It takes more than flawless combination of printer and slicing software to produce great prints, as the filaments play an integral part too. The FAQ provides fundamental knowledge about 3D printer filaments for your better understanding.

Why does BotFeeder insist on making PURE PLA filaments?

For those who carry the fundamental knowledge about PLA materials, it's no easy feat to process PURE PLA materials in filaments production, and particularly when it comes to controlling diameter of tolerance and roundness. Most filament products available on the market today are typically derived from MODIFIED PLA materials, which are relatively simple to handle and process. And despite the odds, BotFeeder has managed to successfully produce PURE PLA filaments after numerous attempts, as we're determined to let users decide what's truly best for them - to solely enjoy the creativity and ingenuity of what 3D printing technology may bring at no extra cost of health risks.

BotFeeder PLA filaments are easy to use, and the prints, as a result, bear remarkably vivid and clear touch in colour. Please refer to 3D Print Gallery for illustrations.

How does one tell if the filament in question is indeed derived from PURE PLA materials?

Referring to the PLA materials from NatureWorks LLC that BotFeeder incorporates in filaments production as instance, the raw materials bear transparent physical appearance with a slight hint of yellowish tint, so naturally the PLA Transparent Colour which BotFeeder produces should carry parallel resemblance. Equally true is the known fact such that PURE PLA should emit quite pleasant, sugary smell when extruded; most likely from IMPURE PLA if otherwise, and particularly when pungent scent could be detected.

What are the optimal temperature settings for 3D print job using BotFeeder ABS & PLA filaments?

For starters, the printing temperature and speed are correlated with one another for optimal print job. The melting points of the chosen ABS and PLA materials are 220-250 and 180-210 degrees Celsius, respectively. Without the aid of cooling fans one may need to reduce the processing temperature for PLA print job. Additionally, materials of different makes more or less have variable melting points, and this difference could be further extended to scenarios wherein materials bear merely different product codes but of the same brand or when colors are the only perceivable difference; the range of the difference is between 5-10 degrees Celsius, so to speak. In short, as a general rule of thumb, the optimal printing temperature setting for any given filament needs to be tested and learnt. Needless to say, recalibration is a must for every time one makes a switch of the filament.

Why do I see smoke during an ABS print job?

It's likely that moisture exists either within or adhered to the filaments (or both) at the time when a print job is executed, and vapor or smoke is thus created when moisture encounters heat. It is recommended that filaments be allowed to dry (i.e. minimal relative humidity) in an electronic dehumidifier/damp-proof cabinet prior to performing a print job to avoid the occurrence in question.

P.S. Plastics are known for its water absorbent property (about 0.6% for ABS), though unnoticeable on the surface, the moisture found within will be converted into water vapor instantly as it comes into contact with a heat source.

Are PLA materials really safe?

BotFeeder PLA filaments comprise pigments and PLA resins ONLY; without additives of any kinds. The pigments and resins chosen for the production are in full compliance with the RoHS directive. Moreover, PLA materials are derived from corn starches which are environmental-friendly biodegradable substances. Furthermore, genuine PLA filaments emit a hint of sweet aroma during a print job. Hence, when one picks up an acrid and unpleasant smell during the print job it's probably because the filaments contain some additives.

Why does PLA becomes transfigured when exposed directly under sunlight for an extended duration?

Since PLA itself may be easily transfigured at a temperature ranging from 55-70 degrees Celsius, it is therefore not difficult to imagine the kind of effect one may come to expect from the sun in the outdoors. In this sense, please do bear it in mind that all PLA-derived food containers should not hold foods or liquids at a temperature above 50 degrees Celsius.

Why do I see black dots in the extruded materials during a print job?

There are some known issues which could lead to black dots occurrence. For one, the filaments in possession may be of undesirable quality including impurity. All BotFeeder filaments are produced under close monitoring and strict quality control procedures, so the chances of similar occurrence as the aforementioned should be rare. One other possible cause of black dots could be attributed to excessive processing temperature, namely burnt marks.

