Printing PLA with Da Vinci

A quick update. Following on from the ongoing progress with using Ninjaflex (TPE) with a Da Vinci printer, I’ve managed to successfully print some generic clear PLA filament.

PLA on the left. ABS on the right.

An advantage of PLA compared to ABS is PLA is available in transparent colours. The smell of heated PLA is not as strong as ABS. However, the mechanical strength of the material is lower than ABS.

To get the clear PLA to print, I had to insert some black electrical tape inside the filament guide in the extruder. This acts as a barrier and blocks the filament photo transistor pair. Clear filaments allows light to pass and the printer detects this as broken filament.

No mods were made to the print bed temperature feedback and the print bed warmed to the normal operating point (90 degrees Celcius). There was evidence of slight peeling at the edge of the print. However the print’s relatively large footprint of ~50 x 50 mm kept it in position.

PLA printed with Da Vinci printer
Successful PLA print with 30% fill.

A few internets searched recommends that a print bed temperature of 50 – 60 degrees Celcius is used. There appears to be some science behind setting the print bed temperature. Anyway, too high a print bed temperature stops the material from adhering to the surface.

Poor adhesion was evident with a print with a much smaller footprint. Rafts were used to print out some extruder filament guides. The print got stuck to the extruder nozzle and the whole print lifted itself off the print bed.

PLA Fail
Failed PLA print.

These tests were pretty rough and there is definitely room for improvement. More details will be posted as progress continues.



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