, but sticks to itself only slightly. Flexing the coils after cooling unsticks them from each other. Heating a whole spool this way has not been tried, and may result in the spool becoming unusable, so caution is advised. Be advised that an electric resistance oven is desirable for drying since natural gas fired ovens produce water vapor as a byproduct (Methane is the primary constituent of natural gas, Methane => CO2 + 2 H2O). Similar issues for propane fired ovens.

Microwaving the whole PLA filament 1 minute had been tried also , but the temperature only raised slightly and start to produce some unusual smell , the reason that microwaving fails to remove moisture might be water molecule bonding in PLA has low absorptivity to microwave, or the percentage of water is too low to sufficiently raise the temperature due to the heat capacity of PLA.

A crude form of PLA can be produced by simply heating powdered lactic acid with powdered stannous chloride – commonly used in pottery glazes – in a test tube. Extracting it from the test tube afterwards is left as an exercise for the diligent student.