Why does disconnection (of melted filaments out of nozzle) occur during a print job?

Again, there are a couple of possible causes for the disconnection. It could be either that the processing temperature is insufficient which renders the filaments in incomplete melted state (i.e. clog) or the temperature is too high which melts the filaments prematurely within the barrel that leads to unsuccessful deposit through the nozzle. It could also be the extruder drive gear is not holding the filaments tight enough and scrapes the filaments as the gear is in motion, and the bits of materials that got scraped off end up filling the spaces between cogs which results in disconnection as the gear loses its grip on the filaments.

If both irregular pattern of lines/veins and broken lines are observable in the infill of a print, then it's likely that the melted filaments deposit through the nozzle is either generated insufficiently or at an unsteady rate.

If tiny cluster is spotted amid the melted filaments being extruded from the nozzle then, aside from impurity* as one logical explanation, it is most likely a result of incomplete melted filaments from inadequate processing temperature.

Note*: As stated from earlier, the chances of impurity found in BotFeeder filaments are slim owing to our strict production procedures.

Do roundness and dimension of filaments have any effects on printing quality?

According to some studies conducted by 3D printing professionals, having near-perfect roundness (i.e. with tolerances close to zero) and consistent diameter throughout the entire length of the spool yields better quality prints. BotFeeder is striving to achieve such an ideal - while it's officially stated on our website that BotFeeder filaments bear tolerances within 0.05mm when in fact a majority is well controlled under 0.03.

How come prints produced by other users are of higher quality and consistency comparing to my own?

3D Printing itself is a technology which necessitates mastery and understanding of its design not unlike any other practices. To begin with, different 3D printers yield variable precision results in prints, and the calibration by default are not the same either! In some cases, printers are not even fully calibrated at the time of purchase. It is, therefore, not difficult to imagine the kind of challenges an amateur may face for the sheer complexity involved in 3D printing. The software, along with a printer's level of precision, calibration, speed, thickness of layering, temperature settings plus other fine adjustments will all take part in a print's resulting quality.

What are the suitable printers for BotFeeder filaments?

As long as a printer's nozzle temperature can be set at somewhere between 220-250 degrees Celsius, and the heat bed at 90-110, then our ABS filaments will work on the printer. As for PLA, it depends on whether or not the printer is equipped with a fan and heat bed. And while most printers with nozzle temperature around 180-220 degree Celsius can use our PLA filaments, some may require lower processing temperature than the suggested.

What are the printing conditions for Filastic - Flexible materials?

Similar to printing ABS filaments. Nozzle temp.: 220℃~240℃. Heated bed: 100℃~110℃ (Ref.: 30mm/s, 0.3mm layer thickness, nozzle & heated bed temp. at 230℃and 105℃, respectively).

How do I know which 3D printers are equipped to run Filastic - Flexible materials?

Since the material itself is supple, it is therefore recommended to have the printer built with the stepper motor directly above the tube. This allows the material to exert its maximum thrust as the motor draws it in. The gap between the feeder gear and the tube should be minimal at best (< 5mm is recommended), and the diameter of the tube should be as close as possible to 1.85mm. Also be aware that the feeder gear should not squeeze too tight. Having just enough force to draw in the material will suffice.

Why is printer stalled in the middle of printing?

It's virtually impossible for our filaments to become entwined at start in their mint and unopened packages. The most likely cause for the stalling is therefore attributed to leaving the loose end of the filament unsecured, and rendering it the chance to become looped and eventually a snag which ultimately hinders the printing. Always remember to secure the end of the filament by putting it through the hole/notch when not in use.

Why is nozzle jammed during printing with PLA materials?

Possible causes are listed below:

1 . Impurities in the filaments.
2 . Insufficient printing temperature to allow fully molten polymer passing through.
3 . If printer is equipped with pure metal nozzle, as pure PLA material is known for its stickiness which makes feeding relatively difficult, having teflon tube installed should remove the problem.